Online Learning Blog

Writing Verse for Special Occasions

Published on 11th June 2015 by Diana Nadin

Poems make beautiful gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings – they are personal and unique. And, the joy of seeing people being moved, amused or surprised by your poetry is simply wonderful. Just think how much friends and relatives will appreciate a Christmas card with a slip of paper containing a poem that you’ve written. Or, a christening card with a personal verse included.

But, there’s no reason why you can’t offer your poetry writing skills to others as a service. In fact, most poems created in this genre are the result of a commission.

You probably won’t get rich from your poems and if you do decide to write verse for someone else’s special occasion you should always bear in mind the kind of occasion it is. You need to be able to write a poem that is accessible to your audience. Also make sure you include as many references to the event and the person/people involved as you can. Include things that they are familiar with and will recognise. The people you are writing for should never leave your mind when you are crafting your poem.

Here are six rules to follow to produce perfect verse for special occasions:

1. Most people like to hear a rhyme. Even if you don’t normally like this type of poetry, remember that the majority of people still think ‘proper’ poems should rhyme!

2. Use personal references – find out and use as many names, details and personal experiences as you can. The little details are essential to making the verse you create as personal as it can be.

3. Humour and sincerity are always appreciated – your poem is supposed to enhance a special occasion and laughter is a great way to bring people together.

4. Know your limits – often when a poem is required for a special occasion, there will be a requirement for humorous or risqué material. Decide what you are and are not comfortable writing about and stick to it. Also, think carefully to ensure that you will not upset or offend your audience in any way.

5. Keep the person you are writing for firmly in mind. You won’t be able to help a little of your personality bleeding through into the verse, but your feelings and thoughts should always be secondary.

6. Make sure you give your best – this is a special occasion, after all. You won’t get many repeat requests if you produce sloppy work.

So there you have it. Stick to these rules and you’ll soon be producing verse that leaves no eye dry in the house – whether that’s from sadness or laughter!