Poetry - A non expert guide to the basics

Discussion in 'Poetry and Lyrics Forum' started by vanhouten, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. vanhouten

    vanhouten New Member


    First of all, you must ask yourself what is poetry. Truthfully, generations of philosophers have failed to agree on a set definition for poetry. Most agree that poetry is :

    the art of writing thoughts, ideas, and dreams into imaginative language which can contain verse, pause, meter, repetition, and rhyme. (def'n courtesy: shadowpoetry.com)

    Those who love poetry write poems and are called poets or bards (archaic).

  2. vanhouten

    vanhouten New Member

    Figures of Speech

    Imagery - to form an image in the reader or listener's mind, figurative speech

    Irony - using words to mean opposite of what is written

    Metaphor - an exaggerated simile, to describe an object with something that is not usually used with it. For eg: Achilles was a lion among men.

    Oxymoron - combining two opposite meaning words for producing a new or accented effect. For eg: frozen flame, burning ice, cold sweat.

    Personification - metaphor where a non living object or animal or thought or belief is treated as a human. For eg: "Death approached the countess and spoke"; "And what more, O Fate, do you have in store for me?" Death and fate have been personified.

    Prose - normal day to day language used in speech or writing with no patterns or rhymes

    Pun - using words that sound similar for a humorous effect

    Repetition - a word, sound, phrase, line, syllable repeated for a definite purpose intended by the poet.

    Rhyme - a recurrence of similar ending sounds at the ends of a poetic line/verse. For eg:
    The mirror crack'd from side to side
    The doom has come upon me, cried

    Simile - a comparison between two unlike things. The words 'like' or 'as' must be included. For eg: Achilles fought like a lion (compare with metaphor). Like a diamond in the sky.

    Definitions adapted and edited courtsey: shadowpoetry.com
  3. vanhouten

    vanhouten New Member


    A break from the tutorials. Enjoy this poem by Sir Walter Raleigh (ca. 1552–1618)

    A Vision upon the Fairy Queen

    Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay,
    Within that temple where the vestal flame
    Was wont to burn; and, passing by that way,
    To see that buried dust of living fame,
    Whose tomb fair Love, and fairer Virtue kept:
    All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen;
    At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept,
    And, from thenceforth, those Graces were not seen:
    For they this queen attended; in whose stead
    Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse:
    Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,
    And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:
    Where Homer's spright did tremble all for grief,
    And cursed the access of that celestial thief!
  4. vanhouten

    vanhouten New Member

    Key Terms

    Iamb - words consisting of two syllables - a short (unaccented) syllable followed by a
    long (accented) syllable. eg: afar, across, to die.

    Iambic Pentameter - You can look at this as a line of verse where words form 5 Iambs. Eg: "It shall/ be my/ pleasure/ to die/ for love."

    Meter - a measure of rhyme; (the unit of meter is the foot) Metrical lines are named for the number
    of feet in a line. (1) monometer, (2) dimeter, (3) trimeter, (4) tetrameter, (5) pentameter, (6) hexameter, (7) heptameter (8) octameter (definition courtesy: shadowpoetry.com)

    Different Types of Verse: (taken from shadowpoetry.com)

    Alexandrian--a line of poetry 12 syllables (or 13 if the last syllable is unstressed) consisting
    6 iambic feet.

    Blank Verse--poetry written without rhymes usually in iambic pentameterin English verse

    Chain Verse--like chain rhyme, but instead of linking rhymes, words, phrases or lines are repeated
    in succeeding stanzas.

    envoy (envoi)--a short final stanza of a poem

    Free Verse--a verse form free of traditional rules of versification, (freedom from fixed meter or rhyme)

    Open Form--created through shifts, leaps, hesitations, and fragmentations in lines. It conforms to
    no set form, structure,or rhythmic patterns.

    Refrain (chorus)--a repeated verse within a poem or song pertaining to a central topic
  5. vanhouten

    vanhouten New Member


    Second break. Enjoy Robert Frost's Fire and Ice.

    Fire and Ice

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.
  6. bob-bobby

    bob-bobby Extinct or Banned!

    way to go vanhouten :)
  7. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    Whoa! This poem is so for me, way to go vanhouten, very good post:)
  8. Hell'n Wheels

    Hell'n Wheels New Member

    Old Poem I Wrote

    Take it easy on me I'm a Newbie, but I'd appreciate some feedback.
    I found this while digging around in some old papers. I wrote it over two decades ago. I was really surprised to find it 'cause I thought everything from back then had burned up in one of the two house fires I've been through and survived.


    I find it mildly amusing. "They" have actually admitted to me, "they" think I've lived a remarkable life.

    This, after giving me unasked for and unwanted advice on my new life as a young ex-wife.

    Twenty three years old- thats all......but, hard won wisdom beyond my years.

    I have rode my way through life, turning my back on the negative and the tears.

    Strong minded and smart, I have always loved the who and what...The way I am, inside, down deep.

    I've given over control of my life before,My choice, my mistake, no one to blame,with disastrous results that made me weep.

    No one can do to you what you don't allow and so,a mutually distructive relashionship ends.

    And suddenly I have learned that what I really need in life is,just my son, some family and some friends.

    The problem though today is people don't appreciate their lives.

    Nothing is ever enough and Loving is worse pain then being gutted with knives

    .... or so "they" think.

    But, your life too can change with one simple blink of your tear filled eyes.

    And your whole world clarifies,and you see the mental pollution and come to realize,

    How much time you've wasted on self pity and pathetic cries.

    You think of the ones who have nothing, who starve, with no shelter, no relief.

    While you sit in your room and purposely listen to sad songs. It's all make believe grief!

    This one won't call me and this one is talking shit!

    Why live your life right? If you really can't handle it?

    This is life, and with a mind so put together,
    I'll explain my remarkable(?) lifestyle.

    I try to learn new things everyday, life is a learning process, not a trial.

    I have learned to ignore the ignorance and laugh at the stupid things that people say.

    I do the work that's required and take time to play,

    And though my life is at a weird time right now and duty calls,

    Taking care of my grandmother with Alzheimers is no excuse to fall.

    It's no excuse for unhappiness, no excuse to why I'm not in school,

    And I know if I play my cards right, God will get me through this and everything will be cool.

    As unbelievable as it seems, there are moments of humor ,kindness and life affirming selflessness to whitness, even in this.

    This too, is a season, a life lesson. I wonder, when I'm older,which memories, from this time, will I choose on to reminisce?

    I try my best to think of others, but not so much as to take their pain.

    I try and understand the ungifted or the mentally insane

    ..... and trust me I've seen a few....

    Good WILL come from my life....

    This REMARKABLE ! HAPPY!! life !!!

    And though some days are harder then others, I know everything will turn out right.

    Loneliness is my option... No choice "they" say... Stop being so picky, you'll end up alone in the night.

    But, I'll be damned to settle for just anyone! Your just scared, "they" say.

    Oh YEAH!... that's definitely me! Ha Ha Ha !One day they tell me my life isn't "carefull" enough,

    The next, I should settle for any man that will "take care" of me 'cause life is too tough!

    Ha ha ha! Oh yeah, I'm funny too!, Sometimes my life seems but a joke... and the joke is quite stupid!

    But , I have my dreams.My dreams are so real that they are my sanity and my serenity. They are what keep me quietly lucid.

    My dreams and the very real love in my life.

    OH yes..... everything is quite alright.

    Me .
    ...My son
    ....My true friends
    ...and my remarkable life.
    Is it REALLY so different from yours?

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