Basic Elements of Poetry : Rhythm, Rhyme and Imagery:
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, â€œFar from being incidental, qualities of sound and rhythm give a poetic work its organic body.â€ Poets must use all the physical attributes of words: their sound, size, shape, and rhythms.
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 â€œimages can communicate the unsayable, so show donâ€™t tell.â€
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.
According to Websterâ€™s Dictionary, rhyme is â€œ a regular recurrence of corresponding soundsâ€ 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