How To Make Shape Poetry

What is Shape Poetry?

Shape poetry, or concrete poetry, is a type of visual literature that uses the physical arrangement of words, symbols, and images to create a poem. This type of poetry is particularly appealing to the creative crowd as it not only requires the use of words, but also the visual representation of its content in the form of geometric shapes and designs. The primary focus is the shape of the poem and the visual appeal that comes with it. Traditional shape poems are usually categorized into six groups: list, portrait, landscape, circuit, inverse, and kaleidoscope.

What is the Purpose of Shape Poetry?

Coupled with its unique visual appeal, shape poetry also offers a higher purpose. It may be used to emphasize a certain point in the text, or symbolize a concept related to the content. Authors can use a combination of colors, logos, and other elements to create a poem that visually supports its content. Some poets intentionally break their words into hundreds of characters and form grids, mosaics, or symbols to inspire readers and leave them guessing. On the other hand, shape poems can also be used for more ordinary purposes, such as book titles, song titles, message logos, comments posted on websites, etc.

How to Create Shape Poetry?

The basic process of creating a shape poem is to think of a topic or idea and then start building the words around it, arranging them in a way so that they create the desired visual impression. The shape of the poem can be made into anything from a simple rectangle to a complex combination of figures or patterns. To begin, one must have a general idea in mind and then think of related concepts or words to use. It is important to keep the main idea in focus at all times.
The next step is arranging the words into a format which visually represents the main concept. Depending on the structure and design desired, words can be arranged both horizontally and vertically. It is important to note that the words should fit in the space and should be readable. In some cases, even symbols or logos may be used to achieve the desired effect.
Finally, the poem should be edited and finalized. The words should be edited to make sure that their connections to the central concept are still intact. The shape of the poem should be checked against the idea in mind. Finally, the poem should be fine-tuned for meaning and grammar, as well as typography and aesthetics.

Examples of Shape Poetry

Shape poetry is growing in popularity in recent years, and there are many great examples one can find online or in literature. The classic example of a shape poem is the American Romantic poet Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”, where the poet uses words and symbols to symbolize the urban landscape of Brooklyn and reflect on its hustle and bustle. Modern day examples of shape poems are numerous and range from heartfelt reflections on memory to humorous comments on pop culture. These poems can also be seen in advertising and marketing materials, as well as in social media posts and websites.

Benefits of Shape Poetry

Shape poetry offers a unique way of expressing oneself. It combines the written word with visual art and allows the poet to explore their creativity and imagination. The result is often a poem with greater impact, as it can leave a strong visual impression in the reader’s mind.
In addition to visual expression, shape poetry can also be used to convey ideas and elevate the written word to a higher level. As symbols and logos become more popular, shape poetry offers a unique way of conveying messages that may otherwise be overlooked. Furthermore, it encourages readers to think outside of the box and experience literature in an entirely new way.

Challenges of Shape Poetry

Despite its advantages and creative potential, shape poetry can also be challenging in many ways. Firstly, the poet must have a good understanding of visual language, as the poem’s shape is key to its success. Secondly, the process of arranging words into a visually appealing shape can be time-consuming, and requires a lot of patience and effort. In addition, the poet must have a knack for typography in order to make the poem look its best.

Limitations of Shape Poetry

Apart from the challenges of creating shape poems, there are also some limitations to consider. Firstly, the features of the poem are largely dictated by its shape, so it is difficult to use more complicated grammar or narrative structures. Secondly, as the words are arranged into a specific shape, the poet may lack certain freedoms, such as the ability to make minor adjustments or change the position of certain words or images.

Apps and Online Resources

If the idea of shape poetry is interesting yet daunting, there are many helpful tools and apps available to assist. Free shape poem makers such as Poem Star offer a range of shapes, layering options, and editing tools to create a unique poem. Similarly, apps such as TypeFu allow users to not only arrange words into a given shape but also manipulate them as though they were pieces of a puzzle. These tools are perfect for writing quick yet engaging poems that are sure to capture the attention of the reader.

Tips for Writing Shape Poetry

To get started with shape poetry, the poet should come up with an idea that they would like to express or a theme that they would like to explore. It is important to keep in mind that the main point of the poem should be reflected in its shape, so the arrangement of words should be such that it makes sense. Furthermore, the poem should be engaging, visually appealing, and easy to read. The poet should keep the end result in mind while writing the poem, as it will be instrumental in determining the layout. Additionally, it may also be helpful to use a digital tool or app to create the poem as this will give the poet more freedom and control.

Exploring Different Media

Shape poems don’t necessarily need to be limited to words only. Different media such as images, symbols, and logos can be used in combination with words to create an even more striking effect. Furthermore, the poem can also be animated or shared in video format, allowing the reader to experience the poem from multiple angles and perspectives.


Shape poetry also offers an ideal platform for collaboration. By working with other poets, authors, illustrators, and artists, a poet can create something truly memorable and stunning. The combination of different media and different minds can bring out the best in the poem and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Using the Web to Showcase Poetry

Finally, the web is an ideal platform for showcasing and sharing shape poetry. With the right platform and a creative approach, shape poetry can be used to connect with readers, promote business, or even start a movement. Some of the most popular resources for shape poets are sites such as and Poetry Foundation, which offer a range of poems to enjoy and explore.


Shape poetry is a unique form of expression that combines visual imagery with text to create something truly special. With its wide range of applications and endless possibilities for creativity, shape poetry is an ideal platform for expressing one’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. From bloggers and poets to students and marketers, everyone can benefit from its visuals and explore the fascinating world of shape poetry.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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