Punctuation in Poetry – Should we do it?

Colleen M. Chesebro

The most important thing you can learn about writing poetry is to add punctuation, especially if you are going to enter your poems into contests like I suggested in this post: https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/06/16/the-united-haiku-tanka-society-uhts-poetry-contest-information/. Join UHTS HERE.

We’re all familiar with this example:

Lets eat Grandma!

OR:

Let’s eat, Grandma.

When you read the above sentences, the punctuation changes the meaning. The same punctuation rules also apply to poetry.

There are 4 main types of possible punctuation in poems. I’m not an expert in this field, merely a student myself. I searched for information on punctuation usage in poetry and this great article from LinkedIn came up. I’ve shared some of it below.

Syllabic poetry uses many of these same types of punctuation:

“Punctuation in poetry is similar to punctuation in prose and serves almost the same purpose as bar lines in music without which the words and notes won’t flow…

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5 thoughts on “Punctuation in Poetry – Should we do it?

  1. Hi thanks for the brief overview of punctuation in poetry I do not use it at present as I like to challenge the reader to determine the flow for themselves Happy Tuesday Have a great day Goff

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