What Came First, The Poem or the Title?

I know everyone has their own ways of writing, and there’s no right or wrong way, but I’m curious to know how other poets out there do their writing.

Generally speaking, what do you come up with first when writing poetry, the title or the poem? When I write, the poem always comes first and I come up with a title after that, and the title is usually part of the poem. Sometimes it’s something that represents the theme, but usually it’s an actual part of the poem. I don’t think I’ve ever had the title first and written the poem after.

I’m also curious, how many of you “try” to write poetry and how many just let it flow? 99% of my work just flowed. I don’t sit down and think of a theme and a style and all that and then try to write something. It comes into my head, I write it down, and that’s all there is to it. Do you work at it or just let it come?

I also don’t know the names of all the styles of poetry. It’s one of the areas in which I’ve been able to maintain blissful ignorance. Some people have vehemently disagreed with me, and insisted that a writer can’t be good if they don’t know and follow all the “rules”, but I think my writing flows better because I’m not worried about rules and styles and all sorts of other limitations. I’m actually trying to forget all the supposed rules I’ve learned about writing in general.

 

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