How to Write a Concrete Poem

What is a Concrete Poem

Concrete poetry, also known as shape poetry or visual poetry, combines poetry with images. In this type of poetry, the shape or the appearance of the poem matches the subject of the poetry. For example, if you are writing a poem about a snowman, your poem’s shape will look like a snowman. In addition to verbal significance, these poems also have a visual significance. In other words, the shapes of the words are just as important as their meanings.

Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Mouse Tale” in Alice in Wonderland is a well-known example of a concrete poem. This poem is actually written in the shape of a mouse tail.

How to Write a Concrete Poem

Now, let us see how to write a Concrete Poem.

How to Write a Concrete Poem

You can write a concrete poem easily by following the given below guidelines and tips.

1. First, decide what you are going to write about. The subject of your poem should be something that you can draw. So, pick something that you can draw easily. Common objects like star, sun, rainbow, half moon, animals, and vehicles are good choices.

2. Choose the shape you want to create. After you have decided the subject, choose what object you are going to draw. Remember you don’t have to always write about objects, you can write about an abstract concept and draw something that represents it. For example, you can write a poem about love by using a heart shape.

3. Draw the shape using a pencil. Make sure you draw a big shape with plenty of space to include words and phrases.

4. Take a piece of paper and write a list of words about your subject. Include phrases if you can think of any. Don’t be afraid to write antonyms and synonyms – they may be useful later.

5. Combine these words and ideas together and create lines. Use descriptive language and try to include different figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, and hyperbole. Don’t’ worry about rhyme; you can always write a free verse or blank verse.

6. Now write the lines inside the shape. Try to arrange the lines according to the shape. Rearrange the ideas and lines to match the shape. You can also try adjusting the shape to match the poem.

7. Once the poem fits inside the poem, read the poem out loud. See if there are any improvements you can make to the poem. You can also try to add rhyming words to make the poem more rhythmic. But make sure to keep the shape intact.

8. Finally, once you have edited the poem, erase the outline you drew with the pencil. Now you’ll you have your own concrete poem.

Note: You don’t have to draw the shape beforehand. You can also directly write the poem to resemble a shape. Drawing an outline is just one way to get a better shape.

Image Courtesy:

“Alice’s Adventures Under Ground – Lewis Carroll – British Library Add MS 46700 f15v” By Lewis Carroll – provided by the British Library from its digital collections. (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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