Poetry Elements

Line Breaks

  • How do I want my reader to read those words?
  • Is it a powerful word?
  • What are the words that come before and after?
  • Is it a phrase that needs to be connected?

Purposeful Words

  • Do I need this word in my poem?
  • Do words repeat unnecessarily?

Big Topics

  • What is a big topic/event/idea that brings big emotion to you?

Small nugget

  • What is the small moment, detail, object that you can hold in your hand that makes you think of that big feeling?


  • Giving an object human qualities.

Hey, diddle, diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon;

The little dog laughed

To see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Cat playing a fiddle

Dog laughing

Dish running

Spoon running

Show Not Tell

show your audience with words.

Instead of Angry:

  • eyebrows were raised
  • mouth was squished
  • cheeks were hollow
  • fists were clenched

Instead of Happy

  • eyes were bright
  • eyes were wide
  • mouth was open


a figure of speech that directly compares two different things. The simile is usually in a phrase that begins with the words "as" or "like."