he is half my soul, as the poets say
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"Between my finger and my thumb/ The squat pen rests; snug as a gun."
-- from "Digging" by Seamus Heaney
Enter April with its awesome title of National Poetry Month! An appreciative month of the art established by the Academy of American Poets inspired by Black History Month and Women's history month. They chose the month of April thinking that it would be the month best for the highest level of participation. And well, you'll be the judge of that.
Poetry is as enjoyable as it is difficult to write, but that may be a phrase all writers use for writing anything. But what is it? Poetry.org describes it as:
"An art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. It consists largely of oral or literary works in which language is used in a manner that is felt by its user and audience to differ from ordinary prose."
Like all art, it comes in varied shapes, forms, and sizes used to express ideas, feelings, life, etc. It is not exclusively made for one thing or one person. one may read or write poetry to their heart's content. Many artists have created structures that several people use to construct their own poetry to this day. With this thread, I hope to provide a brief, but helpful informative post about poetry in the spirit of National Poetry Month.
The basic and most common elements that make up most of the poetry can be summed up into three things:
Meter: Uses rhymes in poems with the usage of stressed syllables and unstressed syllables in patterns.
"To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,"
To learn more about Meters in extensive detail, click this link.
Stanza: The building block of all poems, it is a set of lines by length, meter, and rhyme to focus on one topic of the poem.
The Road Not Taken
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,"
That included two stanzas, broken by a single blank space between them. To learn more about stanzas and the terms coupled with them based on the number of lines, click this link.
Rhyming Schemes: = It is the pattern of rhymes in a poem or stanza, it comes at the end of each verse.
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
"The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day."There are numerous ways to create a rhyming scheme, the one above is known as an alternative rhyming scheme. To learn more about rhyming schemes in detail, click this link.
Two of the basic elements include rhyming, and while it is a commonly used element in poetry it is not necessary. Poems don't need or have to rhyme. It may be equally as engaging and excellent without Dr. Seuss's rhymes. And it is a frequent misconception that has to when they don't.
Poetry forms are described as the main pattern and structure in which the poem takes form. There are over 50 poetry forms created and confirmed. They hail from different countries and peoples, all unique and beautiful. I will only be listing 4 of the most common.
A Japanese form of poetry that consists only of 3 lines. The first line must be 5 syllables, the second must be 7, and the last is 5. These poems typically focus on nature and its beauty.
A Poppy Blooms - by Katsushika Hokusai
"I write, erase, rewrite
Erase again, and then
A poppy blooms."
2. Acrostic Poems
Poems that spell out the names of words with the first letter in every line. They are usually describing the word subject which is often the name of a person who is important to them or an object of some kind. They are also known as "Name Poems". [If you would love to write one on yur own name right now, I would suggest posting it in the Name Celebration thread.]
Elizabeth - Edgar Allen Poe
"Elizabeth it is in vain you say
'Love not' — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His folly — pride — and passion — for he died."
Sonnets originated in Italy and were brought to England. They are known mostly by William Shakespeare. These poems consist of 14 lines and include rhyming schemes. Over time sonnets has been given more types and you can read more about them here.
Sonnet 116 - William Shakespeare
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd."
4. Free Verse
Also known as freestyle. These poems have irregular structures because it is all made by the writers themselves, following no particular form.
The Hollow Men - T.S. Elliot
"Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star."
Now that you were given a simple and fresh reminder about poems and poetry I encourage you to celebrate the month! Of course, my first suggestion to do so is to grab a pen and piece of paper and write a poem of your own, long or short. And if you feel like sharing it please post it in showcasing!
You can also grab a book of poems and head out into the woods to let nature reclaim you as you read dramatically. These are only general ideas. There is a lot more you could do as well. I listed some sites and options.
Sites To Read Poems On:
Check out the Poem-a-Day Podcast!
On top of all of that, Iwaku has a poetry event itself lasting from April to May 29th! It is being hosted by @Nemopedia and I encourage all to look at it and if they can, to participate. You can find the thread here.