If you’ve ever read anything in your English class, and they said that a poem is like a paragraph but with more focus on words, it’s true! But there are also other ways they can be alike.
Poems have certain things in common with paragraphs: both use sentences to show meaning, tell stories or make an argument.
And when you write your own poem or paragraph, it’s good to start with the ending and figure out what you want to say before going any further. That way, all the words will fit together nicely.
Poems are all about the words, but they can have similar elements, too. Like paragraphs, a poem is a series of sentences. Each sentence has meaning that makes the whole piece work.
A poem is a narrative with the writer telling the story from their point of view, and readers don’t usually read poems straight through in one go; they pick it up and read it as they want to.
The purpose of a poem is just like that of a paragraph: to tell a story or make an argument. Unlike paragraphs, which can start at different points in time, poems almost always begin at one point in time or end with one point in time.
A poem is also meant to show a lot of the writer’s personality. Sometimes, it’s about what the writer thinks about things in general. For example, William Wordsworth writes “I wandered lonely as a cloud.” He uses the word lonely to show that he was sad and wished he were somewhere else with someone else.
There are many kinds of poems, but most are about love, sadness and death. There are also poems about outer space and business. There are so many other kinds of poems, too.
Consider this example:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Like cheerful gads in springtime Chase the bright days to and fro; Over land and ocean they go Gladdening the miles with their speed. (William Wordsworth) You see here that he was sad but happy at the same time—happy because he met a crowd of daffodils.