Rules for Writing Poetry
You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your high school writing class. You know the rules about writing poetry, right? Are there rules? Well, if you frequent the poetry forums across the Internet as much as I do, you'd find that there are a lot of amateur poets who adamantly declare that there are no rules for writing poetry and if someone even suggests reading poetry or books on poetry, many of the amateur poets will throw up a defensive front. My opinion seems to swing fervently toward the opposition. You have to know the rules before you break them; at least that's what I always say.
I know that writing a sonnet in iambic pentameter is an art that has been buried in the tombs of the renaissance, but understanding it, along with the numerous other dying closed forms of poetry, is a powerful tool when writing that prosy contemporary piece. Being a great poet demands an intricate understanding of the way in which language works its edges into a reader's conscience. A poem is a mosaic of sounds, syncopations, and images. All of the little fragments of a poem must work together in a unified fashion to culminate in something refreshing and new.
Refreshing and new? Well, you might wonder how understanding such archaic attributes of poetry such as meter and rhyme might help a contemporary poet craft a refreshing new poem. It is all about the sound and the innovation of it. Even scientists stand on the shoulders of those before them. You don't have to manage a perfect rhyme or a measured foot in a poem to be jumping from the inspiration of Shakespeare's sonnets, but having those rhythms and rhymes teetering in and out of the wrinkles in your brain will send a very subtle vibration of sound through your very own pieces.
In summary, read, read, read, know the rules, and then break the rules. Goodness help you, please break them.
Here are some references to help you along the way:
The Practice of Poetry: by Robin Behn
Writing Poems: by Robert Wallace and Michelle Boisseau
A Poetry Handbook: by Mary Oliver
-And don't forget to read some contemporary poetry:
Devrie Paradowski is a freelance writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by several literary journals and she has written dozens of articles for various publications including "Poetry Renewal Magazine," and "Poetryscams.com." She is the author of the chapbook, "Something In the Dirt," which can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/108560 . In 2001, Devrie founded a popular online literary community ( http://www.LiteraryEscape.com ) that has become highly respected for some of the most honest and in-depth poetic critique on the Internet. In keeping with her commitment to inspire amateur writers to hone their skills, she also founded a local writer's group called, "The Fire and Ice Writer's Group."
Stone Beds [A Poem and an Advance]
Stone Beds[Pompeii's surge]Advance: after the great eruption of Pompeii's nearby volcano, Vesuvius, some two-thousand years ago in the heyday of the Roman Empire, what was left of the city were mostly ashes of stone from an unleashing furnace; it is hard to imagine what the people went through (none, not one person survived). I can only guess from the looks of the city today, and in its early excavations, its people were baked alive or asleep, like pottery.
Never Ever More
Once upon a midnight dreary, coffee cold and vision bleary, all night sat there writing COBOL, coding spread across the bed sheets, changing syntax for the mainframe,having checked my final line, I took the floppy from the drive.Typing with a steady hand,I then invoked the SAVE command,but there below my effectuation,appeared the cryptic communication,"Abort, Retry, Ignore" and nothing more.
Breathing-in, Minnesota [a poem: now in Spanish and English]
In early fall, in Minnesota, the rain falls, falls, In buckets, buckets and more buckets-: dropsLikened to music from its many streams-landOf ten-thousand lakes; moistened gravel, gravelEverywhere?Grandpa sits on the porch-daydreaming of, ofSomething, perhaps winter around the corner-;As the flies disappear, with the mosquitoes?Leaves will soon vanish, shadows will come earlyMaybe he's thinking about summer: miles and milesAnd miles and miles of cornfields; his childhood nowLong gone, he hums a hymn, a song; looking at theMetal-piped fence, he made, with three poles, on theEmbankment, leading up the steps to the porch;It's worn-out like him.The winds in Minnesota smell fresh, fresh from allThe foliage, there's a lot of it.
Black Blood, in Jeremiahs Vines - A Poem and an Article
Black Blood, in Jeremiah's Vines[A Dream Poem]And I heard the crackling of wood, and I noticed the Lord God had made men of wood, and fire came from his mouth.Then the wind poured its grief upon us-over our sins; and I heard the words for the seventh time, "Go to the mountains!"Foolish people of this land pray and understand-for He cometh! Thereof, toss yourself to thy knees, for the roar of rebellious men will bleed: black blood, through the vines of Jeremiah.
Out of the eight poems provided here [all previously unpublished], four are Poetic Prose, a few Visionary [what I call Vsionary anyhow], a few Free Verse, and a few with more form and structure, more closely to the Auden style of: stanza, metrical rhythm, and rhyme. In saying that, I do believe all the poems are conveying a rich network of meaning, some of them painfully close bond between pleasure and destruction.
Four Poems: Grendels Nature...the Racetrack...Counting days...[Now in English and Spanish]
English Version1) Grendel's DivorceYou must know that I do not hateAnd that I hate you,Because everything dead has twoSides;A sound is one arm of the quiet,Ice has its warm half.I hate you in order to start hating youTo begin life againAnd never to stop hating you:That is why I do not hate you yet.
AFRICA(to africans in diaspora)africa here i come, africaafrica of the black soul the soul of an ancient culture the culture of your timid tribes.its your voice i hear africa your voice of the talking drumsyour beaded drums and the royal trumpeterthe metal gong of your town crieri have come to see your music dance i have heard of your ageless minstrelshave i not heard of your swinging hips!i have heard enough and have come to watchwouldn't you dance for me africaafrica here i come africa would you not show me to your tribesthe timid tribes of your sweetened tongues the varied tongues of your virtuous menafrica, black soul africa tell me about your gods your gods of the sky and of the mother earthyour gods of the hills and of the rivers aboundshow me to your kings africayour kings of the ancient dynastythe ancient dynasty of rusted spear and shieldafrica, here i come africaHEAVENLY GUESTheavenly guest heralding thunderously in its own awakepelting on men as well, the godsgathering itself drop by drop.
The Valley Of Pain
We were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Its sinless wonders nevermore to regain.
The Treasure of Catalina Huanca (In English and Spanish)
Note: written after seeing the little adobe 16th century church San Sebastian, in San Jeronimo, by the mountains of Huancayo, Peru, after being taken there by the Wandering Quechua guide, Enrique (4-13-2005).The Treasure of Catalina HuancaWritten by Dennis L.
Expressing an Emotion - The Art of Writing Poetry
Writing poetry is an art, a way of expression, finding meaning in few words. A melody of passion flowing out onto the pages, words that flow into each other and yet express the inner most thoughts and feelings of those who read the words.
Passion and Poetry, and Life
Ironically, the passion that can neutralize the repulsion for difficulties depends on the effort to overcome these difficulties. The irony resides in the circularity of this principle - which applies to all areas of activity, including poetry: One must make the effort to overcome difficulties to achieve success and feel capable, and one needs this achievement and feeling to have a passion for making this effort.
Top 20 Poetry Quotations
Explore the meaning of poetry and the motivation of poets with this special collection of evocative quotations..
The Crusader: A Search for the Virtue Inside (an excerpt of an Epic Poem)
On through the darkness she searches the bonesSeeking the hand of her love;Deep in the stillness, the maid searches on,Petitioning help from above.Onward she gropes through the flesh and the bloodOf the warriors disfigured and maimed;She carries no hope for the life of her love -For naught but his body she came.
Two Poems: Black Poncho, and Spirits of de Copan [in English and Spanish]
English Version12) Black Poncho(of Saint Cosme Hill, by Lima, Peru)Lost in the grottos of Peru-By the hills of HuancayoBlack Poncho was given A treasure of gold?;By none other than, Demonic goblins!?in the form of scorching fruit;Hence, Black Poncho fooled The goblins of oldBy using his poncho to pullThe sizzling golden fruitThrough the Andes to Lima, Peru!?Henceforward, he was swindledBy a jeweler of dire repute.Thus, his life changed (as so often they do);And now he lives with:Thirty-five dogs, on San Cosme Hill.
In Poetry: Meaning of Words [And ...Rocket-belt]
In Poetry: Meaning of WordsWhen I write poetry, I check out the meaning of words for too often they sound the same, but once written, and if spelled wrong, in consequence, give a complete different meaning of what I had intended; this I call a moment of damage control. If my rhyme is flat, and my cadence is off, so what, I can survive, as long as the meaning of my words are not; and are as I meant them to be.
A World That Doesnt Care
War bombs may explode demolishing man and land.Hurricanes may devastate and leave us entirely bare.
I am not the one I was before yesterday.I cannot go back.
No one should have to beg or crawl before humanity. No one should have to scheme to procure philanthropy.
Exalted Poetry; Two poem [and commentary]
Bells for Belphegor!..
Footprints to Mantaro Valley (a poem in Spanish and English)
Footprints to Mantaro Valley(English version)In what retreat art hid?-Where falling mountains groanIn shadow and amongThe rapids of the Rio?Is not your name Mantaro Valley?Beyond the footprints of the Andes--?I can hear your voice in echoesI can hear thy voice, divinely low.I do but know thy by a glanceAs the clouds above me know? .