Poetry 101: Earn Your Poetic License

Poetic License

Learn the Basics of Poetry

April is National Poetry Month, we’re posting a short series on the basics of poetry. Whether you’re looking to refresh your skills or are interested in learning about poetry for the first time, we’ve got you covered. In these series, we will cover five core elements of poetry.


Learn about the terminology and techniques associated with the musicality of language. While there are many aspects of lyricism, this article focuses on alliteration, assonance, consonance, and sibilance.


Learn about rhythm’s place in poetry. This article explores poetic scansion but also goes beyond standard “classroom rhythm.”


Learn what a metaphor is, how to use it, and how metaphor empowers poetry. This article looks at metaphors and guides you through a quick game of “metaphor mad libs” to help you get your hands dirty (metaphorically speaking).


Learn what imagery is, how it takes a central role in modern poetry, and how you can use it. This article explores basic imagery and takes a brief look at synesthesia.


Poetry stems from an oral tradition, and today we’re seeing a prominent return to that origin in the performance poetry scene. Whether you’re involved in that scene or simply want to memorize some poems so you can show off for your friends, this article will help you do just that.

Once you’ve learned these poetry basics, you’ll be equipped to discuss, dissect, create, and thoroughly enjoy poetry.  And once you’ve made your way through each of the lessons, why not print your own Poetic License to commemorate the occasion? Here are the image files for the card’s front and back.

Best of luck, and happy National Poetry Month!