Friday, Aug 21, 2009

On Writing Poetry

Poetry as an art form predates literacy, since it is believed that poetry has its origins in song. The first poems were probably accompanied by music. Later, when writing was created, poetry was recorded in words. 

The oldest surviving poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, dates back to somewhere between the second and fourth millennium BC and was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets. Later, it was recorded on papyrus. 

Contrary to popular opinion, poetry is alive and well today. If you have never written poetry, I encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful way to hone your writing skills because poetry requires focus, conciseness, and precision in choosing just the right word. All skills that help improve any genre of writing. 🙂

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12 thoughts on “On Writing Poetry

  1. I wish I could write poetry, but I do love to read certain poets. I think and write in prose, but I can appreciate the beauty of poetry. Mary Ann, I know you write wonderful poetry, and I enjoy reading many other poets’ works.

    August 21, 2009 at 8:27 AM

    • Thanks for your comments, dear Skye! If you want to try your hand at poetry, a fun exercise is to take a poem you love and use it as a model for your own poem. Follow the same meter and rhyme scheme. Who knows? You may end up writing poetry after all and loving it as much as you love reading it. 🙂



      August 21, 2009 at 10:23 AM

  2. Thanks for you confidence, MaryAnn. As always, you challenge us to reach highter. I actually read poetry every morning and find them prayerful and comforting. They are easier to remember because of the meter and rhyme. I never thought I could do it, but after having you in my life I dare say I will not try. I keep Fran Pasch’s poems framed and on my wall for inspiration.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    • So good to hear from you, Janet! Thanks for writing. What a wonderful practice to read poetry every morning! Even though one may not write poetry, reading it helps all types of writing.

      I’m delighted that you have Fran’s poems on your wall. She writes very inspiring verse.



      August 22, 2009 at 5:04 PM

  3. Hi MaryAnn –

    I find myself drawn to poetry in times of great pain or stress. Unfortunately, it is not my strong point, so I don’t pursue publication.

    Susan 🙂

    August 21, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    • You make a good point, Susan. Poetry consoles the soul like few other types of writing. And, of course, even though one may not write poetry, one can certainly appreciate it. 🙂



      August 22, 2009 at 5:05 PM

  4. Something for us all: August 22,09

    “…the moral basis of poetry is the accurate naming of the things of God.” Frank O’connor , Irish Novelist.

    I wrote two poems a few years ago.Both published. One was about Christ carrying His cross. It was published in a small, local, weekly newspaper.

    This summer I read poems by Mary Oliver and Ann Sexton. They are both mentioned often in Christian books. I must confess I do not understand the majority of the poems. It’s depressing.I thought I was bright.I don’t think I am a poem reader, and compared to their poems( don’t compare, Jim) my poems are more like:
    I see the Moon, and the Moon sees me. God Bless the Moon and God Bless me.
    I also go to the end of the rock pile down the street and sit and gaze at the ocean and wonder what poets and saints see… that I don’t. Blessings, jim connelly

    August 22, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    • Jim, at long last you made it! So glad you were persistent. Now we can all be blessed by your comments.

      Welcome aboard! 🙂

      August 22, 2009 at 5:06 PM

  5. Hi Everyone….

    It’s good to be back in touch with you on MaryAnn’s very informative blog.
    As a poet, I encourage each of you to try writing a poem. I never wrote until 26 years ago when I developed a personal relationship with the Lord. All of a sudden I found myself writing poems and devotions, and I give the glory to the Lord since I never wrote poems before. Poetry is notthe easiest thing get published, but I have found quite a few markets that have used my poems. I will be happy to share some of those with you. You can reach me at

    Happy writing! Fran

    August 24, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    • Hi, Fran, it’s great to have you back! I’ve missed you! 🙂

      Just want to let everyone know that Fran’s poetry is definitely something you ought to read. If you’re interested in writing poetry, take her up on her offer to contact her.

      I especially enjoy Fran’s annual Christmas and Easter cards featuring her poetry. Plus, she has a couple of booklets of her work available for purchase.

      August 24, 2009 at 2:48 PM