One of the best things to do to make a poem better is to read your poem aloud. Find a poem that you’d like to make better and do the following:
1) Can you replace weak words with more visual words? Words like “that” or “was” or “is” can usually be replaced with something stronger. Try to make every word count.
2) Listen to the sounds of each word. Is there a sound that’s repeated in your poem? Can you replace words to add more of that sound?
3) Read your poem very slowly. Pause at the end of each line. Is that the best word to end on? Play with your line lengths and with punctuation. Make readers read it the way you want them to.
4) Repeat these steps until you’re satisfied and then read the poem once more aloud.
Set your timer for 7 minutes
Don’t think about it too much; just do it!
Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1400 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.