Poetry essay: How to write many poems about the same subject so they come across differently

Sometimes a poet writes many poems about the same subject.  For example, think of a woman experiencing a pregnancy.  If she were a poet, she might write many poems about the experience of having a child.

When writing many poems about the same subject, a poet might be concerned about all their poems sounding the same.  They might wonder how they can write about the same thing, while having the poems sound and come across differently to readers.  They might wonder how they can have poems that seem new and different, while still having them be about the same subject.

There are a number of approaches a poet could take.  To illustrate them, the example above of a woman having a child will be used.

Different perspectives

One idea to make poems about the same thing sound different, is to write them from different perspectives.  In the case of a mother having a child, she could write about the experience from her perspective, the baby’s father’s perspective, the baby’s perspective, the medical staff’s perspective, the grandparents’ perspective, and others.  The same event would be experienced in different ways by different people, and expressing that could add variety to the poetry.

Different times

Another approach is to write about an experience from different times.  In the case of a mother having a child, the entire experience lasts nine months.  She could pick different times during this period and write about the experience from that perspective.  For example, a poem written about what the first month was like, would be different from a poem written about what the eighth month was like.

Different events

A poet could also write about different events in a subject.  In the case of a mother having a child, she could write about events like finding out she was pregnant, telling the baby’s father, feeling the baby kick for the first time, and so forth.  Each of these events could be a different poem.

Different emotions

In any experience there are different emotions.  It can depend on a lot of things.  Using the example of a pregnancy, a woman might at different times feel happy, excited, scared, frustrated, worried, anxious, and other emotions.  Each of these emotional perspectives could lead to different poetry expressions.

Different forms

Different poetry forms can impart a different feeling to poems, even if those poems are about the same subject.  A limerick about something, will sound different than a haiku about the same thing, and that will sound different than a free verse poem about the subject.  A poet could use different forms to make the same subject come across differently to readers.

Different levels

In experiences there can be different levels that they can be looked at.  For the example of a woman experiencing a pregnancy, levels might be motherhood overall, mothers as a group, a group of mothers, and herself as a mother.  If she writes about pregnancy from these different levels, the poems would come across differently, even though they were about the same general topic.  (As another example, think of a poet who wanted to write about trees.  They could write about nature, forests, a forest, trees, a tree, a branch, a twig, and a leaf.  It is the same general subject, but from different levels.)