Sectioning off Poetry

Hello Poetteers,

Sectioning off your poetry collection can be difficult. The easiest way to section it is by theme or topic. For example, if you have a series of nature poems, group them together. You may have two poems that present opposite ideas but are in conversation with one another, so pair them connection apparent to the reader.

  • It’s a good idea to keep poems together that are written in the same creative period. 
  • Maybe your poetry collection does not even need to be sectioned off if it's one big theme or reads like a story. 
  • Maybe you can get more on the emotions side of the piece use an adjective that describes that set of poems as the section title.
  • Another strategy is a lyric ordering, in which each poem is linked to the previous one, repeating a word, image, subject, or theme. 
  • Order it in a way to create a sense of growth or evolution.
  • Other times I follow one or several emotionally charged poems with one that provides comic or other relief.
  • Other categories include images, speaker, setting, events, issues, color, format; chronology, alphabetically.
  • Lastly, maybe try to make them still appear mysterious to the reader so the reader does not feel they are being told what to expect in each section.

Poetry sections give the breathing space needed. It gives space to the poems and gives the reader a moment to soak it in before moving on to the next.

How do you section your poetry collection?

Stay inspired,

Title Your Poems/Sections/Book with this poetry titles guide