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Poetic Structure: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

Writing.ie | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers
Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate tells us that ‘The framework of a poem’s structure affects how it is meant to be read. A poet sculpts their story around stanzas, line breaks, punctuation, and pauses.’

A combination of sound and visual elements also adds to a poem’s structure so the rhyme, rhythm, and metre are important factors to take note of. Metre and rhythm create a regular beat, and rhyme uses rhyming words to create emphasis. I have put together some articles and podcasts that I think are useful when learning about poetic structure.

  1. https://www.creative-writing-now.com/poem-structure.html

Here is an introduction to structure and poetry techniques. It discusses the best way to divide your poetry into lines. In poetry, the line is part of the work of art you have created. The length of the lines and the line breaks are important choices that will affect many aspects of the reader’s experience. If you are writing a poem in a standard form, your choices are somewhat restricted by the rules of the form. But you still have to decide how to fit the ideas and sentences of your poem over the lines. This article explains that when a sentence or phrase continues from one line to the next, the reader feels pulls along. If your line break interrupts a sentence or idea in a surprising place, the effect can be startling, suspenseful, or can highlight a certain phrase or double meaning. It also discusses stanzas and decisions about form. There are links to read about rhythm in poetry, rhyme, and other sound effects.

  1. https://poemanalysis.com/poetry-explained/poem-structure/

This article breaks down the basic structure of a poem, discussing the line, the stanza, and the structure of rhyme and meter. Examples of poems are given to highlight points.

  1. https://writers.com/what-is-form-in-poetry

This article covers what a poet should know about rhyme schemes, different types of poetry forms, and identifying poetic meter. It then goes on to explore 10 forms of poetry, with tips and examples for poetry writers. It encourages you to try as many of the forms as you can, it will help you approach the poetic craft in new and exciting ways.

  1. https://www.aresearchguide.com/poetry-structure.html

Poems are written in stanzas and lines that make use of rhythm in order to emphasise or express emotions or ideas. Poets pay careful attention to elements like sentence length, word placement, and even how lines are grouped together. Lines or entire stanzas can be arranged in a way that creates or evokes a specific emotion in the reader. This article explains and gives examples of poetry structure.


  1. https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/the-structure-of-your-writing-peace/id1564838323?i=1000518755029

This episode gives you tips and information on how to structure your poetry.

  1. https://poetryforall.fireside.fm/

This podcast is for those who love poetry and for those who know very little about it. in each episode, a poem is read and discussed to see what makes it tick, and how it works.

  1. https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/frank-skinners-poetry-podcast/id1508123116

In this weekly podcast, Frank Skinner shares his love of poetry. From Wordsworth to Walt Whitman, John Milton to WH Auden, a selection of poems are read and discussed in each episode.

  1. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/poem-a-day/id1497937744

Poem a day series podcast features new poems by today’s poets. This is produced by the Academy of American Poets and as each episode is less than 5 minutes, it is the perfect start or end to any day.


What makes a poem, a poem? This Ted talk from Melissa Kovacs shares three recognisable characteristics of most poetry.

When a poem has a strong sense of structure, it flows from beginning to end, and the ideas are easily conveyed to the reader. Listening to poetry and indeed reading your own poetry out loud can help you get a feel for the structure of poems. I hope you have found this week’s column helpful. As usual, if there are any topics you would like me to cover, please get in touch. Next week, I’ll be covering putting together a poetry collection.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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