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By Josie Whitehead

I've had well over 400 poems published in my 'retirement' from teaching - published by educational publishers and chosen by teachers and children in many schools.  I've written almost 5 times that number of poems now, though, and you have them on my website to enjoy.  It was made at the request of children at my local school who also encouraged me to write for them and to take a poem to their classroom over the years I visited them.  I hope you'll find my advice below useful to you with your own writing.  Josie 


By Josie Whitehead

How to Write a Good Poem
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'I don’t know how to write a poem -

    Oh help me someone please.'

You’ll need to learn a little first

     Before you’ll write with ease.


It’s good to hear a poem READ;

    Then learn one off by heart.

Listening and reciting poems

    Is the place where you should start.


So, listen daily to a poem,

    And here’s what you do next:

Read and read and READ again

     The words you’ve HEARD, in text.


Reciting poems is wonderful -

     Put expression in your voice:

Choose the poem you like the most.

     There’s such an awesome choice.


Poems are fun.  They’re not hard work.

     They’re linked, of course, to song.

And English is so lyrical  -

     You know that I’m not wrong.


Then take the time to learn about

     Metre, also rhyme.

It’s easy peasy actually

     And won’t take up much time.


Iambic feet? di DUM di DUM -

    They march along in time

Whilst anapests just dance along.

     They go so well with rhyme.


Then go back to the poems you know

    And count the measured beat. Remember that the beats of poems

     Are counted by their 'feet'.


Heptameter has seven feet:

     Two lines they take for sure:

You count the feet within this verse:

     You’ll not find one foot more.


Tetrameter has four clear beats

     On every line you see.

Then look at a tetramic poem:

     It rhymes aa bb.


So practise your iambic feet

     A few lines every day -

And you’ll be writing poetry:

     'It’s so easy,' you will say.


The final thing for you to check:

     Your rhymes should be precise -

But when you’ve written your first verse,

     Inside you’ll feel quite nice.

Copyright on all my poems

Now go to this poem:


Winter Hiking Boot 7
Winter Hiking Boot 7
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