How to write poetry that flows spontaneously may appear to be a narrow topic, but writing advice for one form more often than not can be applied to another. I’ve admired Balroop Singh’s poetry and nonfiction for years. She’s an introspective soul who draws upon a stockpile of grace and wisdom to grapple with life’s curveballs. These qualities make her a poet and writer to be reckoned with and read time and time again.
Official Bio: Balroop Singh, a doting grandma and a dedicated wife, a former teacher, and an educationalist always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, and a relaxed blogger. She writes about people, emotions, and relationships. A self-published author, she has written five books and her fifth book Emerging From Shadows was launched on July 21, 2017.
Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.
How to Write Poetry That Flows Spontaneously
My conviction is that poetry flows from our hearts. It is like that mass of snow we call a glacier and when it starts its slow movement, it thaws all the icicles, which keep mounting within us, in the hope of receiving the warmth of words.
The words may form in the mind but you can’t put them together unless you infuse them with sentiments and sensations, which lie buried in our heart.
Two constituents of good poetry are emotions and words, which are intertwined. Words are meaningless without emotions.
Words evoke emotions; they heal with love
Words stir passions; some of which they shove
Words inspire, they take you with their flow
Words silence; to enlighten you with their glow
Words excite; they can hold you in a trance
Words soften; they can change your stance.
© Balroop Singh, 2017
Whether it is romantic or spiritual poetry, an elegy or an epic, a classic or contemporary, abstract or acrostic…all forms of poetry bank on emotions, which are ebullient and eloquent, shadowy and oppressive at times. How accurately has Robert Frost articulated: “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
I don’t remember when I started writing poetry but one image looms large before me–pouring my thoughts, which I didn’t want to express or share, into small phrases, keeping the real ideas ambiguous thereby giving vent to my feelings and letting the reader discern whatever meaning he wants to pick up. I was amazed at the feedback and the interpretations of my poems.
Slowly those alleys I experimented in, widened into avenues of observation and experience and I discovered more themes of human interest. Poetry that focuses on what lies within a human heart, combined with imagination and imagery from nature is more poignant. It becomes a channel between the heart and the soul and crosses over to more such hearts.
I have always believed that emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies within us but we keep ignoring that inner voice, which is vociferous in my book, Emerging From Shadows inspiring all those who feel darkness is the only place of self-solace.
Have a look at this excerpt from one of my poems in this book:
I convince myself to rise, to react
To push perils that glare grimly
To satiate shadows that gloat glibly
Positive light is just round the corner
The hope is beckoning bright…
© Balroop Singh, 2017
Imagination is my principal device, which has assisted me in entering the minds of those in distress though some poems flow out of my own challenges.
The following excerpt from my first book of poetry Sublime Shadows Of Life speaks of raw emotions, flowing straight out of my heart. Though they have been interpreted differently, I wrote these lines when one of my daughters flew out of my nest to pursue her dreams.
Hand in hand we walked on
Brushing aside thistle and thorn
Sharing vision of future bright
Weathering storms, accomplishing heights
Your éclat illuminated my pride
Those precious moments now deride
Tide came…carried them along
Bare sand, where do I belong?
© Balroop Singh, 2003
The following poem was inspired from the life of a loving friend, on the verge of divorce due to emotional abuse, but she kept postponing it due to the pressures exerted by families. An extremely successful woman now, she carries a volcano within, which protects her most secret thoughts…longing to erupt. Her bewitching smile never betrays that well guarded anguish she carries in her heart. I have tried to unleash it here:
Will They Fathom?
Two Angels on my lap
Tears in my eyes, twinge in my heart
Do I look helpless?
But that is your myopic eye
Which fails to see my grit.
That is your sadistic mindset
Which bears such crippled thoughts.
That is your sick, conservative attitude
Which feeds your hollow ego.
Don’t you know?
A Phoenix rises from its ashes!
I know life is going to be a drag
But was it ever pleasant?
I know my Angels will grow up
But I will not look back.
No more emotional hurts,
No more societal pressures
None of those oppressive judgments
I have had enough.
The only worry…
Will they know, will they fathom
My compulsions, my hurts
Will they assuage my pain?
I know they would move on
I know this is the way of the world.
I love my solitary space
‘Love’ was never my grace.
© Balroop Singh, 2014
If you are a poetry lover or a poet, I am sure you know the value of emotions and if you want to write poetry, just let them burst forth. You will be astonished at the outcome. I have seen that those who vehemently denied their interest in poetry and gave me blank looks initially have produced excellent pieces in creative writing workshops.
Even those who have never tried to write a poem could draw inspiration from George Sand; “He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.”
I am extremely grateful to Jeri for hosting me here at her blog. I venerate her professional skills and her benevolence as she provides an admirable platform to fellow authors to exhibit their work.
You can connect with Balroop Singh and her social media accounts via her author website and blog. Please visit her author page on Amazon to read the poetry that flows from her heart.
What experience do you have with how to write poetry that flows spontaneously? Have you participated in other improvisational activities?
All images are courtesy of Balroop Singh, 2017. Please share responsibly.
Thank you Jeri, for compressing so much into the introduction you have given for this post. I am feeling honored to be your guest at your blog, which I have admired for years. I am thrilled to see both my books of poetry featured here, with the direct link. My gratitude is as warm as the first glow of winter sunshine. Stay blessed!
POETRY is like that mass of snow we call a glacier and when it starts its slow movement, it thaws all the icicles, which keep mounting within us, in the hope of receiving the warmth of words.)))
What a superb, Kafka-like description!
Balroop, much love from MN. xx
Thanks Kim, I am glad this description resonated with you. Love and hugs dear friend.
You have inspired me to work on my own poetry. I dabble at it from time to time. What you shared has given some encouragement to do more.
I am delighted to know this! Please go ahead Susan…poetry flows like a stream if we let our emotions go. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you, Jeri and Balroop. Sharing your writing tips for poetry are invaluable. I have played with poetry off and on since my early 20’s. Interestingly, when I first began it was exactly from the heart but when I had to produce poetry for literature class, I would freeze up and over analyze my poetry in case they were too silly. I think poetry reveals our hearts even more so than writing fictional stories. Congratulations on your new book, Balroop!
Lovely story of poetry that froze you Lisa. As students we all get scared by unknown fears and competition. Would you believe I didn’t like the professor who taught us John Milton’s Paradise Lost and didn’t take any interest in his poetry class…rebel that I was!
Thank you for the wishes and the anecdote you have shared. Have a wonderful week.
Balroop’s official bio is itself poetic. I like the idea of poetry as emotion. More than any other form of writing it’s just about how you feel. Kind of like painting.
Thank you Ken, you made my day with your lovely thought. Yes, poetry, painting and music are twin sisters of emotion, the scary soft monster. 🙂
I was delighted to see my friend Balroop here and her exquisite poetry showcased here as well Jeri. Hugs to you both. 🙂 xx
Thank you Deb…love your description of my poetry. I am glad you like it. Hugs and love back to you. 🙂
Such powerful poetry. I would be interested to see what would happen if I were in one of her workshops. I’ve never tried to write poetry and I’m not sure where I would even begin. But I admire poets. There is something so spectacular in being able to wrap your emotions into words and make them available for the world to see and feel.
Thank you Erica. The workshops I mention were for high school students whose emotions are raw and if they are motivated to write, they are able to express freely about what lies within their heart and adolescents feel closer to their teachers if you talk about emotions, which is very natural when you teach poems and stories.
I am sure you would try to write poetry one day if you admire poets. My best wishes for that. 🙂
A beautiful and certainly well deserved feature …. Love your poetry, B (always moving & wise!)… Congrats for being on Jeri´s blog…. You two are simply awesome. Thank you! 😀 Love & best wishes
Many thanks dear Aqui, you are so kind with your words. I am blessed to be your friend. I appreciate your wishes.Love and hugs.
I have always considered poetry as something which is not everyone’s cup of tea. One needs to be immensely talented to explain a lot in juts few words.
Your poetry is very beautiful and proves what I just mentioned above.
Thanks for saying it in such a beautiful manner Moumita, you made my morning pleasant! Your words seem like soft music to my ears. Stay blessed!
I am more of a prose writer than a poet, The intertwining of words and emotions is meaningful in prose write as well as poetry, but sometimes there are things that can only be expressed via poetry.
Hi Donna, poets soar on the wings of their imagination and can fly uninhibited. The freedom that this genre gives is blissful! I learnt to write prose within its defined boundaries and often feel restricted by the rules it imposes. When words and emotions intermingle with imagery, they can say a lot… ‘tide of time carried all…bare sand scoffed and jeered.’
I appreciate your perspective.
As someone who loves reading poetry and writing her own poetry, I really enjoyed reading from another poet’s perspective. I completely agree with the sentiment that poetry flows from our hearts. Writing poems is so therapeutic to me and the best poems that I’ve written, in my opinion, are the ones where I just let the words come out and are just very raw and honest.
Well said! Glad to meet you Emily, I am delighted that you share my sentiments. Let me say it in the words of P.B. Shelley, “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” When we pour our heart out and let the raw emotions flow into the stream of words, the solace that we get is inexplicable. Thanks for sharing an honest opinion.
I have no experience writing poetry, but as a writer, I know how difficult poetry can be. Once must choose precisely the right words to instil the most powerful emotion. Thx for sharing these insights.
Thanks for understanding how challenging poetry could be initially. It is only when we wade into its troubled waters that we realize its value, beauty and power. Even a writer’s work is no cakewalk! 🙂
Thank you for the insight into poetry.
Poetry certainly comes from the heart. I find poetry deep and meaningful especially when based on love or loss of love. I wrote poetry in my twenties then stopped – I would like to go back to it as I found it soothing, almost as much as writing.
Thanks Phoenicia, I appreciate your love for poetry. Please go back to it to experience its power. I am sure you would feel rejuvenated as it can breathe new life into our imagination.
I popped over and read your poetry first and then came back today to read the post. Very impactful writing!
Pennsylvania used to have a state arts program for high school students (when I win the lottery, I will bring it back to life!) and I went the summer of my junior year for writing–particularly poetry.
I still love to spill out a poem here and there, but it takes a unique discipline to write a good poem–you so clearly have that talent!
Many thanks dear RoseMary for your lovely words of appreciation. There is no doubt that poetry needs discipline but it empowers our imagination and sets us free! 🙂
I don’t write–or read–poetry as much as I used to. I think my mind has become overly weighed down by much of the negativity that exists all around us in our age. Maybe that is the best time to seek poetic refuge. Or maybe this is a time for different kinds of writing.
There is a freedom and comfort in poetry. Perhaps that should be the kind of healing force that would be best for me.
Balroop, this was a beautifully written piece with fine illustrative verse to make your points. Good timing for me as I am sitting here as I wait to have a lunch meeting with a friend of mine who has great poetic aspirations but, like me, is burdened with the world around us. We can’t escape that world, but we can see it from a different perspective if we allow our minds back into that place.
Tossing It Out
Hi Arlee, poetry absorbs a lot of negativity, it heals with hope. Even dark poetry has to look towards positive light eventually… just like human race, which has seen worse times but for every strife there was a streak if light beckoning to rebuild and rehabilitate. Let’s disseminate love and peace through our writing.
Thanks for sharing your insights, much appreciated.
I know this may sound silly, but as a writer, sometimes the words get in the way. We often overthink which word belongs in a sentence, instead of letting the words come from inside. Thanks for sharing your incredible poetry.
Thanks for sharing the insecurities we encounter in the company of too many words, I agree! Choose them with your heart when you try to write poetry. 🙂
Balroop this is so inspiring and fascinating too. I love poetry and have a fascination with shadows and the dark side of life. I began writing haiku through blogging and progressed to Tanka and have written a few longer pieces of poetry. I’d love to write more, your words encourage me to do so. Thank you. 🙂
I am glad that my words speak to you in a positive manner Marjorie. If you could write Haiku and Tanka, I would beseech you to continue this journey…you would see amazing results. 🙂 Thanks for your lovely reflections.
I loved the way you articulated the journey of thoughts and emotions into words. Your choice of words is exemplary. It is a pleasure reading your work Balroop ?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Radhika, your words made my day! I am delighted to note that you like my poetry. 🙂
Congrats on guest posting on Jery’s blog, Balroop. This was an insightful post on why you write poetry and how you got started. You do weave emotions and words so seamlessly together, and from following your work for a while, you do make sure emotions jump out at each stanza, each line of poetry you write. I can just imagine that image of you pouring your thoughts into small phrases – and with each phrase you get immerse deeper into your thoughts and keep writing those phrases. It sounds like such a natural thing for you to do. Thank you for sharing some writings from your latest book. Looking forward to picking it up myself 🙂
I’ve mentioned this before on your blog – I wasn’t all that good at poetry at university. While I still don’t write poetry today, it as not stopped me from appreciating poetry works as they come my way. Poetry is poetry, art is art and we can all enjoy that 🙂
I agree with you Mabel, anyone who understands and appreciates beauty could enjoy poetry and art as they flow out of one heart into another most naturally…probably we have been blessed with this innate emotion. if it is nurtured, it blooms further.
Many thanks for your kind words, they have always boosted my morale and provided more inspiration. I am sure you are going to like my poetry book. 🙂 Love and hugs dear friend.
I don’t think you needed to feel any trepidation about doing a guest post, Balroop. This is beautiful and poetic, and that’s before even reading the poetry! Such talent. I love your statement that you “have always believed that emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies within us but we keep ignoring that inner voice…” I can see that belief manifested in your work. <3
Many thanks dear Diana for hopping over to this post, I am overwhelmed with your lovely words, which mean a lot to me. Coming from you who can intermingle lyrical prose with wonderful ideas is a magical treat! I appreciate your humility and charm, which endear you to every single reader. Stay blessed!
These poems are beautiful! What a great way to express yourself. I wish I had more talent in that area. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Hollee, I am glad you liked these poems. Stay blessed!
Balroop, this is a wonderful guest post and no need to fear them! ?I was thoroughly engrossed in your words as you travel fluidly from what poetry means to you, your first writings to its spiritual power and the energy poetry brings both to the writer and reader, itself becoming a transformitive experience. Your first paragraph about poetry is lyrical and a fantastic imagery of the glacier…I just adore this idea and it’s one that will stay with me. Your poem extracts are truly beautiful, profound and thought provoking – shining examples to your craft of poems. An inspiring post…maybe I’ll even try and write a bit of poetry now and then! ❤️
Annika I love the way you use your words as they exude warmth, which goes straight to the heart of the reader. It is such a pleasure to note that you liked my description of poetry, it comes straight from that heart, which craved to share some frozen emotions. I learnt it myself, speaking softly to those emotions as they were becoming too oppressive.
I am very happy that you found my words inspiring. Looking forward to your poetry dear friend. Stay blessed. 🙂