This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Com Poetry Lessons Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to Poetry
Before we begin to explore the many facets of poetry, it would be wise to understand what poetry is. The meaning of poetry is ever evolving as writers continue to push the envelope with regards to form and structure. The word poetry itself, is derived from the Greek word, poesis, which means creating or making. With this information, one can infer that poetry is the art of using specific literary elements to carefully construct lines or groups of lines of words. We will eventually discuss the many forms of poetry as well as the many literary devices entailed in writing it such as imagery, personification, metaphors, rhyme, meter and so forth. In short, a poem is a piece of writing that contains one or more poetic elements. Before we go further, it is highly recommended that new poets become well acquainted 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, do an online search for literary journals and read some of the poetry that is listed, or go to the library and check out a book of poetry. You can note the difference between contemporary poetry and traditional poetry by looking for those poems you had to read back in school then finding books of poetry by new poets. Find poetry that you like; 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 create well-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 authors names for reference. Then analyze the poems. What were they about? Do you fully understand the meaning? What kind of language did the poets use and how did it affect you?
LiteraryEscape.Com Poetry Lessons Lesson One “Imagery”
Chapter 1. Imagery Images can be created a number of ways in poetry. Here we will discuss the technique 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 from his or her unique perspective, the tone of the poem can be easily recognized by the reader 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 images aren'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 just how striking the use of imagery can be. My Dead Wife (shamefully written by me for the purpose of demonstrating the point of imagery, thank you!) My tears swell as I think of her beauty, Everything reminds me of her, Tears fall from my eyes when Thinking 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 powerful sense:
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 that you 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 the complete feelings. A good practice to enhance the imagery of a poem is to simply brainstorm. Write down 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 details of 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 the room look? If you were alone in this room, what physical body movements might you be doing? What do your hands look like? How is the light shining? These questions are just examples, but you can ask yourself any question--just be complete when describing everything. The reason this practice is valuable is because a poem that stands out is one that uses descriptions that open the readers mind to the objective of 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 animates an inanimate object. For example, "The burnt pine trees stretched their boney fingers to 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 relate to 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 butterflies danced in a circle of wind," but you could use the butterflies and say, “The butterflies kept vigilance of the garden, and they sliced the wind with their wings." For the following words, use personification to describe the objects.
1. The ocean 2. A car 3. The wind 4. An unfinished poem 5. A roach 6. The curtains Example for the above: 1. The ocean sways his hips to the monotonous ohm of the universe. Metaphors can be a useful form of imagery as well. A metaphor is when one object is described as another unlikely object. For example, "A heart is an ocean." A metaphor can be a simple line in a poem used to express the tone, or the entire poem can be a metaphor. Sometimes a metaphor can be used to relay the emotion of something that most people cannot relate to. If the poem is really about being lonely, a metaphor can give the emotion by comparing loneliness to something more easily understood. For the following words, use a metaphor to describe them. 1. The ocean 2. Love 3. Hate 4. Cigarettes 5. Frustration 6. The curtains Example for the above: 6. The curtains are nannies, stepping out each minute to check on our well-being.
A simile is similar to a metaphor, but the difference is that it uses words to describe a likeness instead of saying that the object is something else. For example, "My hands are like spiders feeling for prey." You may easily spot similes by looking for the words, "like" and "as". A poet can use similes to describe something in a way that no one has ever thought to describe it, yet each simile can pull the essence of an image into the reader's mind with great power.
For the following words, use a simile to create a description. 1. The trees 2. The shirt 3. The car 4. The shoes 5. Love 6. The night Example for the above: 2. The shirt wraps around the buxom woman like a jellyfish wrapping its tentacles around its prey. Here is a poem by E.E. Cummings where there is incredibly use of imagery, and an unfounded use of simile and metaphor. See if you can spot them. Maggie and Milly and Molly and May, by E. E. Cummings maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach(to play one day) and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were; and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea
LiteraryEscape.Com Poetry Lessons Lesson Two “Structure”
Chapter 2 Structure There is no definitive structure of a well-written poem. Yet structure can be very important in a poem, and here we stumble upon a possible paradox! We will discuss here the relevance of rhythm and rhyme, and a few unthought of aspects of the structure of poetry. Keep the structure in mind when writing your poem because every little detail that is used when constructing a poem can influence the voice or the tone. One of the most important aspects of poetry is the punctuation. Without proper punctuation, a poem can be difficult to ingest, and this difficulty creates cacophony for the reader. Without proper punctuation, images and ideas can get intertwined, and then the feeling or idea of the poem gets lost. Perhaps with the popularity of poets such as E.E Cummings, amateur poets began forsaking proper punctuation, but without reason. Poetry doesn't have different rules when it comes to punctuation. Use periods at the ends of sentences, and comas where there needs to be a pause. Also, don't pepper your poetry with unnecessary commas; use them as they are intended to be used. Line breaks are also a point of punctuation that causes confusion for many new poets. When pondering when to break a line, especially when dealing with free verse, follow the rule of thumb that says; break the line where there is mental pause, or a sort of exhalation. Other points to ponder when writing poetry are rhythm and rhyme. Lets talk about rhythm first! The rhythm of a poem can affect the tone greatly! If there is a light bouncy rhythm, the poem may seem light hearted and positive, so if the poet wants to convey an angered or dark tone, the bouncy rhythm may need to be left behind. On the other hand, a poet may use the light tone to a serious matter if he is trying to convey an irony--perhaps he or she is trying to convey the way humanity handles certain dark issues. Either way, the rhythm must be carefully scrutinized when writing a poem.
A huge aspect of rhythm is meter. You may already know what this is, and if not, you have probably heard of it, but wonder what it means? Meter is the measure of syllables in a line. Many classical poets used meter. A most famous form of meter is iambic pentameter, which is prevalent in Shakespearian Sonnets. Now we will discuss the intricacies of meter.
Here are some definitions to help us along:
Iambus: A metrical foot in poetry, a step of sorts, where one unaccented syllable is followed by one accented syllable. ( pa DUM)... I saw a girl once made of stone--- pa DUM pa DUM pa DUM pa DUM Trochee: The opposite of iambus, where one accented syllable is followed by one unaccented syllable. (DUM pa) Have you but a flick ered Life? ---DUM pa DUM pa DUM pa DUM Spondee: Two long or stressed syllables, you know, DUM DUM Pyrrhic: Two short unaccented syllables, you know, pa pa.
Anapest: An anapest is a three-syllable foot with the third syllable being the stressed one, like the word "unconcerned". Dactyl: The opposite of an anapest. There are three syllables, but the first of the three is the stressed syllable, like the word, "Matriarch" or "Motherly". You don't need to know these terms, but it helps your credibility as a poet if you can reference them once in a while! When reading poetry, especially classical poetry, take note on the type of "foot" that you see. How does this rhythm affect the tone of the poem? It also helps to know what meter and feet are because your creativity can be greatly expanded if you can work within the lines as well as outside of them. Try your hand at a sonnet for starters. What is a sonnet? Well, a sonnet is a short poem with fourteen lines, usually tensyllable rhyming lines, divided into two, three, or four sections. There are many rhyming patterns for sonnets, and they are usually written in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme for a sonnet is usually abab cdcd efef gg. The last two lines of a sonnet usually create a turn, or a change in evolution of the poem. Keep in mind that good poetry doesn't necessitate metrical writing, but it is a good idea to be well versed (no pun intended) with the different forms of poetry. You'll find that by experimenting with the different structures of poetry, you will become comfortable in writing in your very own unique style.
Here is an example of a sonnet, notice the iambic pentameter, and the rhyme scheme. Sonnet # 3, by William Shakespeare Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest Now is the time that face should form another, Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother. For where is she so fair whose uneared womb Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry? Or who is he so fond will be the tomb Of his self-love to stop posterity? Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee Calls back the lovely April of her prime; So thou through windows of thine age shalt see, Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time. But if thou live, remembered not to be, Die single, and thine image dies with thee. Also, note that the rhyming seems natural. Do not force a rhyme into your poem, for that will severly hinder the overall flow and tone of the poem. Now it is your turn to try your hand at metrical writing, have fun!
LiteraryEscape.Com> Poetry Lessons> Lesson Three “More Structure”
Chapter 3 More Structure
We have covered enough about the overall structure of poetry to at least sound smart when talking about poetry. Here we will go into some more details of the structure of poetry that hover in between the meaning of structure and the meaning of imagery. The first detail we will cover is a fun one, onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the imitation of natural sounds in word form such as "drip drip, kerplunk, and whoosh." Since some of the best poetry conjures images without blatantly describing them, onomatopoeia can be a valuable tool for writers.
Speaking of sound in poetry, one way to conjure a sound in a sort of musical way is the use of alliteration. Alliteration is when there is a repition of first letters of words in a poem. For example, "Bumble bees buzz a blues song." There is alliteration, consonance, and assonance. Consonance is simply the repetition of consonants, whether they are at the beginning or in the middle of a word, for example, " My humble mosaics of harmony are hampered." In that example there is a repition of the "M" sound. Lastly, assonance is simply a repition of a vowel sounds, for example, "My head is heavy with every memory." In that last example, there is a repition of the short "e" sound. The use of alliteration creates a feeling that can enhance the tone of the poem. You can create the feeling of a hastening heartbeat, a tribal dance, a symphony or whatever your poetic heart desires. This form of literary device can prove especially useful in creating a poem that seems very structured but doesn't rhyme.
Read the following poem by Edgar Allen Poe, entitled the Bells. This poem uses alliteration and onomatopoeia quite fervishly. Note the changing voice throughout the poem; the poems begins in an innocent whimsical voice and end in a somber hollow tone.
1849 "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe I Hear the sledges with the bellsSilver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bellsFrom the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. II Hear the mellow wedding bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten-golden notes, And an in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats On the moon! Oh, from out the sounding cells, What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells! How it dwells On the Future! how it tells Of the rapture that impels To the swinging and the ringing Of the bells, bells, bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bellsTo the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! III Hear the loud alarum bellsBrazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How they scream out their affright! Too much horrified to speak, They can only shriek, shriek, Out of tune, In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire, And a resolute endeavor, Now- now to sit or never, By the side of the pale-faced moon. Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells Of Despair! How they clang, and clash, and roar! What a horror they outpour On the bosom of the palpitating air! Yet the ear it fully knows, By the twanging, And the clanging, How the danger ebbs and flows: Yet the ear distinctly tells, In the jangling, And the wrangling, How the danger sinks and swells, By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bellsOf the bellsOf the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bellsIn the clamor and the clangor of the bells! IV
Hear the tolling of the bellsIron Bells! What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright At the melancholy menace of their tone! For every sound that floats From the rust within their throats Is a groan. And the people- ah, the peopleThey that dwell up in the steeple, All Alone And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stoneThey are neither man nor womanThey are neither brute nor humanThey are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, Rolls A paean from the bells! And his merry bosom swells With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells; Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the paean of the bellsOf the bells: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bellsOf the bells, bells, bellsTo the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bellsOf the bells, bells, bells: To the tolling of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bellsBells, bells, bells-
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells. LiteraryEscape.Com> Poetry Lessons> Lesson Four “Voice”
Chapter 4. Voice
Don't write me in that tone of voice! Well that may sound funny, but there is something quite pertinent in that statement when talking about poetry. The way a poem comes out, its voice can be whimsical, angry, sad, pensive. When writing a poem, the rhyme scheme, the rhythm, the imagery, and even the punctuation can have a dramatic affect on how the reader perceives the tone of the poem. When speaking of tone, think of the imagery or literary devices doing all the work. You don't have to write, "I want to cry," you can convey this feeling by writing what you see in your own perspective. Let me brainstorm here; ah yes, a simple object: a lamp. Okay, I know that we wouldn't ordinarily include a lamp in our poetry for the purpose of creating a deep image, but bear with me!
As an exercise...ba ba da dum....A Lamp!
For the following emotions, describe the lamp as you might see it if you felt these emotions: There are no rules; you don't have to be poetic, but be completely Creative!!!
1. Sadness 2.Lonliness 3. Happiness 4. Anger 5. Indifference 6. In love
Here is my example for number 4. The lamp is throwing a searing burning light upon my skin. It burns me; boils my blood. Its sharp condescending light blinds my eyes.
Now do you see how imagery can affect the tone? Use your perspective of things in your poem (the setting) to say "I'm sad, lonely, happy, angry...etc." How you describe these objects, these fancies, will effect the reader's interpretation of the attitude of the poem.
Keep also in mind the structure of a poem. A bouncy rhyming rhythmic poem may not fare so well to convey dark and sorrowful feelings. A slow crescendo of rhythm, a carefully thought out rhyme may give way to darkness.
To end this lesson, I leave you with a poem by one of my favorite authors. Take careful note of the tone of voice used in this poem. Can you imagine what kind of facial expressions might accompany this poem? Does the voice sound angry? Does the voice sound desperate or strong? Is this poem written from the author's point of view, or from some other point of view?
Still I Rise By Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
LiteraryEscape.Com> Poetry Lessons> Lesson Five “Open and Closed Form Poetry”
Chapter 5 “Open and Closed Forms”
As a poet begins to tailor his or her poem, he or she may consider the overall purpose, and that purpose will guide him or her in deciding what finished form the poem will take. If there is a definitive conclusion, and the poet decides to use a specific pattern, such as meter or rhyme, the form will take on what is known as closed form. Open form evolves as the poem grows, with the lines shortening or lengthening as the poet sees fit. Spaces and stanza length take for as poet writes in an open form poem.
Most modern poetry is written in open form. While closed form is not a very common occurrence in modern poetry, having a good feel for the structure can give a poet a deeper appreciation of the art as well as help him or her to use specified techniques when writing a poem.
Here is an open formed poem by Ronald Gross (b. 1935)
Yield. No Parking. Unlawful to Pass. Wait for Green Light. Yield.
Narrow Bridge. Merging Traffic Ahead Yield.
Do an Internet search of "online literary journals" or for "online poetry journals," and then read the poetry that is published. This is a good way to witness the prevalence of the opened form poetry. If you read many of their submission guidelines, you may also note that many of them tend to ask that poets to not submit rhyming poetry. Odd, don't you think, since many of us were taught in grade school that poetry rhymes!
Then, read poetry by John Keats, Shakespeare, or Elizabeth Barret Browning. Take note of the language, the meter and the rhyme.
Here are some definitions to inspire poetic awareness:
Couplet: This is a two-line stanza that usually rhymes. Normally, the lines are equal in length, but they can be any desired length. Example: Birds can fly, Why can't I?
Closed Couplet: This is a couplet written in iambic pentameter (you remember what that is right? Hint. Chapter 2), The first line ends in a light pause, while the second line ends with a heavier stop. Example: From "The Parish Register, by George Crabbe
"Brought by strong passions and a warrant there: By long rent cloak, hung loosely, strove the bride,"
A group of three lines that keeps to one rhyme sound.
Terza rima: ded, efe, Etc.
A tercets linked together by the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc,
For exercise, write a couplet about anything your heart desires, then uses open form to explore the topic! Have fun!
LiteraryEscape.Com> Poetry Lessons> Lesson six “Symbolism”
Chapter 6 “Symbolism”
A good poet has a strong command of the language he or she is using to write a poem. He or she will know the exact definitions of the words used in the poem, but will also know the connotations of those very words. Why would a symbol be so important in a poem? The answer to that question is the same as the reason any literary device can be important to the poem. Poetry is more than just saying something straightly; it gives the reader a feeling or a vision that is conducive to the theme about which the poet is writing.
Here is a poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
In the poem by Robert Frost, what connotations do fire and ice have? How do these images affect the tone of the poem? What do they mean?
A poem by Timothy Steele also uses symbolic imagery.
Here lies Sir Tact, a diplomatic fellow Whose silence was not golden, but just yellow.
What connotations do the words "golden" and "yellow" have?
For exercise, write a poem about being lonely, but write symbolically. Be creative and have fun! Remember to try to incorporate some of the aspects of imagery we have already learned about. t is to show us something new.
Remember, the theme is: Being LonelyLiteraryEscape.Com> Poetry Lessons> Lesson seven “(How to) Critique Poetry”
Chapter 7 “(How to) Critique Poetry”
Learning to give a valuable critique to someone else's poem can give you the foundation you will need in order to more successfully evaluate and revise you own poetry. Firstly, when dealing with critique, the question hangs over us, "How can one tell if a poem is good or bad?" Well, for our idealistic hearts, there may not exist such a thing as bad poetry, but flawed poetry. So what do we look for? In general, before we dissect a poem in to a thousand pieces of words and lines, all we have to do is read it and digest it. How does the poem sit on our conscience? A poem may unwittingly conjure a sense of humor, even though the poet is serious. A poem may have imagery that doesn’t make sense: mixed metaphors, or a poem may simply be written with common and dry language.
A good poet will have a heightened awareness of the effect a poem will have on its readers. The words used as imagery should be carefully chosen so that the desired impact is rendered. Here is a line from the book An Introduction to Poetry, by X. J. Kennedy showing that one word can adversely affect the smoothness of a line. "Come into the tent, my love, and close the flap." ( 238). The last word of that sentence is hard on the mind.
Rhyme and Structure
Now there is the question of open and closed form poetry. In closed form, where there is a set metrical, or rhythmic pattern, there are times when the poet, in disparity to fit a statement into the structure, fails to follow a smooth flow. There is one especially common structural malady that poets often use when trying to fit words into a rhyme scheme: a poetic inversion. A poetic inversion is when a poet, in order to create a rhyming line, will invert the usual syntax of a sentence.
Here is a short poem with a poetic inversion:
This was quite a lovely day, When on my lawn the apples lay.
The normal syntax of the second line would normally read "When apples lay on my lawn."
Rhyme seems to be a huge mental block for many poets who insist on using a rhymed structure. Another quite common phenomenon is when poets who are using rhyme add extraneous statements or redundant statements in order to fit the rhyme into the poem. Every statement should be intended. If you cannot come up with a rhyme that purely fits the poem, try re-writing the poem in free verse.
Common Ineptitude in Poetry
With the flourishing advance of technology, it has become easier than ever to publish our works for the world to see. The only problem is that the deal of putting poetry out into cyber space is a much more sought after hobby than reading the works that our floating out there! If one took the time to read not only the more advance works of modern poetry, but also the novice works of poetry, one might stumble upon some common occurrences. In many of the amateur poems on the Internet there seems to be many poetic flaws that can be pointed out. Here, we will point out a few so that you can learn to avoid using them when writing, and you can learn to spot them when giving a critique to another poet.
New inept poetry seems to easily be labeled by some similar occurrences. One attribute that is common among the novice poets is poetry that is arduously written in conventional diction. "'twas love, that for once stirred o'er thy heart." This kind of
poetry usually dims the imagery and seems to emphasize the diction more readily than substance or incredible awareness of the audience.
Also, we will kind of go back to words here. Many unseasoned poets thoughtlessly employ the uses of abstract and hollow words such as love, beauty, life, death time, eternity, darkness. The poems with theses abstractions tend to lead into simple preaches or platitudes, (X. J. Kennedy, 239).
Speaking of abstractions, another form of common poetic ineptitude seems to follow a pattern of the ultra contemporary abstract art! For example:
Rotten flesh rips MY @# love into
the curve night... Oh
The above example seems only to prove something to the poet who wrote it.
A common thought on the purpose of poetry is that it is meant for us to share our emotions. It certainly can be such a thing, but a poem must employ the proper literary devices in order for us to share that common ground. When pouring emotions into a poem, keep in mind what Keith Waldrop once said, "a bad poem is always sincere." You may notice this occurrence when stumbling upon emotional poetry. Sometimes, it becomes especially difficult to approach the poet with a constructive criticism because it may be very apparent that he or she has had a lot of emotional ties to the poem. Here, we must tread lightly--but firmly! What do we look for? Well, in a good poem, the images and the literary devices should speak for themselves. A good poet should not have to write, "A tear falls down my face," or "I want to cry", or even, "I am hurt, angered, sad, amused...." Generalities, generally, need not be written. In order for us to share the experience, the imagery should put us in the mix of things. Simply telling us how sad the point of view is will not bring us to utter understanding.
In General, The Most Simple Points
In general, poetry should use words that have never been used before to explain a certain sentiment. "Love is beautiful..." ewe! Some of the best poetry brings us to a new awareness. Keep in mind the theme can be very important as well as the imagery and sentimentality of a poem. Ask, "Is this a fresh idea?" We see poetry that preaches commons sense values, but great poems may show us something new and enlightening! At the very least, if the theme is an age-old theme, the poet should offer an unfounded perspective. Refrain from stating the obvious, "spring is a time for renewal." We know this fact. The job of the poeChapter 8 “Types of Poetry”
It is a great idea to experiment with the different forms of poetry. Below you will find only a few, but some of the most popular forms of poetry.
Acrostic poetry Acrostic poems differ from other poetry in that the first letter of each line spells a word, which can be read vertically. The rhyme scheme and number of lines may vary in acrostic poems because it is more of a descriptive poem in which one describes the word being spelled.
Ballad A ballad is a simple poem with short verses. It often tells a story about people that you would read about in folk tales. Ballads were told to people long before they were written down. They were about revenge, crime and love. They were often turned into songs, the singers usually wandering minstrels. Ballad "The Death of Ben Hall" Blank verse This kind of poetry is essentially the unrhymed counterpart of many types of poems written in a very specific meter. For example, you could write a sonnet with perfect iambic pentameter, but forsake the rhyme. The benefit of this is that the poet does not have to worry about fitting lines into rhyme and creating a coerced sounding image, yet the poem remains very structured.
Cinquain A Cinquain is a short, unrhymed poem consisting of twenty-two syllables distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, in five lines.
The most popular form is as follows:
Line 1: Noun
Line 2: Description of Noun Line 3: Action Line 4: Feeling or Effect Line 5: Synonym of the initial noun.
Epic An Epic is a long narrative poem celebrating the adventures and achievements of a hero...epics deal with the traditions, mythical or historical, of a nation.
examples: Beowulf, The Iliad and the Odyssey, and Aeneid
Epigram Epigrams are short satirical poems ending with either a humorous retort or a stinging punchline. Narrative poetry This is poetry that tells a story; it relays a particular event or happening and is usually a very long story. Narrative poems : "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by Robert Browning, "The Owl and the Pussy Cat" by Edward Lear, "The Man From Snowy River" by Banjo Patterson. Free Verse This is poetry that doesn't follow any set pattern. It doesn't rhyme and there is no definite beat or rhythm to the sound of the words. This form of poetry is the most popular form in contemporary literature.
Kyrielle A Kyrielle is a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains
(a stanza consisting of 4 lines), and each quatrain contains a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. There is no limit to the amount of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum.
Some popular rhyming schemes for a Kyrielle are:
aabB, ccbB, ddbB, with B being the repeated line, or abaB, cbcB, dbdB.
Mixing up the rhyme scheme is possible for an unusual pattern of: axaZ, bxbZ, czcZ, dxdZ, etc. with Z being the repeated line.
Kyrielle Sonnet A Kyrielle Sonnet consists of 14 lines (three rhyming quatrain stanzas and a non-rhyming couplet). Just like the traditional Kyrielle poem, the Kyrielle Sonnet also has a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the Kyrielle Sonnet consists of only eight syllables. French poetry forms have a tendency to link back to the beginning of the poem, so common practice is to use the first and last line of the first quatrain as the ending couplet. This would also re-enforce the refrain within the poem. Therefore, a good rhyming scheme for a Kyrielle Sonnet would be:
AabB, ccbB, ddbB, AB -or- AbaB, cbcB, dbdB, AB.
Limericks These are humorous rhyming poems of five lines. Usually the first two lines and the last line are longer, and the third and fourth lines are short. The normal rhymes scheme is a a b b a. An example from Edward Lear: There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said: "It is just as I feared! Two Owls and a Hen, Four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!"
Minute Poetry The Minute Poem is rhyming verse form that consists of 12 lines of 60 syllables written in strict iambic meter. The poem is formatted into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4; 8,4,4,4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is as follows: aabb, ccdd, eeff
Monorhyme A Monorhyme is a poem in which all the lines have the same end rhyme. Nonsense Poetry These are poems that are whimsical or funny because they are full of absurd, or abstract things that don't usually happen. These poems usually contain words that writer invented. Lewis Carroll is somewhat famous for this kind of poem. Ode An Ode is a poem praising and glorifying a person, place or thing.
Shape Poetry -Shape Poetry is also called Concrete Poetry-
Structure and shape of the written word delineates prose from Poetry. One of the most innovative forms of poetry is for the poem to take on the shape of its subject. For example, if the subject of your poem is a star, the poem would be shaped like a star.
Start with a simple shape. This can be a creative beginning. If you conjure an easy shape to master, your poetry can follow the shape.
I cast upon The roaring winds a diamond sewn of cloth. The spinning Earth A subtle force Breathing. For my quest. ride the sky. fly fly up up up
Septuplet The Septuplet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.
Used mainly as expressions of social criticism or political satire, the most common forms are written as a couplet: a pair of rhymed lines in the same meter.
Practioners of this poetic expression include John Dunne, Ben Jonson, William Blake and Robert Frost.
tanka a form of poetry also known as short form. One verse of 31 syllables in 5 lines arranged 5-7-5-7-7. This is a style uniquely Japanese and was to remain the most popular until the 16th century. choka a form of poetry related to the tanka, otherwise known as long form. It also has 5-7 lines but is indefinite in length. It was usually reserved for elegies. renga also called the linked poem. Toward the end of the end of the Heian period (794-1185) it was becoming increasing popular for poets to divide a single tanka
poem into two parts. Both parts related to a single image or theme. When two poets composed a single tanka this became known as the renga.
haiku is a poem composed of three lines totaling seventeen syllables. Line 1: 5 syllables, Line 2: 7 syllables, Line 3: 5 syllables.
Bibliography references include:
Writing Poetry by Shelley Tucker copyright © 1992, published by GoodYearBooks
An Introduction to Poetry Sixth Edition by X. J Kennedy copyright © 1986 Published by Little, Brown and Company
Orca's Poetry Pointersat http://members.aol.com/lucyhardng/pointers/form7.htm#top by Al Rocheleau Copyright © 1998 Shadow Poetry at http://shadowpoetry.com/types.html Copyright © 2000-2003 Shadow Poetry English Online at http://english.unitecnology.ac.nz/resources/units/poetry/poetry.html Copyright © Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand <map><area><area></map><img>
LiteraryEscape.Com> Poetry Lessons> Lesson ten “Miscellaneous Exercises”
Chapter 10 Miscellaneous Exercises
This is the best part of these tutorials! Doing these little exercises can help you to find and develop your poetic voice. Have a blast!
A. Parody Poetry: A parody poem is when you re-write a well know poem following the same structure. Hmm. Do you see how this can be poetically helpful? You will learn structure, and you will learn style! Aside from those aspects, you will also become well acquainted with great poetry. A parody is often a humorous rendition, but you can be ironic, or add a different twist to the poem. You poem can prove to be very profound. For example, you can do a parody of beat poet, Carl Sandburg's Chicago, by writing about a very rural town. So a parody can either be serious or humorous, either way, you will be stretching your creative molecules line for line.
Write a parody of the following poems.
1. This is Just to Say William Carlos Williams
I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox
and which you were probably saving for breakfast
Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold
2. Fog Carl Sandburg
The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city on silver haunches and then moves on.
3. Aerial Rock--Whose Solitary Brow William Wordsworth From this low threshold daily meets my sight; When I step forth to hail the morning light; Or quit the stars with a lingering farewell--how Shall Fancy pay to thee a grateful vow?
How, with the Muse's aid, her love attest? --By planting on thy naked head the crest Of an imperial Castle, which the plough Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme! That doth presume no more than to supply A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity. Rise, then, ye votive Towers! and catch a gleam Of golden sunset, ere it fade and die.
B. Found Poetry: Found poetry, in its pure form, is poetry taken from another source of literature. The literature includes, but is not limited to magazine articles, news articles, even street signs. The rules of found poetry are that you can rearrange, delete, or edit the content you find, but you cannot add any words.
1. Find an article on something in which you are really interested, such as music, science, religion, and write a found poem.
C. Different perspectives: Sometimes in poetry, poets take on the perspective of someone or something else. Doing this helps to develop that unique awareness that poetry is so famous for.
Choose one of the following people or things and write a poem from that perspective.
1. The President
2. A cat 3. The Earth 4. A pencil 5. A newborn baby 6. A house 7. A mountain 8. A tree
D. Asking Nature: Many poets find their muses in nature. Nature holds many metaphors and images that are easy to elicit. In a poem, you can ask something in nature a question, and write what a response might be. "I ask the trees if they could feel....." "They replied, only when you hurt us."
Choose one of the topics below to ask a question, then answer the question from the point of view of the topic you chose.
1. Tree 2. Ocean 3. Wind 4. Mars 5. Rain 6. Clouds 7. Garden 8. Island 9. River 10. mountain
11. Everglades 12. Desert 13. Stars 14. Sun 15. Fire 16. Dandelion
E. Detail: You'll find many words of advice concerning the detail of a poem. The way a poet describes something is sometimes sufficient enough to relate the theme of a poem. The better the detail, the less necessary it is to write out a feeling, for example, "I am sad," or "I am angry".
Choose one of the subjects below and write an extremely detailed poem about that subject. Do not include feelings. Rely on the details to create the mood of the poem.
1. a lake 3. a street 4. a mountain 5. a bar 6. a car 7. food 8. flowers 9. a stranger 10. a room
11. night sounds
F. Verbs: Don't take my word for it, but the use of specific verbs in a poem can have dramatic effect on its tone. Abstract words, in poetry, can do all sorts of things. Thoughts can jump, whistle, sing, swing, and skip, plunge, dive and sting. As a poet, you can show your emotions through the choice of verbs you choose to use. "I am happy," can be seen in the line, "I float on feathery toes," or "I dance the jitter bug." The actions in poetry can show emotions with a much better impact than simply stating them.
Choose one of the following sentences and write a short poem using action verbs to illustrate the meaning of the sentence.
1. He is lucky. 2. I am happy. 3. My life is great. 4. She is honest. 5. I am tired. 6. He was angry. 7. The room was hot. 8. The water was cold.
Example, using number 8.
I tiptoed to the edge of the pool, slithered my toe beneath the thin film of the water.
I snatched my toes back as though to save them from the venomous strike of a snake <map><area><area></map><img>
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.