This week for our Weekly Wellness challenge in my PraiseMoves online classes, I shared one of my recent poems inspired by the Psalms and creation that I wrote while on beautiful Vancouve Island... 🙏🌲 Below, I'll share how I write a poem from scratch, and how you can try it too. Trust me, it's not as hard as it looks!
"Creator of the Seas"
You are with me, in the stormiest of seas...
Amidst foggy horizons and steadfast trees.
You know my beginning and my end, and You are good.
I will praise Your name!
Let the rocks and the clouds, and the foaming waves cry out to You, their creator and sustainer...
You paint the Heavens with coral-pink light,
A glimpse into Your glory and might!
You are above all earthly things...
Yet you still love me, smaller than a grain of sand on Long Beach.
I will praise Your name!
1. I always start by writing out the words and phrases for the theme I'm writing about, i.e. stormy, wild, BC, all-encompassing, breezy, salty, trees, powerful, wild, foggy, foaming, sunset, creation, You are with me, You are good, I will praise You!
2. Once I have a near full journal page of these to work with, I arrange them by rhyming or near-rhyming words and phrases to piece it together, i.e. You are with me, in the stormiest of seas... amidst the foggy horizons and steadfast trees. Usually a phrase will pop in your head that goes with the previous one! You can rhyme the last word of every phrase, or every second phrase. This poem is more free flowing than a typical rhyming scheme, but includes elements from coupled rhyming:
Coupled rhyme. A coupled rhyme is a two-line stanza that rhymes following the rhyme scheme AA BB CC, or a similar dual rhyming scheme. The rhymes themselves are referred to as rhyming couplets. Shakespeare’s sonnets end with rhyming couplets, such as this one:
William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18”
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Alternate rhyme. In an alternate rhyme, the first and third lines rhyme at the end, and the second and fourth lines rhyme at the end following the pattern ABAB for each stanza. This rhyme scheme is used for poems with four-line stanzas.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “A Psalm of Life”
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream!— For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.
3. I will usually rearrange the phrases to form a different rhyming scheme, but not all the sentences have to rhyme! (And usually change words to synonyms that mean almost the same thing but rhyme better in the sentence.)
4. I'll come up with a title at the end to describe the main theme of my poem. There you have it! Go ahead and try one yourself in your devotions or in nature!