On Writing Poetry

Leda and the Swan

The purpose of this blog section is for those that not only enjoy reading but also enjoy writing poetry. From time to time I will make a post in this section containing some information that I think would be helpful toward that goal. There is one important fact to get out of the way, right at the onset, and that is that there are no rules in poetry, but there is a long and vibrant tradition. A tradition I personally think gives grounding to a person interested in writing poetry, where without it they might other wisely feel adrift.

The topics covered in the part of the blog will range from the basic elements of poetry, to simile, metaphor, personification, apostrophe, metonymy, and more. We will touch on Symbol and Allegory as part of a more advanced look at figurative language. In the area of figurative language, we will also have to look at paradox, overstatement, understatement, and irony. Lastly, we will go over some thoughts on reading a poem and have a look at tone. There might be no rhyme or reason for how I tackle these subjects, and that is just because of time constraints. I will do my best to provide a usable link system, however. In fact, I will stick this post to the top and turn the words in this post into links as we go. Now, the above things are not all things to cover, there are also musical devices like rhythm and meter, sound and meaning, pattern, etc.

My Blog Post – On Writing Better Poems and poetry

About Poetry – Part 1

I want to give some background to the power a poetry, in this case a sonnet, can contain with in it. First, we will have to break down what a sonnet is. A sonnet comes in one of four primary versions. Each of these contain a different rhyming structure, which I will later post a blog about, but all sonnets traditional will have 14 lines of what is called iambic pentameter.

Another side of Poetry

Before beginning the second post on great poetry, I want to take the time to talk a little about myself. About ten years ago, slightly more, I made a conscious derision to stop writing, thinking, or doing anything to do with poetry. This was not because I did not want to write it,

About Poetry – Part 2.a

The first thing about sound within a line of poetry, that either is or is not being carried over to the next line of poetry via end-stopping (punctuation or some other method) or enjambment (the way the line is broken and carried over to the next line), is that its most basic building block is that of the syllable.

About Poetry – Part 2.b

Sounds are the basis of poetry, not the pursuit of some glorious combination of them, but sounds as just a reality. The fact that it is an inexplicable reality should make us want to learn about sounds, because not wanting to is like being a blindfolded painter. A blind painter would be more respected, than someone who has no desire to lift an ear to poetry fully conscious of its fleeting sounds.

Alliteration, Assonance, and Consonance

Alliteration, assonance, and consonance The Raven – Edgar Allen Poe “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tappingContinue reading “Alliteration, Assonance, and Consonance”

The Long and Short of Poetry

The long and short of sounds within poetry, is that they can be used to slow or speed up the time within poetry. Long vowel sounds slow down a line of poetry, which can be used to make it sound more somber.

Sound and Meaning Within Poetry

If you look for an answer as to “what is poetry” you are liable to find too many answers to be easily able to answer this question. For me though, there are a few things that define the difference between poetry and prose. One of those is a heightened attention to sound and rhythm. As in my last post we are going to explore further into how sound can contribute to meaning within poetry.

Personification as a Poetic Device

In it’s most simple form personification is a poetic device where animals, plants or even inanimate objects, are given human qualities. I said simple because, in it’s basic form, if we imagine a rabbit hunting with a 4-10 shotgun that is personification, and that is a fairly simple idea.

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