This expands upon my previous post, about fact and fiction in poetry.

That was actually a slightly revised version of a much older post, first published in 2012, on my, long since abandoned Neon and Rainbows blog. If you haven’t yet read my last post, I would suggest doing so, before continuing with this one, as it will make more sense that way.

For readers who are wondering whether I intend to return to the subject of fiction writing, in the near future – yes, absolutely.

This blog will always be focused primarily on fiction, so bear with me.

So, some alternatives that I have found to either writing autobiographical poems, or the type of character poems that I was mainly discussing, in that other post.

One is to draw upon mythological and folk stories.

This is powerful, and an approach, which has long been popular with poets. You can blur the lines between fact and fiction, by drawing upon autobiographical aspects, but using the traditional tales, as a framework and starting point. Even without the inclusion of specific autobiographical details, the emotions, upon which you draw, will often be very real.


You might also write poetry inspired by novels.

Your own could work – haven’t tried that, personally – but I was thinking about favourite, classic novels. I have written poems inspired by some of Daphne du Maurier’s novels, for example.

In the case of my two Lucy Lightfoot poems – these are based upon a story, which could be viewed as a legend.

It would appear, in reality, that it was more likely to be a fictional account, invented by a vicar in the 1960s. Google it, if you want to know more. You will soon discover that there are many contradictions, as with many of these stories. Even Lucy’s hair colour changes from “the colour of corn” to black. The fact is that such inconsistencies are unimportant, compared to the magical aspects of the story, the mystery and romance – the intense emotions that can be explored and accessed, via Lucy’s tale.



Poetry is amazing, and both writing and reading it can benefit you, as a writer.

Even if you prefer some other form of writing, such as fiction, I would recommend giving poetry a try, as it will help you to develop your skills, particularly in the area of language usage.

You might be interested in my post about the relevance of contemporary poetry.

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