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Activity: Discover your Creativity -- Write a Poem about Nature
You, too, can Write a Poem -- Just Follow the Rules

Simple Rules for Writing a Poem

I am not a great poet, but I can follow the rules and create a poem. It might not be the best poem, but it will be something I created. Now, creating something unique pleases me and makes me proud of myself. In fact, even when my poem is laughed at--even while I laugh, too--I still feel that small glow inside because I know I made something.

You can create a poem just as easily as I can. These are the rules I use.

3 Rules for Writing a Poem

  •     Use a pattern of syllables in each set of lines.
  •     Use a few words that rhyme at the end of a few lines.
  •     There are other types of poems that each have their own rules to follow.

Let the Beauty of Nature fill your Vision and Nurture your Soul
firebushes and blossoms in Discovery Garden
Colorful firebushes and other flowers
in the Discovery Garden, Summer, 2014


Write a Poem in 12 easy Steps
I followed this technique for this and other poems. Once a poem just popped into my head almost word-for-word like the finished poem I published. However, usually, I have to follow the steps. The steps also make a guide for polishing a poem or adding to it once it pops into my head. Like all guides, use it as a tool with our own modifications.

12 Steps for Writing a Poem
  1.     Jot down ideas, statements inspired by something like the Discovery Garden.
  2.     Choose a set of words that fit your image of what your poem will be like.
  3.     Reword a few of the statements so that each contains one of the words you chose.
  4.     Look at your statements and locate a word that makes you think of a rhyming word.
  5.     Look at the other statements and try to put the rhyming word into one of the other statements.
  6.     Split both statements so that the words that rhyme are at the end of the line.  It is OK if the end of the line is not the end of the statement.
  7.     Write both statements down together, one after the other.
  8.     Now repeat to make other pairs of statements.
  9.     Rearrange all of your statements in order to make a story.
  10.     Count the syllables in each line.
  11.     Rewrite your lines to make each rhyming line set have the same number of syllables.
  12.     Rewrite your lines to make a pattern of syllables that repeats in the poem.

Must you Follow these Rules and Procedures?

Of course, these rules and steps are for teaching you how to write a poem. Every poet makes his own rules and his own steps for how to write. Once you have written a few of your own poems, you will be ready to write a poem your own way, too.

2 Sample Poems ~~ & Comments on how Using the 12 Steps

Comments on the Sample Poems

How I made them Rhyme

I rewrote the lines to make the number of syllables in each line equal the line with the same rhyming word. I also rewrote the lines to make the pattern of syllables/line that repeats at least once.

Yes, this took a bit of creative rewriting. It helps to know lots of synonyms for words that were too long or too short. A thesaurus helps!

The second poem has only 4 lines, but the column is too narrow for the long lines. The lines have been split and placed with the second half of the line indented (Think: Rearranged using a manual text-wrap.). I actually had to split the lines on both poems. In splitting the lines for each poem, I tried to make the lines look poetic and balanced on paper. Sometimes the computer's word-wrap defeated me.

The Syllable Pattern for the 2 Sample Poems

This is the Syllable Pattern for each poem. The numbers represent syllables/line.
  • Poem #1. (7)(9)(9)(10)(3)(7)(9)(9)(7)
  • Poem#2:  (18)(13)(18)(13)

What pattern will you design for your poem?

Here is another activity on creative writing.

~~~The Discovery Garden

Planned to be sustainably Green,
The Discovery Garden is seen
To draw Man and butterflies alike.
For color and food, pollinators dance
Among plants
With heat and drought tolerance
Perfect for where temperatures spike.
In the Coastal Texan summers scene,
Native species thrive as queen.


~~~Upon A Visit
          to the Discovery Garden~
Transcend through beauty to tranquility,
          peace, by sustainable degrees;     
Transport oneself through time and
          space to relaxation;                           
Transcribe activities of flora and fauna,
          tales of the birds and bees;         
Transform landscapes to Green with
          minimal vexation.    

City of West Columbia • PO Box 487 • West Columbia, TX 77486 • (979) 345-3123 •
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