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Poetry help

Postby aimdog » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:32 am

The Elements of Poetry

1. Rhythm: The metrical flow of sound determined by the placement of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.

She stroked molten tones

From the heart-carved maple dulcimer.

Questions: Does there seem to be a regulated metrical pattern to the poem? If so, what? Does each line generally seem to have the same number of stressed syllables? If so, how many? Are some lines longer than others? Why? Are some lines shorter? Why?

Examples: In "Yonosa House," (the poem at the end of this document) the lines generally have three or four stresses, although there is no strict metrical pattern. The shortest line is line three: "My grandma did." The shortness emphasizes the subject (the grandmother) and her action (the verb "to do"). Through her loving actions, the grandmother epitomizes the spirituality and customs of her people.

2. Rhyme: When the final vowel and consonant sounds of words are the same (i.e., mouse/house, low/toe).

Questions: Is there a rhyme scheme to the poem? If so, what is it? Is there any incidental rhyme in the poem? Which lines? When you say the rhyming words together, what mood, feeling, idea, sense, etc., do they evoke? Is there any internal rhyme? Off -rhyme? List the line numbers and jot down the feelings, etc., the words evoke.

Examples: There is no rhyme scheme in "Yonosa House," but there is off-rhyme at lines 17-19, which are in italics, indicating they are the words/song of the grandmother. These off-rhyming words - rock/bark/hawk - are all words for nature. They indicate that the wisdom/the myths of the race come from an attunement with nature. In line 24 there is internal rhyme: wore/lore. These words .imply that the grandmother "wore" the wisdom of the tribe in her very being, that wisdom was intrinsic in her.

3. Words.

Questions: Look up and define any words you don't know. And if there are significant words that seem to have more than one denotation and/or connotation, look up the etymologies (the roots of those words).

Examples: Line 13, lanyards = A short rope of gasket for seizing a ladder or the like or to secure rigging; a cord worn around the neck for carrying a knife, keys, or a whistle. From OF word for thong, strap; perhaps laz, lace + naele, string.

4. Repetitions.

Questions: Are any significant words repeated in the poem? Which ones? Why? That is, what are the repetitions emphasizing?

Examples: The words heart, maple, and hands are repeated in the poem. They emphasize the activities of the grandmother, who is often portrayed doing things, activities from the heart. Love in action, those hands, those activities, her big heart are what the poet remembers most.

5. Alliteration: When two or more words have the same initial sounds (i.e., Becky bopped the baker).

Questions: What lines contain alliteration? List each line. Write out the words that alliterate. When you say the alliterating words together what feeling, mood, idea, sense, etc., do they evoke?

Examples: Line 6 - sat/sack. The words emphasize her age. Her body no longer has a definable shape. It is like a sack. I can see her hunched over, everything sort of falling into itself.

6. Assonance: Partial rhyme, when the internal vowel sounds of words are the same (i.e., cow/bound/mouse).

Questions: What lines contain assonance? List each line. Write out the words that assonate. When you say the assonating words together what feeling, mood, idea, sense, etc., do they evoke?

Examples: Line I - stroked/molten/tones. Rich "o" sounds. Depth. Roundness. A resonance. Top capture the tones of the dulcimer. Also the assonance emphasizes the synesthesia of the line. (Synesthesia = the mixing of the senses.. One type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another. A color sings. A song has color.) We can "see" and "feel" the tones, which are like the colors and heat of metal in a forge, melting.

7. Simile: a comparison using like or as.

Questions: What similes are used in the poem? List each by line number. What is being compared with what? Why?

Examples: Line 9 - The grandmother's hair is compared to "waxed flax ready to spin." The comparison shows the limpness of the hair, limpness caused by age. But it also shows that the body parts of the grandmother in a way represents her people. The craftsmanship. The weaving she does comes out of her whole body so to speak, not just her hands. I am reminded of Paula Gunn Allen's poem: "Out of her own body she pushed/silver thread, light air. . ."

8. Metaphor: A comparison that does not use like or as.

Questions: What metaphors are used in the poem? List each by line number. What is being compared with what? Why?

Examples: Line 20. The veins in her hands are called "slow blue rivers." The metaphor helps to show her age, exemplified in swollen veins. But it also implies the history of her people, the long line she comes from - as old as a slow-moving river. The metaphor also emphasizes her patience, her endurance, and her depth.

9. Symbol: Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention; especially a material/concrete object used to represent something invisible/abstract.

Questions: Choose one symbol in the poem. Free associate five words for that symbol. What is the poet doing in the poem with that symbol? How do the symbol and the free associations help you understand the poem better?

Example: Maple: red/fall/beauty/tree/sap. The maple is a symbol from nature. In Native American lore, it symbolizes wisdom or spirituality. It is an example of how Native Americans lived in harmony with nature, using the wood of that tree to shape musical instruments. It also evokes the beauty of native peoples, the color of their skin, their endurance and patience, the lasting power of their customs.

10. Theme: The message of the poem. The idea, point of view or perception embodied and expanded upon in the poem.

Question: What is the theme of the poem (as distinct from the topic)?

Examples: The topic of "Yonosa House" is the grandmother. The theme is that the body of the grandmother "houses" all the things that Smith believes are worth living for, the values that she and her people taught him: artistry, craftsmanship, loving activity, attunements to nature, living out the mythologies, being at one with one's culture, one's history.

11. Freewrite- Writing anything that comes to your mind without thinking about punctuation, grammar, organization, etc.; free flowing. Thinking and feeling through writing.

Questions: Freewrite about the poem. Write anything you like. How do you relate to the poem: What memories does it evoke: What feelings: Philosophies: What did you learn as you read the poem: Could you compare it to another poem? Did you like the poem? Why? Why not?
"An eye for an eye leaves the world blind." -- Gandhi
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Postby Kayty » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:47 pm

Thanx Amy,

We needed a mod for this forum that would actually do something. :D

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Postby jester » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:24 pm

Have you guys seen a site called poetsgraves? Some really good tips on there. Hope you guys are just as friendly.

Do you think stuff like this is worth posting? Sonnets don't have to be about love...right?

Calendar Girl

She sweeps away the early morning snow
and salts the icy cobbles in her yard.
A ruddy smile that warms you as you go,
a nod to meet your eye with good regard.

Her youngest daughter lives on high-rise hill,
where vigilantes keep patrol in pairs
and vacant tenants, having time to kill,
discard their spent syringes on the stairs.

Her PS2 lets out a battle-cry.
The blade is raised again to do its harm.
Another long sleeved day in paradise –
a calendar of cuts upon her arm.

She’ll talk about her dates to friends who know
she needs to sweep her early morning snow.


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Postby Tortured Mind » Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:38 am

definatly
“The goal of all life is death.”
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Maria Ventouras

Postby Maria Ventouras » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:20 pm

My father was killed when I was 16. This creates a trauma opposed to my past trauma's when my father was alive. I was daddy's little girl, he was my best friend and then I saw his decayed body laying in a coffin. This is dedicated to my father:

Oh, Dad,
Your breath has ceased,
similar to the faith I had,
the second comming was close at hand,
gone with your poising array,
to spare a young girl's heart,
yet, the beast lives in the soul,
and gazes intensely from the start,
stay back somewhere in the hands of time,
release the convictions upon your fellows,
maybe one day our souls will combine,
with the spiritual yours and the mortal mine.

I wrote this when I was younger and it has been published. In addition, if I was to write this poem over the anger and hurt inside me would not be so intense. Yes, I miss my father more than you can imagine, or maybe you can. However, Jesus and Spirituality has comforted my being. Trust me on this one, if you want to read about a religious psychologist, read Jung. You will see signs if you pick up the bible. Your life will get better if you follow the laws of the bible. Just try it. You might like what happens in your life. Maria Ventouras
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Re: Maria Ventouras

Postby gpierre » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:03 pm

Maria Ventouras wrote:Your life will get better if you follow the laws of the bible. Just try it. You might like what happens in your life. Maria Ventouras


I'd actually prefer to trust in psychiatrists than the Bible: and I don't trust them at all.
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Re: Maria Ventouras

Postby gpierre » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:04 pm

gpierre wrote:
Maria Ventouras wrote:Your life will get better if you follow the laws of the bible. Just try it. You might like what happens in your life. Maria Ventouras


I'd actually prefer to trust in psychiatrists than the Bible: and I don't trust them at all.


on second thoughts...whatever makes you happy.
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My Poem

Postby Innerchild » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:47 am

Who is to Blame?

The wind laughs during his deadly disturbing sleep
Has come to torture him, watch him silently weep
In his face you can see his struggle through time
If I listen closely I hear this child pine

He scrapes at the window noone is there
Hands full of blood falls in total despair
He buries his face fills his eyes with dirt
To ease the agony of life since birth

Tears fall as he sees the killer of his soul
The person who has put him into this hole
Today he fights but the rain is winning
The torment of life is only beginning
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Re: Poetry help

Postby ronnzz » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:45 pm

just make it your own, you can do it , be creative :wink:





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Re: Poetry help

Postby Pangean » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:43 am

I will have to try this.
Once I knew only darkness and stillness... my life was without past or future... but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.
Helen Keller
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