Writing Tip: Playful Poetry

Photo 9Remember when your parents would tell you not to play with your food? It’s very hard for a budding young writer not to, with dishes like alphabet soup. Many chefs even get playful by making their culinary creations into art for presentation. So why couldn’t we bend the rules a little with writing, to create playful poetry?

Erica Jong

Many profound artists have used humor in their writing. Shakespeare’s comedic tale Much Ado About Nothing involved trickery and eavesdropping amidst a twisted kind of romance. Within the psychology and horror of Edgar Allan Poe’s work lies a bit of humorous irony hidden in stories such as, “The Black Cat.” In the tale, a cat the protagonist loathes and was attempting to murder, reveals a hideous crime he was trying to conceal.

Award winning author, Erica Jong (Fear of Flying) often chooses to write about female sexuality, but in her poetry collection Love Comes First, she decides to focus on love and other little tidbits of her life. Nestled in between is a witty poem called “The Poem Cat,” where she symbolically compares the wandering pet to finding inspiration.

When many of think of playful poetry, Shel Silverstein probably comes to mind. In books like Where the Sidewalk Ends, for a more youthful audience, he often includes clever illustrations. Not only is it visually stimulating, the poems contain humor and are very sincere. Many adults are still drawn to his work, often passing on their love for his poetry to the next generation.

invitation_silverstein 1

Modern artists like Tristan Fitzgerald, have been using social media sites like Instagram to share illustrated work. Fitzgerald combines his artwork with the written word to create an interesting array of posts on his page. With over 5000 followers and still growing, his creations are unique and entertaining.

If your writing needs some refreshing, maybe it’s time to think outside of the box and tweak the formulas you are used to. Throw out the rules of spelling and grammar, and be a little playful with your words. Unusual methods have worked for a few artists, and maybe it can lead to creating a whole new style no one has seen before.

Written by: Donna J. Sanders

Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia – a poetry collection about the struggles we face, the state of the world and how to see beauty in the simplest things, and Cardboard Signs – poems to bring awareness about homelessness, mental illness, self-esteem and the injustices many face.

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Photo Credit: © Donna J. Sanders

Categories: Writing Tips

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4 replies


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