I suck at poetry

Hi, I need advice. I’m trying to write a piece of song lyric for my book but I’m terrible at poetry. Any advice on how to do this?

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Try looking at actual songs and see how they’re formed. Most songs/ poetry follow iambic pentameter, of course you could go off from this. Just make sure you stick to that consistent rhythm. That is what really makes a song, repetition. (Not just of lyrics/chorus but of the syllables and meters)

I would suggest thinking of what you’re trying to convey in your song/poem and really focus on words that add to that vibe, words that have certain connotations etc. Listen to some songs, get inspo!

But if all fails, you can always just stick to end rhymes and look over some sonnets :slight_smile:


yes. avoid poetry when trying to write song lyrics.

songs tell a story to someone else
poetry tells a story to yourself

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I’m not sure that you can avoid poetry when writing song lyrics. I think that they are one of the same. That being said, yes, songs tell a story in a more obvious way (usually), but you do have the choice between rhyming and not rhyming your lines - although most song lyrics have rhyme schemes because it is catchier to the ear.
In the end, go with your gut feelings.

If you’re going for song lyrics rather than straight up poetry I see two must-haves: rhyme, and hook. Even if it’s just for a book excerpt you want the words to catch and become stuck in the readers’ head. Songwriting is widely believed to be less disciplined and rougher around the edges than poetry, but that’s simply not true.

A lot of care goes into songs, and if you’re lacking experience I’d recommend looking up songs that relate to the subject, songs that are stuck in your own head and also a few songs that you -don’t- like. Put your writing cap on and do an analysis: what do you like, what do you dislike and why? Why are certain lines stuck in your head? How does the rhythm swing when there are just words on a page?

Let yourself be inspired by songs that focus on a similar topic or theme :slight_smile: and use the bricks already mortared into place as inspiration for the base of your own wall!

Agreed! And I’d also add that images can be powerfully generative. Nirvana’s heart-shaped box comes to mind, or even Ariana Grande’s Five Rings.