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Poetry Competitions UK
14 Jun 2011

How to Write an Epistle

An Epistle is an Ancient Roman poetic form that appears commonly in the Bible. The majority of the New Testament is written in Epistles. An Epistle is a poem written in the form of a letter. Traditionally, an Epistle was used to express love, philosophy, religion and morality.

This style of poetry fell out of fashion when letter writing in general did. However, it has recently seen a revival and the Epistle is back!

The Epistle is a form of free verse. It has no rhyme scheme and the poet can write in whatever narration or character they choose. The tone can be formal or light-hearted and the content deep and meaningful. There is no restriction on line length either.

When writing an Epistle bear in mind who is writing the letter, who the recipient is and how you address that person. Is the letter formal or informal? Is the subject matter true to the writer and recipient? Does the letter need to be in short, snappy sentences or can it ramble and overflow?

Dear Mum (An Epistle Poem)

Remember when the cat clawed my face?
I know I shouldn't have wrapped her up like a baby,
I was young and I loved that cat so much,
A bit less after she'd made me bleed though!
And that time you went to the fair with me,
On the Gravity Wheel, you went green,
You should have said you were scared,
I know you didn't want me to miss out.
Those times I used to 'creep' in at 3am,
To find you waiting up, with a cup of tea,
You couldn't sleep until you knew I was in safe.
I feel bad for all the times I didn't appreciate you,
Didn't listen, or do as I was told.
That week of silent treatment haunts me now!
I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I am
Glad I've got you and I never want to let you go.
You've done so much for me, how will I ever pay you back?
I don't know if I'll ever be able to, but as long as you know
I love you dearly and do appreciate you. One day I'll get the
Chance to pay you back for everything you've given me, but it's
A huge debt to pay - but a debt I am honoured to owe.
Mum, you're something else. Everyone says their mum is
The best, but you ARE the best and I just want you to know that.


The One

I love you more than you will ever know,
We're forever, 'til death to us part.
I just hope you feel the same way too,
When you notice me that is,
My unrequited love.


Do you remember -
A tree,
Some nails,
A hammer,
Some butties in our pockets,
A bit of sun,
Swinging from branches,
Tree house building - albeit basic!
Those were the days,
The endless summer hols.

Midnight Runner

Frost crunched underfoot
Then I waited for you with the others …
You dropped the presents off
Scoffed a mince pie,
Glugged the sherry
And we have to share the carrot again.
The sleigh always weighs the same-
As we offload the gifts to make it lighter,
You're piling on the pie pounds.
You should try weightlossresources this year,
I get £20 if a friend I recommend joins by the end of Jan!

Once you've written your poem, why not send it to us to be entered into our competition - You can send via post to: Forward Poetry, Remus House, Coltsfoot Drive, Peterborough PE2 9BF
, or email it to inbox@forwardpoetry.co.uk.

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Forward Poetry's ethos has always been to act as a bridge to publication rather than a barrier. This, along with our passion for poetry and creative writing, has seen a humble family business evolve into the biggest publisher of new poetry in the world. We understand that poetry is subjective, that everyone writes in a different style and that what one person can love, another can hate! Our collections showcase a variety of themes, writing styles and poets from all walks of life. They are carefully edited and compiled to celebrate and complement the craft that all of our contributors enjoy poetry.


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