Take a look at ordinary objects around you, visit an actual location such as nature or draw from your intuition using a vivid imagination to take you to a particular place or bring about cherished memories. A strong poem comes from a place that motivates you to write. Seeing the medium up close or in the mind's eye can do just that.
Begin with the End in Mind
What is the goal of the poem? Is it to tell a story? Perhaps a moral lesson? Or a view into someone's life? Get the reader to ponder an issue? Having a direct goal leads to a clearer message communicated to the reader.
Emotions that arise from an authentic place make it easier to put words down on paper. Often, when we think about poetry, we sometimes think about deep, strong feelings of angst or love. However, emotions span the spectrum from light-hearted feelings to tackling heavy issues that many struggle to resolve. The key is to identify the overall tone of the poem. A tone such as fury can be present throughout a poem and change to acceptance as the character of the poem gains insight, for instance. The use of descriptive adjectives and metaphors are great ways to convey emotion and paint a picture for the reader.
Follow the guidelines
While writing, go through the guidelines for the Heart & Mind Zine poetry section and check the boxes to make sure that you have met all of the criteria. Notice whether or not the poem is understandable, whether or not it flows and is using correct grammar. The points for each category add up to place your poem ahead of the pack.
Poetry is a vast subject with many forms and types. Find your favorite type of poem and read as many poems you find in that form to see the multiple ways that particular form is used. Later, try it out and write one on your own using the tips above and read it to a listening audience for feedback. Did they understand the message? What tone did they catch? Answers to these questions can get you on the right track to writing great poetry.