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Writing a concrete poem (also called a shape poem) can be a great way to express yourself and get your creativity flowing. Whether you are writing the poem for a class assignment or writing it for a loved one, concrete poems can be both fun and easy to create. By following a few simple steps, you can quickly learn how to write a concrete poem.
- Familiarize yourself with concrete poems. A concrete poem is one in which the words are written in order to take the shape of an image. For example, a love poem might be written so that the text forms a heart shape. The image can relate directly to the poem's subject matter, or you could rely on your reader to discern a more abstract connection between the poem's text and image.
- Choose a subject for your poem. What do you want to write about? Some possible themes are love, nature, religion, and friendship - but you are limited only by your imagination.
- Choose a shape for your poem. Once you have decided on the subject matter of your poem, you will need to decide what image your text will be shaped into. Remember, the size of the image will need to correspond to the length of the poem. If this is your first concrete poem, it is a good idea to start small and use a simple shape.
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 sheets of paper (more if you need scratch paper) and a pencil or pen. If you will be using an image that you've printed or cut from a magazine, get that too.
- Write your poem. On the first sheet of paper, write out your poem. Don't worry about the shape yet; you want to focus on the words themselves at this point. It is helpful to be flexible regarding where each line ends, because when you fit the poem to its shape these lines might not fit properly.
- Draw out the shape of your poem. On the second sheet of paper, draw the outline of the shape you want your text to fit into. Make sure that the size of your shape matches the length of your poem - you don't want to have to use extremely small or large letters to fit the poem to shape. Make sure you draw the outline darkly, because you will need to see it through another sheet of paper.
- Write out the finished poem. Place the third sheet of paper over the sheet on which you've drawn your shape. You should be able to see the shape through the paper; if you can't, consider outlining it again in a black marker. Begin writing the text of your poem onto the new sheet of paper, keeping all the words inside the shape's outline.
- Don't be afraid to revise the text of your poem during this process. You may decide that certain words are too long to fit neatly within the shape, for example. You can treat this sheet as a rough draft, and copy the final revised poem onto a new sheet of paper.
- If you are using a printed image (or a magazine cutout) as the shape of your poem, just place the new sheet of paper over this image. If it is hard to discern the image's outline, trace the outline onto a separate sheet of paper with a marker, and then write your poem over that outline.
Things You'll NeedEdit
- Paper (3 sheets)
- Pencil or pen
- "A Brief Guide to Concrete Poetry", Academy of American Poets.
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