Poetry essay: Rhyming poetry can be serious poetry

Sometimes rhyming poetry can be viewed as lacking seriousness.

For example, poems for children sometimes rhyme.  Advertising jingles can rhyme.  Simple poetry forms can rhyme.  Also, old poetry forms, like sonnets, can rhyme.

Additionally, rhyming poetry, with its predictable sounds, might not seem appropriate for certain subjects.

Rhyming though doesn’t have to be viewed this way.  Rhyming poetry can be serious poetry.  Here are some ways that you can make your rhyming poetry serious.

First, you can focus on having a serious subject matter.  Although serious subject matters are often viewed synonymously with negative subject matters, it does not have to be so.  Something can be serious and positive.  An example might be the first person of a certain category to achieve something.

Second, you can focus on complex rhyming patterns.  Basic rhyming patterns are things like ABAB or ABAC or ABCB.  You can focus on patterns that are more complex.  More complex patterns include more rhymes, less adherence to stanzas, and greater variation.

Third, you can look for non-traditional rhyming words.  By finding words that are unexpected, you can add a different sound to your poetry.

Fourth, you can write in a serious tone.  A serious tone can have rhymes.  The rhymes can blend with the tone and enhance it.

Fifth, you can add other poetry elements to your poem to give the look of an unstructured experimental poetry form.  These elements might include: stanzas of different lengths, line breaks, line indentions without a pattern, single word lines, and lack of sentence structure.  A poem written in this way, though rhyming, can appear more serious.

Sixth, you can add elements of overtness to your poem.  If you write about a serious subject, in a serious way, and don’t cover it too heavily with metaphor, the seriousness can come through and balance with the rhyming.

Seventh, you can use literary elements to add a serious tone to your poem.

Here is an example poem that is serious and also contains rhyme.  The pattern is: ABCDEAFCAE.

You say the words with such ease
like you’re saying there’s something wrong with an engine.
But here, in this chair,
the engine runs.
It’s not in some car in some lot.
These are the pistons that seize.
But you’re detached.
You’ve been taught not to care.
It’s never you who cries on your knees.
Your heart beats like it’s been taught.

Poetry essay: How you can try to get a person to change their mind about poetry

Sometimes you might encounter someone who doesn’t like poetry.  They might even speak badly of it.

In these situations, although you would never want to argue with someone, you might feel the need to try to get the person to change their mind about poetry.  You might like poetry and feel the person doesn’t really understand it.  You might think that if you can explain something about poetry that the person might come to appreciate it.

If you think this could be so, here are ten ideas for how you can try to get a person to change their mind about poetry.

First, you could point out that the person might actually like some kinds of poetry.  For example, you could tell them a funny limerick and see if they laugh.  If they do, you could point out that the just enjoyed a poem.

You could also point out poetry on greeting cards.  Maybe the person liked some they have seen.

Additionally, you could point out that songs and poems have a lot in common.  You could read them some song lyrics from songs they like and show how they resemble poetry.

Lastly, you could point out poems from advertising.  Sometimes advertising has rhyming jingles and similar things and you could point out that these are poetry if the person likes or remembers some of them.

Second, you could point out to the person that not all poetry is the same.  While they may not like some styles of poetry, there are numerous others.  You could show them different kinds of poetry and see if there is a style they like.

Third, you could ask the person what they don’t like about poetry.  They might say things like, “It doesn’t make any sense” or “It is silly” or “It is just a bunch of flowery words”.  Whatever they say, you could find poetry that isn’t like that and introduce the person to it.

Fourth, you could focus on poetry that is more mainstream.  Find poets people have heard of even if they don’t think they like poetry.  Poems from these poets might be more appealing to the person.

Fifth, you could find poetry that relates to something the person has experienced.  For example, if the person had a disease, you could show them poetry by other people who had the disease.  The connection might help them to appreciate it.

Sixth, a person might not like poetry because they don’t see it as being written by people like them.  For example, if the person is conservative, realistic, and masculine, they might feel that poetry is written by liberal, intellectual, feminists.  Whatever the disparity, you can find poets that resemble the person.  You can show them that people like them do write poetry.

Seventh, you could try to find poetry about topics the person likes.  If the person likes golf, for example, you could find poetry about that.  If the person likes cars, you could find poetry about that.  Whatever the interest is, if you can find poetry related to it, the person might be more likely to enjoy it.

Eighth, you could remind the person that reading poetry and liking it doesn’t necessarily change the person.  You could remind them that it doesn’t affect their identity.

Ninth, sometimes people who don’t like poetry associate it with certain emotions.  They might think, for example, that most poetry is serious and somber.  If that is the case, you can find poetry that is the opposite of their perception, that they might enjoy more.

Tenth, you could remind the person that it is all right if they don’t like all poetry.  You could remind them that not all poetry is for all people and that is okay if they don’t like certain kinds.  You could remind them that there is no “poetry authority” judging them for what they read.  You could remind them that the poetry they happen to like doesn’t have to conform to some perception they have of what poetry is.

Poetry essay: Are poetry forms restrictive or do they inspire creativity?

In writing poetry you may have used poetry forms.  You may have written, for example, haiku, sonnets, rondeau, and poetry in other forms.  You may have also used poetry form elements such as rhyming, meter, and syllable count.

In writing with a poetry form you may have wondered how it affected your work.

You may have at times found forms restrictive.  For example, you may have wanted to use a certain word in a certain place, but because it didn’t fit the form you were using, you couldn’t.

Alternatively, you may have used forms that helped inspire creativity.  The form elements, for example, may have caused you to think of a word or phrasing that you wouldn’t have without them.

In writing poetry you may have thought about this.

Poetry forms can be restrictive

At times, poetry forms can be restrictive.  Some examples of this include:

  • As mentioned above, not using a particular word in a particular place because it didn’t if a form.
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  • Writing lines that were longer or shorter than necessary to fit a form.
  •  

  • Struggling with a form element to the point of distraction from the expression.
  •  

  • Finding yourself stuck in a poem because you couldn’t find an expression that fit a form element.
  •  

  • Using words you didn’t really want to use because they fit a form.
  •  

  • Using awkward phrasings because they fit the form.

Poetry forms can inspire creativity

Alternatively though, poetry forms can inspire creativity.

First, as mentioned, the form may inspire you to use certain words or phrases you may not have thought of without the form.

Second, trying to fit something to a form can cause you to think more and you can sometimes find better ways to express ideas.

Third, some forms are easy to use and can become familiar.  This ease of use and familiarity can make writing poems in the forms easier.  Since you don’t have to focus as much on the mechanics, you can focus more on the expression.

Fourth, some poetry forms can sound very nice if used correctly.  Achieving this can require creativity.

Fifth, working with forms can be like mental exercise.  Learning to use meter, syllable count, rhymes, and so forth, can serve as poetry training that can help you write poems in the future and do so in a more creative way.

Some thoughts

Whether a form is restrictive or inspires creativity depends on the form, the expression, and the poet.  Sometimes a form can be a hindrance.  Other times it can be a starting point for something new.  It depends on the situation.

Sometimes it takes practice with certain forms to move them from being restrictive to inspiring creativity.  The increased familiarity with the form elements can make them easier to use.

When writing poetry with a form, at first they can at times feel restrictive.  Sometimes it just takes a bit more time working with the poem before a creative idea appears.

Alternatively, sometimes writing with a form is just not the best idea.  Having the freedom that free verse provides can sometimes be very good inspiration.

Again, whether a form is restrictive or inspires creativity depends.  Sometimes, in some situations, they will restrict your writing.  In other cases, they will help you to write better.  It depends.  You should work with forms, learn to use them, and learn to understand when a form is restricting your writing and when it is helping it.  When you do, you can make the best decision about whether or not to use a form for a particular poem and idea.

Poetry essay: Polishing a poem

Sometimes when you a write a poem, you may think it is all right, but you also think that it could be improved.  Below are ten ideas to help you polish a poem you’ve written.

1. Shorten it.

With poetry, less is often more.  Look for places where you can remove words without changing the tone or meaning.  If you can take something out without changing things, look at taking it out.

2. End lines at natural sounding places.

This idea was written about before in an essay on this blog.  Altering a poem so that the lines end in natural places can be a good way to improve it.

3. Conform to form.

If your poem has a form, either a traditional one, a modern one, an experimental one, or one you invented just for the poem, and you deviate from the form, try to alter things so that you conform to it.

For example, if you have a poem where odd numbered lines rhyme, but you couldn’t find a rhyme for one of the lines so you left it without one, correcting that can be a way to make your poem better.  It will sound better to readers as it will fit the sound they are expecting.  A similar idea holds for other form elements.

4. Take time away from it.

One way to improve a poem, is to take some time away from it.  This might be ten minutes, a few hours, or a few days.  The idea is that when you come back to the poem and read it again, you may see things differently and know what to do to make the poem sound better.

5. Use a thesaurus.

Sometimes changing a word can help a poem.  For example, changing “happy” to “joyful” or “sad” to “despondent” can cause a change in style and can improve how a poem sounds.

6. Use new rhymes.

Rhyming can be a common poetry form element.  Using it can add predictable sound to a poem.

When using rhymes, sometime the words chosen can change how a poem sounds.  Because the rest of the words in a line and surrounding lines have to fit with the rhyme, changing just one rhyme can have an impact on a poem.

If you are rhyming a word, you can try to find rhymes that you don’t normally use.  For example, if the word you are rhyming is “gold” and you normally use “bold” “cold” and “sold” as rhymes, you can change things by using words like “fold” “hold” or “told”.  By picking new rhymes you can find ways to improve your poem.

7. Use literary elements.

Literary elements include things like similes, metaphors, irony, satire, plays on words, and mirroring.  By using literary elements you can add more sophistication to your poem.

8. Change the person.

Sometimes a poem can be improved if you change it from first person to third person.  By writing in a slightly detached way, you can speak about larger ideas and that can improve your poem.

9. Be more overt.

Sometimes poems can contain too much symbolism and metaphor.  The meaning can be lost.  You can improve a poem by being clearer and more overt in places so the reader knows the idea you are trying to get across.

10. Remove outside references.

Sometimes poems contain outside references.  These might be things like specific geographic locations, product names, celebrity names, song titles, book titles, book characters, and so forth.

These things can be good if the reader is familiar with them, but they can be a distraction if the reader is not.  If a reader has to look something up to understand the poem, it isn’t a good thing.

Additionally, outside references often don’t add anything to a poem.  Stating a specific brand of soda for example, might not change the meaning and intent of a line in a poem.  If something doesn’t add something, as mentioned above, you might consider taking it out.

Poetry essay: Expressing ideas: prose or poetry

As a writer, you want to express ideas.  It could be ideas about something you care about, something that happened to you, or something you want to communicate.  When you set out to express ideas, you have two choices among others: you could express the ideas through prose or through poetry.

Expressing ideas through prose

Expressing ideas through prose can have some advantages over poetry.

First, you can write something lengthy.  Although a poem might be limited to a few lines or maybe a page, prose can be many pages long without seeming to be long.

Second, you can express ideas directly.  You can write plainly about what you want to communicate without ideas being hidden by the metaphor and symbolism that can be found in poetry.

Third, with prose you can reach a different audience than poetry might reach.  Your prose can take the form of an essay, an article, a short story, or something else.  You can find different outlets for these types of communication than you can with poetry and through that you can reach a different audience.

Fourth, with prose you can write about details related to something.  You can go in depth into a topic and touch on all the points about it that you want.

Fifth, because prose isn’t subject to form elements like poetry, you can focus fully on the idea you want to express without focusing as much on how you express it.

Expressing ideas through poetry

Just as prose has some advantages over poetry, poetry has some advantages over prose.

First, with poetry you can focus on just one aspect or scene of something.  You can focus on one thing without having to tell the whole story.

Second, poetry has the benefit of the idea of less being more.  When you only use a few words to describe something, the succinctness can add impact.

Third, you can write many poems about the same idea.  You can cover different aspects of the idea or present things in different ways.  This is harder to do with prose which can be a longer form of expression.

Fourth, because poetry focuses more on how something is said relative to prose, the words you use to describe an idea can have greater impact.

Fifth, you can utilize metaphor and symbolism to a greater extent in poetry than in prose.  This can be important if you don’t want to write directly about something or want to emphasize an idea.

 

The method you choose to convey an idea will depend on what you are writing about, how you want to write about it, and how you want the message to get across.  Prose can be better for some situations and poetry for others.  It depends on what you want to accomplish.

Experimental Poetry Form: filter

Today’s experimental poetry form is called filter.

In the form, there are two stanzas.  Each stanza has three lines.  Each line has five words.

In the first stanza, each word must contain the letter “a”.  In the second stanza, none of the words can contain the letter “a”.  The idea is that the letter “a” was “filtered out” between the first and the second stanza.

Here is an example poem using the form:

Many emails arrive each day.
Communication has acquired great ease.
Substantial contemplation has apparently disappeared.

Letters used to be costly.
Thought with effort were there.
Words needed to signify something.

Milestone: 1400th post

This is the 1400th blog post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things.

1400.

Wow.

1400 posts is a lot of posts.  It has been 2021 days since the first post on April 24, 2014.  That is a long time.

M. Sakran hopes everyone has enjoyed the blog. Hopefully readers have been entertained and also learned something from it.

If you like the blog, please tell your friends about it on social media and on your own blogs.  You can also follow the blog (there is a button in the sidebar you can click).

If you like, you can send M. Sakran a comment saying what you think about the blog.

If you go to the about page, you can find links to categories on the blog.  You can also find posts on the post lists page.

Also, please check out M. Sakran’s eBook, Understanding: poems with explanations.

Thank you to all readers.  The blog has been fun, a medium of expression, a learning tool, and more.  Hopefully all readers have gotten as much out of it as M. Sakran has.

Thank you everyone.

Here’s a poem to commemorate the day:

Blogging,
can sort of be like,
a maamoul cookie.

No,
really.

First,
maamoul cookies,
are really hard to make,
if you’ve never done it.

After,
1400 or so,
it probably gets easier.

Also,
maamoul cookies,
have a surprise inside

There’s the outer cookie part,
and then the sweet date part inside.

A blog can be like that.

The first posts you find,
might informative,
or educational.

If you did a little deeper though,
you can find posts that are,
entertaining,
insightful,
and inspirational,
on all sorts of different blogs.

Also,
maamoul cookies,
are great to share.

Who,
doesn’t like,
maamoul cookies?

Blogging,
can be like that.

You can share your blog,
with so many people,
and you can share blogs you like,
with your friends.

Also,
maamoul cookies,
go great with tea.

Of course,
you can have a sip,
while you read (or write as is happing now),
a blog.

Yes,
blogging,
can be like,
a maamoul cookie.

Take a break,
have a bite,
and enjoy.

Experimental Poetry Form: scatter

Today’s experimental poetry form is called scatter.  In the form, there are twenty words scattered on the page.  The words are read from left to right and from top to bottom.  The poet can decide the exact positions of the words.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

It           is

                                       amazing               how            few   people

 

 

are                                             really

 

 

                     in                                        to               the           things

 

        that                          are                                  perceived

 

to                           be                    the                                      most

 

popular.

Experimental Poetry Form: four, four word steps

Today’s experimental poetry form is called four, four word steps.  In the form, there are four stanzas.  Each stanza has two lines.  Each line has two words.  The second, third, and fourth stanzas are indented ten, twenty, and thirty spaces respectively.  Here is what the form looks like

**
**

          **
          **

                    **
                    **

                              **
                              **

Here is an example poem written in the form:

Observance matters
each time.

          Days come
          and go.

                    Without thinking
                    they pass.

                              Without observance
                              meaning’s lost.