What is a Concrete Poem? Unveiling the Unique Idea

Concrete poetry, also known as shape poetry, is characterized by the use of visual elements to reinforce the meaning of the poem. Instead of focusing solely on the text, it combines word art with visual representation. The shape of the poem can mimic its theme, creating a correlating visual experience for the reader. This guide aims to provide ideas on how to create effective concrete poems.

Understanding Concrete Poems

  • Concrete poems use visual arrangement of text to convey or enhance meaning.
  • The words form shapes which visually represent the poem’s subject alongside the literary meaning.
  • The poem’s subject can be communicated through a drawing or an outline shape relevant to the topic.
  • Concrete poetry does not necessarily have to rhyme but should mirror the essence of the object or the subject it represents.
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Creating Concrete Poems

  • Choose an object or theme that serves as the inspiration for your poem.
  • Write your poem, ideally between 6-12 lines, capturing how the subject makes you feel.
  • On a paper or computer, create a simple outline of the shape that represents your theme.
  • Write your poem within this outline, adjusting sizes and lines according to the drawing.
  • Erase the outline leaving your poem displaying the chosen image.

Exploring Variations

  • Another approach is to use the lines of the poem to create the visual design. The lines of your poem become the lines of your drawing.
  • Special effects can also be used to enhance your poem. Utilize symbols, different typefaces, and even colors to add more dimension and meaning.
  • You can also use different software tools or applications to simplify the process.
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  • A snake around the shape of an apple can be used in a concrete poem about temptation.
  • A concrete poem about a clock, for instance, can be arranged in circular formation to mirror the face of a clock.


Creating a concrete poem is a creatively enriching process. It invites the writer to think beyond the confines of traditional poetry and to experiment with visual representation. Insightful understanding of the chosen subject and a careful arrangement of words can result in a compelling visual poem that speaks more than just the literal meanings of the words. The power of concrete poetry lies in the interplay of words, shapes, and imagination.

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