How to Become A Better Poet At Your Own Pace – For African Poets

become a better poet

Poetry – a combination of infused words, phrases, clauses, sentences with human emotions and reflection to produce a brilliant piece of work which lives on from generations to generation.

Poets – the big brains behind everything poetic; from the handling of the pen to the delivery of the paper, the wo/men behind the wheels of poetry over the years and more to come.

This resource post is not for the upcoming nor is it for the better poets – it’s for everybody who ever wishes to learn how to become better at poetry and writing poems for various reasons.

Now let’s dive in to helping those who want to learn to become better poets at their own pace, not the latter sentence in the title ‘at your own pace’, so you understand that this would definitely work but it depends on how ardent you are with it.

Tips to Becoming a Better Poet at Your Own Pace

It’s your voice, use it

Many poets have a problem with speaking their minds, they all want to join and ride trends, what’s cool in the literary scene and out of it. By doing this, they shut out their own true voice, the real message they want to pass to the world.

As a poet, you should never abandon what came to you for what you saw outside.

Edit and Re-edit your works

Many often a times poets tend to overlook the power of re-editing their works, not for the gain of anything but for a great read by yourself and the reader, check your tenses, grammar; are they even correct/do they even make any sense or are you just murdering your poetic license?

Use the dictionary – a lot

Learning more words from the dictionary, learning the usages of newer words helps develop your vocabulary as a poet and it also helps understanding words, their simplified modes as well as complex modes, this helps in intensifying or moderating words in poems.

Figures of Speech are your condiments, use them well

Who loves the taste of a meal without salt or any seasoning in? Definitely not me, and I doubt if you love your meal bland too.

That how it is with poetry as well, there’s gotta be something, please – improve your knowledge on figures of speech and how to use them to give your works a more poetic touch, poetry is a higher language and those fogs?, well they are the uplifters and without them, your poems are no more than common composition

A ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’ wouldn’t be fun without ‘P’ alliterations, you know?!

It’s a poem, a story but not a story

Not too many would understand this at facial value but look at that paradox.
What this is saying is that even though we all try to tell stories in our poetic works, somehow trying to relate existentialism with virtuality and making words have mouths and books have hands glueing the reader to itself. We should learn to keep points concise, brief and interesting.
Don’t tell us a story in a way it would be told as drama in your poem, strive to tell your stories in a poetic sense and see the difference.

Write for a Reason

Unfortunately though, so many poets do not even have a reason for writing, they just are poets, well because they see themselves as intelligentsias in the literary world or were art students in college or the universities and well, why not just become a poet too then?

But what they don’t know is, they are doing things without reason and when we do that, well, at the end of the day, all our efforts amount to nothing but wasted time and efforts and trust me, you wouldn’t bother about increasing your capacity when you’re doing something for no reason. Find a reason as to why you’re a poem – humanity, love, racism, activism, feminism, egalitarianism – make a choice a, this would definitely help you want to become better.

Read others: Observe

This is not a mandatory tool but it’s a tool that would definitely help you become a better poet in terms of structure, diction-style, fog usages and so much more.

When most people recommend this to upcoming poets, they just put it bluntly and what happens is that these young bloods read works of their role models in the literary sphere, pick a Wole Soyinka, William Shakespeare, Mary Oliver and so on and while trying to understand how these people are so damn good, they get overwhelmed by such works, are discouraged, give up on themselves to ever get that good and eventually lose interest in poetry as a whole.

Reading others doesn’t mean to get infatuated by other people’s poems, it’s a critique for you to learn how they placed words, shared ideas and preached knowledge and emotions through poetry. So, I encourage you to read others.

Try, Try, Try Again

I tell you, the time it take to write a piece you’d read for 5 minutes might by up to 1 whole year, why?

Because the author just didn’t get it write the other time and s/he knows that there’s something in there, something that needs to come out on paper, something that they have to share, and s/he keeps on tearing and re-writing, repeating that process over and over again till they finally get it. This is how annoying the poetic process can get, you might have a big story in your head that you want to write on but the words just won’t match.

In times like this, don’t even think of Writer’s Bloc coz it’s not, it’s just the drudgery of creating so you just have to keep on going.

Embrace Criticism

Critics (except extremists/sadist ones) are only there to see what went wrong in a work, what could have been better, where the story digressed, what figure was used wrongly, where impressions and standing points where made.
Criticism is not all that bad, keep the good ones, breathe them in feeling proud that you did something worth the time, keep the bad ones too, improve on what you can, ask help when you need to remember to join a community.

Get Out To the World

The problem of too many poets these days is seclusion; they hide their talents from the world, sometime for sensible reasons such as fear of having their works plagiarized but many other times, the fear of being criticized badly.

If you don’t show yourself to the world in a way, the door of sharing your thoughts, creative ideas and opinions would be close upon yourself and to the millions of others you would’ve inspired.

So get out to the world, get those words – the bad and good ones, not criticism is ever going to break your head, of course it might hurt you, even so bad you want to quit poetry but they are just critics, if you never wrote they won’t be there, as you grow to become better at poetry on your own pace, you’ll learn to see the better side of these. 

To your impending explosion in the arts.

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About Emmiasky

I am here to use my ART as a mean to make IMPACT in the world. Join me in doing so.

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10 Comments on “How to Become A Better Poet At Your Own Pace – For African Poets”

  1. Woah.. this is so thoughtful of you.
    This is a great platform but is it possible for one to drop his poem in this platform?

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