As a novice writer of poetry, I am eager to grow in my understanding of that mysterious line between complete abandon within freedom of expression, and writing which acknowledges standards on what actually makes a poem “good,” set by those who have gone before.

One particular form of expression I have been enjoying is pairing my poetry with my own original artwork images, so that together the words and the image are one unified work of art. (I am not describing a “meme” or “inspirational saying” like what you see on Pinterest. Rather these are compositions which are the sum of their parts.)

I am not asking if this is right or wrong, as there of course is no such thing in self expression, especially if the poetry is just for myself and not for publication. Rather, my question is, am I helping myself on the path toward becoming a Poet who writes well and is interested in becoming a published writer? Is this ever done by well-known, respected poets? Do any of you Poets here on Stack Exchange ever do this?

  • 6
    Blake en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake
    – NofP
    Feb 22, 2019 at 19:51
  • 1
    Excellent example - both a find artist and a brilliant poet, some of his works merged seamlessly
    – Rasdashan
    Feb 22, 2019 at 20:32
  • This isn't an actual answer to your question, but something to be aware of. Ekphrastic writing, where (for example) you write a poem based on or inspired by a painting. I've heard this in reference to writing based on someone else's painting but writing inspired on your own would probably count. It sounds like you are writing and drawing where the two media are interactive, so this isn't exactly what you are doing, but ekphrastic work is definitely a thing that is done. Also, i believe the terms refers to any work of art based on art of another type (song based on a novel, for example). Jun 13, 2019 at 15:33

3 Answers 3


To answer your questions.

  1. Some famous poets have paired their poems with their own artwork (e.g. William Blake).
  2. Most of the famous poets in textbooks don't (or at least not to the level that they would be known for both).

If the work is just for yourself, then by all means continue along the path that pleases you most. If your goal is to improve, then it is possible that by spreading your efforts in trying to improve both your writing and your drawing you are hindering your progress in both.

Focus on the form of expression that is most important for you. At this stage, the other should be regarded more of a tool to keep your inspiration active. This, of course, barring the case in which your figurative art is part of your poetry, e.g.

Horse on a glass roof



(*apologies, I forgot the author, and I am not too sure about the literal translation of the title)


Many poets pair their artwork with their prose, probably the most notable is Rupi Kaur in her bestselling poetry collection Milk and Honey. Here, here, and here are some examples of her poetry and art combinations. Many poets and artists, including myself, when handwriting will often add art alongside their poetry to emphasize something or just add some aestheticism.

Kaur isn't the first or only one to do this; a lot of young people on places like Tumblr do the same thing.

There are no rules to poetry and if what feels right for your writing is to pair it with your art, then go right ahead. I don't see any reason why a publisher would turn you down for that.


I can't answer the question of if it's going to help you become an established poet, because I'm not that.

I am an artist tho, and I combine poems with illustrations as well! You might want to look broader than just becoming an established poet, if your artwork is good enough you can also exhibition them alongside with the poems!

I'm planning on doing exactly that this year with my series, is this similar to what you mean? https://thebluepangolin.com/gallery/the-humanity-series/

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