Check List for a Budding Poet


Check List for a Budding Poet

If you want to be prolific,
better that you be specific,
and when you choose to state each fact,
try to make each word exact.
Don’t use time-worn words or wilted.
Avoid pretentious words or stilted.

Never try to force a rhyme.
Do not fail to take the time
to make your lines scan smoothly for,
uneven meter is a bore.
Words written for effect are hollow,
but where heart is, the head will follow.

So write your poetry from the heart.
Put your horse before the cart
and let it pull you up the hill.
Let your words express their will—
you following blindly, just to see
what the next line wants to be.

Let words of different shapes and sizes
furnish pleasure and surprises.
Make your poems resemble zoos
of striped okapis and kangaroos.
Delight yourself and then your reader.
Follow words, then be their leader

by whipping them in line and order,
shaping them within your border.
It never is too late to change
an errant line that’s out of range,
but editing is not what you
initially should seek to do.

Words give hearts tongues to share their pleasure
and their pain in equal measure.
Essayists and authors strive
to make their writings come alive.
They show us where their minds have been,
but poets put the music in.


For dVerse Poets “List Poem” Prompt

25 thoughts on “Check List for a Budding Poet


    Oh my goodness, it is good advice for us old poets like me too~! I will keep this one close to see if I am passing muster….probably not…. Now what about “bards” that really tell nothing with words that do not fit except for maybe the one who spit them out. Thanks, Judy,
    Tami, my dog, woke me up at two in the morning, telling me that
    a big old coon was on my sun porch. He had knocked a big container over and was eating the bird food. So while waiting to see if he comes back, I needed to check you out before I retired again after I sent him running, but he will be back full of koi and bird seed../// I will set a trap and then take him far away to bother someone else~! Wonder if he would make a good poem… Right now without my glasses and not fully awake I probably could not even write a good haiku, in fact later today I probably will wonder what I said here, and spell check will be having a field day~!
    So as you alluded to earlier, this is some of what I do in the dark of the night.

    SAM,,,,,,, the dumb “coonass” who feeds huge coons expensive fish and bird food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      My favorite pet of my childhood was a raccoon named Zippy. He grew to be a huge beast and eventually went out to live with friends in the country. We had many adventures. Many years later wild raccoons invaded my house in California causing much mayhem. That story is on my blog. Thanks for trapping and relocating rather than killing! They are so human in their actions and intelligence.


  2. Pingback: Check List for a Budding Poet | Mystical Strings

  3. Beverly Crawford

    What wonderful rhythm and rhyme. Rhyming poetry is my true love. There’s something so soothing about it. Not to mention you’ve encapsulated great advice for anyone who puts words to paper! Bravo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mystoem

    Hello I am a 13 yr old who is just starting her way into poetry. This poem of yours helped me a lot…it will be great if u could see my poems on my blog, mystoems ( stories+poems). Thanks for this once again and pls tell me your views



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