How to Write a Poem This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 13, 2012
When I first get my Teen Ink magazine, I usually skim through the nonfiction before I read every detail, but “How to Write a Poem” stopped me with just a few words. The author, Isabella Daniels, gave an insightful view of poetry-writing and picked apart each step in a way I'd never thought of. Isabella maintained an engaging and serious-yet-humorous tone in her piece that made me feel like she could have been my best friend giving me advice. She didn't use unnecessary details, and none of the sentences were worded awkwardly. The creativity and clarity of the elaborations made me smile as I realized I've had these same thoughts (and complications) when I write.

The steps in “How to Write a Poem” turn out to be so true that they are clearly re­flected in the author's own writing and left me wondering: how did she understand her writing process so well? What validated for her how to write a good poem? And how did she express these ideas so perfectly? If this piece is an example of how to write something amazing, then it seems pretty impossible. But Isabella made it feel possible.

Even though this piece is technically a how-to, it's still incredibly powerful and absorbing if you're a writer. After reading this (or during, actually), I decided to get a proper notebook and pen. I haven't written anything in pencil since (thank you, Step 1!). I thought one of the most inspiring parts was Step 5: “Just keep pouring out your heart and soul. Tear apart your inner thoughts, make them into fantasies, throw some lyrical power words in there, and you've got yourself a lovely poem.”

Every part of this piece, from the first few words to the final sentence, fascinated and captivated me. The final paragraph, which talked about the “mind-baby,” ended the piece perfectly. I didn't realize it before I read this, but I've needed a nudge to get started. It's the same as when somebody needs advice but doesn't know 'til it happens. I could read this a thousand times more and it'd still be just as powerful and inspirational as the first time.

This letter is the first thing I've written in ink in my brand-new notebook.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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WriterHead This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm
just keep practicing!!!!!!! i didn't know how to write a poem until i was in 8th grade; i really thank my language arts teacher because she made my class and i write until our fingers fell off, lol!!!! by her doing this, it gave me confirmation that writing is what i wanted to do as a career. really nice information, loved it.
alliperkins This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:36 am
Thank you :) My 8th grade Language teacher was like that too and that's when I realized writing was something I took very seriously, and even though I've been writing for years I still always feel like it's my first time.
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