How to Write a Catalog Poem

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Catalog poems are a simple way to begin writing poetry, whether you are young or old. They are essentially a list that is written and organized in an artistic manner, which makes them a fun writing project for anybody, regardless of poetic experience. Because of their simple nature, they are a great way to teach children how to write poems. Because of their versatility, they can also pose a challenge to experienced writers, presenting limitless possibilities to express an object or feeling.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Thesaurus
  • Dictionary
  • Decide on a topic. Because catalog poems have little restrictions, nearly any topic will work for a catalog poem. Try writing about something you for which you have feelings.

  • Make a basic list of everything you can think of about that topic. For example, if you are writing about a clock you might write:

    White plain circle with numbers all around
    A black circle framing its face
    Always ticking and tocking
    Lines circling around
    Hangs on a wall to tell us the time

  • Sift through the list and try reorganizing it for different effects. Try moving lines up and down, omitting some, rewording others until you are satisfied with the results. Keep in mind that catalog poems can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be.

  • Try tweaking the lines to add poetic meaning or style through metaphors or rhyming. Remember that catalog poems do not have to rhyme or keep a certain rhythm so possibilities are endless. A final poem about a clock might look like this:

    Blank face
    Inching toward an unattainable goal
    Chasing numbers that don't add up
    Tick, tick, tick
    Tock, tock, tock
    Timing the repetition of our lives

Tips & Warnings

  • Try adjusting the rhythm or rhyme of the poem for different effects. Catalog poems make fun projects for children because of their versatility.
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