How to write sad poems about sadness
It’s possible that you’ve read a book or a collection of poems and thought, “Hey! I could do that!” Well, you can’t. Being a writer is incredibly hard. It requires a certain temperament, a certain gift, a certain je ne sais quoi (whatever the hell that means), and it cannot be learned – it has to simply be.
On the other hand, even if I can’t give out tips that would make anyone a better writer – or a writer at all for that matter – I can tell you some of the things that I do to get into the right frame of mind.
- I smoke coffee
- I drink cigarettes
- I open the window when it’s cold; I open the fridge and aggressively turn up the air conditioning when it’s hot
- I sit on the cold hard floor and write on an authentic typewriter that once belonged to someone who died tragically
- I strive for authenticity, and I found artificial rain sounds online to be too obviously fake, so I’ve hired a man to sit in a dark corner of my room and play the rain stick for me
- I down half a shot of cheap vodka
- I burn candles that smell like earth and decay
Before I sit down to write, I prepare the room by lowering the temperature using whatever means necessary (see above). Once the room reaches a temperature similar enough to my cold, unfeeling heart, I spray the windows with water to simulate the aesthetic of a rainy day. The rain is crucial because it subconsciously evokes memories of anytime I’ve ever cried, which is excellent fodder for poetry.
I find it best to smoke my coffee grounds while my cigarette is steeping in my “Every Day Is a Rainy Day” mug. That way, I’ll have already chain-smoked two espressos by the time my cigarette tea finishes steeping, sits out for a bit, and becomes cold. At this point, it’s time for me to sigh forlornly and snap at my rain-stick man to pick up the pace. I’m considering hiring someone to create thunder with sheet metal because Larry just isn’t keeping up the illusion of a thunderstorm anymore, but I digress.
If you are already a writer by birth and you find that these tips don’t work for you, remember: it’s about evoking a vibe. To write my sad poems about sadness, I have to be feeling a certain sort of way. I have to feel sad, poetic, poetically sad, and sadly poetic. To measure this, I use my Poetic Sadness Graph™. It can chart sadness and poeticness on an easily followable scale, and will be available in the inside cover of my upcoming book of poetry: How to Live with Your Mother When The World Makes You Ache, which will be available worldwide by the end of the century.
Isabel Murray is a second-year writing major who burns all of their poems immediately after finishing them. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.