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How to Write a Shape Poem

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

Want to spice up your writing? Shape poetry can give you that extra something your great writing is missing. It can add emotion, setting, time, or even add another human sense to your writing.

A shape poem is a poem which forms a shape. There are no essential guidelines to writing this type of poetry. The poem may either be about the created image or the image may simply be something fascinating to look at for the reader. The image may also be a way to add something to the writing, such as a visual hint to the meaning of the poem.

The easiest way to create a shape poem (also known as a form poem or image poem) is to use dada. Dada is an art form which consists of sounds or random words intended to create meaning. EE Cummings is a particularly popular dada poet.

A more modern way to create a shape poem is to use a line per level of image. Here is an example:

                   A
                 Xmas
           Tree is wonderful
        But Christmas is still
       Christmas without a tree.
  What matters is not gifts or treats
    Or presents and shopping sprees
              But love
             and family

Although you might want your poem to be a bit better than this one, it is an example of how the shape can help form the way a poem flows while bringing more meaning to the message.

There are many great examples of what you can write.

1. Write a horror poem in the shape of a giant knife with blood dripping off.

2. Write a love poem in the shape of a heart.

3. Write about your dog in the shape of a dog.

4. Write about Jesus in the form of a cross.

If you are creative, you can do anything. And if you have time, you can even do something like write a poem in the shape of someones face. You can then use a tool on your computer to change the color or shading of each word and create a poem made entirely of words that look exactly like the person you are writing about. You can also change the font size of words to make it easier on you and cover a greater distance.

Actually, there are countless ideas of what you can do with your writing. The only limit to a shape poem is yourself and your own creativity.

So go ahead and try it out.