Poetry is indeed fun, as the mind of the poet goes off the scale in a bid to produce yet another amazing body of art that relates with him/her in some familiar or unfamiliar way.
Today’s article is concerned with the common mistakes made by most poets (especially young writers) when writing poems that causes them to lose value, meaning or readers of/to their works and shall cover how budding poets can avoid such mistakes and produce great works.

Common Mistakes Poets Make When Writing

Excessive Rhyming in Poems

It is only natural that as a poet, one wants to rhyme.

The feel is amazing too. Reading poems that’s got just enough rhymes included makes the reader want to continue. Sometimes not just for the message but also the feel of reading the work with those internal and on various on-page rhymes resulting from assonance, alliteration and internal rhymes.

However, most young poets tend to overdo things (especially when they are just beginning with poetry) and this usually affects the context of their works.

Rhyming in poetry is great, however it is not necessary nor mandatory. A poem can be in the blank verse form of poetry yet still carry a beautiful message that would still be applauded by readers.

Poets should learn to not concentrate their focus on rhyming in poetry; rather they should bother themselves more with the message they are trying to pass.
In order to ensure your message is well communicated; consider these other tips on poetry.

The urge to include many Poetic Devices in their works

Yeah! Me too.
When writing poetry so many times; poets tend to feel the need to infuse each line of their work with the numerous poetic devices out there and while doing this might not be necessarily bad, it isn’t alright.

“a little too much of everything is bad”

It is not mandatory there are literary or poetic devices further convoluting the meaning of every line of poetry.

Asides the fact that it gives the reader a hard time catching up on what really a line means; it scares away your potential audiences especially those who are not rooted in literature. When these bunch try to read poems, they feel this hollow within them that causes such large disconnect between them and the poem (or whatever message it might’ve had for them.)

So think of the fact that each time you internalize too many poetic devices in your poems – you may actually be contributing to poems losing newer readers because they feel as though the art of poetry is too complex for their brains to analyze.

Digressing off-topic

Don’t you get this too?

Poets get so lost in many instances writing poetry that when they finally catch up on their fall-out; they’ve already gone so far into writing another poem (asides from what they originally intended.)

Just as stated earlier

“the goal of writing poetry is to PASS A MESSAGE”

Poets need to be always mindful of what is being scribbled down.

Most digression causes such huge disconnect amongst readers and poets/poems that many people have quite being a regular at poetry readings and other activities because what is being presented seems not to be what was intended.

Across a line in journey of writing such poems, the mind digressed and continued the journey on another train while leaving the former on hold.

The AM for I’M/I AM error – Easy Worded Errors

AM/I’M was used because it seems to be the most commonly abused word by poets.

Others include;
Your   –           you’re
His      –           he’s

It’s really sad to see many young and budding poets making this error too many a times.
I’m pretty sure you must’ve experience this too. A verse such as below
“Am a fighter
I fight till am a winner”

This error would definitely be my first reason to disqualify any poet in a contest (don’t mind me, I don’t run contests), but really – as a poet, why won’t you understand the difference between AM and I’M?

Excessive use of gigantic words in poems

Have you ever read a poem and within 15-30 seconds of your moving through, you’ve opened the English Dictionary app on your mobile device in search of the meaning to a word or many works in the poem?

I find this personally annoying and in most cases just drop the work. Why?  Because it is strenuous enough reading a poem with its lot of ambivalent ideas and concepts, yet you have to make me continuously find the meaning to your words in the dictionary too?

That’s tough man, real tough!

If as a poet, I am this sensitive to such, how do we expect a new reader to react?

Poets who write such seems also to be large trucks broken down across the express lane stopping newer people from coming in to love and cherish poetry and poets.

Simple ideas don’t have to be carried in confusing words; the message can be passed with simpler language too.

Note: When a poll was put up on this; many poets claim they do it for personal satisfaction which indeed is fine. True, you may want your poem for a set of elites or intelligentsias and not just everyone. Okay! No qualms, but trust me – you also are putting a limit to amount of rewards you will get from writing poems.

Getting stuck striving for the perfection of their poems

Have you ever had a poem you wrote for three days and still couldn’t complete?

I guess there is this perfectionist mindset of most (if not all) poets, we want our works to speak the best and be in the best format possible.

Young poets however suffer this more. The need to want to write like ____ … is what has stopped so many great poets from ever sharing their works.

They feel as though they are not there yet and so keep the work in hope someday it finds perfection.

However, the sad reality is that most of these works are usually lost.

Budding poets should learn to understand that poems can (in most cases) be revised and edited, not after published in publications though.

The need for quick validation and recognition by the public

This is simple self-explanatory, right?

Most young budding poets are always anxious about how many people are following them and how much reads, likes, comment and shares their works achieve. They bother themselves with this for various reasons, inferiority complex against some other poets, the need to feel accepted and so on.

The real impact of poetry really is not in the social shares or proof but in the one or many people who gets inspired to take action after taking a journey into their lives with your poems.

Fear of critique

Oh boy, this can be a tricky one at times.

Most poets fear criticism especially harsh/negative criticisms of their works.

This is also part of the whys some poets never share their works on public sites such as social media or literary forums.

However, critiques are necessary to a poet and every other artist in all forms, it is what helps growth be achieved and without it, even a lion cub can claim to be the king of the jungle. (Idiomatic)

The fear of critique has left many poets handicapped for years and so many poets are just poets in their diaries and in their heads, not on paper – not even on social media.

This is killing the culture.
Break free.

Impatience to edit works before publishing

For several reasons, many poets really fail at completing one of the most important steps to creating poetry – editing the poem.

Poetry is raw (like every other raw material), from the earth (mind) – but delivery without refinement is absurd.

No one would delivery gold as soon as it’s found under the ground just because it is gold, right?

Poets need to learn the value of editing and even re-editing their works before posting them up for competitions, turning them into marketable works, posting them on social media or entering them for that anthology.

Not doing this makes one seem immature and quack in nature.


There you have the top mistakes most poets make when writing poems – which are you still making and which do you plan on making improvements on?

If there are other advices or comments to be made on this content – do well to leave them in the comments.

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Emmanuel Ojex

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


oby hillen now · August 10, 2020 at 11:13 pm

really helpful. I learnt a lot.

    Emmiasky · August 24, 2020 at 4:47 am

    Glad we could be of help to you Sir.

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