Advice to Poets – Three Quick Rules by Philip Wardlow


I don’t mean to offend. But a lot of the poetry  out there sucks. I can freely admit that some of mine sucks lemon peels.

I can’t say I’m qualified to give advice to poets or would be poets. I have been writing poetry since I was in high school and have taken many creative writing and English courses regarding the subject. Still,  I think there are a lot better poets out in there in the word than me past and present. I am not going to get technical on you. But just give you three quick down and dirty lessons on the subject matter. From there  you can grow I believe to be a better poet.

I just know what I like to read as a poet and what I like to write as a poet. To me, when reading a poem, the subject matter is less important than how it is actually handled by the person writing it. You can take a great concept you wish to write a poem about;   be it love,  life, an adventure, or erotica and fuck it up quite easily.

I have read many blogs and I have read some very good poetry. On the flipside I have read some VERY bad poetry.  In those instances  I do not push the LIKE button or comment on the poem unless they wish a serious critique.


Rule #1 –

Example:  I see the world flying from me , never to return,  why must I be denied., why oh why, it’s so unfair, this world that I live in.   I feel down and out. Woe is me oh woe is me.   I’m in such pain why oh why…blah blah blah

The biggest problem with BAD poetry  is that the Poem just rambles on and on with no clear resolution at the end.  Give me something I can grab on to. Some epiphany you learned, a realization of life, a CLEVER way of stating the obvious… and wrap it up…Don’t take 20 Lines to say the  same thing you could have said in 10 lines.

So Rule #1  Don’t  Ramble on and on with no Point and repeat the same thing twice.


Rule#2 –

Example:  The night is cold,  and I feel very bold.   I love you so much and I miss your touch 

Secondly unless your a fifth grader and newly starting out in writing poetry…don’t rhyme just to rhyme. It makes me insane to read poetry where I can predict the words in every other next line. It’s like slow water torture for me. Basically do it when its appropriate.  When in doubt if you think it’s too much then be rest assured it probably is. And have you ever heard of alliteration and all the other forms of poetry writing,  as an alternate to the normal rhyme scheme? If not look them up. Get Educated,

 So Rule#2 Don’t Rhyme so damn much


 Rule #3 –

 Example:  She/he  hurt me in that way.  Because I did that thing. And  I hurt.   The  pedantic ethereal winds kissed my cheek and I let out long sigh  as the rockslide engulfed my being that encapsulated you. (wtf!)

And lastly  I hate when you give me your direct feelings in vague ways or you explain an experience in a much too abstract or technical way.  both ways hide what you are really trying to get across and feel inside that head of yours. Sure YOU may be getting it out of YOUR system..but it  does nothing for ME the reader of your poem. So don’t be lazy and don’t hit us with super symbolism or the dictionary  of words hardly ever used by 90% of the English speaking community.

Rule #3 –  Don’t keep what you really wish to say a secret with vague or abstract writing. Still be creative but don’t hide behind the words.


OKAY DONE with my lesson…now go out and play.

5 thoughts on “Advice to Poets – Three Quick Rules by Philip Wardlow”

    1. Thank you so much Jaya… I myself have to learn to be more bold and fearless…get more raw as they say and at the same turn a clever word in the process.. 🙂 I’m always a work in progress..

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