Writing love poems need not be complicated. Even novice poets can write something that their loved one will not only enjoy, but will treasure and appreciate. Here are a few tools and guidelines which may make writing love poems easier.
Do you want the main focus of your poem to be some aspect of person’s appearance or character or is the focus on the relationship itself? Decide what the focus of your poem will be early, as most writers, when writing a love poem, get carried away with what they want to say because there are so many feelings associated with love, whether old or new. Once your poem has a focus, it will have clarity so the meaning does not get lost in a jumble of words and unnecessary fluff.
Writing a quick rough draft is a useful exercise in writing a poem. Write a paragraph or a list of things you want to include in your poem as this will allow you, the poet, to focus on composing the lines and using different poetic tools without having to concentrate on coming up with content as well.
Poets have used imagery, a great poetry tool, for hundreds of years. Using a metaphor often helps poets better illustrate their feelings by attaching an abstract, untouchable concept like love or devotion, to something concrete and easy to understand, such as clouds or thorns.
The famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, who wrote, “O my love is like a red, red rose,/That’s newly sprung in June”, provides an excellent example of imagery. In using this imagery he conveys that his love for the object of his affection is beautiful and new. Using imagery, a poet can put feelings into words, explaining something that might otherwise be difficult to explain. In addition, he conjures up positive associations as most people love both a beautiful red rose and the warmth of June. When the reader remembers these positive associations, Burns leads the reader to apply those feelings to the poem itself.
Use metaphors sparingly as employing comparisons too often will make the poem seem clichÃ© and lacking in sincerity, which not what you want to convey. Depending on how long the poem is, strive to limit yourself to one or two metaphors as metaphors are an effective tool, but only when used wisely and sparingly.
Rhyme and Rhythm
Rhyme and rhythm can be important elements of a love poem. In fact, most traditional love poems follow some kind of rhyme scheme and/or rhythm.
With rhythm, the key is to set a consistent meter. Keep track of the number of syllables in each line to create a basic rhythm then aim to have the same number of syllables per line with ten being a good place to start. Having a rhythm creates the characteristic musical quality lots of poetry has.
Rhyme is another poetic device that makes a poem interesting and fun to read. Try using an alternating rhyme scheme, so the last words rhyme in every other line, no pun intended. The rhyming should feel somewhat natural so don’t pick words that are too difficult to match or rhyming pairs that feel like a stretch. If the rhyming becomes a distraction, it isn’t flowing naturally, as it should, which is a problem.
It is important to remember that some of the greatest poems ever penned didn’t follow a rhyme scheme or set rhythm. If you find that using either of these poetic elements is limiting your creativity, feel free to write freestyle poetry. It is your poem so do whatever works best for you.
Writing poetry can be challenging, but it should also be fun. Try not to be hard on yourself as everyone learns new techniques in their own time and picking up poetic techniques is not always easy. As long as you’re sincere, the feelings you’re trying to convey with your love poem will shine through.