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Poetry Lesson

Poetry Lesson

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Published by: LadySekhmet1st on Feb 14, 2010
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LiteraryEscape.Com Poetry LessonsIntroduction to Poetry
Introduction to Poetry
 Before we begin to explore the many facets of poetry, it would be wise to understandwhat poetry is. The meaning of poetry is ever evolving as writers continue to pushthe envelope with regards to form and structure. The word poetry itself, is derivedfrom the Greek word, poesis, which means creating or making. With thisinformation, one can infer that poetry is the art of using specific literary elements tocarefully construct lines or groups of lines of words. We will eventually discuss themany forms of poetry as well as the many literary devices entailed in writing it suchas imagery, personification, metaphors, rhyme, meter and so forth. In short, a poem isa piece of writing that contains one or more poetic elements.Before we go further, it is highly recommended that new poets become wellacquainted with poetry. It is beneficial for any writer to become an avid reader, for to become adept at any skill, one should be well acquainted with that skill. To start, doan online search for literary journals and read some of the poetry that is listed, or go tothe library and check out a book of poetry. You can note the difference betweencontemporary poetry and traditional poetry by looking for those poems you had toread back in school then finding books of poetry by new poets. Find poetry that youlike; take note of what exactly it was that affected you most about those certain poems. You will find that the more poetry you read, the easier it is for you to createwell-crafted poetry.For practice, find poetry by established contemporary poets, and find anthologies of classical poetry. In a journal or notebook, write one or two poems from a classical poet and from a contemporary poet that you completely enjoyed. Write the authorsnames for reference. Then analyze the poems. What were they about? Do you fullyunderstand the meaning? What kind of language did the poets use and how did itaffect you?
LiteraryEscape.Com Poetry LessonsLesson One “Imagery”
Chapter 1. Imagery
 Images can be created a number of ways in poetry. Here we will discuss thetechnique of writing a poem that creates visual images unique to the perspective of the poet. When a poet uses descriptive words to describe simple objects or settings fromhis or her unique perspective, the tone of the poem can be easily recognized by thereader without the trite language of concretely writing "this is how I feel, or think."When using imagery in a poem avoid cliché language and use pure descriptions.Also, dig deeper into what you see and avoid vague descriptions such as beautiful,dark, lonely, Etc. Be aware that when dealing with imagery in poetry, the imagesaren't necessarily visions created to the reader, but senses, be it sound, smell, or simply an eerie feeling.Read the following poem then compare it to the poem by Taniguchi Buson to see justhow striking the use of imagery can be.My Dead Wife (shamefully written by me for the purpose of demonstrating the pointof imagery,
thank you!)
 My tears swell as I think of her beauty,Everything reminds me of her,Tears fall from my eyes whenThinking of her soft skin and eyes azure.Her belongings taunt me,They fill me with despair,She was in my arms, Now she is as solid as this frigid air.
Here is the poem written by Taniguchi Buson, (cerca 1760) which creates a powerfulsense:
The Piercing Chill I feel
 The piercing chill I feel:my dead wife's comb, in our bedroom,under my heel...---Translated by Harold G. Henderson.Did you notice how incredibly simple the poem was, yet how eerie the sense is thatyou almost feel the cold as a corpse comb under your foot? When writing a poem,imagery can convey thoughts or images with much more impact that writing out thecomplete feelings.A good practice to enhance the imagery of a poem is to simply brainstorm. Writedown all the thoughts, words, and images you think of before your write your poem.Say for example, you are writing a poem about being lonely. Write down the detailsof the setting. Ask and answer the following questions. What are you wearing?Where are you? What does the room look like? How do the simple objects of theroom look? If you were alone in this room, what physical body movements mightyou be doing? What do your hands look like? How is the light shining? Thesequestions are just examples, but you can ask yourself any question--just be completewhen describing everything. The reason this practice is valuable is because a poemthat stands out is one that uses descriptions that open the readers mind to the objectiveof the poem without telling the reader directly.There are different forms of imagery with which a poet can experiment such as personification, metaphor, similes, Etc. Personification is when the writer animatesan inanimate object. For example, "The burnt pine trees stretched their boney fingersto the clouds." Here the image of the pine trees give a desperate feeling to them.Personification is a valuable tool because being humans, we have a tendency to relateto body language and emotion that mimics our own actions. When using personification, be fully aware of how the imagery affects the tone of the poem. If you are trying to convey a dark feeling, you wouldn't uses images like "The butterfliesdanced in a circle of wind," but you could use the butterflies and say, “The butterflieskept vigilance of the garden, and they sliced the wind with their wings."For the following words, use personification to describe the objects.

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