Are you a prepositional poet? … And do you know it? Whether you’re a novice writer or a seasoned poet, crafting a prepositional poem is a fun and challenging way to sharpen your creative writing skills (and learn about prepositions!). In this post, we’ll give you a basic overview of common prepositions and what it takes to write a standout prepositional poem. Keep reading to get started.
What Is a Preposition?
A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between nouns or pronouns and other elements of a sentence. Prepositions can indicate time, location, direction, etc. Some common prepositions are:
Prepositions are often followed by a noun or pronoun to show the relationship between parts of a sentence:
The plane is flying above the clouds.
The coffee cup is on the table.
She went out for dinner with her friends.
Next, let’s look at how to incorporate prepositions into poetry.
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What Is a Prepositional Poem?
A prepositional poem is structured so that each new line begins with a prepositional phrase. There is no single correct way to create a prepositional poem, so you can experiment with a wide range of topics, language, and imagery. And with over 100 prepositions to choose from in English, there can be plenty of variation.
Below is the general writing process for prepositional poems (although you can tweak it to suit your personal writing preferences).
Choose a Subject
Decide on a theme or subject for your poem. It can be anything that inspires you, such as nature, a specific place, or an event. There’s no limit to what you can choose, but it’s best to stick to one overall theme.
Since prepositions are (of course) key to a prepositional poem, you should brainstorm a list of them to use before you begin writing. Prepositions such as in, on, through, across, between, near, and beyond are great starting points because you can use them to paint a number of vivid pictures.
Create a Structure Using Descriptive Phrases
Pair each preposition or prepositional phrase with a description that matches your chosen theme. The more descriptive the imagery and sensory language you include, the more evocative your poem will be.
When it comes to structure, there’s no single method you have to use for your poem. You can write your poem as free verse, with each line standing on its own, or follow a specific rhyme scheme and meter. One is not preferable to the other; however, whatever you choose, it should complement the tone and mood you want to set. For example, free verse poems tend to sound more conversational because there are no strict limitations on language or techniques.
Title Your Poem
Some writers prefer to save coming up with a title for last, after they get a feel for the overall mood and flow of the poem. Because the title helps readers understand what to expect from your poem, be sure to make it attention-grabbing and memorable.
You can ask a question, channel the emotions induced by the poem, or evoke a specific time or place. For example, Rudyard Kipling’s “The Way Through the Woods” or Emily Dickinson’s “Why Do I Love You, Sir” are noteworthy titles that leave a remarkable first impression. And of course, because it’s a prepositional poem, don’t shy away from using prepositions in the title.
Edit Your Poem
Once you’ve written the initial draft, review and edit it. Read it aloud to yourself, pay attention to the flow, rhythm, and imagery, and revise where necessary. Give the poem a thorough proofread also to ensure correct spelling and punctuation (if used) and the proper use of prepositions.
A Sample Prepositional Poem
Below is an example of a short prepositional poem about the beach:
By the Sea
Upon the shore, the seagulls dance in flight,
Beside the waves, the sand glows pure and bright.
Beneath the palm trees’ sway, a gentle breeze;
In endless ripples, the ocean’s secrets tease.
With laughter echoing, children build their castles;
In tranquil coves, the water’s whisper nestles.
Among the shells and stones, treasures untold;
Under the sun’s embrace, hearts become bold.
In this example, each line begins with a preposition while the poem adheres to the overall theme of the beach. And although this example sticks to a rhyming scheme, not all prepositional poems have to rhyme.
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