5 Tools to Format Your Poems During National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! Some people celebrate by participating in NaPoWriMo, writing 30 poems for 30 days. Whether you’re a seasoned poet or new to this month-long challenge, these five tools in your post editor can help you format and publish your poems.

Highlight with a blockquote

Use a blockquote to distinguish text, whether you want to call out multiple poems within a post or simply want to highlight text in a visual way.

Pulling the internet drip
out of my arm
I realize
all these streams
are full of nothing

To display a poem in a blockquote as shown above, place the text inside <blockquote> and </blockquote> tags in your HTML Editor, or by clicking the blockquote button in your Visual Editor:

Each theme displays blockquotes differently, so preview it on your site to see how it looks. You can also preview many elements of a theme, including blockquotes, on its live demo in the theme showcase.

Add extra line breaks

Play with space by adding line breaks between your text. By default, the Visual Editor leaves one blank line between each paragraph, but sometimes — especially with poetry or experimental prose — you may want more space between them.

Let’s type
a poem like this—
dancing across lines
hopping and leaping,
spreading the love.

To create a line break, insert &nbsp; in your HTML Editor where you’d like a space to appear. For example, if you want three line breaks — as shown above — add this code three times:


Line breaks create visual and mental pauses in a poem. Note that if, after adding the spaces, you click back to the Visual Editor before publishing or updating your post, those spaces will be stripped out and you’ll need to reinsert the code again.

Align your text

In the top row of your Visual tab, there are three ways to align selected text. Look for the three icons that resemble lines of a paragraph — hover over them to see options to Align left, Align center, and Align right. In the following poem, we’ve selected text and clicked the Align center button to place the four lines in the center of the post.

Indent or outdent your text

When creating a post, you can indent or outdent text, pushing it further to the right or left. It’s another way to play with formatting and space:

Don’t you love the dance of words on the page?

Click increase indent once to move your words forward

and twice to jump even further

and even more, into the future.

Or click Decrease indent to return to where you began

and stay calm in this place

for another quiet moment

if you prefer.

In the second row of your Visual tab, look for the Decrease indent and Increase indent buttons in the center of the toolbar:

Change the text color

Want to experiment with the text without playing with formatting? Try changing the color of your text.

Perched over a tiny screen,
staring into the glow of the world,
like a presence in the clouds,
creating and uncreating with a click.

Highlight the word or passage you’d like to change, then click the down arrow next to the text color button (the “A” icon) to open the color picker tool. Select a shade from the palette, or click Custom for a more refined search or to enter a six-digit color code.

Ready to take your site to the next level? Get unlimited access to premium themes, take advantage of the payment button, use custom CSS, and much more with a WordPress.com Premium plan.

Compare our plans


March 29, 2018Inspiration, Poetry, ,