Poetry BWR109

Learn how to Write Poetry

  • Learn about writing in different styles of poetry
  • Develop your own writing skills
  • Learn how to understand different poetry styles
  • Explore how you can use poetry to express yourself for fun, and for work.




Course Content

There are 9 lessons -

  1. Introduction
    • Nature and Scope of Poetry
    • Brief description of the many different types of poetry
    • Poetic Devices (Rhyme, Assonance, Alliteration, Personification, Onomatopoeia, Imagery, Symbolism, Simile, Metaphor)
    • Styles that tell a Story (Monody, Ballad, Epitaph)
    • Classic Styles (Sonnet, Ode, Haiku)
    • Monorhyme
    • Trick Poems (Limerick, Tongue Twister, Shape Poem, Palindrome)
    • Styles classified according to Arrangement of Lines (Quatrain Style, Pantoum, Free Verse, Villanelle, Clerihew, Diamante, Acrostic Style)
    • Keeping a Notebook
    • Editing
    • Terminology.
  2. The Work of Other Poets
    • Shakespeare
    • Kendall
    • Betjeman
    • Angelou
    • Shelley
    • Dickinson
    • Edgar Allen Poe
  3. Encouraging your creativity.
    • Exploring Creativity
    • Understanding your own Creativity
  4. Developing different styles of poetry A (Some Classic Styles)
    • Ode
    • Sonnet
    • Italian Sonnet
    • Haiku
    • Writing Haiku
  5. Developing different styles of poetry B (Following the Rules)
    • Quatrain
    • Pantoum
    • Acrostic
    • 21st Century Visual Poetry
  6. Developing different styles of poetry C (Poetry for Story Telling)
    • Developing a Story in Poetry
    • Planning a Story
    • Developing Your Voice
    • Ambience
    • Ending a Story
    • Epitaph Style
    • Monody
  7. Developing different styles of poetry D (Styles for Fun and Trickery)
    • Funny Poems
    • Tongue Twisters,
    • Limericks
  8. Getting your work published (how and where)
    • Creative Writing Resources
    • Other Industry Resources
    • How and Where to Get Published
    • Self Publishing
    • Vanity Publishing
  9. The next phase (how to continue to improve)

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Want to know a bit more about what you will be learning?

Develop Your Creativity

Creative expression can benefit us in many ways according to Ebersole and Hess (1998), who state that it can help us to –

  • make a positive out of a loss, depression or bad experience
  • create order and balance
  • maintain our integrity
  • resolve conflicts
  • give us a sense of control over the external world
  • help us to clarify our thoughts

Various Stages of Creativity have been identified. You might recognise which stage your work is at at a particular time. Ebersole and Hess (1995) identify the following stages –

  • Preparation – when experience and time foster creative opportunities.
  • Frustration – where the ideas, approach and expression are not clear.
  • Incubation – the idea begins to take shape.
  • Illumination – the approach starts to become clear.
  • Elaboration – the plan is developed and expanded upon.

You could probably write a poem about all of those stages of creativity. It would have a nice rhythm to it – count the syllables in each of those stages. Pre-par-ra-tion, Frus-tra-tion, In-cu-ba-tion, Il-lum-in-a-tion, El-ab-or-a-tion.


Every piece of writing, no matter whether it is a poem, a novel or a business letter, should have a dominant theme or underlying idea. In a business letter and in technical writing, the theme should be immediately obvious and clear and should be stated. In a piece of creative writing it might be gradually revealed through the development of the work and may only be fully apprehended by the reader at the very end. Nevertheless, the theme should be present from the beginning, and should exist as a unifying thread. Every piece of the writing should, in some way, relate to that theme. It is what unifies a piece of writing and lets it stand alone as a meaningful expression.

The theme of a creative piece may never be directly stated. For instance, the underlying theme of Boris Pasternak’s ‘Dr Zhivago’, is personal integrity, being true to one’s self in thought and action. This is never stated, but is exhibited in the behaviour of the main characters, each of whom draws upon hard-won inner truth for the strength and courage to maintain integrity in a vicious, chaotic, and seemingly unprincipled world.

In a novel, we often find that a theme branches out into several sub-themes. Because of its length, the novel allows for this kind of interweaving of themes and ideas. So, in Dr. Zhivago, there is plenty of room for developing a critique of the rise of Communism, of war and aggression in general, of different kinds of power, and of love. But these must and do return in some way to the dominant theme, to enrich our understanding and experience of that dominant idea.

In comparison, the short story or poem might focus entirely on one theme, though even then, there are usually subtle or even overt references to other ideas and themes, for no one idea or experience is self-sufficient, but inevitably relates to and rests on other ideas and experiences.

We can develop themes through a variety of means, such as:

  • thoughts and speech of characters
  • actions of characters
  • contrasting societies or generations within a society
  • identifying shared values and experiences between groups or generations
  • ways of dealing with and coping with the environment
  • symbolic use of landscape and nature
  • repetition of ideas in different forms
  • repeated symbols or cultural items
  • contrast of values.

One way to plan your writing is to establish a central theme, then consider how to develop it, and how to display its complexity and facets through different sub-themes. Ask yourself, “What do I want to say?”, then ask yourself over and over, “What else do I have to say about that?” This constant meditation on a theme can yield a rich trove of ideas.

To understand how themes are developed, read several poems that you really like. Notice how the theme is introduced, and how it is developed. Also, do some exercises with free association. This process requires you to simply observe what thoughts, images, memories, people, events etc. come into your mind when you focus on an idea. For instance, let us say that you are thinking to write on the theme of personal responsibility. Rather than trying to consciously develop that theme at first, just jot down every image or word than comes into your head. Everybody will come up with a completely different and personal collection of items, for no two of us have lived the same life or experience it in the same way. The results of a free-association exercise like this can give you the seeds with which to ‘grow’ and express your theme.

Course Duration -100 hours of self paced learning. Take as long as you wish, or complete it in a month or two if you are keen and have the time.





Enrol Now!

Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

Select a payment plan:

Courses can be started anytime
from anywhere in the world!

All orders processed in Australian dollars.