How to STOP Writing Cheesy Poetry

Has anyone ever told you how therapeutic poetry can be?  Dear Readers, it’s time!

Buy yourselves an overpriced chaise lounge, get your best rendition of a fainting Victorian on, and let’s create some poetr-ay! 

Or not.

I don’t know if you’ve heard this shocking news yet but you can’t really write while you faint—seriously.  It’s kind of like texting while driving, except it’s not illegal.  Not yet, anyway.  Not until the government gets in a pickle and has to find a new decoy media sensation to preoccupy the masses with so they can continue to snatch away our civil liberties after the Islamophobia thing gets a little too played out (Ma, are we there yet?).  But I digress.

Do you know what should be illegal?  Yes, yes, besides cheating on your spouse and returning your rescued pet to the animal shelter after you adopt it (not necessarily in that order).

You ready?

It’s one-syllable rhyming.


Nothing “ikk’s!” me out more than a grown-ash adult purring satisfactorily after he or she rhymes things like “earth” with “birth.” 

No, no, NO, Grasshopper!  You’re doing it all wrong.

See, we’ve all been that poet before—you know, the one who skipped the “Cat in the Hat” lesson in elementary school, only to discover the marvel and glory of simple rhyming later in our adult years.  Insert cool cat meme here.

Oh, how I remember those days.  How proud I was of the therapeutic odes I wrote in which all of my schnazzy lines ended in something that rhymed with one another!  During those moments in which I was feeling particularly dangerous, I would even go so far as to rhyme words with two syllables—like “boring” with “snoring.” 


But Toto, we’re not in elementary school anymore.

And, what’s more important, is that part of the medicinal process of poetry writing really should be to share our content in a manner that allows our experiences to somehow move the emotions of the reader.

So, not only is the goal here to put on paper (on screen? whatev’) memories that have impacted us, but also to try to express those sensations in a way that transcends the written word and deposits our own emotions into the core of the reader who cares enough to check out our stuff.

Tangent Thought: Yo, that was deep, waddinnit? /End Thought.

Congratulations, Poets—you’re in the Big League now!  And it’s called Free Verse.

My challenge to you is simple.  I want you to take a shot at writing a free verse poem—no rhythm, no rhyme.

It’s a lot harder than it seems, but it’s super rewarding when you finally nail it.

If you’re having a hard time with it, check this out:  I have a delightfully downloadable wittle worksheet I made for y’all that basically equals the culmination of my thousands of dollars and countless semesters spent as a University of Central Florida Creative Writing major which I will graciously depart to you for the low price of zero dollars, and it will seriously get you there.  You’ll be writing poems that are weep-worthy in no time, or your money back.  Guaranteed.

I’m already tearing up a bit just thinking about it.

Oh—and I also have a quick tutorial page in which I share with you one of my very first free verse poems, following the simple method I’ve outlined for you in your new downloadable.  It’s a side of me and a set of life memories I haven’t written about much, so feel free to request more if it interests you (and if not, well be grateful I don’t talk much about it then, silly!).

When you’re done, be sure to share with us what you’ve come up with.  Share with us; shine with us.  Share with the world; shine for the world.

Oh, and don’t text while you drive to the animal shelter to rescue another purr-baby [you know you need one in your life].  Now that's a double-whammy right there.  After all, what real poet can survive without furry-balls on their chaise?  It's inspiring.

Just like your new free-verse poem will be.

Dena AtassiComment