The Rudiments of Poetry
Hope this helps and won't offend, perhaps a more experienced friend.
It's really for the starting crew, who write with heart but have no clue
about the use of a poetry
tool - and are prepared to go to school! So here you sit with pen in hand, trying your best to understand.
Release that block, for here you'll see the Rudiments of Poetry! Don't be afraid to walk away from
work that fills you with dismay. Accept what others can reveal. Don't write about what you can't feel. Make the
Line so strong,
it pulls the reader in and along and Ending Lines should summarize, philosophize or just - surprise!
The layout's crucial and in time, you'll learn to place a single line:-
Traditional : Couplet Tercet Quatrain1
is used in Trad. poems again and again.
Free Verse : is a form
of release -
down in a
Prose : is a strange and wondrous prop, for writing
(but you need to know where to stop.)
There are many poetic forms; in poetry, there are no 'norms'
Sonnet2 ballad3 ode4 and haiku5 - You'll find your strength, styles to suit
You must write with flourished passion! (keep an eye on poetry fashion)
Choose any form, pick a layout, but poems
won't be good without:-
Strong Similes and Metaphors, touched with Personification
are tools that unlock many doors, to lyrical elevation.
A simile : is like a grin, that beams a light and draws you in;
evokes an image,
penned in ink. Comparisons make readers think.
Metaphors : are seas of motion - (try a noun before emotion.)
Buckets of hope, bricks of despair
- add an intense lyrical flair.
Personification : is the breath, fills themes with life and gives them depth.
An old tin can's an old tin can - but
what you if name the can, 'Tim?'
What if it mirrors thoughts within? Use empathy and poems win.
Alliteration : apt, agile. Softly sows a
Mastering a malleable mind, forces
flurries of words to find.
Assonance : is the vowel sound and wows the masses who've now found
words used with the vowel being the same are swords to wield now and again.
Consonance : is the close repeat of consonants! Like 'soot' and 'feet'
as a near rhyme, is also known and mown by some; a much-loved lawn
(When read aloud may sound absurd, but silently word rhymes with word)
Onomatapeia : This, is aural sound like clang and hiss
The sound reflects the written word, the definition read AND heard.
(Bend an ear, I'll give you a tip. There are oral Os too.......like zzzzzzzip!)
Meterage : the defined amount
of beats per line, stressed words to count
(These lines will show you, I am sure, that each one has a count of 4.
Meterage is the rhythm
and beat that guides a poem till complete
You can vary it line by line - 1st 4, then 9, then 4, then 9
but keep consistent
in the verse or it sounds rough, stilted or worse.
If starting as a raw recruit, a regular meterage will suit
that proves easy to make, yet think your passionate prose is fake.
If you write the other way round; explosive thoughts,
deep and profound
you may find this tricky to do, or feel it conceals the real you.
Syl-la-bles : are the next to view.
Can af-fect flow
and rhyth-m too.
If you count stresses in each word, 8 and 8 is what you'd have heard.
Just keep-ing watch-ful war-y
eyes on syl-la-ble counts is ver-y wise
(because otherwise your tongue will trip over your teeth to keep to the rhythm.)
Iambic : is the 2nd stress - "I felt her touch, her calm caress"
then stressed Iambic beat is used in any count of feet.
Trochaic : is this way around - "Hope my heart will soon be
Spondaic : hope you clearly see in "Me! Me! Me! count One! Two! Three!"
I find 3rd words stressed in lines
are, the hardest task to do by far:
Anapest is the third stress
in line you will see
This is a Dactyl (first stress of the three)
Now we come to the final round ("Thank God for that!" I hear you sound)
Footage can be a tricky fiend, but understood,
is a good friend.
These names above, in metered rhyme, are stresses named within a line
and now below in rhyming beat,
I'll give the titles of those feet:-
Monometer : is rare to find -
springs to my mind
(1 foot this line, one stressed, one not, a monometer hits the spot)
A Dimeter? the feet are two
Here is one
to prove to you
it can be done
Trimeter has a foot of three
"So do you get the picture?
Yes I think we see
Tetrameter expands the floor
(the footage, for this term, is four)
"It gives you room to do much more"
With Pentameter, a
poem lightly penned
Five beats, are stressed
per line from start to end.
beat Iambic prose
For years, this was the
beat the poets chose
A final note: it's really good, that punctuation's understood
full stop. Question? Clap; applause - this tool helps flow, or puts a pause,
on words that may need reeling in. Can highlight
words. To feel. Within.
Grammar poor? - don't worry your head. With grace, be prepared to be led
by others' strengths
and gifts, be glad - bad grammar won't make your work bad.
Oh dear me, has the structure slipped, as through the rules
you've quickly skipped?
It doesn't matter, that's okay - come back to it another day!
Don't let yourself be too surprised,
if you find the piece needs to be revised.
Rewrites, rewrites, always the curse, of those who show their hearts in verse.
1. A couplet is a 2 line stanza, a tercet,
a 3 liner, a quatrain 4.
2. Sonnet - is a poem written in a particular format, usually 14 lines
3. Ballad - the traditional
ballad stanza has four lines, alternating between four iambic beats
4. Ode - another format poem written in 10 line stanzas and usually rhymin.
5. Haiku - is an oriental poem of three
lines with syllables 5-7-5. The last line should, ideally, sum up the first two or philosophize.
Hetty Nassau-Austen is from the United Kingdom.
She was born and raised in Hampstead in London and moved to the country when she was 22. Her father's death in 2001 acted
as a catalyst for poetry and she has been writing poems ever since. She has performed some of them at the Hastings International
Poetry Festival and has also had a number of them published in magazines and periodicals. She writes in as many styles as
she can find, from haikus to epic-length ballads and feels that she will continue to learn her craft until her last breath!