Beginner's Guide to Writing Poetry
4.1 (235 ratings)
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Beginner's Guide to Writing Poetry

A guide for writer's just starting out in writing poetry.
4.1 (235 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
5,237 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2015
Price: Free
  • 29 mins on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • understand the purpose of poetry
  • choose imagery that conveys feeling and tone
  • use metaphors, similies, and other figurative language to convey meaning
  • choose the form that best contains meaning for their poems
  • understand the importance of line breaks and stanzas to convey a tone
  • create several poems
View Curriculum
  • A notebook or journal for taking observational notes is highly recommended.
  • It is good to have some grounding in literary devices, but it is not necessary. These lessons explain the basic literary devices to you whether you are just encountering them or just need a refresher.

Many people are intimidated by poetry, but we are actually surrounded by poetry every day. There is so much more to poetry than just what we see on greeting cards. In this course, you will learn the basic tools in every poet's toolbox and how to use those tools to write your own poems.

This course includes videos and exercises that you can download and complete at your leisure. By the end of the course, you should have 10-20 poems that you can compile into your very own poetry chapbook.

In the course you will learn:

  • Why we write poetry in the first place
  • How poems are structured (or not structured!)
  • What kind of devices poets use and how you can use them too
  • What you can do with your poems after you finish them
  • Where you can seek publication for your poems

If you have always wanted to write poetry, but you've been too scared to jump in the water, this course is for you!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for beginning poetry writers. No experience required.
  • This course is not for those who have taken higher level college poetry workshops, although those people may still benefit from the course.
  • This course covers the very basics in using figurative language, imagery, and structure in poetry writing.
  • This course is aimed at high school age and up.
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Curriculum For This Course
Introduction to Workshop
3 Lectures 10:38

Who is your instructor? What do you need to know in this course? What materials do you need? Is this the right course for you? Why do you want to write poetry? These questions and more are answered in this short introductory video.

Welcome to the course!

Why do we write poetry? What purpose does poetry serve in our socities?

What Does Poetry Do?

Students will be able to analyze details that create theme over the course of a poem and begin thinking about themes for their own poems.

Finding a Theme
Literary Devices
4 Lectures 13:07

Writer's use imagery to convey feelings that are often difficult to describe in mere words. The writer 'paints a picture' for you; they paint an image. Creating imagery involves using all of your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. You can find imagery for a poem all around you.

In this lesson, you will discover how to add imagery to your poems and practice using imagery by writing a poem. After watching the video, be sure to click on View Resources to find the exercises you can download to practice your new skills in writing imagery.


Learn how to add that musical quality to your poetry by using rhyme and repetition.

Making Music from Words - Rhyme and Repetition
9 pages

Poets use figurative language to describe feelings and images. In this lecture, you will learn about a few of the basic types of figurative language commonly used by poets and practice writing some of your own.

Figurative Language

Why are metaphors in poetry so important? Find out why and how to use them effectively in this lecture.

More on Metaphors
Creating Tone and Structure
1 Lecture 09:59
What are stanzas and how do you know when to break a line? How does a poet choose the best form for the poem they are writing? Learn more about structuring your poems in this lecture.
Line and Stanza Breaks
2 Lectures 00:42

Many poets produce their own chapbooks as a way to share a collection of their poetry with family, friends and other poets. A chapbook of poetry is generally 20 to 30 pages, stapled or saddlebound, with a cardstock or plain paper cover. A chapbook typically includes a cover, table of contents, acknowledgement page and poems on numbered pages.

Making a Chapbook
4 pages

What can you do with your poems after you have written (and revised!) them?

Places to Publish
About the Instructor
Karen Hamilton Silvestri
4.2 Average rating
242 Reviews
5,257 Students
2 Courses
Poet, Writer, Artist, Teacher - but above all, a storyteller

Karen leads workshops in Creative Writing, Poetry and Journal Therapy, and Memoir Writing. She has studied genealogy and personal histories since 1987, lecturing and leading workshops on Memoir Writing and Journaling to the community since 1998. Karen holds a BA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, and has studied Literature, Business, and Education at the graduate level. She is a former instructor of English Composition and Reading at several community colleges in the United States. In the past, Karen has worked as an editor, a copywriter, a secondary school teacher, an instructional specialist, and a curriculum writer.