Poetry demands originality. It is, however, unfair to expect brand-new poets to produce fresh, original work all the time—even the most seasoned poets struggle with this task. Poets often find that they must first imitate what has come before them—by reading the work of others and by imitating the work that inspires them—until their own unique voice begins to come through. And by honing the craft through dedicated practice, a poet develops his or her own style.
Finding the creativity needed to create new subject matter and imagery in poetry is easier said than done, but we’ve come up with a few tips on fostering originality. These can be applied to most other genres as well.