Notes On Writing Poetry

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Prelude to Notes On Writing Poetry 9-26-06

    INTRODUCTION/Mission Statement

    Greetings P&Q Members,

    What I hope to do in this topic/forumn is cover a varietry of the aspects of poetry.From simple plain spoken advice/suggestions(the basics) to the more technical aspects like definitions of poetic terms/forms(for those wishing to learn more, to expand their horizons), markets and how/where to get published, etc.I am asking those all members to post things that could benefit others.Including such things as advice on certain forms,tips on breaking writer's block, recommended reading, and also personal writing habits(I've found people like to read about not only advice/suggestions but also the personal writing/working habits of different writers),like what time of day you write, do you have a favorite place(inside or outside, even more specific), do you listen to music while you write,when you first started writing,do you write rough drafts on the computer or with pen and paper,do you revise rough drafts or leave it as is,have you been published,what your influences were(other poets, writers, songwriters, etc.), is solitude necesary to you or not, what compels you to write,emotions, passion, to get an idea or meaning across, do you write for yourself or with someone in mind,how and when you started writing, writing as therapy or release,do you have a preferred form /style(sonnets, rhyme, free verse, haiku, etc.) and why, writing exercises, any other advice(personal or technical) and mostly what poetry means to you.Any advice to newcomers and established poets alike.I hope to hear/see postings from those popular and more experienced/knowledgable on the site as well as those newer members who have something to add.I welcome and appreciate any comments along these lines from any and all P&Q members-everyone has something to say.So if anyone can add anything at all along these lines, please do so.I feel it would very much benefit others, and we may just learn a bit about ourselves in the process.....

    Thank you.

    Gary Jurechka

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    Greetings,

    I have had many requests from numerous P&Q members for advice/tips, etc. and have wrote a mini-essay/guideline/notes on various aspects of poetry writing,(though quite lengthy) which I am reprinting below.Anyone who can add anything to this, please contact me.I appreciate the many thanks recieved from those I've sent this to and glad I could help.
    Take care,

    Gary Jurechka

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    NOTES ON WRITING POETRY:
    Advice, Suggestions, Breaking Writer's Block, Exercises,Tips, Etc.

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    Hello,
    Enclosed are some thoughts, suggestions, advice, exercises, notes on poetry writing.I have some more things to add yet to this article/essay/whatever, but here is the gist of it.

    Gary Jurechka

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    First off, here is some tips/advice from a good friend, Wayne Wilkinson(poet/editor of EARSPANK(poetry on cassette)/artist) who I helped out in the 90's.He speaks more eloquently than I.

    Following are my own tips/advice/exercises/suggestions.I hope you can get something out of this.

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    WAYNE WILKINSON:

    Writing poetry is one of the human arts. Poetry has been here to tempt you, and to have you fall into its delightful claws. There isn’t a blink in time where you have never been captivated enough not to fall into at least one poem. Take the time to read a few poems here and there. You will be amazed at how relaxing and mind craving it is. You may even grab your own thoughts and begin to write a poem yourself, after you read several. Poetry is kind of like a chain reaction; it makes you think and makes you want more. Sometimes your own poetry can do the same thing to you depending upon how well you write. Many poets in time didn’t start off writing so clearly, so intelligently. They had to master their poetry just like anyone else. It takes time, it takes practice, it takes learning about it; understand what you are going to do. Not just what you are going to write about. Relax, clear your mind of worries, lock or block out everything else around you and begin to write.

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    How to interpret five common criticisms on poetry.

    Writing poetry is like any other creative endeavor- the work itself will always seem to be in a state of flux for the creator. It's perfectly natural for a writer to seek outside opinions before beginning the sometimes painful task of revising and honing the piece. Most of the time these opinions are constructive and useful, but occasionally the comments will have a negative or meanspirited connotation. Deciding which is which is usually up to the writer himself, but it helps to have a full understanding of the peculiar lingo that poets have developed over the years when asked to critique the work of others. Here are five of the most common criticisms a beginning writer may receive from professional critics, and how to interpret them for maximum benefit.

    1. "Tighten the lines". The freeverse poetry form did free poets from all those restrictions imposed by formal verse, but that doesn't mean that they are free to do whatever they want. Good freeverse poetry depends on a delicate balance of tension and release. Poets accomplish this by varying the length of each line to either create a very terse combination of words or loosen the tension through longer lines. If your poem has received a criticism that mentions 'tightening', the critic feels that your present lines do not create enough tension to sustain reader interest. The quick fix for this situation is to simply chop the lines into bite-sized pieces, but that is not the best fix. What you need to do is re-examine the poem from a standpoint of stronger and weaker words. You want to break the lines in such a way that the more concrete words (nouns, verbs) get the strongest emphasis, i.e. placement at the beginning of the line. Other words which are weaker grammatically (articles, prepositions, most adjectives) should never be given undue strength by opening the line. Learning how to break lines effectively is a challenge for any writer, regardless of experience level.

    2. "Show, don't tell". This is a favorite pet criticism of many writers. In poetry, 'show, don't tell' refers to the tendency of beginning poets to think like prose writers. In prose writing, emphasis is usually placed on creating a specific setting in the reader's mind. A prose writer would describe a dinner at Grandmother's house like this: "The table was covered from one end to the other by a large gingham quilt that Grandma had made in her youth. The turkey had a beautiful golden brown crust, with the juices forming rivulets on the plate..." Very evocative, but far too wordy for poetry. Good poetry would 'show' the effect of Grandma's cooking rather than tell the reader every detail as it unfurls:

    We took in her love with

    scoops of gravy,

    as Grandpa found

    comfort in carving.

    The action is implied, not described. Whenever you receive this criticism, you'll need to pare down your descriptive passages to a bare minimum.

    3. "Overmodified". One of the most common traps that beginning poets fall into is overmodification. Since most poetry writers started out reading prose as a child, the temptation to use an abundance of adjectives and adverbs is deeply ingrained. Modern poetry is driven by strong imagery and the strategic use of 'tension and release', not by the more prosaic use of descriptive modifiers. This does not mean that adjectives and adverbs are secondary elements of poetry, but their overuse is strongly discouraged by critics. If your poem receives a criticism referring to modification, what the critic is really trying to tell you is stick to the facts. Not every noun in a poem needs to have a descriptive adjective, nor does every verb need an adverb for clarity. Consider the following two examples of a descriptive passage. Which one sounds more like prose and which sounds more like poetry?:

    The small, yellow canary spread his fragile feathers and took flight hastily.

    The canary senses flight in every ruffle, every breeze.

    The second example is closer to poetic phrasing. The reader does not need to know anything more about the canary except its state of mind. In fact, if the first sentence were repeated even a few times, the reader would probably begin to lose interest rapidly.

    ***(Note-I do not totally agree with Wayne's opinions on the use of adjectives/adverbs and images, as I will adress in my own notes below-Gary Jurechka)***

    4. "Trite, didactic, proselytizing". Any of these words can spell major disappointment for a writer. No one appreciates being preached at for very long, nor do they want to read a stack of worn-out, tired aphorisms and cliches. This doesn't mean that you must abandon your enthusiasm or your passion for a controversial subject matter, but you must temper that enthusiasm with a little creativity. Religious or protest poetry is very prone to these sorts of criticisms. The piece itself may have its heart in the right place, but readers are rarely eager to be forced into accepting beliefs counter to their own. If you receive this sort of criticism from a critic that you trust implicitly, then you will have to go back into the poem and tone down the rhetoric or find a less contentious way to get your point across. If you suspect that the criticism is not coming from an objective source, then try to get a few more honest critiques before 'sugarcoating' a powerful piece. Clearly poetry with a message should be accorded the same rights as any other style of poetry, but it is still the writer's
    responsibility to make that message sting without bashing the reader's head with 'The Big Hammer of Truth'.

    5. "Forced rhyme". This is a big no-no for formal poetry writers everywhere. Forced rhyme can be found in amateur poetry everywhere you look. Its presence is so pervasive that poetry markets specifically mention 'forced rhyme' as one of the criteria for manuscript rejection. In a nutshell, forced rhyme occurs when the writer is so desperate for a rhyming word that he or she convolutes the entire structure of the poem to make a 'proper' fit. This is often referred to in professional circles as 'Moon/June/Spoon' poetry. An amateur poet may not even realize that he or she is guilty of this practice. But any poet who has critiquing experience will spot forced rhyme immediately.
    Here's an example of forced rhyme, with all due apologies:

    I hoped that she was heaven-sent,
    For me I found my heart's cement.

    I hope you have the same reaction I did when I wrote that phrase. Of all the words that would have fit the mood of the first line, why would I choose the word 'cement'? Because I didn't spend the time to choose a more appropriate end rhyme. The second line had to be inverted in order to fit the rhyme and rhythmic structure. This is why it is called 'forced' rhyme. All that force is used to make a round word fit into a square line, and it still sounds ridiculous and trite. If you receive this sort of criticism, spend some time reading good formal poetry to see how the established poets would have handled the phrasing problem. Consider what underlying sentiment you are trying to express in rhyme and find more appropriate words that will work. Consult a 'rhyming dictionary' if you cannot think of any other way to phrase your lines. Forced rhyme is not a crime, but takes some time to be sublime. You get the idea.

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    Gary Jurechka:

    Hi,
    I've been asked for advice/help from many members and this is an revised/expanded response I'd sent one young lady( and later others who asked me for advice).It's more to do with writing habits/advice than with actually ideas, but some of these things can help spark ideas I suppose, so am going to re-copy the advice I'd sent to these particular members.Hope you can find something of use here.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what advice I can offer,and by no means do I claim to know it all or be an expert, but I have had years of knowledge and experience and was popular and extensively published in the small press literary magazines(and have had 5 chapbooks published) as well as serving as editor/publisher of my own 'zine(actually two zines-the more literary/arts oriented 'THE WEB, A Journal Of Poetry And Art', and the more 'street' zine'THE ROLLING PAPER REVIEW') for five years. I'll try to touch on a few things.First-I love poetry because it is such a release,it is cathartic, a type of self therapy, it's really helped me through some rough times, saved my sanity, perhaps even my life.It helped that I wrote for years without ever showing anyone my stuff or with any thoughts of publication-this allows total freedom and I built up a confidence and belief in my poetry that I didn't even have in myself.So believe in your writing, believe in yourself.I wish I had started earlier, but then things might have been different.My favorite saying is 'I write because I cannot NOT write'.

    Poetry is is an art, an expression of thought and emotion.It is yours and yours alone.There is no right or wrong.
    Don't let others tell you something is good or bad.Poetry is personal and no one but you can express what you feel, think and write.Even with no encouragement or support, keep writing.There are others who will appreciate and connect to what you write.

    Personally, in my early years, I was totally unaware of the specific terms, techniques and mechanics of poety.I wrote what I felt, emotionally, naturally, with all my heart..Luckily I seemed to possess a natural rythmn and flow I wasn't even aware of.I think this freedom allowed me to write much better.Later I learned different forms and techniques and tried them.But I really believe it was my lack of knowledge that allowed me total freedom a nd the ability to write creatively without any restraints.It is always good to learn the other stuff later, but until then, be yourself and write what you feel.

    Sometimes it helps to have a certain time you write, my best time is usually the dead of night, it used to be the early mornings(when I worked third shift).So write whenever it seems to work best for you.Or write at any time you can(in my early years I would write every chance I got-5 minutes here, an hour there).Also it may help having a certain place.There's a spot at a wooded park I love to go to and write.At home, I never use my desk/study, I sit on the floor at my coffee table, papers spread out across it, back against the sofa.A lot of times I'll play music-sometimes rock or pop, a lot of time instrumental stuff, like smooth jazz or new age, usually just something in the background that I don't really pay attention to once I'm absorbed in writing.I used to write with the tv on-Nick-At-Night-when nickelodeon showed all the old sitcoms all night-Patty Duke, Mary Tyler Moore show, Leave it To Beaver, Taxi, Night Court, Wings, Dobie Gillis-again, I didn't really watch it, just something in the background.

    Also, keep a journal.I have off and on since I was 12, but I threw the early ones out because they embarrassed me, now I wish I had them.Journals/diaries are a good outlet, plus they can be used to jot down ideas for poems or stories, or came back to years later for material.I have a few months from 1986 when I was 22, and a few months from 89-90 when I was about 25,and some other stuff over the years. I read it now and it shows me where I was then, how much I've changed, and it also reminds me of things I'd forgotten, simple truths or thoughts I had written when younger, kind of like talking with myself, the self I was and who I am now.I was never real consistent at keeping a journal, I'd do it for awhile, then not do it for a few years, but I have some pages/notebooks from off and on over the last 20 years, and glad I learned not to throw them out!

    Another good habit is to keep a pen and pad of paper by your bed to jot down any thoughts you may have if you awake during the night, or to jot down dreams or dream fragments, which can also be a good source of material.In fact, since I was a teen-ager I've never went anywhere without a pen and small pocket-sized notebook.It's easy to say'I'll write this down later'-but often the thought slips away and is forgotten, write it down immediately, while it's fresh in your mind.

    I always write my rough drafts with pen and paper, this allows a lot of freedom in many ways-flow, having something tangible to use, usually I'll rewite/revise it many times this way(it seems everytime a write a new draft I change things, making it a better poem-it also leaves you free to jot down notes or ideas for changes off to the side.Sometimes I'll write a bunch of stanzas not in the right order and then I can number them and redraft it in the order I want, also it allows you to cross out lines/words and still have them there(perhaps to decide to use after all or to use in another poem, rather than delete it if I wrote on the computer). It just seems more natural (at least for me) to write with pen and paper and type up the final version when the poem is finished).Some work better using a typewriter, and still others write directly on computer.Find whatever is most comfortable and works best for you.

    If you submit a poem to an e-zine or even the paper published one, never take the rejection of a poem personally.It might be the editor doesn't like that style or content, but there may be another one who does, so keep trying.It might be the zine is overstocked.There are many reasons.A rejection doesn't mean the poem is bad, just might not be right for that particular publication or any number of other reasons.Don't get discouraged.Remember, you are writing for you(to get out the emotion, to express something, whatever the reason), anything else(like publication) is a bonus.And like I said, if you keep at it, your work gets better(some of my early stuff I thought was so great and then a few years later I realize "this sucks!", 'how could I have ever thought this was good?'But you never know-some of the stuff I've posted on the P & Q site I didn't think was that good, and some of those have surprised me with the positive response they get).Although sometimes you will write poems that just don't work, that are honestly not that good(or truly bad)-but don't despair, sometimes you have to write a few bad ones to get to the good ones(I'd say for every good one I've wrote there are at least 5 really terrible ones) but the more you write the better you get, sometimes it is even necesssary to write bad poems to grow as a poet and improve your skills.Don't get frustrated or discouraged, don't give up, just keep writing and writing....

    Eventually you become your own editor-which can be difficult, but trust your instincts to tell you what to cut or what to add to make the poem better.After writing a piece, step back and read it again, review it with a critical attitude, like it isn't your poem.Sometimes the distance helps you see what needs to be changed.

    After you write a poem, let it breathe.By this I mean don't rush to post or submit it or think it's done(I found recently in recopying some of my poems I've totally changed or revised ones that I wrote over ten years ago and had thought were finished, many have even been published before in their original form)-very few poets write a perfect poem first draft.Write it, then set it aside for a few days, even weeks.Come back to it now and then, and rewrite it.You'd be surprised what changes you can see to make it better.Revising/rewriting however many times is sometimes essential.You learn to be your own editor and critic after awhile.I've had poems where I might only change one or two words, where it still is pretty much how I first wrote it, and I've had ones where I changed so much the final version looked nothing like the original draft (the poem Lucius I wrote was originally 2 and a half pages-I trashed everything but the last five lines).Don't think your words are set in stone, you are always free to change things, sometimes it's hard, like say you have to cut a line you really like because it just don't seem to work.Do it.But save the line.Save everything, scraps of images or verse can be used in other poems.Trust your inner instincts, but don't be afraid to change something(or to stick with something-I've had editors suggest changes when publishing some of my stuff, I always listen-then decide for myself.Sometimes the change is justified and I make it, sometimes it's like, 'this editor just don't get it' and I refuse.Always be open, but go with what you believe).
    Listen to advice from others and then decide what works or doesn't work for you.
    And remember, if you speak out loudly, be sure you have something to say-and that don't mean it has to be deep or make sense necessarilly-it is not what you say, but how you say it that makes it poetry..And always believe you have something to say.Everyone's opinions/thoughts/feelings are important.

    Sometimes it helps to read your poem aloud to yourself-see if it sounds right, if it has a good flow and don't sound awkward in spots.

    Instead of saying things outright, use images, metaphors, similies to express your thoughts and emotions.Though sometimes blunt, obvious,being straight out in thoughts and feelings in your words work, but sometimes it is the abstract/surreal/image that works best-being ambiguous allows the reader to interpret the poem in their own way.

    Read.Read the professionals-Walt Whitman, Jorie Graham, Michael McClure, Sylvia Plath, Jim Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, Shelley, David Berman,T.S. Elliot, Allen Ginsberg, Garcia Lorca, Stevie Smith, William Blake, Tupac Shakur, Ogden Nash, Cummings, Jim Morrison, Longfellow, Rod McKuen, William Carlos Williams, Robert Bly, Anne Sexton, Billy Robbins, Leonard Cohen, Bukowski, Dylan Thomas, Lord Byron, W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Carl Sandburg, Ted Berrigan, John Keats, Erica Jong, Ralph Waldo Emerson, etc. Read the academic poets and the street poets, the Beats and the Surrealists, the Traditionalists and the songwriters(I personally was more influenced by the music/song lyrics I listened to), all forms and genres..Read the stuff on the various websites-you can learn as much from a bad poem as you can a good one (there are some great ameteur poets out there, but also some truly horrid stuff).Check out some of the on-line zines or some of the poetry collections in stores(there's a ton-from the well known poet collections to collections of this particular year's contemporary(and usually lesser known) poets).

    When reading over other people's poems-famous or ameteur, pay special attention to how they use images or unusual word combinations or phrases.Some find it easier to write in straight forward simple terms, which is fine, but a good image or unusual use of language(such as words you normally wouldn't associate as going together) can really make a piece stand out.Study poems, see what you think the author is saying.Study up on metaphors and similies.There's another good writing maxim-show don't tell, meaning use images or mood rather than blatantly hitting the reader over the head with the message.Avoid the cliche, especially in rhyming work(which is why I prefer the freedom of free verse, so much rhyming work is full of cliches or mundane words, it's hard to write a good rhyming piece but it can be done).Most beginners/amateurs start out with rhyme as it seems easier.There is nothing wrong with this, but it is hard to do well (without being cliche), but it can be done well.Still, try to branch out, grow, try different things.Check around on the net and learn about different forms of poetry.

    Often(in my own case) the poem dictates the form it is written in, and I go with that.Whether it is a rhyming piece or free verse, a single long piece or broken down into stanzas(the stanzas can be all the same length of broken apart where it seems natural or works best).A single line set apart can really give a piece impact, as can a repeating verse/line.Don't force the piece into a set form, let it be what it is.

    Challenge yourself, try traditional forms/styles/techniques(rondels, Kyrielle,blank verse, doditsu, tanka, villanelles, acrostic, etherees,pantoums, haiku, chain verse, Balassi, sonnets, ghazal, alliteration, rondeaus, pleiades, triolets, metered verse, cinquains, etc)(On the P&Q site for some good examples read the excellent works of Steven Beesley(at the bottom of his poems he defines/explains the form used), Sunny(again, she explains her forms used), also read the stuff by Melissa(http://www.poems-and-quotes.com/author.html?id=175195), Weeping Wolf, Shobhana Kumar, Ann*stareyes*, Robert Gardiner, Twisted Heart,Hansrick and for fantastic examples of rhyme done simply yet effectively,with great flow, uniquiness and meaning and most of all, emotion, check out the work by Stormy. And sorry, I know there are many other great poets and examples, but they aren't coming to mind as I write this).For examples of stark social/political work in a minimalist style, google search the work of John Sweet, one of my favorite small press poets. Try free verse, try experimental stuff, off the wall stuff, be surreal or abstract, etc.A lot of my stuff is like that-sometimes I'm not even sure what I'm saying, it seems to just come from the subconscious and many of my poems have an ambiguity that allows each reader to find their own meaning, or different meanings then others(kinda how two people can view a painting or a film and each have different impressions).I jokingly say my style is having no style-but really I use so many different forms and styles, the poems, the thoughts, emotions coming out into words seems to dictate what form or style I use, start with what you are comfortable with, but always be open to try other things..Have fun with writing.Or use it to express yourself.That is how I started out, I wrote because I had to, I wrote for myself at first(and guess I still do).So write for yourself, with no inhibitions, no holding back, be brutally honest and emotional.Or if it works better for you to write for someone or with someone in mind reading your poem, do that.I, and others, can offer all the advice and suggestions under the sun, but eventually you will forge your own voice, your own style.Listen and use what works for you.

    Don't tackle the broad, grand themes-Life, Love, Death, God, etc. in a big way-use specifics.When I say this, I mean, yes, write about those subjects we all know and can relate to, but in a more intimate way rather than trying to explain the meaning of life or God or cover too broad and general an area.This I found is important and so true:
    Sometimes you'll find the more personal you are, the more universal your work is.
    -all people can relate to certain things.Though I write for myself, many of my poems are born of sadness,happiness,melancholia, pain, loss of love,being in love, depression,the ecstasy of feeling/being alive, things I think sometimes only have meaning to me, then someone will write and say, "I know what you mean" or have felt similiar or can relate in some way(again the more personal, sometimes the more universal it is).Ans d I have read many poems by others that echo what I may feel.There is a lot of satisfaction(in many ways) when you can write something that touches the heart and mind of someone else(the reader).

    Some editors prefer very little use , if any of adjectives/adverbs.Some prefer one central image, more simple, straightforward styles.Personally I use an abundance of adjectives, sometimes getting very descriptive.Also I have been known to use many images in a single poem.I have been condemned by some editors/readers for this, and I have received praise from some editors/readers for this (most of my best, most published and well received poems are because of the barrage of adjectives/multiple images I use, just my style for the main part(especially in the more 'surreal/abstract' pieces)).I have always been a descriptive writer, trying to paint a vivid picture for the reader.This is just my style in most pieces.To me this can strengthen the poem and add drama and impact.I know one poet who never uses adjectives or adverbs and his work is great.Neither way is right or wrong.Everyone developes their own voice, their own style of writing.One must find what works best for them or the poem.

    Try writing something political, social, enviromental, religious,etc.

    Learn to see 'the world behind things'.By this I mean don't get so caught up in the problems and day to day survival, the friends, the family, the stress and trauma, the cares, worries, guilt, the things society and civilazation say are important.Let it all go for the moment.Truly be alive in that particular moment and feel everything with all your senses.Look at the stars, the moon, feel the wind, the beauty of a sunny day, the majesty of storms, flowers, rainbows.Feel, touch, taste, smell, hear-use these to make things true and real..Remember to see the things that most people take for granted and eventually don't even notice.

    Write from the perspective of an inanimate object(a rock, a house, a tree, the ocean, a door, a cloud, etc.) or write from the viewpoint/perspective of someone/something totally different than you( a rich person, a homeless person, an old person, a child, a man, a woman, a cat, dog, fish, wolf, bird, etc.).

    Write when emotional-angry, sad, ecstatic, etc. or when calm, serene, content.Or when feeling empty or nothing.

    Write when tired, exhausted-sometimes unusual things come to mind when feeling hazy or giddy(as a chronic insomniac, sleep deprivation has inspired/created many of my pieces-though I don't recommend forced sleep deprivation).

    Listen to music-sometimes a song can spark an idea.Some of the best poets are the singers/songwriters.These have been my strongest influences(Notably Michael Stipe of R.E.M, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Fish of the band Marillion(and solo works)Simon & Garfunkel,the Stone Roses, and so many others).

    And, not even sure if I should mention this,as I do not advocate the use of any mind altering substances, and let me make it very clear I STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST THIS!!!!-but many poets/writers have used liquor or drugs(Jim Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Hemingway, Jim Morrison, Charles Bukowski,etc.) to expand consciousness or distort reality to write from that state.Again, I cannot stress how strongly I advise AGAINST this!

    Write about someplace you've never been.Or on the opposite end, as another old maxim goes, write what you know.

    Write something true.Write something made up.

    Try collaborating with another poet.This can be a really amazing experience.

    Try a play on well known phrases or sayings(for example in my poem Eden Quest I begin with the line'Love is a many splintered thing'-a play on the phrase 'love is a many splendored thing' and also in my poem Surreal Sleep-I start with the line 'Absence makes the heart go wander', a play on 'absence makes the heart grow fonder') and then just take it from there.

    Try a stream of consciousness piece-set an alarm clock for 10 or 15 minutes and just start writing-anything and everything that pops into mind, do not stop to re-read what you've wrote until the time is up, don't pause to analyze the what, whys, and where these thoughts/feelings are coming from, sometimes the subconscious can produce some wonderful or disturbing thoughts and images(for example my piece Reflections from the Living Room Floor was an exercise in stream of consciousness, with a little revising later it turned out to be a poem published in many literary journals).

    Write seriously.Write nonsense.

    Approach well worn subjects that seem to have been written about to death from a different viewpoint/angle.

    Many times I'll browse through the dictionary just to discover new words, and many have sparked off a poem, plus it improves your range of vocabulary.This has led to the creation of a great number of my poems.I use it a lot.

    And I almost forgot to mention the importantance of solitude.Every writer needs time alone to think, to reflect, to find oneself in a poem, to create, to not be distracted.Solitude is being alone which is not the same as being lonely by any means.Though writing can seem so solitary and lonely sometimes, but a quiet period to yourself, or just some time to think alone really is essential.

    There are also some excellent books on poetry exercises(or even on the net-I'm still getting used to using the net rather than the ways I had to do things in the 80's and 90's!(including submitting to online e-zines).Check these books out.I highly recommend these books of exercises.

    Lastly, a note on writer's block.Writer's block is a common problem(I went through almost a 5 year spell of it!) but eventually it passes.Don't try so hard or stress out over it as this can just make it worse.Try different exercises, do other things that involve writing, submitting poems, organizing poems, revising or rewiting older ones, etc.-something to do with poetry and writing even though it is not the actual creation of new work can lead to breaking the dreaded writer's block.Some writer's never have this problem, but most do at some point or another.Try different forms or styles or exercises to challenge yourself, break the block.But do not despair, it will pass.

    Now this is very important: Even though there are set rules/guidelines/etc. for forms, technical aspects, do's-and-don'ts, and stuff,and many books, so-called professionals(whether editors or poets), etc., all have their own thoughts and opinions, really, when it comes down to it, in poetry there are no rules.If it works, it works.Sometimes you must break or create your own rules, your own style, your own voice.So don't let what others say restrict you.Don't get me wrong-there are some good guidelines, advice to follow, things that are true for the most part. but still comes down to there are no rules set in stone.

    I know there is a lot of stuff I've left out or forgotten to mention, but hope this helps a bit.

    Remember, things can always be rewrote, revised,changed, improved later.The main thing is to get it written down.

    Write from the heart, write with honesty and passion for your subject, idea, emotion, etc..

    The bottom line is, write,write, and write!(At times I just don't feel like writing, I always remember one of my personal maxims-'RISE ABOVE YOUR MOOD').Also read, read, and read. And even more impotantly, Write, write, write!

    Ideas/subjects are everywhere as long as you keep your mind open and a broad vision.

    And the most important thing of all-trust your instincts,
    and always, not just in poetry,
    but in everything in life, always trust, and
    always, always follow your heart.

    Peace,Poetry, & Power!
    Love, Good luck & Best wishes,

    Gary Jurechka
    GEJ1964@hotmail.com

    (If anyone cares to contact me for any other questions, comments,discussions, additions, things I have not mentioned,or for a few titles of poetry exercise/writing books or other members thoughts, advice, techniques, etc., please contact me, or at least add your comments, thoughts, suggestions to this topic, or for just advice in general on any topic, I am always willing and would be glad to help if I can)

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    This is information from NOUVOVESUVIO/aka:REBELSOUL/aka RAFIE F.:

    POETIC TECHNIQUES

    Almost all poems have poetic techniques. These are what makes a poem interesting, gives it flair and/or style, creates atmospheres and meanings. It is important that you understand these techniques so that you can implement them in your writing! I have compiled a list of techniques then explained them below, I am sure there are more so do state so if you know any!

    Alliteration
    Enjambement
    Sibilants
    Plosives
    Rhyme
    Assonance
    Rhythm
    Imagery
    Perspective
    Pronouns
    Syntax
    Diction
    Mono-syllables
    Caesuras
    Metaphors
    Similes
    Personification/prosopopeia
    Anthropomorphism
    Hyperbole
    Onomatopoeia
    Allegory
    Dialogue
    Oxymoron
    Repetition
    Structure
    Symbolism

    ALLITERATION
    Meaning: The repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables.
    Example: 'and on top big dark blobs burned'

    ENJAMBEMENT
    Meaning: pronounced, 'onjAMbomo(n)'. the spilling of words from one line into the next in a continuous phrase or sentence.
    Example: 'Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
    Picking. '

    SIBILANTS
    Meaning: the same concept as alliteration, only the sounds are soft and generally hissing sounds, especially 'S's.
    Example: sir, please not the slithery slimy snake example!

    PLOSIVES
    Meaning: similar in concept to alliteration and sibilants, only the sounds it concentrates on is big, explosive emphatic sounds, especially 'p's and 'b's.
    Example: 'Spits like a tamed cat turned savage'

    RHYME
    Meaning: you know what rhyme means.
    Example: rhyme is difficult to make sublime.

    HALF-RHYME
    Meaning: the name says it all. The rhyme does not rhyme exactly, but has the same sound.
    Example: 'Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
    Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
    Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
    Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.'

    ASSONANCE
    Meaning: similar to rhyme but different in that the same *vowel* sounds are repeated.
    Example: He could not see clean sheets of green wheat

    RHYTHM
    Rhythm is complex. Another word for it is 'flow'. Rhythm in a formal sense is meter and metrical feet. Check out my article on that for more information, as it is a whole topic in itself.
    Example: 'I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
    That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.' (Iambic pentameter)

    IMAGERY
    Meaning: you know this
    Example: The rubicund disc burned as if the opal sky caught fire.

    PERSPECTIVE
    Meaning: you know the meaning, though it can be implemented in poems in a myriad ways. Check out Lord Tennyson's 'Eagle' and John Donne's 'the Flea'. The best way to describe this is to give examples.
    Example:

    The Eagle (by Alfred Lord Tennyson)

    He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
    Close to the sun in lonely lands,
    Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

    The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
    He watches from his mountain walls,
    And like a thunderbolt he falls.

    the poem above uses perspective as a key concept, in that it makes the eagle look almighty and powerful by juxtaposing it with the sun, i.e. putting it in perspective with the sun. Also, look at the second line in the second stanza. The fact that he watches from his mountain walls, infers that he is looking down on everything below; thus the perspective is giving the eagle higher status.

    PRONOUNS
    Meaning: he, she, it, we, I, you, etc. The pronoun or whether you use third person/second person/passive voice (which is a slightly different concept though) all matters. Using 'we' for example can include the audience, however using 'you' can direct it at them with impact.
    Example: If you are feeling good, don't write. Know why? 'Cause you can't.

    SYNTAX
    Meaning: The pattern of formation of sentences or phrases in a language. The order of words.
    Example: when I looked into her eyes
    -or- when into her eyes I looked
    in the second version the emphasis is her eyes, however in the first the emphasis is on the verb 'to look'.

    DICTION
    Meaning: choice and use of words. You can use slang words for example for a different effect (check out John Agard's 'half-caste') or speak using phonetically airy words to convey a sense of calmness. It is imortant that diction is considered because there is a lot a poet can do with it.
    Example:
    'Explain yuself
    wha yu mean
    when yu say half-caste'

    MONO-SYLLABLES
    Meaning: this is a more specialized technique, where the sentence or phrase is spoken with mono-syllabic tones. It can convey a variety of meanings and atmospheres.
    Example: 'We build our houses squat, and roof them with good slate'

    CAESURAS
    Meaning: an explicit pause in the middle of a line, usually a full stop. The caesura is often used with enjambement, and is a good technique for emphasis and drama.
    Example: 'Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
    Picking.'

    METAPHORS
    Meaning: you know what this means
    Example: the burning breath of life sinks as the day grows old.

    SIMILES
    Meaning: you know what this means - describing something by comparing it with something else, using 'as' or 'like'.
    Example: she is as hot as fire.

    PERSONIFICATION/PROSOPOPEIA
    Meaning: make sure you heed this description exactly: where inanimate or abstract objects/ideas are given human qualities. Do not get that mixed up with anthropomorphism (explained below).
    Example: Time keeps running away from me.

    ANTHROPOMORPHISM
    Meaning: Don't get this mixed up with personification, and I have noticed a lot of online dictionaries also don't distinguish properly. Anthropomorphism is giving anything human characterstics, though unlike personification it generally concerns other natural entities.

    HYPERBOLE
    Meaning: pronounced 'hy-PER-boll-ee'. It means a phrase or description that is exaggerated.
    Example: He's thinner than a tree twig.

    ONOMATOPOEIA
    Meaning: words that sound like their literal meaning.
    Example: bang, scratch, itch, ring, drip.

    ALLEGORY
    Meaning: like an extended metaphor. It conventionally uses fictional characters as an extended metaphor for an abstract concept.

    DIALOGUE
    Meaning: a conversation between characters
    Example:
    "Hey you."
    "What?"

    OXYMORON
    Meaning: a single succinct phrase, more commonly two words that directly contradict each other.
    Example: cold fire, bitter love, hot ice, dark sun.

    REPETITION
    Meaning: you know what this means
    Example: repetition repetition repetition

    STRUCTURE
    Meaning: the structure of a poem. How many stanzas, length of line, form, length of stanza, etc. It may link in with metrical feet also.

    SYMBOLISM
    Meaning: the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships. Often similar to metaphor and similes, though more particular and symbolic.
    Example: She was the sun and the sky to me.
    (the sun and the sky is symbolic for heaven, everything, life, light, guardian, etc.)

    author: Beyond
    date: 2006.02.02 12:38

    answer
    METER

    Poetry meter is a fundamental and essential concept that continues to confuse beginning poets in the modern day. It’s not uncommon to see a poem written in meter, and Shakespeare is perhaps the most famous example for using meter – particularly in using arguably the most common iambic pentameter.

    What is meter? ‘A particular arrangement of words in poetry, such as iambic pentameter, determined by the kind and number of metrical units in a line.’

    Meter is basically the rhythm of the poem. Often it is merely hypothetical – few modern poems consist of every line fitting with the meter. Nevertheless, we use meter because it enhances the rhythm of the poem, and is nice to read. It is specific to the English language, though indeed some meters, such as pyrrhic or spondaic are actually impossible in English.

    Basically, there are two parts to meter: the actual rhythm, such as iambic and trochaic, and the foot, such as trimeter and pentameter.

    There are more types of rhythms than one would first suppose – especially once you get into judging the rhythm of chunks of more than two syllables. Basically, here are the main ones:

    Iambic: duh-DUH: we build our houses squat

    Trochaic: DUH-duh: eating chips is not so great

    Anapestic: duh-duh-DUH: cavalier, tambourine

    Dactylic: DUH-duh-duh: beautiful

    Amphimacic: duh-DUH-duh: Immortal, exalted are people lost

    Amphibrachic: DUH-duh-DUH

    Most rhythms are iambic and trochaic. Traditionally, trochaic meters are said to be more feminine. They do however, produce a sense of urgency, dominancy or movement in the line. It could be used for example, when an army is marching forwards.

    Feet. Eeew smelly! No. Metrical feet are the amount of syllables per line. The terms refer to one HALF of the line – each line strictly contains two halves of the same amount of syllables – every foot (excluding catalectics etc which will be explained later) that exists has an even amount of syllables:

    Monometer: one two

    Dimeter: one two, three four

    Trimeter: one two three, four five six

    Tetrameter: one two three four, one two three four

    Pentameter: one two three four five, six seven eight nine ten

    Hexameter: one two three four five six, seven eight nine ten eleven twelve

    Heptameter: one >> seven, eight >> fourteen

    Octameter: one >> eight, nine >> sixteen

    Then, all you have to do is put the rhythm with the foot, which makes for example, dactylic octameter, or iambic pentameter. (Pronounced, pen-TAAH-meter, oc-TAAH-meter.) The ‘ic’ at the end of the different types of rhythms define the adjective form of the word. The nouns are iamb, trochee, anapest (or anapaest) etc.

    The last part of essential understanding of meter is the complications, or enhancements. Like I said before, meter is a theory, and in the real world everything is not always perfect. Sometimes, with a trochee foot for example, the poet may want to end the rhyme on an accented (stressed) syllable. So, (s)he cuts off the last syllable. There are many examples such as this, and here is the jargon:

    Catalectic: hacking one syllable at the end of the foot
    Hypercatalectic: having an extra syllable at the end of the foot
    Acatalectic: having the full number of syllables in the meter; a complete foot
    Anacrusic: having an extra unstressed syllable at the beginning of the foot
    Apocrusic: having an extra unstressed syllable at the end of the foot

    Beware, the last two terms seem to be excluded from many dictionaries. Nevertheless they are no less pertinent than every other term we have discussed today.

    So there it ends. I hope this article has helped you conquer the poetic concept of meter, metric rhythm – next time people are confused over the ambiguity of the rhythm of a poem, you can say nay! It is hypercatalectic trochee tetrameter .

  • Choose xX Alex Xx Life
    10 years ago

    wow you must really have alot of spare time :P

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Actually poetry is my passion and my life and I consider myself a poet before anything else.These postings were written previously-all I did was recopy them in this topic.And yes, at the moment I do have a lot of spare time.However my motive is to help/advise those who can benefit from my advice and who have asked me for help, to spare them all the trouble and isolation I went through before discoveribg the freedom and release that poetry can bring. I only hope my advice helps in some way.

    Gary J

  • broken reflection
    10 years ago

    I don't think people require tips on how to write their poems, as long as they mean what they write or just have fun writing... sure tips/advice can be beneficial but in the end only few really care;
    Those who do, only write poetry for the attention, glory or however you'd like to put it!
    I know that I personally need improve but I prefer to teach myself over time rather than have an "experienced" poet tell me what I am doing wrong. I love to write poetry, I have a great time writing poetry, advice can help and we do appreciate the time you have taken... so just have fun, or write from the heart
    Love from broken_reflection xoxoxoxoxo

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Note:9-13-06-I am in the process of expanding, revising and editing the poetic terms/definitions and wil be replacing this post soon with the updated version.

    Here is a partial list of some poetic terms/forms and definitions.Most are quite sketchy and incomplete.I am hoping someone more knowledgeable in this area can expand on the specific definitions or add other terms/forms.This is just a rough list to anyone wanting to learn more on specific forms, by no means is this a definitive and complete list.This is merely a starting point for those who want to learn more about specific forms/terms and their meanings.These were gathered from a variety of internet sites.

    GJ
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Beginning to write poetry can be a difficult task. Here are some tips on the basic forms

    Beginning to write a poem is hard for a lot of people, but it is possible if you have the right tools, the right frame of mind, and plenty of patience. Maybe you could take a course on how to write poetry, read up on poetry in a book, or try and try again to create your own piece of art, what ever it may be, just write. You can dig deep inside, your heart, your mind; your past experiences and always come up with something that you could place down on paper. It is just like telling an old friend about being in high school, only you are writing about it in a poetic form.

    There are many poetic forms, which seem to take place when you write poetry. A lot of children seem to start writing poetry in one form, which is the Rhyme form. The Rhyme form does not have a specific length, but seems to take on four sentences each paragraph. For an example, you may have heard this one: Roses are red./ Violets are blue./ Sugar is sweet. /And so are you. As you can see from this Rhyme form that blue rhymes with you. Both words are at the end of each sentence; they are only a sentence or phrase apart from the other. Another example is, I can feel your love./ It holds me tight./ All through the day, /and all through the night. In this poem you can see that tight and night rhyme. Rhyming in this sense seems to take on within the second and last sentences of the paragraph. As you can see with the second example the third and fourth sentences are combined. A writer would then still move the fourth sentence below the third.

    Some rhyme poems tend to rhyme all four sentences such as this: My grandfather is old./ Or so they may say./ He is rather bold./ He still likes to play. This is a bit awkward, but I am trying to show you an example. As you can see old rhymes with bold and say rhymes with play. This type of rhyme is harder than the rest, and can come out to sound pretty dull and unintelligent. You may want to avoid writing such poems as that example.

    Another example of a form of rhyme is one that rhymes the first with the last sentence. For instance:

    Just the touch of your hand, makes me feel your trust.
    You’ve always longed for my understanding, and I gave it to you freely.

    Will you always want to be with me?
    I have always wondered if what you’re really feeling is lust.

    In this example you will see that trust and lust rhyme and that they are the end of the first and last sentences.

    Here I will take you into a type of poetry called a Haiku. What kind of language is that? You may wonder, well I will begin to tell you that a Haiku was created back in the XVI century. This form of poetry is mostly used with people in Japan. A Haiku usually is generated in length of up to three lines. To write a Haiku you must express a moment, sensation, impression or drama of a specific fact of nature. For example:

    wind like tunnels in my mind,
    takes away my secrets and
    turns them to happy dreams.

    Another example is the mind is:

    a blowing leaf,
    searching every day
    for a place to lay its head.

    The last example of a haiku that I will show you is:

    Celebrate life’s challenges
    give yourself a push
    and fly the wings of a bird.

    In each example you can find something of nature, delivering a moment or sensation that connects to a human.

    The Free verse is very easily created. Some Free Verse type poems may have rhyme to them; some may not. The general and only rule of Free Verse is to compose without attention to conventional rules of meter. Free Verse was created by a group of French poets in the late 19th century. This form of poetry has no length at all. Free verse is like the Rebellion State of poetry; having no rules, no length. Personally, I choose this form the most out of all of them. I can get my thoughts down on paper and not have to worry about rhyming or making my point clear in three lines. For Instance, here is a piece from a poem titled The Blood Woman by George McBeth: The clean room is the clean page is the cleared theatre where the nun intoning her requiem wilts into light. My pencil is broken. Here is the needle, the Blood-Woman. Here is an example from the same poem where he rhymes a part of it, but not the rest: Music comes from the fire: it burns in a world of wires. I hear the organ paw through the mass, the Christian death of Socrates. The man of wisdom stepped in the blood-flow. In this part of his poem you can see that fire rhymes with wires, although wires is plural and fire is not.

    The last form of poetry I will address is a Sonnet. A Sonnet is generally a lyric poem of 14 lines containing a formal rhyme scheme, expressing different aspects of a single feeling, mood, or thought, sometimes concluded in the last lines of the poem. There are two main forms of Sonnets: the Patriarchal, or Italian, and the English, or Shakespearean.

    The English sonnet was developed by William Shakespeare and by Amoretti in 1595. This form is divided into three quatrains; each rhymed differently, with a final, independently rhymed couplet that makes an effective, unifying climax to the whole. The rhyme scheme is a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g. For example
    (a) Why must I walk
    (b) In the depths of your soles.
    (a) I listen to you talk.
    (b) Your shoes are full of holes.
    (c) I wonder if you even know
    (d) that your shoes are falling apart.
    (c) I am guessing so,
    (d) since you gave them to me from the start.
    (e) But why would you do that?
    (f) Why? My friend
    (e) Your acting like a cat
    (f) being sneaky and riding this till the end
    (g) You laugh at me as you open your pop
    (g) I look at you and instantly know our friendship has got to stop.

    The Italian sonnet consists of an eight-line stanza, six-line stanza. The octave has two quatrains, rhyming a b b a, a b b a, but avoiding a couplet. The first quatrain presents the theme, the second develops it and the last three lines bring the whole poem to a unified close. For instance
    (a) Caught in her fury
    (b) She drives me to see
    (b) everything I can be
    (a) Just for her own glory,
    (a) Make it for her sake
    (b) Maybe I am going insane
    (b) but who is she to blame
    (a) For my life I will take.

    This continues to have it’s a b b a, a b b a melody to it.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Abecedarian
    "Abecedarian poems are now most commonly used as mnemonic devices and word games for children, such as those written by Dr. Seuss and Edward Gorey."

    Anaphora
    "As one of the world’s oldest poetic techniques, anaphora is used in much of the world’s religious and devotional poetry, including numerous Biblical Psalms."

    Ballad
    "Their subject matter dealt with religious themes, love, tragedy, domestic crimes, and sometimes even political propaganda."

    Ballade
    "One of the principal forms of music and poetry in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century France."

    Blues Poem
    "A blues poem typically takes on themes such as struggle, despair, and sex."

    The Bop
    "Not unlike the Shakespearean sonnet in trajectory, the Bop is a form of poetic argument consisting of three stanzas."

    Cento
    "From the Latin word for 'patchwork,' the cento is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets.

    Chance Operations
    "A chance operation can be almost anything from throwing darts and rolling dice, to the ancient Chinese divination method, I-Ching, and even sophisticated computer programs."

    Cinquain
    "Examples of cinquains can be found in many European languages, and the origin of the form dates back to medieval French poetry."

    Dramatic Monologue
    "The poet speaks through an assumed voice—a character, a fictional identity, or a persona."

    Elegy
    "The traditional elegy mirrors three stages of loss. First, there is a lament, then praise for the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace."

    Epic
    "Elements that typically distinguish epics include superhuman deeds, fabulous adventures, highly stylized language, and a blending of lyrical and dramatic traditions."

    Epigram
    "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

    Found Poem
    "The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems."

    Ghazal
    "Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians."

    Haiku
    "Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression."
    the Americnized version of haiku is also an accepted form.

    Limerick
    "A popular form in children’s verse, the limerick is often comical, nonsensical, and sometimes even lewd."

    Ode
    "Originally accompanied by music and dance, and later reserved by the Romantic poets to convey their strongest sentiments."

    OULIPO
    "Although poetry and mathematics often seem to be incompatible areas of study, OULIPO seeks to connect them."

    Pantoum
    "The pantoum originated in Malaysia in the fifteenth-century as a short folk poem, typically made up of two rhyming couplets that were recited or sung."

    Prose Poem
    "Just as black humor straddles the fine line between comedy and tragedy, so the prose poem plants one foot in prose, the other in poetry, both heels resting precariously on banana peels."

    Renga
    "Renga began over seven hundred years ago in Japan to encourage the collaborative composition of poems."

    Rondeau
    "The rondeau began as a lyric form in thirteenth-century France, popular among medieval court poets and musicians."

    Sapphic
    "The sapphic dates back to ancient Greece and is named for the poet Sappho, who left behind many poem fragments written in an unmistakable meter."

    Sestina
    "The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the Provencal troubadour of the twelfth century."

    Sonnet
    "From the Italian sonetto, which means 'a little sound or song,' the sonnet is a popular classical form that has compelled poets for centuries."

    Tanka
    "One of the oldest Japanese forms, tanka originated in the seventh century, and quickly became the preferred verse form in the Japanese Imperial Court."

    Terza Rima
    "Invented by the Italian poet Dante Alighiere in the late thirteenth century to structure his three-part epic poem, The Divine Comedy."

    Triolet
    "The earliest triolets were devotionals written by Patrick Carey, a seventeenth-century Benedictine monk."

    Villanelle
    "Strange as it may seem for a poem with such a rigid rhyme scheme, the villanelle did not start off as a fixed form."

    *****************************************************************
    ABC poem
    An ABC poem has 5 lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses - and the first word of each line is in alphabetical order from the first word. Line 5 is one sentence, beginning with any letter.

    Ballad
    A poem that tells a story similar to a folk tale or legend and often has a repeated refrain.
    Poetry Forms
    Ballade
    A type of poem, usually with three stanzas of seven, eight, or ten lines and a shorter final stanza of four or five lines. All stanzas end with the same one-line refrain.

    Blank verse
    Poetry that is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Blank verse is often unobtrusive and the iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of ordinary speech. Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in blank verse.

    Burlesque
    Burlesque is a story, play, or essay, that treats a serious subject ridiculously, or is simply a trivial story
    Poetry Forms
    Canzone
    A medieval Italian lyric poem, with five or six stanzas and a shorter concluding stanza (or envoy). The poet Patriarch was a master of the canzone.

    Carpe diem
    A Latin expression that means "seize the day." Carpe diem poems have the theme of living for today.
    Poetry Forms
    Cinquain
    A cinquain has five lines.
    Line 1 is one word (the title)
    Line 2 is two words that describe the title.
    Line 3 is three words that tell the action
    Line 4 is four words that express the feeling
    Line 5 is one word that recalls the title
    Poetry Forms
    Classicism
    The principles and ideals of beauty that are characteristic of Greek and Roman art, architecture, and literature. Examples of classicism in poetry can be found in the works of John Dryden and Alexander Pope, which are characterized by their formality, simplicity, and emotional restraint.

    Couplet
    A couplet has rhyming stanzas each made up of two lines. Shakespearean sonnets usually end in a couplet.
    Elegy
    A sad and thoughtful poem lamenting the death of a person. An example of this type of poem is Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard."

    Epic
    A long, serious poem that tells the story of a heroic figure. Two of the most famous epic poems are the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer and the epic poem of Hiawatha.

    Epigram
    A very short, satirical and witty poem usually written as a brief couplet or quatrain. The term epigram is derived from the Greek word epigramma, meaning inscription.
    The epigram was cultivated in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by poets like Ben Jonson and John Donne

    Epitaph
    An epitaph is a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument written in praise of a deceased person.
    Epithalamium (or Epithalamion)
    A wedding poem written in honour of a bride and bridegroom.
    Free verse (also vers libre)
    Poetry composed of either rhymed or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern or expectation.
    Haiku
    A Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Haiku reflects on some aspect of nature.

    Idyll, or Idyl
    Either a short poem depicting a peaceful, idealized country scene, or a long poem that tells a story about heroes of a bye gone age.

    Lay
    A lay is a long narrative poem, especially one that was sung by medieval minstrels called trouvères.
    Limerick
    A short sometimes bawdy, humorous poem of consisting of five anapaestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 of a Limerick have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other. Need to find out more about Limericks ?

    Lyric
    A poem, such as a sonnet or an ode, that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. The term lyric is now generally referred to as the words to a song.

    Name Poem
    A name poem tells about the word. It uses the letters of the word for the first letter of each line.
    Poetry Forms
    Narrative Poetry
    Ballads, epics, and lays are different kinds of narrative poems.
    Ode
    John Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is probably the most famous example of this type of poem which is long and serious in nature written to a set structure.

    Pastoral
    A poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, idealized way for example of shepherds or country life.
    Quatrain
    A stanza or poem of four lines.
    Lines 2 and 4 must rhyme.
    Lines 1 and 3 may or may not rhyme.
    Rhyming lines should have a similar number of syllables.

    Rhyme
    A rhyme has the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the end of two or more words most often at the ends of lines. There are several derivatives of this term which include double rhyme, Triple rhyme, rising rhyme, falling rhyme, Perfect and imperfect rhymes.

    Rhyme royal
    A type of poetry introduced by Geoffrey Chaucer consisting of stanzas of seven lines in iambic pentameter.
    Romanticism
    Nature and love were a major themes of Romanticism favoured by 18th and 19th century poets such as Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Emphasis was placed on the personal experiences of the individual.

    Senryu
    A short Japanese poem that is similar to a haiku in structure but treats human beings rather than nature, often in a humorous or satiric way.

    Tanka
    A Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven.
    Terza rima
    A type of poetry consisting of 10 or 11 syllable lines arranged in three-line "tercets". The poet Dante is credited with inventing terza rima and it has been used by many English poets including Chaucer, Milton, Shelley, and Auden.

    Sonnet
    English (or Shakespearean) sonnets are lyric poems that are 14 lines long falling into three coordinate quatrains and a concluding couplet. Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnets are divided into two quatrains and a six-line sestet.

    Verse
    A single metrical line of poetry, or poetry in general (as opposed to prose).
    Poetry Forms
    A Form is the generic term for the organising principle of a literary work. In poetry, form is described in terms elements like rhyme, meter, and stanzaic pattern. Read on to learn about the definitions of
    Poetry Form - ABC poem - Ballad - Ballade - Blank verse - Burlesque - Canzone - Poetry Form - Carpe diem - Cinquain - Classicism - Couplet - Elegy - Epic - Epigram - Poetry Form - Epitaph - Epithalamium (or Epithalamion) - Free verse (also vers libre) - Haiku - Idyll, or Idyl - Lay - Limerick - Lyric - Name Poem - Narrative Poetry - Ode - Pastoral - Quatrain - Rhyme - Rhyme royal - Romanticism - Tanka - Terza rima - Sonnet - Verse - Poetry Form

    Poetry Terms

    Poetry Terms are used when describing the content and structure of a poem. There are many different terms used in the English language which help when constructing poetry such as the use of metaphors and similes. If you want to enhance the content when you write poetry or increase your knowledge of Poetry terms in general then study the content of this page. At the very least you will most certainly increase your vocabulary!

    What do you know about Poetry Terms?

    Did you know that poetry term Enjambment comes from the French word for "to straddle." Enjambment is the continuation of a sentence form one line or couplet into the next and derives from the French verb 'to straddle'. An example by Joyce Kilmer is 'I think that I shall never see/A poem as lovely as a tree'?

    Did you know that an Alexandrine is a line of poetry that has 12 syllables and derives from a medieval romance about Alexander the Great that was written in 12-syllable lines?

    Did you know that the poetry term ' Foot ' has two or more syllables that together make up the smallest unit of rhythm in a poem. For example, an iamb is a foot that has two syllables, one unstressed followed by one stressed. An anapest has three syllables, two unstressed followed by one stressed?

    Did you know that an Heptameter is a line of poetry that has seven metrical feet?

    Did you know that a stanza has two or more lines of poetry that together form one of the divisions of a poem? The stanzas of a poem are usually of the same length and follow the same pattern of meter and rhyme.

    Check out the definitions of the many Poetry Terms that follow!

    Poetry Terms - Accent - Allegory - Alexandrine - Alliteration - Analogy - Anapaest - Antithesis - Apostrophe - Archetype - Assonance - Bard - Blank verse - Cacophony - Caesura - Classicism - Conceit - Consonance - Connotation - Couplet - Poetry Term - Dactyl - Dialect - Doggerel - Elision - Enjambment - Envoy - Epithet - Euphony - Euphemism - Falling Meter - Poetry Term - Feminine rhyme - Figure of speech - Foot - Form - Heptameter - Heroic couplet - Hexameter - Hyperbole - Iamb - Iambic pentameter - Poetry Term - Idiom - Imagery - Irony - Jargon - Litotes - Metaphor - Meter - Meiosis - Metonymy - Onomatopoeia - Paradox - Pentameter - Persona - Personification - Quatrain - Poetry Term - Refrain - Rhyme - Rhythm - Rising Meter - Romanticism - Scansion - Simile - Slang - Spondee - Poetry Term - Stanza - Stress - Synecdoche - Syntax - Tetrameter - Trochee - Trope - Understatement - Verse - Versification - Poetry Term

    English Poetry Terms
    Poetry Terms are used when describing the content and structure of a poem. There are many different terms used in the English language which help when constructing poetry such as the use of metaphors and similes. If you want to enhance the content when you write poetry or increase your knowledge of Poetry terms in general then study the content of this page. At the very least you will most certainly increase your vocabulary!

    Accent
    The prominence or emphasis given to a syllable or word. In the word poetry, the accent (or stress) falls on the first syllable.

    Allegory
    Allegory is a narrative having a second meaning beneath the surface one.

    Alexandrine
    A line of poetry that has 12 syllables and derives from a medieval romance about Alexander the Great that was written in 12-syllable lines.

    Alliteration
    The repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginning of words such as tongue twisters like 'She sells seashells by the seashore'

    Analogy
    Analogy is a likeness or similarity between things that are otherwise unlike.

    Anapaest
    A metrical foot of three syllables, two short (or unstressed) followed by one long (or stressed). The anapaest is the opposite of the dactyl.

    Antithesis
    An example of antithesis is "To err is human, to forgive, divine." by Alexander Pope is an example of antithesis with words and phrases with opposite meanings balanced against each other.

    Apostrophe
    A figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is addressed as if it were alive and present and could reply

    Archetype
    Archetype is the original pattern from which copies are made.

    Assonance
    The repetition or a pattern of similar sounds, as in the tongue twister "Moses supposes his toeses are roses."

    Bard
    The definition of a Bard is a Gaelic maker and signer of poems.

    Blank verse
    Blank verse is in unrhymed iambic pentameter which is a type of meter in poetry, in which there are five iambs to a line.

    Cacophony
    Lewis Carroll makes use of cacophony in 'Jabberwocky' by using an unpleasant spoken sound created by clashing consonants.

    Caesura
    A grammatical pause or break in a line of poetry (like a question mark), usually near the middle of the line.

    Classicism
    The principles and ideals of beauty, minimised by the use of emotional restraint, that are characteristic of Greek and Roman art and literature used by poets such as John Dryden and Alexander Pope.

    Conceit
    An example of a conceit can be found in Shakespeare's sonnet "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" when an image or metaphor likens one thing to something else that is seemingly very different.

    Consonance
    Consonance is the repetition, at close intervals, of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words.

    Connotation
    connotation is What a word suggests beyond its basic definition. The words childlike and childish both mean 'characteristic of a child,' but childlike suggests meekness and innocence

    Couplet
    Shakespearean sonnets usually end in a couplet and are a pair of lines that are the same length and usually rhyme and form a complete thought.

    Dactyl
    A metrical foot of three syllables, one long (or stressed) followed by two short (or unstressed), as in happily. The dactyl is the reverse of the anapaest.

    Denotation
    Denotation is the basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word.

    Dialect
    Dialect refers to pronunciation of a particular region of a Country or region.

    Doggerel
    Doggerels are a light verse which is humorous and comic by nature.

    Elision
    Elision refers to the leaving out of an unstressed syllable or vowel, usually in order to keep a regular meter in a line of poetry for example 'o'er' for 'over'.

    Enjambment
    Enjambment comes from the French word for "to straddle." Enjambment is the continuation of a sentence form one line or couplet into the next and derives from the French verb 'to straddle'. An example by Joyce Kilmer is 'I think that I shall never see/A poem as lovely as a tree'.

    Envoy
    The shorter final stanza of a poem, as in a ballade.

    Epithet
    An epithetis a a descriptive expression, a word or phrase expressing some quality or attribute.

    Euphony
    Euphony refers to pleasant spoken sound that is created by smooth consonants such as "ripple'.

    Euphemism
    Euphemism is the use of a soft indirect expression instead of one that is harsh or unpleasantly direct. For example 'pass away' as opposed to 'die'

    Falling Meter
    Trochaic and dactylic meters are called falling meters because they move from stressed to unstressed syllables.

    Feminine rhyme
    A rhyme that occurs in a final unstressed syllable: pleasure/leisure, longing/yearning.

    Figure of speech
    A verbal expression in which words or sounds are arranged in a particular way to achieve a particular effect such as alliteration, antithesis, assonance, hyperbole, metaphor, onomatopoeia and simile.

    Foot
    Two or more syllables that together make up the smallest unit of rhythm in a poem. For example, an iamb is a foot that has two syllables, one unstressed followed by one stressed. An anapest has three syllables, two unstressed followed by one stressed.

    Form
    Form is the generic term for the organising principle of a literary work. In poetry, form is described in terms elements like rhyme, meter, and stanzaic pattern.

    Heptameter
    A line of poetry that has seven metrical feet.

    Heroic couplet
    A stanza composed of two rhymed lines in iambic pentameter.

    Hexameter
    A line of poetry that has six metrical feet.

    Hyperbole
    Hyperbole (overstatement) is a type of figurative language that depends on intentional overstatement.

    Iamb
    A metrical foot of two syllables, one short (or unstressed) and one long (or stressed). The lamb is the reverse of the trochee.

    Iambic pentameter
    Shakespeare's plays were written mostly in iambic pentameter, which is the most common type of meter in English poetry. It is a basic measure of English poetry, five iambic feet in each line.

    Idiom
    Idiom refers to words, phrases, or patterns of expression. Idioms became standard elements in any language, differing from language to language and shifting with time. A current idiom is 'getting in a car' but 'on a plane'.

    Imagery
    Imagery draws the reader into poetic experiences by touching on the images and senses which the reader already knows.

    Irony
    Irony is a situation, or a use of language, involving some kind of discrepancy. An example of this is ''Water, water everywhere but ne'er a drop to drink'.

    Jargon
    Jargon refers to words and phrases developed by a particular group to fit their own needs which other people understand.

    Litotes
    A litote is a figure of speech in which affirmative is expressed by the negation of the opposite. "He's no dummy" is a good example.

    Metaphor
    A metaphor is a pattern equating two seemingly unlike objects. An examples of a metaphor is 'drowning in debt'.

    Meter
    Meters are regularized rhythms. An arrangement of language in which the accents occur at apparently equal intervals in time. Each repeated unit of meter is called a foot.

    Meiosis
    Meiosis is a figure of speech that consists of saying less than one means, or of saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrants.

    Metonymy
    A figure of speech in which one word is substituted for another with which it is closely associated. Some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole experience.

    Moritake
    Maritime is figurative speech that depends on intentional overstatement or exaggeration.

    Onomatopoeia
    A figure of speech in which words are used to imitate sounds. Examples of onomatopoeic words can be found in numerous Nursery Rhymes e.g. clippety-clop and cock-a-doodle-do.

    Paradox
    A paradox is a statement or situation containing apparently contradictory or incompatible elements.

    Pentameter
    A line of poetry that has five metrical feet.

    Persona
    Persona refers to the narrator or speaker of the poem, not to be confused with the author.

    Personification
    Personification means giving human traits to nonhuman or abstract things.

    Quatrain
    A stanza or poem of four lines.

    Refrain
    A phrase, line, or group of lines that is repeated throughout a poem, usually after every stanza.

    Rhyme
    The occurrence of the same or similar sounds at the end of two or more words.

    Rhythm
    Rhythm is significant in poetry because poetry is so emotionally charged and intense. Rhythm can be measured in terms of heavily stressed to less stressed syllables. Rhythm is measured in feet, units usually consisting of one heavily accented syllable and one or more lightly accented syllable.

    Rising Meter
    Anapaestic and iambic meters are called rising meters because they move from an unstressed syllable to a stressed syllable.

    Romanticism
    The principles and ideals of the Romantic movement in literature and the arts during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Romanticism, which was a reaction to the classicism of the early 18th century, favoured feeling over reason and placed great emphasis on the subjective, or personal, experience of the individual. Nature was also a major theme. The great English Romantic poets include Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats.

    Scansion
    The analysis of a poem's meter. This is usually done by marking the stressed and unstressed syllables in each line and then, based on the pattern of the stresses, dividing the line into feet.

    Simile
    A figure of speech in which two things are compared using the word "like" or "as" to draw attention to similarities about two things that are seemingly dissimilar.

    Slang
    Slang refers to highly informal and sub-standard vocabulary which may exist for some time and then vanish. Some slang remains in usage long enough to become permanent, but slang never becomes a part of formal diction.

    Spondee
    A metrical foot of two syllables, both of which are long (or stressed).

    Stanza
    Two or more lines of poetry that together form one of the divisions of a poem. The stanzas of a poem are usually of the same length and follow the same pattern of meter and rhyme.

    Stress
    Stress refers to the accent or emphasis, either strong or weak, given to each syllable in a piece of writing, as determined by conventional pronunciation.

    Synecdoche
    Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole.

    Syntax
    Syntax refers to word order and sentence structure. Normal word order in English sentences is firmly fixed in subject-verb-object sequence or subject-verb-complement. In poetry, word order may be shifted around to meet emphasis, to heighten the connection between two words, or to pick up on specific implications or traditions.

    Tetrameter
    A line of poetry that has four metrical feet.

    Trochee
    A metrical foot of two syllables, one long (or stressed) and one short (or unstressed).

    Trope
    Trope is the use of a word or phrase in a sense different from its ordinary meaning.

    Understatement
    Understatement refers to the intentional downplaying of a situation's significance, often for ironic or humorous effect.

    Verse
    A single metrical line of poetry, or poetry in general (as opposed to prose).

    Versification
    The system of rhyme and meter in poetry.

    Poetry Terms - Accent - Allegory - Alexandrine - Alliteration - Analogy - Anapaest - Antithesis - Apostrophe - Archetype - Assonance - Bard - Blank verse - Cacophony - Caesura - Classicism - Conceit - Consonance - Connotation - Couplet - Poetry Term - Dactyl - Dialect - Doggerel - Elision - Enjambment - Envoy - Epithet - Euphony - Euphemism - Falling Meter - Poetry Term - Feminine rhyme - Figure of speech - Foot - Form - Heptameter - Heroic couplet - Hexameter - Hyperbole - Iamb - Iambic pentameter - Poetry Term - Idiom - Imagery - Irony - Jargon - Litotes - Metaphor - Meter - Meiosis - Metonymy - Onomatopoeia - Paradox - Pentameter - Persona - Personification - Quatrain - Poetry Term - Refrain - Rhyme - Rhythm - Rising Meter - Romanticism - Scansion - Simile - Slang - Spondee - Poetry Term - Stanza - Stress - Synecdoche - Syntax - Tetrameter - Trochee - Trope - Understatement - Verse - Versification - Poetry Term

    Poetry

    Terms and Forms
    The Poetry Online web site contains a huge selection of online poetry from the most celebrated authors. The vast range of different poetry styles and techniques used by the individual poets are fascinating and many of these classic and modern poetry forms are explained in our section about writing poetry. We believe that poetry is above all for pleasure but appreciate that for those studying the subject of poetry that the poetry terms and definitions used are vital for a greater understanding. This online poetry web site endeavours to provide as much information as possible for all students of Poetry. The Poetry Forum has been developed to provide a poetry discussion forum which can be used as a 'Chat zone' specifically for poetry lovers from all corners of the world. We wanted to provide an exclusive Poetry chat zone, or forum, where perhaps questions about Poetry can be discussed and addressed to the benefit of our visitors.' Poetry Online ' is solely for educational purposes and any reproduction of the poetry contained on this web site is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.".

    Sonnet:

    1. a fixed verse form of Italian origin consisting of fourteen lines, usually containing ten-syllable to each line. There are many rhyming patterns for sonnets, but typically they are written in iambic pentameter, according to a prescribed scheme.

    2. a poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment, of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes, being in the strict or Italian form divided into a major group of 8 lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of 6 lines (the sestet), and in a common English form into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet.

    Note: participants may play with sonnet structure creating their own. They may create their own original sonnet, making up their own rhyme scheme. The format of 10 syllables (iambic pentameter) and 14 lines that is unique to sonnet form must be strictly kept, but rhyme scheme of sonnet can be whatever poet wishes (rhyming pattern must be noted though).

    Ode: (ōd) 1. A lyric poem characterized by lofty feeling, elaborate form, and dignified or elevated style; a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse. 2. A lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms. 3. A lyrical poem praising or glorifying a person, place, or thing.

    ACROSTIC POEM: A poem in which the first letters of each line form a word or message relating to the subject.

    Acrostic Poetry is where the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same word or words as in the title.

    Acrostic- a poem where the first letter of each line spells a word that can be read vertically

    Acrostics: a poem wherein, the first letter of each line or alternating rhymed line of a poem come together to form a word and/or phrase.

    Quatern: A Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four. A quatern has eight syllables per line. It does not have to be iambic or follow a set rhyme scheme.

    Nonet: A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc... until line nine that finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.

    Rictameter: Rictameter is a scheme similar to Cinquain. Starting your first line with a two syllable word, you then consecutively increase the number of syllables per line by two. i.e. 2,4,6,8,10 then down again, 8,6,4,2 making the final line the same two syllable word you began with.

    Etheree: The poetry form, Etheree, consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but follow suit with an inverted syllable count.

    Reversed Etheree: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

    Double Etheree: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

    ...Triple Etheree, Quadruple Etheree, and so on!

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    Poetry Forms - ( Poetry Terms follow)
    The definition of poetry is a type of literature that is written in meter. A "poem" (from the Greek poiemalis) a specific work of poetry. A Poetry Form is the general organizing principle of a literary work.

    Some Poetry Forms
    Detailed below are explanations of Poetry Forms. There are many poetry forms such as ballads, sonnets, odes, epitaphs, elegies and many more. What do they all mean and what are the differences in these various forms? Listed below are many definitions of Poetry Forms.A Form is the generic term for the organising principle of a literary work. In poetry, form is described in terms elements like rhyme, meter, and stanzaic pattern.

    The section covering Specific terms used in Poetry follows directly after the definitions of Poetry forms.

    ABC poem
    An ABC poem has 5 lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses - and the first word of each line is in alphabetical order from the first word. Line 5 is one sentence, beginning with any letter.

    Ballad
    A poem that tells a story similar to a folk tale or legend and often has a repeated refrain.

    Ballade
    A type of poem, usually with three stanzas of seven, eight, or ten lines and a shorter final stanza of four or five lines. All stanzas end with the same one-line refrain.

    Blank verse
    Poetry that is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Blank verse is often unobtrusive and the iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of ordinary speech. Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in blank verse.

    Burlesque
    Burlesque is a story, play, or essay, that treats a serious subject ridiculously, or is simply a trivial story

    Canzone
    A medieval Italian lyric poem, with five or six stanzas and a shorter concluding stanza (or envoy). The poet Patriarch was a master of the canzone.

    Carpe diem
    A Latin expression that means "seize the day." Carpe diem poems have the theme of living for today.

    Cinquain
    A cinquain has five lines.
    Line 1 is one word (the title)
    Line 2 is two words that describe the title.
    Line 3 is three words that tell the action
    Line 4 is four words that express the feeling
    Line 5 is one word that recalls the title

    Classicism
    The principles and ideals of beauty that are characteristic of Greek and Roman art, architecture, and literature. Examples of classicism in poetry can be found in the works of John Dryden and Alexander Pope, which are characterized by their formality, simplicity, and emotional restraint.

    Couplet
    A couplet has rhyming stanzas each made up of two lines. Shakespearean sonnets usually end in a couplet.

    Elegy
    A sad and thoughtful poem lamenting the death of a person. An example of this type of poem is Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard."

    Epic
    A long, serious poem that tells the story of a heroic figure. Two of the most famous epic poems are the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer and the epic poem of Hiawatha.

    Epigram
    A very short, satirical and witty poem usually written as a brief couplet or quatrain. The term epigram is derived from the Greek word epigramma, meaning inscription.
    The epigram was cultivated in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by poets like Ben Jonson and John Donne

    Epitaph
    An epitaph is a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument written in praise of a deceased person.

    Epithalamium (or Epithalamion)
    A wedding poem written in honour of a bride and bridegroom.

    Free verse (also vers libre)
    Poetry composed of either rhymed or unrhymed lines that have no set fixed metrical pattern or expectation.

    Haiku
    A Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Haiku reflects on some aspect of nature.

    Idyll, or Idyl
    Either a short poem depicting a peaceful, idealized country scene, or a long poem that tells a story about heroes of a bye gone age.

    Lay
    A lay is a long narrative poem, especially one that was sung by medieval minstrels called trouvères.

    Limerick
    A short sometimes bawdy, humorous poem of consisting of five anapaestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 of a Limerick have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

    Lyric
    A poem, such as a sonnet or an ode, that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. The term lyric is now generally referred to as the words to a song.

    Name Poem
    A name poem tells about the word. It uses the letters of the word for the first letter of each line.

    Narrative Poetry
    Ballads, epics, and lays are different kinds of narrative poems.

    Ode
    John Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is probably the most famous example of this type of poem which is long and serious in nature written to a set structure.

    Pastoral
    A poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, idealized way for example of shepherds or country life.

    Quatrain
    A stanza or poem of four lines.
    Lines 2 and 4 must rhyme.
    Lines 1 and 3 may or may not rhyme.
    Rhyming lines should have a similar number of syllables.

    Rhyme
    A rhyme has the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the end of two or more words most often at the ends of lines. There are several derivatives of this term which include double rhyme, Triple rhyme, rising rhyme, falling rhyme, Perfect and imperfect rhymes.

    Rhyme royal
    A type of poetry introduced by Geoffrey Chaucer consisting of stanzas of seven lines in iambic pentameter.
    Romanticism
    Nature and love were a major themes of Romanticism favoured by 18th and 19th century poets such as Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Emphasis was placed on the personal experiences of the individual.

    Senryu
    A short Japanese poem that is similar to a haiku in structure but treats human beings rather than nature, often in a humorous or satiric way.

    Tanka
    A Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven.

    Terza rima
    A type of poetry consisting of 10 or 11 syllable lines arranged in three-line "tercets". The poet Dante is credited with inventing terza rima and it has been used by many English poets including Chaucer, Milton, Shelley, and Auden.

    Sonnet
    English (or Shakespearean) sonnets are lyric poems that are 14 lines long falling into three coordinate quatrains and a concluding couplet. Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnets are divided into two quatrains and a six-line sestet.

    Verse
    A single metrical line of poetry, or poetry in general (as opposed to prose).

    A Form is the generic term for the organising principle of a literary work. In poetry, form is described in terms elements like rhyme, meter, and stanzaic pattern. Read on to learn about the definitions of

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    POETRY FORMS:

    ACROSTIC VERSE
    ALTERNATING QUATRAIN
    ANAPEST
    ANTHIMERIA
    BLANK VERSE
    BOUTS-RIMÉS
    BRIDGING TITLE
    CHANT
    CINQUAIN
    CINQ-CINQUAIN
    COUNT UP
    COUNT DOWN
    COUPLET
    DORSIMBRA
    DOUBLE
    DOUBLE FIVE
    EKPHRASTIC
    ENJAMBMENT
    ENVELOPE STANZA
    ETHEREE
    FOOT
    FOUND POEM
    FREE FORM
    GHAZAL
    HAIKU
    IAMBIC PENTAMETER
    IMPRESSIONISTIC
    LILIBONELLE
    LIMERICK
    METAPHOR
    METRE
    MIKU
    NARRATIVE
    PANTOUM
    PLEIADES
    PROSE POEM
    QUATRAIN
    REDONDILLA
    REDUPLICATION
    SESTINA
    SICILIAN QUATRAIN
    SONNET
    TANKA
    TERCET
    TERZA RIMA
    TETRASTICH
    THRENODY
    TRIO
    TRIOLET
    TRIPLET
    VILLANELLE
    WAVE
    WHITNEY
    ZEUGMA

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    ACROSTIC VERSE

    Wordplay, from the most ponderously serious to the most light and frivolous, is an entertainment common to most writers. Originating in ancient times, Acrostic Verse is a game in which the initial or final letters of the lines form a word or phrase.

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    ALTERNATING QUATRAIN

    An Alternating Quatrain is a four line stanza rhyming "abab." SEE QUATRAIN.

    Example:
    Unabashed

    The Japanese Maple tree
    Is singularly unafraid
    Its colors flame free
    Even in the shade

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    ANAPEST: A foot of three syllables, the first two short or unstressed, the last long or stressed. (See FOOT)

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    ANTHIMERIA – A rhetorical term described as the use of one part of speech for another. The most common form of an Anthimeria occurs when noun is used as a verb. Example: “Table that agenda item until next week.” In this case, the noun "table" has been used as a verb.

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    BLANK VERSE is written in unrhymed (blank) lines of iambic pentameter. See IAMBIC PENTAMETER.

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    BOUTS-RIMÉS: French for “rhymed ends,” a Bouts-Rimés poem is created by one person creating a list of rhymed words and giving it to someone else, who in turn writes lines that end the rhyming words, in the same order as given. According to the Teacher’s & Writers Handbook of poetic Forms, edited by Ron Padget, this form requires mental agility and wit. Said to have been invented by a seventeenth-century French poet named Dulot, Bouts-Rimés poems were popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when they were called “Crambo” in English.

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    BRIDGING TITLE: The most distinguishing characteristic of a Bridging Title is that it is read as the first line of the poem it introduces.

    Example:

    After the Ball

    I felt so alone
    A leaf lingering in winter
    About to be blown
    From where you stared in silence
    And turned as cold as stone

    Many poems take as their title the first line of the poem itself, such as in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," by Alfred Lord Tennyson. In the Bridging Title form, however, the first line of the poem is not a repeat of the title.
    Creating a Bridging Title may be simply a matter of placing the first line of your poem in the "title" position. But it may also be used to introduce a certain irony.

    Example:

    Things We Have

    Squandered, poured out like blood on sand:
    Times we could have touched,
    Our innocence, dreams of our youth,
    Optimistic idealism for peace and love.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CHANT

    A chant is a poem, usually of no fixed form, but in which one or more lines are repeated over and over. It is usually meant to be spoken aloud. The chant is one of the earliest forms of poetry, dating to prehistoric time, when cavefolk made incantations to protect themselves from storms, fires, wild creatures, and to help in the hunt, to find good mates, to keep the children safe and well, and to teach about those who went before.

    Try this form by writing a titled incantation about your own life, about someone in your family you admire, or wish to remember. The first line should have a strong rhythm and musical beat, since it will be repeated over and over. This line should be very meaningful, stated as a demand, or a strong sentiment. In our version of a chant, the first and second lines of the first stanza are the same, and every other line thereafter will repeat that first line. Four stanzas, six lines to the stanza, except for the beginning, which is one line repeated.
    Examples:

    Wind Woman Lives On

    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    My mother's voice is not mine alone

    Her humor rises in the laughter of my daughter
    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    Her song sings from the mouth of my son
    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    Her poems roll from the tongues of my grandchildren
    My mother's voice is not mine alone

    She lives in the way my sisters walk
    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    She grows in the gardens we tend
    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    She rises in the bread we knead
    My mother's voice is not mine alone

    I see her eyes in my daughter's face
    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    I find her face in my son's son
    My mother's voice is not mine alone
    Wind woman speaks through the rain and sun
    My mother's voice is not mine alone

    Mary Margaret Carlisle, Webster, TX, USA

    A Chant in Time

    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change

    My wife's mother, WWII Navy recruit poster girl
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    She was still winning golf games at sixty-five
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    Now eighty, she struggles just to stay alive
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change

    Baby, toddler, schoolgirl, wife, mother
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    I watch you blossom, beauty like no other
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    Your baby bears your image, circle of life
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change

    It takes courage to age gracefully
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    Fading to gray, wrinkling and slowing down
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change
    Each precious day must slip away
    Time is bittersweet, how all things change

    Craig Tigerman, Moline, IL, USA

    For Having Known Grandma

    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.

    It is no secret, she cared for life-- she cared for us.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    Her hand on ours, we saw the creation of light in shadow.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    We learned to touch delicate lines of stitchery, to hear spring rain.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.

    Her missing sight showed us a course through emptiness.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    We learned to see beyond the known-- to see more than the given.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    We learned the tone of absolute in her favorite hymns.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.

    Holding her hand through ins and outs-- the problems of living
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    We learned to constantly see new ways to see familiar.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.
    Her contentment was to give and receive. That was her contentment.
    We learned that love is a gift for having known Grandma.

    Betty Ann Whitney, Wesley Chapel, FL, US

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CINQUAIN: From the French, meaning "a grouping of five." The Cinquain has five lines, with two, four, six, eight, and two syllables, respectively. Twenty-two syllables total. No more than two full sentences. The Handbook of Poetic Forms suggests: Do not add words to fill out this form; write with feeling, but do not allow your writing to become cloyingly sweet; build toward a climax and put a surprise into your last two lines. Rather than parts of speech, be concerned with thoughts and images.

    CINQ-CINQUAIN: From the French, meaning "five groupings of five." The Cinq-Cinquain consists of five Cinquain. Each has five lines, with two, four, six, eight, and two syllables, respectively, with twenty-two syllables per stanza. See CINQUAIN.

    Example:
    For the Summer of My German Soldier

    No love,
    No love at all,
    Everybody hates me,
    Is it because I hurt Patty?
    Who cares?

    Oh no,
    I did something,
    The belt! No! Not the belt!
    It's my fault, what did I do wrong?
    I'm sorry...

    My light,
    Two rafts, two lights
    Ruth and Anton love me,
    They are my salvation and warmth,
    Thank God...

    Beauty,
    That's it, beauty,
    Her hair is beautiful,
    No, the ugly chick is a swan,
    Destroy...

    Harry,
    Don't abuse her,
    It's not good for business,
    You'll ruin it all for us, Harry.
    Stop it!

    Justin Tigerman, Moline, IL, USA

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    COUNT UP
    This titled form, consists of exactly ten lines, the first line having one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with a total count of fifty-five syllables. This form allows both rhyme and meter, while its similar cousin, the ETHEREE, allows neither.

    Example:

    Astute
    Still
    Statue
    In my lawn
    Fearfully eyes
    Each move I make, then
    Bolts when I get too close
    Flash of white tail disappears
    Until next time those eyes and ears
    Sit motionless but shrewd in my yard
    Fearful of being stewed, ever on guard.

    Craig Tigerman, Moline, IL

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    COUNTDOWN
    This form asks for a one-stanza poem titled in one word, with exactly ten lines; each line has a set number of syllables. This form lends itself to a humorous style.

    Pattern: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

    Example:

    Wish

    When I asked for a kitten to come and
    Play with me, my Mother refused. She
    Said, "No cats, frogs, gerbils, turtles
    Rats, mice, sheep or parakeets."
    She quickly relented
    Said, "A kitten's good,"
    When Daddy said
    "Go get a
    Rattle
    Snake."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    COUPLET: a unit made up of two lines of poetry of the same meter that usually rhyme. A closed COUPLET is where both lines are end-stopped (pause at the end). An open COUPLET is where the second line is a run-on line (completes the thought in the following couplet). The COUPLET is usually part of a stanza, but in short poems it may be the entire stanza or poem.

    The following example shows examples of both closed and open couplets:

    Claiborne Walsh was young and full of vim,
    Wanting to impress that one special him.
    Didn't want to appear too giggly or girlish.
    Tried hard not to be too mean nor churlish.

    At the park she saw him while batting baseballs,
    Listened raptly, gazed adoringly, got phone calls

    Let him throw baseballs for her to bat and hit.
    He didn't really think she would so well with it.

    It's a miracle this fellow's still up breathing and alive.
    She conked him in his loins with a solid hit line drive.

    Claiborne Schley Walsh, Montrose, AL

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DORSIMBRA: The Dorsimbra, a poetry form created by Eve Braden, Frieda Dorris and Robert Simonton, is a set form of three stanzas of four lines each. Since the Dorsimbra requires three different sorts of form writing, enjambment can help to achieve fluidity between stanzas, while internal rhymes and near-rhymes can help tie the stanzas together. (See ENJAMBMENT, and IAMBIC PENTAMETER.)

    Stanza One: Four lines of Shakespearean sonnet (iambic pentameter rhymed abab).
    Stanza Two: Four lines of short and snappy free verse.
    Stanza Three: Four lines of iambic pentameter blank verse, where the last line repeats the first line of Stanza One.

    Example:
    Breaking Down

    I hear their yowling all about the yard.
    Tonight, inside my dreams—tonight, the noise
    Drowns out the neighbor dogs with disregard.
    Tonight I am entrapped and without poise.

    Listen. Cats! Even
    As they're caught in the glare of
    Sudden bedroom lights
    They wail.

    Disturbed, I pace the floor, expecting not
    A leisure time of breakfast before work
    Tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next.
    I hear their yowling all about the yard.

    Betty Ann Whitney, Wesley Chapel, FL, U
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOUBLE: Sometimes poets repeat a short form twice in the same poem. For
    instance, when two Haiku are used to create a poem, they may be referred to
    as a Double Haiku.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOUBLE FIVE

    Two stanzas of exactly five short lines each, titled, written as a portrait, usually of a loved one.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EKPHRASTIC

    A work of art based on another composition. In poetry, this type of work takes as its theme a particular piece of visual art of any genre, virtually representing through poetic description something orig

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    To Broken Reflection & others-I am definitely not telling anybody how to write.All I'm doing is trying to offer SUGGESTIONs and advice that I have learned the hard way, to spare some the difficulties I experinced as a young writer(I know I would have appreciated some guidance in my early years.).Of course it is up to the individual to learn, find their own way, experiences, etc.But that don't mean you should be so closed minded to what others(not just me) have to offer, whether you use it or not.I have received many requests for advice and many who appreciate what I have to say.I don't pretend to know it all but I do have experience and a credible writing career,I only am trying to help and offer advice to others .That's just me, my nature to help, advise, teach, all with the best intentions.If you have the passion to write, that is all that matters.

    Peace, Poetry & Power,

    Gary Jurechka

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    -NONE_

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    None

  • Robert Gardiner
    10 years ago

    Gary asked me to chime in with my notes on writing poetry and in the vain of helping some of my fellow poets become better at the carft here a few tibits I fell help to make a good/great poem and thusly poet.

    Writing a great poem starts with your theme (subject), the concept, idea, feeling or object (thing) that your poem is about, that your poem shall center around. If you’re wring about a person (or anything for that matter), asks yourself what do I want to express about this person (thing). If you’re writing to a person, asks yourself what I want to say, express, to this person. Asks yourself, as well, also, how can I best do as such, best bring my message across and make it expressive of my true sentiments (what I want to express).

    The key is, after you have your theme/subject is to build upon it, build around it. You have to build or built up your poem, layer it with the sentiment, expressiveness, authenticity, of what you’re trying to get across. What you want to do is use words, imagery, metaphors, that modify your subject, theme, such as descriptive phrases, adjectives, adverbs, nouns and alike. You must write not only to say but to express.

    When writing a poem there are two major points you should concern yourself with, rhythm and consistency (flow). You want your work - the poem that you're writing - to have a nice rhythm, also you want to remain congruent, consistent, as per your subject, intent, objective. In your poem, no matter what it is you’re trying to impart, you want a congruence of expression, symmetry, in and of what you’re trying to voice, affirm. One of the hallmarks of a 'great' poem is how well everything corresponds and/or reflexes, one another and is woven together - that is to say, that everything in the poem highlights or modifies each other, one another, and works together well. You, also, want to give your poem a tone and diction expressive of what you're trying to articulate, convey. The number one Key to writing good poetry is how it is constructed, structured, and how that structure lends itself to the appeal of a poem when being read!!!

    When writing a poem one of your objectives should be to express yourself well. In fact, I would say, that should be one of your major, main objectives. All great poems in some facet or form are well expressed. The number one key to a ‘great’ poem, I’d say, is its expression, its expressiveness. A poem is only as good as what is within it – as good as what it expresses - and the better a poem is expressed, the better the poem. It is not so much what you express, but how (or how well) you express it!!! Remember, a poet is only as good as he and/or she expresses him or herself, only as good as what it is they say and how well they say it…

    Here’s a check list of questions you want to go through, when sitting down to write a poem. You want to ask yourself these questions;

    - What is or shall be my subject?
    - What is my objective?
    - What am I trying to represent in the piece?
    - Who is my intended audience?
    - What kind of a response do I want?
    - How can I best insure that response?
    - What type of style (approach) and/or language would best represent the essence of the work and insure its intended objectives?

    Now, often time, when you sit down to write a poem you already have a subject picked out, and if that is the case then what you must concern yourself with doing is following it. As I mentioned before, “you want a congruence of expression, symmetry, in and of what you’re trying to voice, affirm.” Everything must fall from or interconnect to your subject, theme.

    Remember poets, this piece of advice, it’s not one BIG thing that make a great poem great, but a lot of LITTLE things, that come together to have a BIG effect, impact, so, pay attention to the details.

    I'd say to anyone who wants to be a good/great poet or simply, just a better one study the craft. For its not only talent alone that make for a good/great poet but also, commitment to and study of the craft!!!

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Greetings

    Here is a suggested reading list from myself of poets and books on writing poetry, and just some influential books that don't really have much to do with poetry, but important nonetheless, etc.Though many write poetry , few bother reading poetry-this is important as it adds perspective, knowledge and insight.

    Write On!

    Gary Jurechka

    *****************************

    author: Gary Jurechka
    date: 2006.02.26 07:30

    RECOMMENDED READING

    Okay, get out your library card.........Below is a recommended reading list.This is just a starting point, you may discover others alond the way.I have listed both Poets and books that could be considered reference/self-help/type books(some of these deal with understanding poetry, some are exercises and workshop-type stuff, etc.).I know for the most part, more poets like to write poetry rather than read any.Sometimes it is a matter of finding a poet who's work you like.But reading other poetry can bring a better understanding and appreciation of the art and can also influence and improve your own writing skills.Even reading the small press poets on the e-zines and small press poetry zines(paper published ones) is beneficial.The anybody-can-post-anything sites are not very disciminating and have both have some really great poems but mostly some really bad ones -but checking these out can help you see the difference.I've tried to include a wide diversity of styles/forms/voices/ poets both past and contemporary-included are the known masters, contemporary poets,academic poets, street poets, rock/music stars, actors,(surprisingly a couple by the musicians and actors are very good), small press poets, etc..There is something for everyone here if you explore and seek out what interests you.All practicing poets should read poetry, past and present, all the varieties/styles/voices.

    Poets(and some of the books):

    Oscar Williams(edited by)-Immortal Poems (a good collection of many poets)
    William Harmon(edited by)-The Top 500 Poems (another good collection of a variety of poets)
    The Best American Poetry Of (year)-an anthology collection put out each year of the more contemporary poets(as opposed to the well known, long dead masters)
    Jim Carroll (Fear Of Dreaming*Pools Of Mercury*The Basketball Diaries)
    Edgar Allan Poe (Complete Poems)
    Billy Collins (Nine Horses*Sailing Alone Around The Room)
    Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
    Henry David Thoreau
    Michael Madsen (The Complete Poetic Works Of:Vol. I:1995-2005)
    Allen Ginsberg
    Jewel (A Night Without Armor)
    Carl Sandburg
    Rod McKuen (Alone*Caught In The Quiet*The Works Of Vol. 1*many others)
    Ogden Nash
    Walt Whitman (Selected Poems)
    Charles Bukowski
    Emily Dickinson (Selected Poems)
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
    Tupac Shakur (The Rose That Grew From Concrete)
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Lord (George Gordon) Byron
    Robert Browning
    Leonard Cohen (Stranger Music*and others)
    William Blake
    Mark Van Doren (That Shining Place)
    David Berman (Actual Air)
    Ezra Pound
    Robert Frost (Anthology Of Poems)
    Langston Hughes
    E.E. Cummings (100 Selected Poems)
    Sylvia Plath
    Jim Morrison (Wilderness*American Night*The Lords And The New Creatures)
    William Shakespeare
    Dylan Thomas
    Richard Brautigan
    Federico Garcia Lorca (Selected Poems Of (translated))
    Gwendolyn Brooks
    Shel Silverstein (Where The Sidewalk Ends* and others)
    Robert Pinsky
    Erica Jong (At The Edge Of The Body, others)
    John Keats
    Henry Rollins (believe he has a book, know he has some spoken word cds)
    William Carlos Williams
    Douglas Pagels-(I Love You Sooo Much(ABook For My Soul Mate And A Thank You From My Heart))
    A.E. Housman
    Edward Field(edited by)-(A Geography Of Poets:An Anthology Of The New Poetry)
    Oscar Wilde
    Stevie Smith
    Billy Corgan (Blinking With Fists)
    T.S. Eliot
    William Butler Yeats
    Mark Strand
    Mary D. Esselman & Elizabeth Ash Velez (edited by)-(The Hell With Love:Poems To Mend A Broken Heart (actually this could go in the reference/self help section!))
    Lawrence Ferlenghetti
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Dave Kappel & Sally Steenland-(The Magnetic Poetry:Book Of Poetry)
    Robert Burns
    Alexander Pope
    Lord Alfred Tennyson
    Robert Bly
    John Sweet(google search for his chaps on the internet)

    Reference or poetry related:

    Dictionary(a very good one!-sometimes I get inspired by new words & such))
    Thesaurus(again, a good one)
    John Frederick Nims-Western Wind:An Introduction To Poetry
    William Packard-The Art Of Poetry Writing
    Rainer Maria Rilke-Letters To A Young Poet
    Bill Moyers-Fooling With Words
    Robin Behn and Chase Twichell(editors)-The Practice Of Poetry
    Judsom Jerome-The Poet's Handbook
    Constance Hale-Sin And Syntax
    Natalie Goldberg-Writing Down The Bones(Freeing The Writer Within)
    John Ciardi-How Does A Poem Mean
    Brenda Ueland-If You Want To Write
    Ron Padgett(edited by)-The Teacher's And Writer's Handbook Of Poetic Forms
    William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White-The Elements Of Style
    Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge-Poemcrazy(Freeing Your Life With Words)
    The Poet's Market-the current edition (put out each year by Writer's Digest Books-This is essential regarding markets and also has other information, interviews with poets, etc.)
    Theodore A. Rees Cheney-Getting The Words Right:How to Revise, Edit, & Rewrite
    Leonard Knott-Writing For The Joy Of It

    These are not so much poetry related but very profound,inspirational and life enriching, influential writing, sometimes verging on poetry-highly recommended)

    Hugh Prather- Notes To Myself*I Touch The Earth, The Earth Touches Me
    Richard Bach- Illusions (this book changed my life!)*Jonathon Livingston Seagull
    Douglas Coupland- Generation X
    Robert Cormier-Fade
    Peter Hedges- What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
    Richard Adams- Watership Down
    Nick Hornsby- High Fidelity
    J.R.R. Tolkein-The Lord Of The Rings
    Carson McCullers- The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
    Kurt Vonnegut-anything
    David Viscott- Finding Your Strength In Difficult Times(A Book Of Meditations)
    S.E. Hinton-The Outsiders*That Was Then, This Is Now
    Bret Easton Ellis-Less Than Zero

    Most important and influential to me are the lyrics of musicians, which are poetry unto themselves.My influensces include the lyrics of

    Michael Stipe (of R.E.M.) ,
    Fish(Derek William Dick) (of the band Marillion/solo, -my main influence)
    Snow Patrol,
    Dave Matthews (of The Dave Matthews Band)
    Patti Smith,
    David Gray,
    Joan Baez,
    Paul Simon (& Garfunkel),
    Tupac Shakur,
    Joni Mitchell,
    Adam Duritz (of Counting Crows),
    Bob Dylan,
    Radiohead,
    Jim Morrison (of the Doors),
    The Stone Roses,
    Doves,
    Kurt Cobain (of Nirvana)
    Liz Phair,
    Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails),
    Coldplay,
    Roger Waters & David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd)
    Straylight Run
    James Maynard Keenan (of A Perfect Circle/Tool)
    David Byrne(of Talking Heads),
    and many, many others.

    Love, Peace. Poetry, & Poetry!

    Gary Jurechka

    GEJ1964@hotmail.com

  • Robert Gardiner
    10 years ago

    Gary, has a point about reading poetry and its importance in helping one become a better poet. When I myself am asked about how one can become a better poet, improve at the craft, I often say study and part of studying is getting to know what good writing is by reading the works of the greats that came before you and of good, great poets of today, who writes you might learn from and whos styles might influence yours as you try to find your own style. For those interested in writing love/romantic poetry with an interest in improving the quality of their writes, I offer this collection of love/romantic poems that I put together, compiled. I feel these poems are shining, superlative examples of great love/romantic poetry. Check it out!!!

    Greatest Love Poems:
    http://www.blurty.com/talkpost.bml?journal=rglove&itemid=3435

  • Melissa
    10 years ago

    First of all, I'd like to thank Gary and Robert for taking the time to help others and myself... The material you've given us, is quite informative and much needed for any writer/poet who'd like to become more effective in their own writing.

    For me, poetry is essential, a constant need to connect soul and mind. The pen is my companion and has for many years, far surpassing any man or friendship. Perhaps it's the only love affair that can truly stand the test of time. It's always been there for me, ready to scribble my heart's thoughts, listen, and especially speak the truth. I started writing when I was 16 (when my father died). It was sort of my way of communicating with him, so I didn't sound like a crazy person talking to the sky. I do most of my writing in the early morning or late night while listening to music most of the time. Although sometimes I like it quiet, silence can really help me delve into a poem (as if becoming one with it).

    I agree with pretty much everything Gary had to say. Especially in carrying a pen and paper with you always. I've lost many ideas by not writing them down. Although now I seem to write most of my poems in my head before bringing them to life on paper.

    With topics, I say stick to what you know, believe in, and feel whole heartedly in the belly of your soul. My favorite type of poetry to write is observation poetry. What I mean by that is simply watch people and write about what you think their feeling (For an example read my poem, Eating alone, again). But that's just me, write what works for you. Just don't let a beautiful poem go to waste by not taking the time to see deeply into people.

    Challenge yourself and write using a form you've never tried before. And if you rhyme, attempt a nonrhyming poem. You may be surpised to find you are excellent in something you never even thought you'd be good at. I, like Gary mostly write in free verse (letting my words decide their own form), but I continue to try formed poetry and I've become to love many of the forms.

    Definately read others work, learn new words, study the craft, and keep an open mind. I've been inspired by many poets/songwriters.

    Be passionate about language, be inspired, be unique and don't let your words fetter, give them soul and a song to sing. And for poetry's sake, avoid cliches!

    But most of all be yourself, cause in the end that's who your writing for!

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    I'd just like to thank Robert and Melissa for their additions-very well spoken and interesting comments from two very excellent poets on this site, again thank you.I feel this topic and all it's aspects could benefit both newer and older members alike.I hope to hear/read comments from some of our more prestigious/respected members as well as newcomers.

    Gary Jurechka

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    POETRY MARKETS/SUBMISSIONS

    *************************************************************
    Welcome to the world of literary small press and e-zine publications.

    This is for those who wish to branch out and see their work in print whether online or in traditional paper zines.This list will include both on line e-zines and also paper published ones.In the world of small presses as well as on the net, things can change overnight-zines cease publication, addresses change, editors change, sometimes submission guidelines change, new zines start up, etc.I will do my best to keep it up-dated.If anyone who contacts or submits to the small presses/e-zines and finds any change of information or extra info on any of these or discovers new or ones that aren't on this list ,please e-mail me about it so I can keep this list current.
    Also, though we all write for many different reasons, trying to write with the idea of world wide fame and to make any money is not the goal here, if you start writing with that as your only goal or reason for writing, than you are not being true to yourself.Whether one gets published or not, we write because we must.While there is nothing wrong with getting paid or gaining popularity/recognition, these should not be your only reasons for writing.It is the passion to write that matters.It is a great feeling to get that first acceptance(and actually every one after) and even better when you see your name and poetry in print.This can bolster your confidence, vindicate your belief in your work and justify the time and effort put into writing, it can give great personal satisfaction on many levels.And it is good to build up some writing credits/publication history and also become somewhat established and known(build a reputation) in the e-zine and paper published literary world of both the small presses and hopefully the bigger more famous publications.And it always means something special when you can touch the hearts and minds of others through your poetry.But when it all comes down to it, the main and greatest thing, whether you submit for publication or not, whether you are ever published or not, is a secondary reason for writing , no, the most important thing will always be that you have the passion for writing burning deep and true inside you above anything else.Passion.

    Okay, a little info on the markets in general.Ideally the top markets (like POETRY MAGAZINE, THE NEW YORKER, etc.) are desired magazines to break into-these are high prestige and often well paying magazines.However competition is extremely fierce-the sheer volume of submissions the well known markets receive as opposed to how much poetry they actually use/publish is unbelievable.It is not impossible to get into these 'more desirable' markets, but it is very tough.Some of the college/university zines are open to all and these are also very hard to break into sometimes.Then there are the small presses-both e-zines and conventionally published magazines.These are no less important than the well known magazines and the college ones, some of the small press zines can be prestigious and some may even pay.A lot of times these are 1 or 2 person operations, some run by certain groups or a professionally staffed outfit, the paper published ones can be of varying quality, some are simple cut-and-paste affairs( the accepted work is compiled and glued to paper in a format of some kind then copied on a store or home copier or computer) and some are professionally printed with a nice glossy cover and higher quality paper.The paper published magazines are of all shapes and sizes and varying in the quality and look and also in the poetry they publish.The same is true as far as content and to a degree the appearance of the e-zines/web site zines.

    NOTES ON SUBMISSIONS

    Okay, though I've been away from the center stage of the poetry small presses the last couple of years, I have been extensively published in numerous zines and journals.I also was the editor/publisher of my own zine from roughly 1994-1999, so I consider myself a veteran of the markets in the small press world, having been on both sides. The following are things everyone should learn/know about submitting work.This is a rough guide to submitting your poetry for possible publication.
    The number one thing is: KNOW THE MARKETS.This is the main key to success.I can't stress this enough (you don't want to send a poem about your grandchild's first ice cream cone to a biker magazine and things like that-some magazines have theme/subject issues, some use only traditional verse, some only free verse, there are many variances as to what each particular publication is looking for and other details). Pick up a copy of THE POET'S MARKET put out each year by Writer's Digest Books.This book contains hundreds of markets with excellent information on what each magazine is looking for in the poetry they accept, contact information, payment(most of the small presses pay in copies of the magazine, or in the case of e-zines the opportunity of being on their site and the exposure and any prestige it may carry), also reply times, editor(s) name(s), for e-zines, whether to send the poems as atatchments or in the email body itself,etc.They list both paper published zines and e-zines world wide(there may be other guides in other countries, but in the U.S Poet's Market is the bible for poets-from the beginner to the poet laureates).The best way to learn the markets is to study them or check them out.For the e-zines, go to their sites and see what kind of work they have displayed, for the paper zines, sample copies can usually be purchased.For both this gives you the opportunity to not only check out the publication and learn more details about it, but also allows you to read some of the work/poets in the small press world.Most sites and paper zines have submission guidelines in their content, if not, then a request for submission guidelines from the editor is advised.
    SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.These are vital.They will tell you what type of poetry that editor/publication is seeking, how many poems to submit at one time, response time to submissions, payment information, etc. Adhere to the guidelines.Each editor/zine is different. If a zine doesn't state how many poems to submit at once, 4-6 is a general rule.You don't want to send only 1 or 2 but you don't want to send a couple hundred. Five poems gives the editor a good idea and variety of your work to consider.
    If submitting to a paper zine, always send a self addressed stamped envelope(S.A.S.E.) with sufficient return postage to cover the return of your work and the editor's response.When submitting to magazines in other countries, send the addressed envelope along with enough I.R.C.'s(International Reply Coupons) for the return.
    Usually the guidelines will state a response time.Be forewarned; response time can be months, publication of the piece may be a year away.Most zines have a large backlog of submissions.Be patient.If an editor hasn't responded in the time stated in their guidelines (or if no response time is given 3 months is a fair wait), then send a breif curteous inquiry as to the status of your submission.Don't hound an editor, if anything it will prejudice him/her against your work no matter how good it is.Remember, a lot of these zines are small operations, many done in addition to the editor's 'real' job or other projects.Again, patience(to a reasonable extent) is the must here.
    When submitting, send a cover letter of some sort.This should be breif.Try to address it to the specific editor's name, if the editor's name is not known than 'Dear Editor', is okay to use.State that you are submitting your work for publication consideration and also some breif biographical information(don't go into your life story) and a list of writing credits(this is usualy the listing of any zine publications, contests or awards won, etc.Again if you have been extensively published, only mention the more prestigious credits.If you are just starting out, you can either state that of just skip listing the writing credits until you do acquire some.Always thank the editor for his time.If you would like more specific info on cover letters, feel free to contact me.
    Be prepared for rejection.If you are too sensitive about rejection, you may want to hold off until it won't bother you so much.A rejection is not a reflection on you as a person, and not always a statement about your work.There are many reasons for rejection:the zine/editor may have too much of a backlog, he may be having a bad day, the material may not be what the zine is seeking, and a thousand other reasons.Sometimes the rejection may include mention of why it was rejected, more often due to time and the immense amount of submissions, most zines use a form rejection-a standard generic decline of your work.Sometimes an editor may ask for changes in a piece.This is up to you.See if the editor has a legitimate point.If the change makes the piece better and you agree with it, make the change.However, if you think the editor is full of it and the request for revising the piece unwarranted, then stand firm and decline to make the change.But always listen with an open mind.Your words are not sacred and set in stone, you must become your own editor as a writer, which means to be open to change, at the same time, don't change something you think is fine just to get published or to please an editor.You will eventually realize when to revise something to make it stronger and when to refuse because you believe in the piece as it is.Every editor has different likes and preferences.And these are only the opinions of one zine or person.As you grow as a writer or become better at revising, your work will reflect this and the rejections will become fewer and the acceptances more.Bottom line: Never take a rejection personally.And don't get discouraged.Try again elsewhere.
    Simultaneous submissions or previously published poems.Some zines will accept 'simultaneous submissions'(sending the same poem out at the same time to a few different publications and previously published work(exactly that-something that has already been published elsewhere), many will not.If you do send out simultaneous submissions, if the piece is accepted by one, then the other editors should be contacted and informed.
    Most zines/editors do not like or accept rhyming work.While popular on many of the less discriminating post anything sites, most editors will not touch it.There are exceptions, some zines only use rhyme or traditional pieces.If you are going to write/submit rhyming work that it had better be exceptional.Rhyme is considered the basic ameteur's starting point by many writers/poets/editors, and most rhymes are so cliched.If you can write traditional forms/rhyming work well, than give it a try.But be fresh and original, most rhyming stuff has been done to death.There are always exceptions.
    Send only your best work.Be professional.While waiting to hear back on a submission, don't stop everything else, keep writing, check out new markets, etc.

    THE POETRY MARKETS

    These are both e-zines and paper published zines.I will try to provide website addresses when available, if not listed and only a regular postal address is given, this means that it is a paper zine that you have to use the postal system when submitting(that or I don't have the web address yet!).Some paper published zines will take email submissions, just as some e-zines will accept regular mail submissions.This list will include zines in many different areas/countries.Good luck!

    ALPHA-BEAT PRESS
    Dave and Ana Christy
    31 A Waterloo Street
    New Hope, PA. 18938 USA

    ALTERNATIVE HARMONIES/New Dawn Unlimited
    Jerri and Kirk Hardesty
    1830 Marvel Road
    Brierfield, Alabama 35035 USA

    AUGHT
    Ron Henry, Editor
    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/8789/aught.htm

    BABEL
    Malcom Lawrence, Editor
    www.towerofbabel.com

    BARBARIC YAWP/BONEWORLD PUBLISHING
    John and Nancy Berbrich, editor/publishers
    3700 County Route 24
    Russell, New York 13684 USA

    beat theif
    Scooter Jonez
    www.beatthief.com

    BLUE MOON
    Alan Michael Parker, Poetry Editor
    poetry@thebluemoon.com

    BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTS INC.
    Editorial Dept.
    P.O. Box 1007
    Boulder, Colorado 80306 USA
    www.bluemountainarts.com

    CHIRON REVIEW
    Michael Hathaway
    702 N. Prairie Street
    St. John, Kansas 67576-1516 USA

    COTYLEDON/CATAMOUNT PRESS
    Georgette Perry, editor
    2519 Roland Road SW
    Huntsville, Alabama 35805-4147 USA
    (uses poems ten lines or less(similiar to Lilliput Review)

    THE CRACKED MIRROR
    Goldie Jones
    P.O. Box 1096
    Dunkirk, New York 14048 USA

    De'Pressed Int'l
    http://www.depressed-intl.com/submissions.html

    FROGMORE PAPERS
    Jeremy Page, Poetry Editor
    18 Nevill Road
    Lewes, East Sussex
    BN7 1PF
    England
    www.frogmorepress.co.uk.

    GOLDEN APPLE PRESS
    Diane Henderson
    1701 Georgetown Drive
    Champaign, IL 61821 USA

    HELIANTHUS
    P.O. Box 1511
    Pasadena, Texas 77501-1511 USA

    HERON QUARTERLY OF HAIKU AND ZEN POETRY
    Thinking Post Press
    17825 Bear Valley Lane
    Escandido, California 92027 USA

    IMPS IN THE INKWELL
    c/o Calamity Jewelz
    P.O. Box 6724
    Minneapolis, MN 55406 USA
    www.gleeful.com/hellespont

    LILLIPUT REVIEW
    Don Wentworth, Editor
    282 Main Street
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    15201-2807 U.S.A.
    http://donw714.tripod.com/lillieindex.html
    (Only uses poems that are 10 lines or less-this
    is a paper published zine)

    LIQUID OHIO
    Amber Goddard/ Michelle Leon editors
    P.O. Box 60265
    Bakersfield, California 93386-0265 USA

    LUCID MOON
    Ralph Hasselman, Jr.
    67 Norma Road
    Hampton, New Jersey 08827 USA
    (online-e-zine and paper zine)

    THE MAD POET'S REVIEW
    c/o Eileen D'Angelo
    P.O. Box 1248
    Media, PA 19063-8348 USA

    MONKEY'S FIST
    Robin Merrill & Heidi Parker, editors
    425 West Mills Road
    Anson, MI
    04911-9735 USA

    MY FAVORITE BULLET
    Interior Noise Press
    P.O. Box 17863
    Austin, Texas
    78760 USA

    MUSE OF FIRE
    Tim Scannell
    21 Kruse Road
    Port Angeles, Wasington
    98362-9800 USA

    NANNY FANNY
    Lou Hertz, edtor
    2524 Stockbridge Drive #15
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46268-2670 USA

    POETIC HOURS
    Nicholas Clark, Editor
    43 Willow Road
    Carlton, Nolts
    NG4 3BH
    England
    www.poetichours.homestead.com

    www.poetry.com

    POET'S FANTASY
    Gloria Stoeckel
    227 Hatten Avenue
    Rice Lake, Wisconsin 54868 USA

    THE POETS ROUNDTABLE(newsletter)
    Esther Alma
    826 South Center Street
    Terre Haute, Indiana 47807 USA

    PREMIERE GENERATION INK.
    Sachin Pandya, Poetry Editor
    P.O. Box 22056
    Madison, Wisconsin
    53701 USA
    www.premieregeneration.com

    PROSE AX
    Jhoanna Calma, Editor
    P.O. Box 22643
    Honolulu. Hawaii
    96823-2643 USA
    www.proseax.com

    THE RAINTOWN REVIEW
    Harvey Stanbrough
    P.O. Box 370
    Pittsboro, Indiana 46167 USA

    SCORCHED EARTH

    SHADES OF DECEMBER
    c/o Alexander Danner(poetry editor)
    P.O. Box 244
    Selden, New York 11784 USA
    http://wwww2.fastdial.net-fc2983

    www.slowtrains.com

    SNOW MONKEY
    P.O. Box 127
    Edmonds, Washington
    98020-0127 U.S.A.

    SOUR GRAPES(newsletter)
    Sandy Bernstein
    26 Sheridan Street
    Woburn, MA. 01801-3542 USA

    SPUNK
    Violet Jones
    P.o. Box 55336
    Hayward, California 94545 USA

    SUBTLETEA
    David Herrle, Editor
    www.subtletea.com

    TAMAFYHR MOUNTAN POETRY
    Kenneth P. Gurney, Editor
    3710 North Oakland Ave. #203
    Shorewood Wisconsin
    53211 U.S.A.
    www.tmpoetry.com

    3 cup morning
    Gen O'Neil, Editor
    13865 Dillabough Road, R.R. #1
    Chesterville, ON
    KOC 1HO
    Canada
    http://3cupmorning.topcities.com

    THREE CANDLES
    Steve Mueske
    www.threecandles.org
    (E-zine)

    WILD PLUM
    Constance Campbell, Editor
    P.O. Box 49019
    Austin, Texas
    787765-90119 USA
    www.wildplumpoetry.com

    WILD VIOLET MAGAZINE
    Alyce Wilson, Editor

    www.zinos.com

    ***********************************************

    (NOTE: okay, this is the start of the markets/submissions section.The above information I'm sure will be added to or revised, as I know there's other things to mention or address.At any point you have any questions, concerns, or information, feel free to contact me.I just put up a couple markets(which I still need to add more information to them yet(there are so many, I haven't actually checked them all out), but it's a start-check out the sites and see what type of stuff they use, guidelines,etc.) .If anyone has any questions on the above stuff or has something to add, contact me.Again if anyone has other markets or listings, please add to this.

    GaryJ

  • HansRik
    10 years ago

    Gary, thanks for contacting me. I appreciate a request coming from such an eloquent mind.

    As some of you know, I like to write in Archaic forms. These usually follow a set rhyme pattern (e.g. aabb, abba, or half rhymes) and have a rhythm (usually iambic, i.e. a non-stressed syllable followed by a stressed one). I seek to achieve this without forcing the poem and the idea behind it too much.

    Archaic poetry, unlike some modern poems, tends to play on extended or ambivalent metaphors. I attempted to recreate this in one of my poems, in which I used fire as a symbol for destruction, as well as a symbol for ardent love.

    I am a lover of Romantic poetry: the idea of a lover who waits eternally for the Goddess-like girl who will transform his dire soul into something divine. I like to play with this.

    Bon, at the moment, I am a bit busy, but let me recommend EoB's poetry. Robert Gardiner is also a very good love poet.

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Thank you to both Bob Shank and Hansrik, I appreciate the response.However if you do have time and care to add to this post, I believe both of you have much to offer.You are both respected and prolific writers.I feel you could not only offer some technical aspects(such as poetry forms/definitions) but also insight into your personal writing habits and styles-as I stated at the beginning of this post-
    "What I hope to do in this topic/forumn is cover a varietry of the aspects of poetry.From simple plain spoken advice/suggestions(the basics) to the more technical aspects like definitions of poetic terms/forms(for those wishing to learn more, to expand their horizons), markets and how/where to get published, etc.I am asking those members with experience and knowledge to post things that could benefit others.Including such things as advice on certain forms,tips on breaking writer's block, recommended reading, and also personal writing habits(I've found people like to read about not only advice/suggestions but also the personal writing/working habits of different writers),like what time of day you write, do you have a favorite place(inside or outside, even more specific), do you listen to music while you write,when you first started writing,do you write rough drafts on the computer or with pen and paper,have you been published,what your influences were(other poets, writers, songwriters, etc.), is solitude necesary to you or not, what compels you to write,emotions, passion, to get an idea or meaning across, do you write for yourself or with someone in mind,how and when you started writing, writing as therapy or release, writing exercises and mostly what poetry means to you.Any advice to newcomers and established poets alike.I hope to hear/see postings from those popular on the site as well as those newer members who have something to add.I welcome and appreciate any comments along these lines from any and all P&Q members-everyone has something to say. Thank you."

    So if anyone(especially Stormy, Bob, Hansrik, Shobhana Kumar, Weeping Wolf, Christy Schmall, Adel, Sunny, Ann Marie,Rainbow Slider, Ann Stareyes, Enslavement of Beauty, Nuovovesuvio(Rafie) and others on the site) can add anything along these lines, please do so.I feel it would very much benefit others, and we may just learn a bit about ourselves in the process.....

    Peace, Poetry & Power,

    Gary Jurechka

  • Robert Gardiner
    10 years ago

    More writing tips per request of Gary;

    Let's Write Poetry; The Basic Fundamentals of Poetry:

    Poetry can at times be unapproachable, and college English students often dread the poetry unit of their English Composition classes. This article explains some of the basic principles of poetry.

    Imagery

    Edgar Allen Poe called poetry, “The rhythmical creation of beauty.” Emily inson said, “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold that no fire can ever warm me, then I know that it is poetry.”

    Poetry takes the raw material of words and creates something much greater than what is literally present.

    To do so, poets rely heavily on imagery, which is typically done by jumping from the literal to the abstract. For example, a pebble on a beach is not simply a pebble on a beach, but instead an image of life's meaninglessness. A flea is not simply a biting insect, but instead an image of death.

    Poets use a variety of language techniques to create these images.

    Figurative language -

    Figurative language is a tool that an author employs (or uses) to help the reader visualize (or see) what is happening in a story or poem. Some common types of figurative language are: simile, metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, idiom, puns, and sensory language. Below are some ways to introduce these concepts to your class and some activities. There are also links to other sites for more help

    Personification - Personification is representing an abstract quality or idea as a person or creature

    Example of personification:

    1. The wind whispered to me from the darkness.
    2. Guilt tapped upon my shoulder with the spindly finger of dread.

    Onomatopoeia - Onomatopoeia is the use of words or a word that carries the sound of the thing described. In other words, it causes the reader to hear the sound represented.

    Examples of onomatopoeia:

    1. I heard the crack of the bat as he hit the ball.
    2. I hear the screech of chalk on the board.

    Hyperbole - A hyperbole is an intentional overstatement or exaggeration. A hyperbole says more than is true. It stretches the truth so far that it is not expected to be taken literally. It is used to make an important point.

    Examples of hyperbole:

    1. I have told you a million times.
    2. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.

    Simile - A simile is a figurative language device that makes its points by comparing two things that aren't normally associated with each other using the words like or as.

    Examples of simile:

    1. That girl is as sharp as a tack.
    2. She sings like a canary.

    Metaphor - A metaphor is a simile without the words like or as. A metaphor is used to make the meaning more intense.

    Examples of metaphor:

    1. Loneliness is an empty room.
    2. That old man is a sly fox.

    Metonomy - Metonomy is the substitution of a word for another with which it is associated. For example, in the phrase, “;the whole world turns to coal,” coal is standing in for destruction.

    Tone

    Tone is the essence of what is being written, and is used to convey or provoke anger, hurt, joy, apprehension, etc, depending on the poet's goal. Importantly, tone should create a mood without telling the reader what to feel. Poets wanting to create a tone should show rather than tell.

    For example, in the phrase, “there are things that are more important beyond this fiddle,” the author has shown that the speaker does not like something without simply writing, “I don't like the fiddle.”

    Irony

    Irony is a common way of achieving tone, and is done when two ideas or images are put together that would seem more naturally separate. For instance, in the phrase, “Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All, I take a box.”

    Irony is created in that phrase by placing words normally used to describe emotion alongside the word “box.” The poet is writing about an experience in a grocery store, and the words are not in fact words for emotion but, in fact, brands of laundry detergent.

    A further irony is created by the knowledge that the poet is a man writing in the 1950s, and would therefore seem out of place in a grocery store.

    Meter

    Meter is rhythm characterized by division into parts of equal time; an arranged pattern of rhythm in a line of verse.

    Rhythm

    Rhythm is a classic component of poetry, and there are specific rules.

    Poetry scholars who analyze rhythm divide the lines of a poem into sections called feet and classify them in the following manner:

    Monometer: one foot
    Dimeter: two feet
    Trimeter: three feet
    Tetrameter: four feet
    Pentameter: five feet
    Hexameter: six feet
    Heptameter: seven feet
    Octameter: eight feet

    Once the number of feet is determined, a poetry scholar then observes the syllabic structure within each foot and classifies them in the following manner:

    Iambic: a short-stressed syllable followed by a long-stressed syllable. For example, words like "indeed," "about,” or "against."
    Trocheeic: a long-stressed syllable followed by a short-stressed syllable. For example, words like "certain," "women," or "patient."

    Dactylic: a long-stressed syllable followed by two short-stressed syllables. For example, "muttering," "restaurants," or "oyster-shells."

    Anapestic: Two short-stressed syllables followed by a long-stressed syllable. For example, "afternoon," "do I dare," or "overwhelm."

    Spondeeic: A long-stressed syllable followed by another long-stressed syllable. For example, "one night," or "shirt sleeves."

    So, for instance, in the phrase, "Let us go then you and I," the rhythm scheme would be trocheeic tetrameter.

    Rhyme

    Placing two like-sounding words together, typically at the end of a line, creates rhyme. When poetry scholars talk about rhyme they are generally referring to a rhyme scheme and map it out with letters. For example, if a poem is four lines long and every other line rhymes then the rhyme scheme would be "abab."

    Rhyming is typically used to show when lines break, but it can also be used to show how words fit together. Most of the time, words that rhyme will somehow be connected.

    Some poets, particularly free verse poets, like to use off rhyme where the words sound similar but not exactly alike. For example, cow and plow would be examples of explicit rhymes, but blood and cold would be off rhyme.

    There are two types of explicit rhyming:

    Assonance: when the vowel sounds match, For example: trim, dim or him.

    Alliteration: when the consonant sounds match.

    Alliteration - Alliteration is a poetic or literary effect achieved by using several words that begin with the same or similar consonants at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse. For example, "Britney is a Beautiful, Breathtaking, Beguiling, Bewitching woman, By whom I'm Befuddled, Bewildered, and Bemused." Notice the run of words that all begin with the letter B - one accenting the other - that is Alliteration.

    Also, the repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables, as in "Her Rapturous, Witching, Wonder, Winsomely Wows me." You might take note of the fact that the beginning consonants of Rapturous, Witching, Wonder, Winsomely, and Wows all make the same or similar sound.

    Poem Construction

    Poems are typically written in lines, and these lines are placed together in various ways to form the body of the poem.

    If only two lines are put together, the poem is said to be written in couplets.

    If three or more lines are put together, the poem is said to be written in stanzas, which can be colloquially referred to as poem paragraphs.

    When a series of stanzas are made up of regular lines, for example six four-line stanzas, the stanzas are said to be isometric. If the stanzas are made up of irregular lines, for example three four-line stanzas followed by one three-line stanza, the stanzas are said to be heterometric.

    Common Types of Poetry

    Poems come in all forms, but here are a few common types.

    The Villanelle. The villanelle is an intricate braiding of 19 lines, many of them repeated, that are divided into about five stanzas.

    The Pantoum. The pantoum can be of any length, but it must be divided into four-line stanzas, also called quatrains. The first and last lines of each stanza are always the same and the rhyme scheme is abba.

    The Sonnet -Sonnets are always 14 lines long, and the rhythm scheme is typically iambic pentameter. Shakespearean sonnets have a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg. Petrarchan sonnets have a rhyme scheme of abba abba cde cde.

    Resources:
    http://volweb.utk.edu/Schools/bedford/harrisms/1poe.htm
    http://www.finetuning.com/articles/p0-226-the-fundamentals-of-poetry.html
    http://www.create.cett.msstate.edu/create/classroom/lplan_view.asp?articleID=62

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Basic Elements of Poetry Basic Elements of Poetry:
    http://www.poems-and-quotes.com/discussion/topic.html?topic_id=29578

    author: Robert Gardiner
    date: 2005.09.22 17:40

    Top 10 Key Elements of Poetry

    With poetry, we put words together in a creative way to express an idea, emotion or image (or even to tell a story). Poetry is made up of different elements, each of which may or may not be used in a given poem. By becoming familiar with the elements of poetry, you'll be able to manipulate them more easily and improve your writing. Here's a quick rundown of 10 of the most basic elements of poetry, with links to more in-depth information.

    1) Title
    The title is the first thing a reader will see, so it\'s important to get it exactly right. With many poems, the title functions as the first line of the poem; with others, there is no actual title, so the poem is known by its first line (that line "becomes" the title, in effect). A good title can add depth to the poem, or help illuminate the meaning for the reader. A bad title can be too obvious, too revealing, or simply confusing. This small element deserves more thought than it usually gets.

    More: The Title: What's It Good For, Anyway?
    http://teenwriting.about.com/cs/generaltips/a/Titles.htm

    2) Imagery
    Almost every poem every written has imagery in it (as do fiction and non-fiction). Imagery is all the detail of the senses that make a poem come alive for the reader. It includes not only visual information (images), but also information from the other senses. Imagery can be used simply to write about a setting or event, such as a poem about the forest, or about a day at the beach. Imagery can also be used metaphorically, where the detail described refers to something else entirely.

    More: What is Imagery?
    http://teenwriting.about.com/cs/glossary/g/GlosImagery.htm

    3) Plot
    Did you think that only fiction had plots? Well, poems have plots, too. The plot of a poem is the underlying idea or impulse that connects all the individual ideas or images together and arranges them in an effective way. A narrative poem, for example, uses plot in much the same way as fiction does, in order to tell a story. Other kinds of poems might have plots that pose and seek to answer questions, that contrast ideal images with reality, or that progress through images from blurry to sharp.

    More: The Basic Plots of Poetry
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa041403c.htm

    4) Diction
    All creative writing is written in artificially constructed language; that is, poetry isn't the way we talk every day. The kind of language you choose for a poem, its range of vocabulary, is its diction. The words you choose--whether you use old-fashioned “poetic diction” or something that sounds like contemporary street slang--affects the impact you poem has. Think about what you want you poem to do, what you want it to say, when you choose your diction. As with many things, consistency is key.

    More: Diction and Poetic Language
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa041403d.htm

    5) Rhythm
    All poetry has rhythm, from the strictest metered verse to the loosest free verse. The rhythm of poetry is like the beat of music, and if you have control over it, you have control over your writing. Rhythm is composed mainly of stress (in varying levels from none to a lot) and pauses. It is what influences how the words are read, rather than what the words are. Very often, fixing a line that doesn't quite work is a simple as examining its rhythm and seeing where it goes wrong.

    More: Prosody: Rhythm and Metre
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa041403e.htm

    6) Metre
    We mostly think of metre as occurring in rhymed poetry, but even unrhymed poetry can be metered. Metre is specific patterns of rhythm, and many of those patterns have names. It can be a difficult element to work with, as too strict a metre can make a poem sound staccato and artificial (and even annoying). But mastering metre (or at least becoming aware of its possibilities) will give you an advantage even in your least structured work. It's all about how words sound together.

    More: Poetic Metre
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/glossary/bldef-metre.htm

    7) Repetition
    Repetition emphasizes whatever it is that's repeated, but too much repetition can make a great word or phrase seem commonplace. It's a matter of balance or moderation. Repetition is another one of those elements that we usually think of in connection with strict forms of poetry, but which is also of great use in less structured poems, including free verse. There are many possibilities--one can repeat words, phrases or whole stanzas, and one can play with the location of repeated parts.

    More: Repetition and Rhyme
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa041403f.htm

    8) Rhyme
    Here's one more element that seems to belong to poetry in strict forms, but which can be used in unstructured poems as well. You probably won\'t want to use rhyme very much in your free verse, but the odd pair of rhymed words can have interesting effects. Rhyme is a much more versatile element than we often assume--did you know that there are many different kinds of rhyme, each with a somewhat different sound? Not only can rhyme be useful, but it can also be a lot of fun to play with.

    More: What's a Rhyme -- and What Isn't?
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa120902a.htm

    9) Form
    The form of a poem refers to the “rules” of metre, rhythm, rhyme and line length that determine a poem's shape. Form can be as loose as having no rules at all, or as strict as specifying a particular pattern of metre and rhythm, a specific rhyme scheme, and a certain number of syllables per line and lines per stanza (and more). Even if you plan to write mainly free verse, it's worth becoming familiar with forms. You can use parts of the “rules” for one or many forms and create something new.

    More: Poetic Forms
    http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa041403h.htm

    10) Art
    ”Art” is a concept that is difficult to define, but here I mean something like “;the part of poetry writing that is not craft.” By craft, I mean the techniques you learn to use to consciously make your writing better. Sort of. Art, then, is the unconscious, creative aspect of writing poetry, what I have elsewhere called “the heart of poetry.” In some ways, it is the most important element of poetry, and it's one you either have or don't have. Craft you can learn, but art is innate.

    More: Writing Where Your Heart Is: Art and Craft in Poetry
    http://teenwriting.about.com/cs/writingpoetry/a/HeartOfPoetry.htm

    From: http://teenwriting.about.com/od/writingpoetry/tp/ElementsPoetry.htm

    Basic Elements of Poetry : Rhythm, Rhyme and Imagery:

    Introduction
    Poetry, unlike other literary forms, focuses most sharply on language itself. The music of words, how they sound, how their sounds flow and mix and form musical patterns are vital to poetry. Writer A.S. Rosenthal said, "Far from being incidental, qualities of sound and rhythm give a poetic work its organic body." Poets must use all the physical attributes of words: their sound, size, shape, and rhythms.

    Imagery
    if the music of poetry is its life-blood, images give poetry its soul. Although you can write a successive poem without imagery, the best poems come alive with simile, metaphor, symbolism, and use of personification. Be alert to images in poems you read, and try to include some original imagery in your own poems. Keep in mind that imagery is the language of dreams. When you write with imagery you bring the magic and mystery of dreamscapes to your writing. As poet, William Greenway, said "images can communicate the unsayable, so show don't tell."

    Rhythm
    Rhythm can be defined as the flow of stressed and unstressed syllables to create oral patterns. To achieve rhythm, English poets have traditionally counted three things:

    1. the number of syllables in a line

    2. the number of stressed or accented syllables

    3. the number of individual units of both stressed and unstressed syllables.

    Rhyme
    According to Webster's Dictionary, rhyme is "a regular recurrence of corresponding sounds" which occurs usually at the end of a line. There are three main types of end-rhymes:

    1. True rhyme (also called masculine) occurs exactly on one stressed syllable.
    EX. car, far

    2. Feminine rhyme uses words of more than one syllable and occurs when the accented syllable rhymes.
    EX. buckle, knuckle

    3. Off-rhyme or Slant Rhyme occurs when words sound very similar but do not correspond in sound exactly
    EX. down, noon

    From: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~dory/creative/class5.html
    Additional Reference: http://www.electpress.com/loveandromance/page100.htm

    Six Traits of Poetry Writing:

    1. The Idea - the heart of your poem, point of your message

    2. The Organization - the internal structure

    3. The Voice - evidence of the writer behind the message

    4. The Word Choice - the vocabulary or terminology used

    5. The Fluency - the rhythm and flow - how it plays to the ear

    6. The Form - the mechanical structure and correctness there of

    I personally have always keyed in on Rhythm, Rhyme, and Flow. I believe having these three elements contribute greatly to a poems overall appeal and help to make for a well structured piece.

    1. A poem should flow naturally - be flowing and easy reading

    2. It should have rhythmic symmetry - there should be a correspondence rhythm with in the poem

    3. Effective rhyming add to overall beauty and quality of poem - finding the correct corresponding rhyme makes for a better poem

    **(Note: I believe rhyme or free verse is the preference of the author-it is merely a preference of form/opinion-each is equally effective if done well.. Just my opinion.-Gary Jurechka)**

    The number one Key to writing poetry is how it’s constructed, structured, and how that structure lends itself to the appeal of a poem when being read!!!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Using Repetition (6)
    by Robert Gardiner ( F P C D )
    A look at repetition and how to use it well.

    Using Repetition
    by Robert Gardiner

    Repetition is the basis for many poetic forms. The use of repetition can heighten the emotional impact of a piece. Repetition of a sound, syllable, word, phrase, line, stanza, or metrical pattern is a basic unifying device in all poetry. It may reinforce, supplement, or even substitute for meter. Repetition emphasizes whatever it is that is repeated, making it stand out so the reader knows it is important. If you repeat a word or a line in poetry, then that word or line (or those words or lines) appears to be more important than other parts of the poem. In fact, in a poem with repeating lines, all of the other lines are often comments on or elaborations of the repeated line. Repetition can also affect the rhythm of a poem and the way it sounds. In particular, repetition of individual sounds or groups of sounds can strengthen the rhythmic structure.

    Repetition can be a great tool in poetry and a very effective one, when done well (right), but it is not easy to do. Anyone whose ever partook of poetry forms that use repetition know that it can be a difficult task, that repeating lines and phrases dispersed throughout your poem can sometimes adversely affect your rhythm and the overall flow of the poem. Repetition is not the hardest thing in the world to do, but is very easy to do badly.

    Repetition emphasizes whatever it is that's repeated, but too much repetition can make a great word or phrase seem commonplace. It's a matter of balance or moderation. Repetition is another one of those elements that we usually think of in connection with strict forms of poetry, but which is also of great use in less structured poems, including free verse. There are many possibilities--one can repeat words, phrases or whole stanzas, and one can play with the location of repeated parts. One of the keys to repetition is what you choose to repeat and where you choose to repeat it. If it's done in a poem that requires a specifically structured repetition, as many of the repetitive poetry forms/formats do/require, then it's a matter of effectively choosing what will be repeated in your poem, choosing what to use as your refrain or repeated sound, syllable, word, phrase, line, or stanza one that will still allow it to be rhythmic and fluent (to flow).

    If repetition, repeating yourself, in a poem, doesn’t lend itself well to the rhythm and flow of the poem, it shouldn't be done, used, at all. I personally have tried using repetition effectively in poetry and can safely say doing it "effectively" is the most difficult part of the task, although I have managed to do so on occasion.

    Repetition is a skill and like all skills not everybody is graced, blessed, with the ability naturally. The use of repetition is an investment of time and effort. It takes a certain level of skill and craftsmanship to do it well, so for those who aren’t graced with the natural ability it takes work to be able to do it well, right, if you will.

    Some of the information from an internet article on the Elements of poetry that is no longer up.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Basic Elements of Poetry : (2)
    by Robert Gardiner

    This is a brief overview of the elements of poetry, which I found on the internet, for those of you who are not familiar with the technical aspects of poetry writing, and those of you who just want to learn more, want to sure up your tecnical poetry writing skills, to hopefully help us all become better writers, poets.

    Love Poem Basics

    Basic Elements: Rhythm, Rhyme and Imagery

    Rhythm

    Most poetry has rhythm, and rhythm is achieved by emphasizing or deemphasizing certain syllables in the words used in the lines of the love poem.

    The syllables, themselves, are then grouped into two or three syllable units called "feet".

    Examples of different types of "feet": (note: all underlined syllables are emphasized)

    [My love] [for you] [will al] [ways be,]

    The above feet in [ ] brackets are called "iambs" because they are each composed of two syllables with the second syllable of each foot emphasized.

    [Slow ly] [soft ly] [and so] [gent ly]

    The above feet in brackets are called "trochees" because they are each composed of two syllables with the first syllable of each foot emphasized.

    [Sweet heart] [thou art] [al ways] [at heart]

    The above feet in brackets are called "spondees" because they are each composed of two syllables with both syllables of each foot emphasized.

    [Self res pect] [is a-chieved] [when one leaves] [lust and greed]

    The above feet in brackets are called "dactyls" because they are each composed of three syllables with the first syllable of each foot emphasized.

    [Dis res pect] [can not be] [for a love] [to be free]

    The above feet in brackets are called "anapests' because they are each composed of three syllables with the third syllable of each foot emphasized.

    Rhythm, as you can see from the above, depends on emphasized and deemphasized syllables which make up "feet." Taking this a step further, a "line" or "verse" of a poem is made up of one or more "feet."

    Examples of Lines (Verses):

    Iambic Tetrameter (4-meter)

    [My love] [for you] [will al] [ways be,]

    This verse has four iambic feet.

    Iambic Trimeter (3-meter)

    [I kiss] [you in] [my dreams]

    This verse has three iambic feet.

    You can also have five iambic feet:

    Iambic Pentameter (5-meter)

    [Thus soon] [I'll need] [the warmth] [of your] [em brace]

    The variations are almost endless!

    Trochaic Trimeter, Trochaic Tetrameter, Anapestic Monometer, Anapestic Tetrameter, and on and on ........

    Rhyme
    Love poetry does not always have to rhyme. For example, there is a type of poetry called "Free Verse." It's almost like prose, except that the words flow with imagery and become poetic in spite of the absence of rhyme.

    Example:

    To me, you are a delicate Rose

    Whose beauty never dies

    When pressed between the pages

    Of a good book;

    Or caught between the pages

    Of my mind.

    - Unknown

    Throughout the ages, however, rhymed love poetry has been the prevalent form of this type of expression. Rhyme is achieved when sounds are repeated within a verse or at the end of two different verses. For example, we present a "couplet" which is composed of two end-rhymed verses:

    I have not seen you for many days,

    And truly I've missed you in countless ways.

    The couplet is the smallest verse grouping more commonly refered to as a "standza."

    There are many different patterns of poetry which depend on the number of verses as well as the end rhyming pattern used. Here are examples which you can refer to when writing your own love poems;

    Triplet (3 verses)

    a) She opened her eyes, and green

    b) They shone, clear, like flowers undone

    a) For the first time, now for the last time seen.

    - D. H. Lawrence

    Quatrain (4 verses)

    a) A ruddy drop of manly blood

    b) The surging sea outweighs;

    c) The world uncertain comes and goes,

    b) The lover rooted stays.

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Quintet (5 verses)

    a) Hail to thee blithe spirit,

    b) Bird thou never wert

    a) That from heaven, or near it,

    b) Pourest thy full heart

    b) In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

    - Percy Bysshe Shelly

    Sestet (6 verses)

    a) Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home:

    b) Thou art not my friend, and I'm not thine:

    a) Long through the weary crowds I roam;

    b) A river-ark on the ocean brine,

    a) Long I've been like the driven foam;

    a) But now, proud world! I'm going home.

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Septet (7 verses)

    a) The flower that smiles today

    b) Tomorrow dies;

    a) All that we wish to stay

    b) Tempts and then flies:

    c) What is this world's delight?

    c) Lightening that mocks the night,

    c) Brief even as bright.

    - Percy Bysshe Shelly

    Octave (8 verses)

    a) Thou art a female, Katydid!

    b) I know it by the trill

    c) That quivers through thy piercing notes,

    b) So petulant and shrill;

    d) I think there is a knot of you

    e) Beneath the hollow tree, -

    f) A knot of spinster Katydids, -

    e) Do Katydids drink tea?

    - To an Insect Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Nine-Line Standza (9 verses)

    a) Fair Daffodils, we weep to see

    b) You haste away so soon;

    c) As yet the early rising sun

    b) Has not attained his noon.

    d) Stay, stay,

    d) Until the hasting day

    c) Has run

    f) But to the even-song;

    a) And having prayed together, we

    f) Will go with you along.

    - To Daffodils, Robert Herrick

    Ballad Standza (Alternating verses of Iambic Trimeter and Iambic Tetrameter)

    a) So far apart are we again (Iambic Tetrameter)

    b) It is not fair I say (Iambic Trimeter)

    a) For I was dealt a rotten hand, (Iambic Tetrameter)

    b) And now I have to pay. (Iambic Trimeter)

    - Ara John Movsesian

    Limerick (5 verses with the rhyming word at the end of the first verse repeated in the last verse)

    The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher

    Called a hen a most elegant creature.

    The hen pleased with that,

    Laid an egg in his hat -

    And thus did the hen reward Beecher!

    - Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Sonnet (14 verses - rhyming patterns are varied)

    (a) Shall I compare thee to a summers day?

    (b) Thou art more lovely and more temperate;

    (a) Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

    (b) And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

    (c) Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

    (d) And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

    (c) And every fair from fair sometime declines,

    (d) By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;

    (e) But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

    (f) Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

    (e) Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

    (f) When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:

    (g) So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

    (g) So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

    - Sonnet XVIII William Shakespeare

    There are many other variations which we will not discuss at this time.

    Imagery and Words
    Rhythm and Rhyme are a love poem's technical ingredients. Words and Imagery are a love poem's creative ingredients.

    Words are a poets paint. The sheet of paper is his/her canvass. You, as the poet, must select the words which best express your true feelings. These words if properly selected will give the love poem "taste."

    When you connect the words you have selected creating verses and then standzas, you must use imagery in order to give the love poem "flavor."

    Example of Imagery:

    Your arms are my Eden, I cannot leave.

    The words arms and Eden give this verse taste. But even more, working together, they create imagery which gives this verse flavor. So what does the verse really mean?

    Your arms are my (Secure home - They are a beautiful place to be. They comfort me and give me warmth and contentment. Because of this), I cannot leave.

    Well, there it is in a nutshell. We hope you learned something new. If you did, great! Why not sit down now and try your hand at it. Don't despair if it is difficult at first. Nothing in life is easy, if you want to do it right. It takes education, practice and more practice. Even the pros write and rewrite, hone and hone some more, until they are finally satisfied that every word in the poem belongs.

    Happy Writing!

    Resource:
    http://www.feras-love.8m.com/Love_Poem_Basics.htm

    More Info;
    Some Sonnet Writing Advice from the Sonnet Board:
    http://www.sonnets.org/advice.htm
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    author: Robert Gardiner
    date: 2006.09.26 18:28

    This post, forum was created for established and aspiring poets to learn about and provide tutorial about some of the many different poetry forms that are out there. Post information on a form (its structure/format and a summary of how you write a poem in that particular format), also post an example or examples of that form and any tips you might have for constructing a good poem in that format. Me personally, I like partaking of forms that are Structured, that use Repetition, Rhyme, Meter and such, also that are Stanzaic (use stanzas). I like writing in forms that have a format to them, that have stricter requirements. I like to challenge myself, as such, to see if I can not only meet the strict form requirements, but also, write well (a good poem) in that strict format. Also, I like forms like these, because such things as Rhythm, Rhyme, Repetition, and Meter have long been staples of poetry and at the base and part of the building blocks of the genre, and I want to be as proficient as I can in those essential aspects. For, the better I am at some of poetry's basics, essential building blocks, the better I am, or will be, at poetry, and some of the forms that make use of these essential aspects is what I shall provide tutoring on.

    The first form I shall start with is that last form in which I partook of writing The “Retourne”

    Retourne: A Retourne is a French poetry form wherein repetition is used, employed. It consist of four quatrains (four-line stanzas), with each line having eight syllables. The trick is though that the first stanza's second line must also be the second stanza's first line, the first stanza's third line is the third stanza's first, and the first stanza's fourth line is the fourth stanza's first. Retournes can but do not have to rhyme.

    (Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Repetitive Requirement)

    Examples;

    Non-rhyming Retourne:

    Peruse the wide and distant sky
    What gifts of glory do you see?
    Perhaps a wisp of cloud appears
    Or maybe sunlight streams across.

    What gifts of glory do you see?
    How perfect is the firmament -
    A panegyric to the world
    That shames the sapphire with its light.

    Perhaps a wisp of cloud appears
    It cannot mar the cosmic sphere
    But rather complements its scope
    And makes it august all the more.

    Or maybe sunlight streams across
    As from the dusk or coming dawn
    Or clear and vibrant down from noon
    To sweep the placid world below.

    from; http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/farp/thewriting/27brianforms/27brianforms.html#retourne

    Rhymed Retourne:

    Enchanted, is my heart, enshroud,
    By you love, your beauty, divine.
    I\'m lifted up, amongst, the clouds.
    Enraptured, is this heart, of mine.

    By you love, your beauty, divine,
    To heaven, each time, I'm taken.
    Enamored, is my soul, with thine.
    My passion, you have, awaken.

    I'm lifted up, amongst, the clouds,
    Whenever, your presence, I'm in.
    You resound, rapture, all so loud.
    Your rhapsody, I'm just, wrapped in.

    Enraptured, is this heart, of mine,
    By the wondrous splendor, of you.
    You've captured, this being, of mine.
    You, I've taken a liking to!!!

    By Robert Gardiner

    I think the key to writing a Retourne is your first stanza, for that is what the poem is built form. You must choose the line therein carefully, for each line in that first stanza you must be able to build upon. You must choose lines that can be modified and expanded upon in building, composition of your subsequent stanzas.

    Well that's the Retourne. More to come on other forms and feel free to post tutorials on some of the forms with which you’re familiar, versed.

    author: Robert Gardiner
    date: 2006.09.28 07:40

    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:

    1st stanza - AabB
    2nd stanza - ccbB
    3rd stanza - ddbB
    4th stanza - AB

    or

    1st stanza - AbaB
    2nd stanza - cbcB
    3rd stanza - dbdB
    4th stanza - AB

    Examples:

    Make Believe

    In a realm some call Make Believe,
    they promised they would never leave.
    Where crystal blue waters still flow,
    Fairies dance beyond the rainbow.

    Elves and Unicorns join along
    with magical refrains of song.
    Through fresh morning dew - all aglow,
    Fairies dance beyond the rainbow.

    Where Spring is, always, in the air,
    iridescent wings - flutter there.
    Playfully, putting on a show,
    Fairies dance beyond the rainbow.

    In a realm some call Make Believe,
    Fairies dance beyond the rainbow.

    Ecstasy!!!

    Rapture, is your heavenly hue.
    Your presence is such jubilee.
    Rhapsody, the sheer thought of you.
    Nothing matches your ecstasy.

    Your, sweet, enchantment, thrills me, so.
    Pleasure, is your serenity.
    Where you lead, I’d gladly go.
    Nothing matches your ecstasy.

    Your beauty is, such resplendence,
    Uplifting, your mere company.
    Rapturous, your very essence,
    Nothing matches your ecstasy.

    Rapture, is your heavenly hue.
    Nothing matches your ecstasy.

    By Robert Gardiner

    Autumn's Song *Kyrielle Sonnet
    by Kim

    Drift across the grains of Time
    To the sway of a crystal chime
    With the silver notes of the night
    Dance beneath the Autumn twilight

    Between the orange and red hues
    That the dusk will quietly use
    Take a breath of peaceful respite
    Dance beneath the Autumn twilight

    Hear the song so calm and yet free
    The siren call of serenity
    The sofest of the birds take flight
    Dance beneath the Autumn twilight

    Drift across the grains of Time
    Dance beneath the Autumn twilight

    http://www.poems-and-quotes.com/nature/poems.php?id=640576

    The key with Kyrielle Sonnet I think is choosing the right repetitive line (refrain). What you have to remember in all poems where repetition is employed -- especially when you have to repeat an entire line as refrain - repeating itself throughout the poem -- is that the line has to be able to work throughout your poem and has to be able to work with the rhythm and flow of it, even when used from stanza to stanza, when placed in different areas of your poem, So in the case of the Kyrielle Sonnet, your refrain line has to work at the end of each quatrian stanza and to also work well with the first line of your poem. If you find the choose the right line as refrain, your half way to a good Kyrielle Sonnet, then it's just a matter of building around it and writing a good poem.

    author: Robert Gardiner
    date: 2006.09.28 08:48

    QUATERN

    A quatern has four stanzas, each of which has four lines. Each line contains eight syllables. It does not have to rhyme, but it does follow a specific pattern of line repetition: the first stanza's first line is repeated as the second stanza's second line, the third stanza's third, and the final stanza's fourth. This form originated in France.

    line 1
    line 2
    line 3
    line 4

    line 5
    line 6 (line 1)
    line 7
    line 8

    line 9
    line 10
    line 11 (line 1)
    line 12

    line 13
    line 14
    line 15
    line 16 (line 1)

    Example:

    Enough of somber, grim attire!
    No longer will I dress in black
    To greet events which should be glad
    Why be so formal? Let it go!

    A wedding is a time of joy
    No longer will I dress in black!
    Why bundle in hot stuffy clothes?
    Are T-shirts wrong? Are blue jeans bad?

    The Reaper comes arrayed in black
    Now truly, can we follow suit
    To greet events which should be glad?
    Why, Death himself is no such fool!

    Tuxedos are for penguins best
    And darkness fits the raven well
    But we, unfeathered as we are
    Why be so formal? Let it go!

    Aphrodite, Bliss, Be Thy Name!!!

    Aphrodite, bliss, be thy name,
    Splendid, is your beauty, divine,
    Singing, in such a, sweet, refrain,
    Captivating, this heart of mine.

    Rapture Goddess, I do proclaim,
    Aphrodite, bliss, be thy name,
    Even, the Gods, are charmed, by you.
    The Gods and men, both, you seduce.

    Divine Goddess, you mesmerize.
    Your beauty burns, an endless flame.
    Aphrodite, bliss, be thy name,
    Enchantment, magic, you comprise.

    By you, great pleasure is bestowed.
    Grand, the beauty, by you, bellowed.
    The word, lovely, you do, exclaim.
    Aphrodite, bliss, be thy name...

    By Robert Gardiner

    The key here as with most refrain poems is choosing the right repetitive line -- the right refrain. That line has to be able to work throughout your poem and with the rhythm and flow of it. You have to choose a line (refrain) that functional and can be built around but that is also moveable -that can be dispersed in different spots throughout your poem. Your refrain line is your base and must be chosen well. It can and make or break your poem. If you choose a good line, you're well on your way to a good poem. If you choose a bad line, your poem will be just that, bad.

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Thank you Robert for your time and insight to explain more in depth some terms/forms of poetry.It is much appreciated indeed.
    Thanks,
    GaryJ

  • Bhavin
    10 years ago

    Dear Mr. Gary

    Its so superb that you posted such a wonderful topic. I wanted to write a thesis on poetry writing and its forms but i never got time to do such extensive research... I want to confer you a title... I hope u shall like it...

    Your initials spell as G. J. which means God Jesus...

    Thank you dear God of poetry... I hope you shall keep on guiding aspiring poets like me whenevr there is a need...

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    James,
    I respect your opinion.But this is not just my advice, it also includes comments from other notable and popular poets.So though you are entitled to your own opinions you made no mention of what specifically you disagree with(I am curious as to how you can disagree with the definitions of poetic terms and forms which are not the members comments but are taken from common knowledge, accepted acedemic definitions throughout the ages.And how can you disagree with the opinions and advice of others, when that's all it is:others opinions?I hope you can back yourself up with your own views and opinions..And there are those such as Robert Gardiner who know forms inside and out better than I do..So state your specific complaints and what you disagree on and offer alternative views of your own). I would be interested in seriously hearing your viewpoints/advice/suggestions.Read the introduction and respond to that and also anything else you care to add.No hard feelings:This topic was not meant to try and tell anyone how to write-just some thoughts, exercises, poetic forms/definitions(though I prefer free verse), the writing habits of various P&Q members, tips on writer's block, etc.There are many who have benefitted and learned a few things (I know I wish I'd known more of this stuff when I was younger instead of going through it the hard way) and have sent me personal thank yous and requests for more information.I know everyone has their own way/style of writing, that's why the more who post those things, the better..All it is is suggestions and guidelines- either to be used or ignored as per each reader/writer's opinion.Truly, I am interested in what you think.

    Gary Jurechka

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Please see my next response/posting posted below.

    G.J.

  • BlueDreams
    10 years ago

    FREE VERSE:
    The wonderful thing about free verse, is that it has very few distinct rules or boundries. It is similar to blank verse in that it does not rhyme, but unlike blank verse, it is not written in iambic pentameter. The rhythm or cadence of free verse varies throughout the poem. Though the words don't rhyme, they flow along their own uneven pattern. And definitely a poetry form for one who likes to march to the beat of a different drummer!

    For example:

    Running through a field of clover,
    Stop to pick a daffodil
    I play he loves me, loves me not,
    The daffy lies, it says he does not love me!
    Well, what use a daffy
    When Jimmy gives me roses?
    ~ Flora Launa ~

    BLANK VERSE:
    A form of poetry, obviously. What sets it apart from all the other forms is the fact that blank verse does not rhyme.The meter is usually iambic (a pattern of unstressed syllables followed by stressed), and pentameter ( a line consisting of five feet). A line of blank verse would go like this:
    (Imagine that the "da" is stressed and the "la" is unstressed, and each "la da" equals one foot)
    la da la da la da la da la da or I watch the rolling hills fly by my eyes.

    Though, technically, all lines are supposed to be exactly iambic, Tangerine! understands that sometimes it doesn't want to quite work out that way, and that's fine with us, we do it too!

    SCANSION:
    Mapping a poem's form into it's feet and syllable pattern.

    SPONDEE: (a spondaic foot): A two syllable foot that is comprised of two accented syllables. Usually this is done in poetry by using one syllable words (ie, rock, bird, snow) in a row. This is the opposite of the anapestic foot.
    STANZA:
    A group of lines in a poem with a common meter and rhyme scheme.
    SYLLABIC METER:
    A form of meter in which only syllables are counted, such as in haikus and such.

    BALLADS:
    A poems that tell a story. They are considered to be a form of narrative poetry. They are often used in songs and have a very musical quality to them. The basic form for ballads is iambic heptameter (seven sets of unstressed, stressed sylables per line), in sets of four, with the second and fourth lines rhyming. This is the standard, but we do not require you to follow it rigidly in the poetry you submit to us, especially since very few people use or even know the standard! Feel free to experiment, but remember, it should have a smooth, song-like sound when you speak it aloud.

    Here is an example:

    I'll tell a tale, a thrilling tale of love beyond compare
    I knew a lad not long ago more gorgeous than any I've seen.
    And in his eyes I found my self a'falling in love with the swain.
    Oh, the glorious fellow I met by the ocean with eyes of deep-sea green!

    He was a rugged sailor man with eyes of deep-sea green,
    And I a maid, a tavern maid! Whose living was serving beer.
    So with a kiss and with a wave, off on his boat he sailed
    And left me on the dock, the theif! Without my heart, oh dear!

    And with a heart that's lost at sea, I go on living still.
    I still am now still serving beer in that tavern by the sea.
    And though the pay check's still the same, the money won't go as far
    For now I feed not just myself, but my little one and me!

    So let that be a lesson, dear, and keep your heart safely hid.
    I gave mine to a sailing thief with gorgeous eyes of green.
    Save yours for a sweeter lad who makes the land his home.
    Ah me! If only I'd never met that sailor by the sea!
    -- Lonnie Adrift

    Notice how "seen" and "green" in the first paragraph rhyme? This rhyming pattern, called abcb, is continued throughout the poem. "a" stands for one line ending, "b" for another, and "c" for another still. Because there are 2 "b"'s, they are the two lines that rhyme. Note also, that it does not stay strictly to the iambic heptameter, this only fits if you speed up and blend some of the words, which also adds to the flow of it.

    I encourage you to try your own, all the best of your, and good luck!

  • BlueDreams
    10 years ago

    What i know the reason that some people nor me write poetry is because they have strong emotions that they want to release. That is a great reason to write! The problem is that a strong theme like love or hate has already had millions of poems written about it. Millions, in this case, is not an exaggeration. If you attempt to write a poem explaining love or another major emotion or theme, your will be walking a well-traveled path. It will be hard to distinguish yourself from what has come before you.

    Robert Frost made the road less traveled a lasting metaphor, and in this case it applies perfectly to poetry. There is no reason not to write about love and hate and destiny. These fundamental human themes will stretch on long after we are gone. The key is to develop the theme in a way that has never been written before. This may sound daunting, but it is actually quite simple.

    When you write poetry about a major theme, the roots of the poem should be in your experience. Tell your story. Love may be a difficult title for a poem, but The Way She Looked at Me Last Friday could easily be the title of a love poem I would want to read. The theme remains the same, but the path is more distinct.

    I rarely set out to write a poem about a particular subject. I write what comes to me without planning. This is not the only way to write a poem. Many poets know exactly what they want to write about before they put anything on the page. My method, however, means that I almost never start with a title. Picking the title is generally my final task. In this way, I feel like I have a much better grasp on what the poem is about and how I want the title to reflect that.

    To me, the title of a poem is like the door to a room. It is the first impression that you get, even before entering. It influences whatever comes after. Still, a large and forbidding door can lead to a comfortable room and a beautiful door can lead to a dungeon. Titles are the same way. A title can provide reinforcement or contrast. For an example, let me take the most overused poem in the history of poetry.

    Each different title transforms the poem. Yes, the poem still stinks, but the meaning of the words must now be considered in their new context. The poem’s attitude and theme change under the influence of the title. This is why a major theme should not be the focus of your title. If we stick with the metaphor of a title being like a door, then the title Love is a sixty-foot high shocking pink door covered in roses. It is going to be hard to create a room that can match a door like that.

    =========================================

  • BlueDreams
    10 years ago

    Anyway, thank you vey much Gary, for invite me and sharing your experiance!

    Have a good day all!

    Bert ~

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    In resoonse to James(and Broken Reflection)

    That's cool, James.I understand what you are saying.But you must have missed the point/parts in my earlier posts where I stated the following:

    "Now this is very important: Even though there are set rules/guidelines/etc. for forms, technical aspects, do's-and-don'ts, and stuff,and many books, so-called professionals(whether editors or poets), etc., all have their own thoughts and opinions, really, when it comes down to it, in poetry there are no rules.If it works, it works.Sometimes you must break or create your own rules, your own style, your own voice.So don't let what others say restrict you.Don't get me wrong-there are some good guidelines, advice to follow, things that are true for the most part. but still comes down to there are no rules set in stone.

    Write from the heart, write with honesty and passion for your subject, idea, emotion, etc..

    Ideas/subjects are everywhere as long as you keep your mind open and a broad vision.

    And the most important thing of all-trust your instincts,
    and always, not just in poetry,
    but in everything in life, always trust, and
    always, always follow your heart."

    and from another post:

    "I am definitely not telling anybody how to write.All I'm doing is trying to offer SUGGESTIONs and advice that I have learned the hard way, to spare some the difficulties I experinced as a young writer(I know I would have appreciated some guidance in my early years.).Of course it is up to the individual to learn, find their own way, experiences, etc.But that don't mean you should not be more open- minded to what others(not just me) have to offer, whether you use it or not.I have received many requests for advice and many who appreciate what I have to say.I don't pretend to know it all but I do have experience and a credible writing career,I only am trying to help and offer advice to others .That's just me, my nature to help, advise, teach, all with the best intentions.If you have the passion to write, that is all that matters."

    Not trying to get in a debate here, but you said you read it all, and I had already previously addressed the things your brought up .You are missing the main points: The exercises are merely suggestions for breaking writer's block, improving creativity, challenging yourself and just having fun with it, No where do I say you should write like so-and-so or what is right or what is wrong-we all find our own way, I'm not saying you have to do any of these things to write poetry.
    Also I have included a section on getting your poetry published, advice on submitting and a list of potential poetry markets.The whole point of this topic is to be a place where anyone can express themselves and learn from others:basically the stuff mentioned in my introduction.I have as much to learn as anybody, and I have learned a lot from members young and old, experienced and inexperienced.We are always growing.
    And I have always stressed that poetry comes from the heart, at least mine does, from a heart burning with an uncontrollable passion.This is the mark of a true poet.
    And though I've expressed my own suggestions and opinions(as have others-Robert Gardiner, Shadowspoet, Melissa, etc.) it is always interesting and informative to hear the thoughts, advice, opinions of others.And I hope to hear from more members for I feel this is all very beneficial to us all.But thanks for the post.
    I hope the intent and pupose of this topic is a bit clearer to you(& others) now.

    Peace, Poetry & Power,

    Gary Jurechka

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Greetings again,
    First off, thank you to everyone who has taken an interest and posted on this topic.

    However, rather than become a place for meanings and definitions of poetic terms/forms, I wish to reiterate the main reasons for this posting, so I am reprinting the original introduction and hope to hear more of these issues, just to get back on track of the original reason I posted this topic(s).

    **********************************

    Greetings P&Q Members,

    What I hope to do in this topic/forumn is cover a varietry of the aspects of poetry.From simple plain spoken advice/suggestions(the basics) to the more technical aspects like definitions of poetic terms/forms(for those wishing to learn more, to expand their horizons), markets and how/where to get published, etc.I am asking those all members to post things that could benefit others.Including such things as advice on certain forms,tips on breaking writer's block, recommended reading, and also very importantly, personal writing habits(I've found people like to read about not only advice/suggestions but also the personal writing/working habits of different writers),like what time of day you write, do you have a favorite place(inside or outside, even more specific), do you listen to music while you write,when you first started writing,do you write rough drafts on the computer or with pen and paper,do you revise rough drafts or leave it as is,have you been published,what your influences were(other poets, writers, songwriters, etc.), is solitude necesary to you or not, what compels you to write,emotions, passion, to get an idea or meaning across, do you write for yourself or with someone in mind,how and when you started writing, writing as therapy or release,do you have a preferred form /style(sonnets, rhyme, free verse, haiku, etc.) and why, writing exercises, any other advice(personal or technical) and most important, what poetry means to you.Any advice to newcomers and established poets alike.
    I hope to hear/see postings from those popular and more experienced/knowledgable on the site as well as those newer members who have something to add.I welcome and appreciate any comments along these lines from any and all P&Q members-everyone has something to say.So if anyone can add anything at all along these lines, please do so.I feel it would very much benefit others, and we may just learn a bit about ourselves in the process.....

    Thank you.

    Peace, Poetry, & Power,

    Gary Jurechka

  • Mark
    10 years ago

    Might wanna work on paragraphing.. makes things easier to follow. Spaces between them and after a sentecen, use a space.

    Good job on this though.

  • Nick who Plays Pool
    10 years ago

    It's good advice, but I stopped half way through because it's to much. I can't read that much and a lot of people wouldn't read it because it's to long.

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Ahh, that is the problem with the times-everyone wants sound/sight bytes breif and easily read.However it is the more in depth reading and reflection and understanding that bring knowledge and enlightment.I feel sorry for those with short attention spans, for they are missing much knowledge and wisdom.There are no shortcuts to the things truly worth learning, though it may seem tedious at times, in the long run it is worth reading and pondering.Take the time to read and understand and it does pay off.Our society is degenerating into simplicity and brevity at the sacrifice of deeper knowledge and understanding.This pains me to see.

    Gary Jurechka

  • Misstress
    10 years ago

    Just want to say this is a Very Helpful Thread.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • IdTakeABulletForYou
    10 years ago

    Wow. i'll print it out and read it on the way home. I give you a standing ovation for this work of art (or work of copy and paste. Either way, it is a great deal of work to accomplish. Thanks a ton!

  • just_genes
    10 years ago

    Hi Gary, thanks for the invite!!

    Poetry is a creative release for some, and perhaps it's not about glory or recognition... HOWEVER, there is something quite satisfying about making a Mona Lisa as opposed to fingerpainting. I've always found that writing ***decent*** poetry is firstly about a state of mind -- you immerse yourself in a world of verse and prose and then look around at the world in which you walk and somehow make something more than the sum of its parts. This probably sounds unhelpful -- a bit like waiting for inspiration to strike or some sort of uncontrollable talent, but I wrote trite, shuddersome poetry for years before finally coming to a point where I made something I felt proud enough of to show to the world ... so perhaps my advice is more to keep writing, but be educated and lacking in ego enough to acknowledge when you've written a stinker and need to improve, yet not such a perfectionist that you never let anything see the light of day!

  • Twisted Heart
    10 years ago

    First of all, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this post. You don't know how much work and research you saved me from doing. We as poets, like to know there is a place to go where we can learn about different things pertaining to poetry and not have to google every little bit of info. All I have to do, is come here. You have just about everything a poet would want to learn about. Those who want to learn, that is. There are those who think if it isn't from the heart, it isn't poetry. Well, whatever... I love learning new forms and styles. I have alot of trouble with structure poetry, and here is where I study.

    For example, I wanted to write sonnet. I came here and looked it up, got the line count, the syllable count, and I was on my way. Didn't have to google anything.

    However, I would like to know about a sestina. Can't seem to find it in your notes. Maybe I just overlooked it or something. I did try to google it, and had the impossible task of reading through pages and pages of useless info and never did read what I needed to know. Any example of one of these would be helpful.

    And while I'm on the subject of needing help. Since you have time on your hands, would it be too bold of us to ask you questions on this forum?

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who needs help once in a while.

    Let me know If I have overstepped your limits to aid your fellow poet.

    Happiness
    Jeannie

  • Robert Gardiner
    10 years ago

    I just posted a guide to sonnets and sonnet writing and to odes and ode writing:

    Sonnets 101: A Guide to the Sonnet;
    http://www.poems-and-quotes.com/discussion/topic.html?topic_id=59120

    Writing Ode: A Tutorial to the Form;
    http://www.poems-and-quotes.com/discussion/topic.html?topic_id=59139

    I hope you all find them informative and a helpful tutorial.

  • Robert Gardiner
    10 years ago

    WRITING ACROSTIC; The Science of Writng a Grat Acrostic:

    Many people think that writing an acrostic poem is easy, and to an extent it is, but to write one right, well, properly, isn’t that easy. It takes some skill. An Acrostic is more than a poem where the first letter of each line or alternating line is thrown together to form, spell out, a word or phrase. A great acrostic poem has intricacies within it. These are a few definitions of what an Acrostic poem is:

    ACROSTIC POEM: A poem in which the first letters of each line form a word or message relating to the subject.

    Acrostic Poetry is where the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same word or words as in the title.

    Acrostic- a poem where the first letter of each line spells a word that can be read vertically

    Alternating Line Acrostic: An Acrostic poem wherein, the first letter of each alternating/rhymed line of a poem come together to form a word, name, or possibly a phrase.

    I think all these definitions are accurate. An Acrostic poem is all of these. It is a poem wherein the first letters of each line form a word or message relating to the subject, a poem wherein the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same word or words as in the title, and it is a poem where the first letter of each line spells a word that can be read vertically. What I think is crucial and important is that that word formed, spelled, and the poem be related. If the subject of your poem is that word, then the chosen words in your poem should relate to or define that subject. Say, if you write an Acrostic poem titled “Summer”, Summer being the word that is formed, spelled out, the poem should relate to, describe Summer. The title, the subject, and word or phase spelled out in a poem should be related, should relate to one another. The word or phase spelled out by your Acrostic poem should be and/or reflect the subject of your poem. A poem in which “Beautiful” is spelled in an acrostic should tell why and what makes whatever being spoke of in the poem Beautiful. That person, place, or thing’s beauty spoke of should be extolled, expounded on, by the words, lines, used in your poem, so that the reader may understand clearly such beauty, and if you’re being sarcastic employing sarcasms in and by your spelling out of the word Beautiful, the reader should be able to see, get that. Say, you wrote an Acrostic of a “Tell Tale Heat” the poem - like the literary story should tell, show, why the heart is a “Tell Tale Heart”, and shouldn’t just be a poem where the phase “Tell Tale Heart” is spelled out, while the poem itself has nothing to do with that. As all the definition say an Acrostic is a poem wherein the first letter and in some cases the last letter of a poem come together to spell out a word or a phase, and that word or phase should be literally and/or figuratively spelled out, in and by your poem!!! To write a good Acrostic this is what one must do!!!!

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    Jeannie(& others),

    Personally I am always available for questions-whatever information I can offer. Hopefully some of the others posting on this topic are willingly to be as helpful.I am available to contact through this forumn or through personal e-mail messages.I also hope to see more postings by other P&Q members.I think this topic/post could become a good source of reference and information, not to mention diversity of habits, opinions, philosophies, exercises, etc..As I said before-we are all always learning.Thanks to everyone who has commented thus far.Much appreciated.

    Peace, Poetry, & Power,

    Gary Jurechka

  • Misstress
    10 years ago

    Thanks for the invite.

    I consider myself still a beginner in writing poems, anyways. here goes nothing.

    I’ve started writing when I was about 14 or 15 years old.
    The first poem I have written was inspired from a dream,
    sadly though that Ive lost the copy of it, it was like I was
    sitting in a lake, skipping-stones when suddenly my eyes
    captured a falling star, guess what Ive wish?,

    “ I wish to be forgiven”

    The dream is still fresh in the cobwebs of my mind.

    I usually write during waking hours, 4am-7am,
    ambiance by the aroma of coffee, and usually with a
    couple of cigars.

    I write rough drafts. Usually with a very sharp pencil,
    Which I sharpen from time to time when writing, I like
    it as sharp as needle.
    A pencil would last about 2 weeks max for me.
    A poem would have about 8 to 10 rough drafts
    then I finalized it in the computer.

    Although English is not my native language, all of my pieces
    are in English.

    I have 2 bulky Dictionaries and 1 Thesaurus that I check
    minute by minute when writing a poem.
    I don’t what to be disturbed when writing, no music.

    I prefer writing in my style, I think I have found my own
    Rhythm, my own kind of poetry (I guess).
    I like to write in free verse mostly.
    And like the Repetitive types of poetry.

    Writers Block?
    I usually write many words of different kinds, unusual,
    usual to the unexpected words, I write many as I can.
    Then I would pick a word or line and then I start to knit
    a poem from the words Ive written.
    It works for me.

    If by chance, someone needs help in something,
    anything, Don’t hesitate to tap me.

    "Don't let peers discourage you from using poetic forms. When you hear a poet say how much he or she dislikes writing in form, remember that a great artist sees the opportunities in every canvas, regardless of shape or size. A poor artist sees only the limitations."

  • Gary Jurechka
    10 years ago

    This is great.But I know there are many other members who have advice, styles, habits, opinions to add.It doesn't matter about age or experience, it is all helpful and appreciated.So chime in!And thanks to all those who have contributed and found useful information on this posting.It's all for you.....

    Gary Jurechka

  • Bret Higgins
    10 years ago

    I consider myself a writer, a teller of tales, not a poet. But poetry is something that helps my writing style and it certainly keeps me on my toes. I am 30 this friday, my career in life was as a soldier but I have been retired since 1999. In the seven years spent at home I developed a taste for expressing my thoughts and imaginations as I had little access to the outside world. Now I am doing much better, have moved to the USA and am now looking at getting back into full time work and also getting myself published, definitely as a writer, perhaps as a poet.

    I first wrote serious poetry about six months before I first added a poem here in an earnest attempt to help improve my diction, style and creativity, but mainly to help me express emotion and show not tell my stories.

    This started with cryptic poems (the better ones being Regulate [Verkehrsregelung] (get a german/english dictionary) and Cherche La Femme[game over]) all of which are posted on this site, hiding my feelings from the casual reader, but revealing to all that could see. Contrived maybe but it helped kickstart my writing sensibilities.

    I write mainly on the pc. I have a small pad and mechanical pencil in the car in case I have ideas whilst I'm driving. I get them a lot when I'm least expecting them and all too often ideas and concepts are lost for my poor short term memory and lack of a notepad. My latest poem, Subtleties of Latitude is about a sunset we experienced on the way to a movie last sunday, it was something easy to remember, no pad needed.

    I write whenever I feel like it. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and know I have to put an idea on file. When writing poetry I like a mood setter in the way of music when possible unless I am writing free verse, which is always written in silence; I need no mood setter when I know precisely what I want to say.

    I write, scrutinize, re-write and leave for a few days. Then I return, re-write again and then finalise. There are a few poems here I have posted immediately after the first draft because I know it needed raw emotion. Whilst being the important areas for me, diction, flow and meter aren't always everything.

    I own a computer, I am connected to the internet. Everything I need to write is available at the click of a mouse button. I have seven dictionaries, thesaurses and writing websites in my bookmark but I do have an old dictionary by my keyboard too. I love how it smells.

    I love strong structure in a poem. Currently I am experimenting with free verse just because I feel I should, but I'm definitely more at home with a set of boundaries in which to stay, it is a challenge I enjoy, saying everything I need to in a confined space. Diction though is paramount. Language is infiinite and to confine oneself to a limited vocabulary is nothing short of wasted expression. I hate to use an adjective more than once in a poem and will only use a noun more than once if I need to connect a stanza or verse with considered association.

    I deal with writer's block like any writer should; when I can't find the right thing to say I'll leave it, note it and write whatever is on my mind. Younger poets should write poems on writer's block when they feel stumped and frustrated. we always have something to say. You may not want anyone else to read it and you may delete or burn or dispose of it in another way, but you kept the mind moving forward. The worst thing to do is sit and dwell on not being able to write about what you want to write about.

    I am always available to anyone who needs help, advice, tips on technique or help with developing ideas. I have someone I can turn to whenever I neep help, I feel it is only fair to act in kind.

    Imagination is limitless, there is nothing you can imagine that cannot be described in a poem. A poet never says "I can't". A writer never says "I shouldn't." But the writer and poet both recognise that not everything is for other people's eyes.

    Bret Higgins

  • Jason
    10 years ago

    Finnaly the answers I've been looking for. I am a new writter who has been wanting to branch off from free verse and do some formed work.

    I wrote my first poem because of the girl who holds my heart in the palm of her hand. She was a little depressed so I asked "What can I do to chear you up?" Her reply was simple "Write me a poem."

    I was given three great pieces of advice that have really influence my poetry.

    1. Read Poetry
    2. Feel Poetry
    3. Write Poetry

    See what others have done. What did you like? What didn't you like? What touched you? Then (hopefully) you can incorporate that into you poetry.

    Put some emotion into it. Without a heart the poem becomes bland. The poems I like the most are the ones I can really empathize with. If you feel it, the words will come.

    This one sounds dumb but don't forget to write it down. We all forget things, even that perfect line. I have poems written on the backs of envelopes because that is what was close by when an idea came to me. So remember keep a notebook (or envelope) handy because you never know when inspiration will strike.

    Thanks again for the invite Gary. It means a lot to me as a new writter.