Poetry is when an emotion has found thought and the thought has found words. Robert Frost
Robert Frost, like many others, admires the power of poetry and how it seems to elevate everyday words to generate thoughts that deeply connect with our emotions. When a writer is able to conjure the right words into prose, the pieces they create can be true works of poetic art.
So what should you do if you are in the search for poems that will connect to your innermost feelings?
Poetry can be found both in published works, through books and literary magazines, and the virtual sphere, though poetry websites and social media.
At a library or bookstore, the poetry books will be nicely organized into an alphabetized section. In the virtual world, however, it might not be that easy to find quality anthologies of poetry. Online there are thousands of results that might come up if you search poetry on Google, so it is important to know the best online sources for good poetry.
There are several online platforms that serve as fountains of high-quality poetry. Keep reading to find out where to start your search for poetry writing from the best poets, both past and present.
Where to Find Poetry Online
On the web, you will find everything from free verses to sonnets, to lyric poetry so knowing the best sites to help you effectively filter through these works is crucial
The following are websites and platforms publish all forms of poetry and might even inspire you to write to try out some poetry writing.
The Poetry Foundation Organization
The Poetry Foundation’s website helps you explore poems of all kinds. You can browse by filtering through different topics, forms, periods, schools, and even by the poet’s region. You can search exclusively for poet laureates like Carl Sandburg, Edgar Allen Poe, or Ted Kooser. This have an almost endless list of poets on file.
Their collection of almost 45 thousand poems gives you quite the variety to check out. The Poetry Foundation highlights editor picked featured poems, as well as a poem of the day. The foundation is a great resource for all your poem needs.
The Poetry Foundation is based out of Chicago, where they even hosts events in the city. Check out their website for music and poetry events as well as workshops for kids and young adults.
All Poetry is the world’s largest writing group. In addition to being a resource for poetry, it also gives you access to forums on poetry writing and other forms of creative writing.
The categories to search poems are endless. There is everything between poems with alliteration to even a section just on modernist poems. Their Famous Poet section will help you identity poems by the most notable poets in history. You can find out which poets are responsible for the most quoted verses in history.
All Poetry allows you to join poetry forum groups based on your interests. Here, members share their personal poems on an assortment of subjects. All Poetry’s website explains that "Each user forum is a small group with its own message forum, chat, and list of member's poems to comment upon”. Through these forums, you may also submit your work for review and editing.
In addition to the forums and their poetry database, All Poetry also sponsors a couple of an annual poetry contests. Many other websites and magazines hope to inspire unpublished poetry newcomers by funding poem competitions. You will find contests that will allow you to submit everything from classical sonnets to more contemporary poetry. These contests sometimes offer finalists cash prizes or access to exclusive writing programs.
Hello Poetry is a site where you can find a medley of poems and also where you can publish your own verses. They have a great poetry collection of both classic pieces and works by poets just like you! Their RANDOM Poem Button is a fun way to push yourself to read poetry you wouldn’t have searched for.
Hello Poetry also has a section of poems based on a wide range of emotions. You can search for poems that “Make you _____”. They have categories for “Make me” laugh, love, smile, and even say awww.
Like many other websites, Hello Poetry encourages their visitors to submit work of their own. If you feel inspired to write by some of the free verses you find online, maybe its time to look into where you can share your work with fellow writers.
These websites are just the tip of the iceberg in databases for poetry. Other handy websites for poetry include The Marin Poetry Center, DuoTrope, and the Poetry Society of America.
If you prefer your poetry in print, make sure to look over our list of poetry books and literary magazines that’ll include classical American poetry as well as exciting contemporary works with new poetic forms!
Checkout Poetry on Social Media Platforms
Most of us use social media to keep up with old classmates or the influencers that give us FOMO, but you can also curate your Instagram to inspire you and your writing. Following the right accounts can motivate you to think outside the box and find different ways to express yourself!
Looking for #poetry on either Instagram or Tumblr can open your eyes to all kinds of modern poetry. According to Laura Byager
“Instagram poets are defining the genre for the millennial generation with a radical democratization and push for diversity in the poetry world.”
The accessibility to social media poets has changed the poetry game. You don’t need to purchase anything or apply for premium services in order to reach the work of these Instapoets, all you need to do is click follow.
Although many critics shame poets for using social media, there are a lot more people that find it a great creative outlet that opens everyone’s eyes to all sorts of poetry.
Instagram has allowed some notable poets such as R.M. Drake, Rupi Kaur, and Yrsa Daley-Ward to come to fame with the help of their millions of followers. Some of them began by simply posting a free verse or a poetry slam.
These Instagram poets might even inspire you to share your own work on your feed. You could be the next Rupi Kaur!
Tips on Writing a Poem
If you feel inspired by the poetry you find online, you might want to take a stab at writing poetry yourself.
William Wordsworth once said,
Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
Here are some tips to help you find the tranquility in your emotions through poetry.
- Know your goal - define the why in your poetry. Why are you writing this piece, what is the reason behind your poem? Once you have down the goal, it’s going to be easier for your poem to come together
- Avoid clichés - clichés are overused literary elements, whether plot patterns or phrases. Clichés work against originality and dull the meaning of what you are trying to say.
- Use imagery - “be a painter with words” Make sure that your poetry stimulates the sense of sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and kinesiology in the reader.
- Use metaphors and similes - These writing techniques help bring imagery into your writing and helps the reader create a concrete idea of what you are trying to express.
- Do not use abstract words - use concrete nouns to gear the thoughts of your readers. When the reader has a good image of what you are describing it is easier for them to understand what the poem is describing. Avoid abstract words such as love, liberty, and happiness.
- Revise - revising your pieces and deeply analyzing your use of words can help a good poem become a great one. Look over your poem after a good nights rest or a break, and see if everything is still as good as you originally thought. You can also show your work to friends and ask for ways that you can improve the work.
If you would like your poetry to improve, apart from following these tips, you might also want to look for guidance in a fellow creative writer or poetry tutor.
There are great options for poetry tutors right here on Superprof that are eager to help you improve your writing skills!