Poetry essay: Expressing ideas: prose or poetry

As a writer, you want to express ideas.  It could be ideas about something you care about, something that happened to you, or something you want to communicate.  When you set out to express ideas, you have two choices among others: you could express the ideas through prose or through poetry.

Expressing ideas through prose

Expressing ideas through prose can have some advantages over poetry.

First, you can write something lengthy.  Although a poem might be limited to a few lines or maybe a page, prose can be many pages long without seeming to be long.

Second, you can express ideas directly.  You can write plainly about what you want to communicate without ideas being hidden by the metaphor and symbolism that can be found in poetry.

Third, with prose you can reach a different audience than poetry might reach.  Your prose can take the form of an essay, an article, a short story, or something else.  You can find different outlets for these types of communication than you can with poetry and through that you can reach a different audience.

Fourth, with prose you can write about details related to something.  You can go in depth into a topic and touch on all the points about it that you want.

Fifth, because prose isn’t subject to form elements like poetry, you can focus fully on the idea you want to express without focusing as much on how you express it.

Expressing ideas through poetry

Just as prose has some advantages over poetry, poetry has some advantages over prose.

First, with poetry you can focus on just one aspect or scene of something.  You can focus on one thing without having to tell the whole story.

Second, poetry has the benefit of the idea of less being more.  When you only use a few words to describe something, the succinctness can add impact.

Third, you can write many poems about the same idea.  You can cover different aspects of the idea or present things in different ways.  This is harder to do with prose which can be a longer form of expression.

Fourth, because poetry focuses more on how something is said relative to prose, the words you use to describe an idea can have greater impact.

Fifth, you can utilize metaphor and symbolism to a greater extent in poetry than in prose.  This can be important if you don’t want to write directly about something or want to emphasize an idea.


The method you choose to convey an idea will depend on what you are writing about, how you want to write about it, and how you want the message to get across.  Prose can be better for some situations and poetry for others.  It depends on what you want to accomplish.

Poetry essay: The experiences of a poet aren’t seen

Yesterday’s essay was about what goes into a poem that isn’t seen by readers.  It focused on the work of writing and changes to a poem that happen before it’s finished.

This essay focuses on something else that goes into a poem that isn’t necessarily seen by readers – the personal experiences of a poet.

Sometimes poets write poetry that express ideas and emotions and are about situations to which they aren’t connected.  For example, a poet might write a poem about having a heart attack, even though neither they nor anyone they know has had one.

This idea isn’t bad.  A lot of knowledge of experiences can be gained without direct experience.  A poet can successfully express things even if they haven’t been through them.  Also, the emotion and ideas a poet gets across aren’t somehow less just because the poet hasn’t been through something.

In other cases though, a poet has gone through something before they write a poem.  Maybe the poet had a heart attack.  Maybe the poet went through something else.

Sometimes readers can tell that a poet has personal knowledge of something.  The poet might include details and ideas that someone who hasn’t been through something might not know nor understand.  This can come across to readers, especially if the reader has been through the thing the poet is writing about.

In other situations, a poet may directly tell readers about their experience in addition to the poetry they write.  For example, a poet may let readers know they had a heart attack before the readers read their poems about them.

In other situations though, readers might not know what a poet has gone through.  Sometimes a poet doesn’t tell readers, and sometimes readers can’t tell when they read a poem.

These types of situations can affect both the poet and the reader.

From the poet’s perspective, it can feel somewhat unfulfilling to have their work seen as just another work, when to them it is very personal.  Imagine a poet went through a traumatic experience.  It might feel bad to them to have people read their poetry about it as if the poet had no connection to what they were writing about.  It might make them feel bad to think that readers might view their work as if it was written with an outside perspective of something.  There is something about going through an experience that makes expressing ideas about it personal.

From the reader’s perspective, a reader might not fully appreciate a poem if they don’t understand the poet’s circumstances.  A poem about homelessness, for example, would be read differently if a reader didn’t know the poet had been homeless, than if they knew they had been.  In these situations, a reader might not get the depth of emotion the poet is trying to express.

For poets writing about something they personally have been through, there are some steps they can take to improve the situation.

First, as mentioned above, a poet can tell readers about their situation.  This telling can take various forms.  It might be many pages of explanations or just a short note before a poem.

This can be a good way to explain things in some situations.  Sometimes what a person has gone through is so significant that readers should overtly know about it before reading the poet’s work.

Second, a poet can try to include details and emotions in their work.  They can focus on those things that only someone connected to an experience might know.  They can write about what particular moments were like and what particular experiences felt like.

If a poet does this well, readers should be able to understand that the poet is at the very least knowledgeable about what they are writing about, as well as potentially connected to it.

For poets, having readers understand the connection to your work can be important.  It can be important for both the poet and for the reader.  If a poet can in some way get this connection across, both will be better for it.

Poetry essay: Looking for poetry ideas

When writing poetry, a poet can sometimes be faced with a situation where they don’t know what to write about.  Maybe they are trying to write poems according to a schedule or maybe they need a certain amount of poems for something or maybe they just want to write but can’t think of anything to write about.  In these situations there are a number of places a poet can look for poetry ideas.

Of course, a poet can check out the poetry topic ideas, artwork to inspire poetry and photography to inspire poetry on this blog for ideas.  There are hundreds of inspirations there for a poet to choose from.

Another place a poet can look for ideas is in their personal life.  Everyone is going through something, whether good or bad, and these things can be used as ideas for poetry.  Some things a person might be going through include: having an illness, moving, starting a relationship, ending a relationship, having a child, getting married and getting divorced.  There are many things in life a person can write poetry about.  If a poet writes about one of these things, in addition to having gained an idea for poetry, they can also find an outlet to express emotions they are feeling.

Another place a poet can look for ideas is in social and political issues.  These are the big ideas people in society debate.  These are things like immigration policy, gun control, environmental issues and so forth.  These are issues that often have two points of view.  These are a good choice for poets who like the idea of writing about “big ideas”.  They can be a good choice for a poet who wants to express their own political or social views and possibly influence others.

A further place a poet can look for ideas is in current events.  There is always something happening somewhere.  There are natural disasters, wars, political conflicts, elections, accidents and so forth.  Many of these things are negative, but there can also be current events that are positive.  These things can a be good source of ideas for a poet that wants to write about timely and topical things.  They can be good source of ideas for a poet who wants to participate in what people are talking about.

Another way to find poetry ideas is to simply walk around and observe.  As a poet looks at things there are so many ideas they can find.  For example, a poet might be in a natural setting, see a leaf on a tree with a disease, and get the idea to write about disease in people.  As another example, a poet might be walking in a city and seeing homeless people near something meant for luxury or entertainment.  Seeing this might inspire the poet to write about social issues.  A poet can get a lot of ideas by observing people and things around them.

A good place to find poetry ideas is to try something new.  If a poet does something they have never done, eats something they have never eaten, or goes somewhere they have never been, these experiences can give them ideas for poems to write.  A poet writing about these things has the added perspective of “newness” in their writing and this can add to their poetry.

If a poet is really lacking in ideas, they might try a dictionary.  A poet could open a dictionary to random page, find a random word and write a poem utilizing that.  This method can be good way to find more unusual ideas and can also be used a poetry exercise.

Post Series: The Dragonfly Series: Poem with an explanation: Dragonfly ideas

This is the last post in the Dragonfly Post Series.  Hopefully it has been enjoyed.  Regular posts start again tomorrow.  Today’s post is a poem with an explanation.  Here’s the poem:

Darting around the sky,
in bursts and flashes,
moving among the trees,
so far away.

In bursts and flashes,
they can all be seen,
so far away,
yet moving close by.

They can all be seen,
in small little moments,
yet moving close by,
there is a hope.

In small little moments,
there is a clarity,
there is a hope,
there is a chance.

There is a clarity,
when things slow down,
there is a chance,
when there is patience.

When things slow down,
a reward can be found,
when there is patience,
a gem is revealed.

A reward can be found,
looking outward,
a gem is revealed,
darting around the sky.


This poem is about two things.  It is about dragonflies and ideas (as in an invention or a way to solve a problem).  The language of the poem, describes both.

In the first stanza, the dragonflies are described flying about.  This also describes ideas that haven’t quite been held on to.

In the second stanza, the dragonflies are described as flying quickly and far away, and yet still coming close by.  This is related to ideas that aren’t quite formed in a person’s mind, but there are times when it seems like they might be.

In the third stanza, the dragonflies appear fleetingly, yet because they come close by, there is hope that they will be seen more clearly and closely.  This same idea is applied to ideas.  When a person is trying to think of something new, they might have moments where they think they understand, and those moments give them hope.

In the fourth stanza, in the moments when the dragonflies come close by and are still, there is a hope and a chance of seeing them clearly and closely.  This is like the same moments that happen with ideas.

In the fifth stanza, if a person is patient and the dragonflies slow down, there is a chance to see them clearly.  This is related to a person with an idea, in that, if they are patient and take their time, there is a chance they become clear about their idea and find a solution.

In the sixth stanza, the dragonflies can be seen with all their colors when they slow down and a person is patient.  Again, this relates to a person thinking of a new idea.  The idea is, if the person slows down and they are patient, they can figure things out.

In the last stanza, the general idea of dragonflies is described.  It talks about them looking nice and flying around.  This realization happens after they are seen up close.  This again relates to ideas, in that once a person has thought of one, they realize that the inspiration for them is all around them.

In terms of form, as can be seen by the repeated lines, this poem is a pantoum.  Some effort was taken to make sure that the repeats made sense.


P. S. There is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction on MSakran.com.  In something different, the first part of the fiction is directly influenced by the poetry.  The poem lists a number of things and those things are alluded to in some way in the first part of the story.

Gift Ideas: Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is coming soon!

Maybe you’re looking to buy gifts for family and friends.  Maybe, some of those people, like poetry.  If so, here are some book and eBook gift ideas:


If you think the person might like a general poetry collection, then consider:

First Try by M. Sakran

First Try Cover

First Try Copyright 2014 M. Sakran.

Book cover Copyright 2014 eLectio Publishing.  Book cover used with permission.

First Try is a collection of one hundred poems.  It covers a variety of topics.

First Try is available as a paperback book: First Try by M. Sakran,

and as an eBook: First Try by M. Sakran.

(As a note, there is a way to give an eBook as a gift.)


If you think the person is interested in learning about poetry, then consider:

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran

Understanding: poems with explanations Copyright 2016 M. Sakran.

Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran, is a self-published collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them.  The main purpose of this book is to help readers expand their understanding of poetry through the explanations.

Understanding: poems with explanations is available as an eBook: Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran.


If you think the person, might be interested in poems about illness, then consider:

Insides by Freya Pickard

Insides by Freya Pickard

Insides Copyright 2016 Freya Pickard.

Front Cover Picture Copyright 2016 Freya Pickard.  Used with permission.

Insides is a collection of poetry focusing on colorectal cancer, written by a colorectal cancer survivor.

Insides is available as an eBook: Insides by Freya Pickard.


Lastly, if you think the person likes poetry, but would prefer it in conjunction with fiction, then consider:

Vintrig’s Kingdom by Freya Pickard

Vintrig's Kingdom by Freya Pickard

Vintrig’s Kingdom Copyright 2016 Freya Pickard.

Book Cover Copyright 2016 Freya Pickard.  Used with permission.

Vintrig’s Kingdom is a fantasy romance novel that has a haiku at the start of each chapter and other poems as songs in the book.

Vintrig’s Kingdom is available as an eBook: Vintrig’s Kingdom by Freya Pickard.


These are some book and eBook gift ideas for your family and friends who like poetry.  Buy your gifts today!  Merry Christmas!

Poetry topic idea: the planet Mars

Today’s poetry topic idea is the planet Mars.  Writing poems about a planet provides a wide range of possibilities.

A poet could write about space travel, science fiction, colonization, isolation, desolation, danger and a variety of other issues in general.

Additionally, a poet could learn about the planet and write poems that focus on its atmosphere, composition, place in the solar system, etc.

Here is a poem about the planet Mars as an example:

The redness stretches out,
beyond the helmet’s mask,
so much like a desert,
the enormity doesn’t sink in.

In the CO2,
looking out,
seeing half of the Earth,
wondering at the blue,
feeling that it could be reached,
but knowing the impossibility.

Back in the hut,
finality is in the lights,
wondering when the day will come,
when this will unconsciously be called home.

In the whiteness,
where everything is monitored,
sitting in the silence,
and wondering what will be found here,
when this ends.

Poetry topic idea: coughing

Today’s poetry topic idea is coughing.  Coughing can have many variations.  Some ideas include:

  • Is the cough from something serious or something mild?
  • Is the cough temporary or chronic?
  • What type of cough is it?
  • Is the cough caused by illness or by something else (smoke, for example)?

All of these ideas can be used in poetry.  A poet could take one or more of the variations and put them together to start a situation that can be the basis for a poem.

Poem with an explanation: ideas

walking in the heat
the dog can go no further
the train of thought stops

the train of thought stops
all the passengers get off
the shipwrecked ferry

the shipwrecked ferry
was broken up by the storm
she can’t leave the house

she can’t leave the house
and sits looking through the glass
dialysis time

dialysis time
is miles in the cold rain
home has run away

home has run away
as dark pesticide is sprayed
on the blue bird’s nest

on the blue bird’s nest
a lost chain glistens brightly
the half heart is lost

the half heart is lost
standing by the grave marker
shivering in heat

shivering in heat
lost in the one short hallway
things are so different

things are so different
standing in the empty room
the watch ticks loudly

The poem above is comprised of ten haiku, which are each one stanza of the poem.  Except for the last stanza, the last line of each stanza, is the first line of the next stanza.  The idea was to have a flow that still had a broken up feel to it.

A number of ideas were touched on in this poem.

The first stanza starts with someone walking their dog.  Because of the heat, the dog can’t walk anymore, and stops.  This literal imagery is then transitioned to metaphorical imagery by relating that idea to a train of thought stopping.

The next stanza starts with the metaphorical idea of the train of thought stopping and then transitions back to a literal idea.  The next two lines have a literal image.  In addition though, those lines also touch on the metaphorical idea that is expressed in the first line.

The third stanza starts with the same imagery of the shipwrecked ferry.  At first, the first two lines may sound literal.  The last line however, gives those lines a metaphorical meaning.  Those lines are describing a situation where a woman can’t leave her house.

In the fourth stanza, the reason the woman can’t leave her house is given: she is having dialysis done.  The mention of the dialysis was done in just two words which gives an impactful effect.

In the fifth stanza, the second two lines try to describe what dialysis might be like.  It is expressed as a situation of walking miles in cold rain where home has fled away.  The idea was to express the lengthy severity of the situation.

The sixth stanza takes the idea of home running away, and applies a new imagery to it.  In this case, a bird’s home is ruined with pesticide.

In the seventh stanza, the nest is related to, but then the imagery is changed.  This stanza isn’t about the nest, but about the object in it.

The eighth stanza starts off with the imagery of the seventh stanza of a physical object being lost, but then makes that a metaphor for sorrow over death.

The ninth stanza starts with a contrasting image of shivering in heat.  This type of contrasting image is continued in the next two lines.  The lines are describing someone with dementia.

The last stanza starts with the idea of things feeling different and then gives a reason for it – a person is alone in a room.

Because of the structure of the poem, many ideas could be put together that might not normally have a relationship to each other.


P.S.  The bookmark giveaway is still ongoing.  Please see the bookmark giveaway post for information.

Poetry topic idea: the country a person is in

Today’s poetry topic idea is the country a person is in.  For example, if a person is in The United States, they would write about The United States.  If a person were in Australia, they would write about Australia.

As this poetry topic idea will vary depending on the poet, specifics about what could be in a poem can’t be noted, however, generalizations can.  Some general ideas to write about could be:

  • General overall culture
  • Culture of geographic subdivisions
  • History
  • Current politics
  • Military conflicts
  • Relationships with nearby countries
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Traditions

Poetry topic idea: a made up word

Today’s poetry idea is “a made up word”.

A made up word can be many things.  Some examples might be:

  • a hidden insult
  • a modified negative exclamation
  • a code word
  • a word for something new
  • multiple words put together
  • something a child might say
  • a name for something imaginary

Each of these ideas, as well as others, could be used in poetry.  A poet could make up a word, think about its underlying meaning, and use the word in a poem.