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Creative Writing: Poetry

Poems are read, violets are blue.

Poets are the sages of the ages, the voices of generations, the obscure geniuses of yore. And it's that kind of reputation that scares people away from trying their hand at it.

Little do these folks know that all poets start out by doodling (or chiseling, as the case may be) imitations of the poets that came before them.

In this course, we'll focus on your individual way of writing poems—poems that only you can write. We'll even peek at the ground broken by some of Poetryland's most famous predecessors in order to help identify what's ticking in your own creations.

If you've ever found yourself changing the words to a song on the radio so they fit your life, writing funny limericks in the margins of your English notebook, or admiring words of wisdom graffiti-ed on a highway overpass, you should probably let your curiosity win and give poetry writing a try.

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. The Toolkit

This unit is all about poetic devices: what they are, and more importantly, how to use 'em.

Unit 2. With Their Powers Combined: Poetry & Your Life

In this unit, we'll turn inward and focus on pulling out the unique experiences, bizarre thoughts, and secret obsessions that'll help you create poems that only you can write.

Unit 3. Getting Weird to Generate Poems

This unit will focus on tactics for creating poems when you're feeling low on poem-fuel. There's always an idea out there.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 3: A Rhyme in Time is Better than a Mime

Do you groan every time some one says "You're a poet and you just don't know it"? Yeah, us too. Rhyme is one of the oldest tricks in the Poetryland book, but it can definitely cross the line into totally overdone cheesiness:

Not your Mama's nursery rhymes...

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You know the rest,
And the rest is AWFUL.

No matter how much you might love a sharp cheddar, cheese is no good in a poem.

So how do you go about using rhyme without beating the reader over the proverbial head with it? In this lesson, we'll take a look at a couple different kinds of rhyme so that we can get a handle on what we're dealing with.