It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear. Steven Wright
Some of the best tips you’ll receive about how to become a better writer start off by telling you to read, read, and read again. It is no different when you are passionate about becoming a great poet. In order to improve your own verses, you will have to try learning from the best and examining the poetry of acclaimed poets. They are raved about for a reason!
You will be able to find great collections of poetry online as they are scattered throughout the world wide web, but if you are looking for a highly curated poetry collection that you can flip through, you might be interested in adding a couple of poetry books to your shelves.
No matter your poetic preferences, there are plenty of outstanding poetry collections in book form.
You can read a classic poetry anthology such as Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, or lean for something a little more contemporary like Milk and Honey by Instapoet Rupi Kaur. There are even books of poems made just for kids!
You can find thousands of poems online, but if you like a more classic route, there are also great collections of poems put together into books. The following are some of the best books by American poets of all time.
Not easy to state the change you made. If I’m alive now, I was dead, Though, like a stone, unbothered by it. Sylvia Plath
These classical poetry books are iconic because their authors wrote outside of “normal” structure for their time. (Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash)
If you would like your inspiration to come from more contemporary writers, the following is a list of the best modern poetry books.
Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself. Rupi Kaur
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – The author of milk and honey first came to fame through her Intagram popularity. Her debut collection of poetry and prose has won multiple book awards and rose quickly as a #1 New York Times Best Seller, her almost 4 million followers on Instagram might have something to do with that. Kaur writes poems about violence, love, femininity, and loss.
I’m pretty sure you have stardust running through those veins. – women are some kind of magic. Amanda Lovelace
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace – As hinted by the title, this collection of poems touches on the theme of feminism. Each of Lovelace’s poems helps build the narrative of a princess who is becoming her own savior.
Growing from the idea of Instapoetry, these poems tend to be different from the book of poems you might have studied in high school, but this contemporary style of writing is growing day by day and might even help you gain admiration for the style.
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine – Citizen is a little different from the other contemporary poetry collections. Instead of simply sticking to poetry, Citizen merges together essays, images, and poetry together in order to bring to life the experiences of racism in a “post-race” society. It is a collection of writing that, “examines the experience of race and racism in Western society through sharp vignettes of everyday discrimination and prejudice, and longer meditations on the violence”.
Social media, specifically Instagram, has given rise to a new wave of poets. (Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash)
A couple of these contemporary poets found their start by posting their prose on their Insta feed. Modern poetry has left the confines of printed work and hoped up into the virtual world. Instapoets, as they are known, have allowed for poetry to be accessible to anyone with an Instagram account.
By searching #poems or #poetry on social media sites, you will open the gate to new poetry through sonnets, stanzas, and even slam poetry.
If these books inspire creative writing and you would like to share them with fellow writers, there are plenty of websites that provide platforms for you to post and receive feedback from other poets.
The influence of all of these books can help you become a finalist in a poetry contest.
Reading to kids from a young age is proven to help develop language skills and increase concentration. From classic collections to more contemporary options, these books are a great way to introduce kids to the wonders of poems and literature.
Reading poetry to kids can be both fun and educational. (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)
The above book lists all contain different kinds of poetry styles, so here is a list of the most popular kinds of poetry that might appear as you read poetry collections.
Although there are pretty straightforward qualities for each of these styles of poetry, nothing stops you from going outside of the box and adding in your own personal touch. The poetry police won’t come after you! Contemporary works of art have broken the boundaries of classical poetry and are still deemed worthy, so feel free to go forth thinking beyond the classical forms of poetry.
Your writing is sure to improve the more you read and learn about poetry, but if you still feel you need a little extra help in perfecting your writing, make sure to check out our poetry tutors right here on Superprof.