Saturday, 12 June 2010
close your little eyes
round your bed a hundred colours
point towards surprise.
Darling Andrew, smiling,
take a little rest,
before tomorrow’s reckoning
of chaos at its best.
Mess and muddle, mayhem,
a smile beyond the glum;
sleep now, let it come….
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Sonnets are fourteen lined poems, traditionally split into stanzas of 8 lines and then of 6 lines. The rhyme scheme may vary, depending on your taste. Traditional sonnets would have clear end-rhymes and be written in iambic pentameter, although modern poetry has moved away from a strictness of form. Also, traditionally, sonnets would be written about love or philosophy – but that seems no longer the case, modern poets write sonnets about anything!
The key to a classical sonnet is the ‘turn’; which occurs at, or around, the point where the two stanzas separate and the idea is that the exploration, or argument, in the first eight lines should ‘turn’ or be viewed differently – or at least from a different angle – in the second stanza. This has the effect of creating a polarity, or ambiguity, for the reader and their internal resolution of such tension can generate an ‘aha’ moment which is subjective, pleasurable and creative.
The ‘turn’ is often signaled linguistically by the word ‘but’ or ‘and’, ‘however’ etc. although, if you read a few sonnets you will find that poets use a plethora of subtle, and not-so-subtle ways of embedding a signal for the turn within language. Here is a sonnet I wrote about my son - with a very unsubtle turn!!!
The real Down’s question
Hiding’s not possible when he decides
to talk to you; to ask a question like
‘have you a beard?’:- and everything falls still,
or ‘Are you mad?’:- and you pause in the void,
or ‘are you bovvered?’:- and silence abounds
catching your breath because spotlights are on
and you might say the wrong thing:
bearded, or bovvered or mad – Well??
And it’s ridiculous how quickly you blush
just because it’s not so easy to answer
routinely. Beyond the question
lies a sly question, a poke
bringing you live to connection, ‘can you connect?’
and there’s a boy laughing and doing his work.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
A ballad is a traditional story – poem, often written in 4 line stanzas with lines 1 and 3 having 4 beats and lines 2 and 4 having 3 beats. In this kind of meter, and with some traditional line-end rhyming, the ballad has a kind of singing quality. In olden times, they were used to pass news or yarns around from place to place.
Opening to Mr Bleaney – by Philip Larkin
'This was Mr Bleaney's room. He stayed
The whole time he was at the Bodies, till
They moved him.' Flowered curtains, thin and frayed,
Fall to within five inches of the sill,
Whose window shows a strip of building land,
Tussocky, littered. 'Mr Bleaney took
My bit of garden properly in hand.'
Bed, upright chair, sixty-watt bulb, no hook ….
A ballad can be funny, whimsical, ironic, bawdy, drunken. Ideally, it needs to be a rich, lifelike, compelling read. Other pointers are;
· have a plot
· have characters
· include dialogue
· contain some sort of drama
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Sunday, 14 February 2010
The traditional cinquain is based on a syllable count.line 1 - 2 syllables
line 2 - 4 syllables
line 3 - 6 syllables
line 4 - 8 syllables
line 5 - 2 syllables
The modern cinquain is based on a word count of words of a certain type.
line 1 - one word (noun) a title or name of the subject
line 2 - two words (adjectives) describing the title
line 3 - three words (verbs) describing an action related to the title
line 4 - four words describing a feeling about the title, a complete sentence
line 5 - one word referring back to the title of the poem
Here's an example
heating, stirring, rising;
one cauldron is today's
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Learn to write a sonnet in iambic pentameter, just like Shakespeare did. Discover the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the quatrains and couplets that make up a Shakespearean sonnet.
Read more: http://eu.dummies.com/how-to/content/writing-a-sonnet.html#ixzz0f4ScYmYk
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Write an Instant Verb Verse Poem
|Directions:||For this three line instant poetry activity, first think about something you do. Then brainstorm six verbs that go with that action. Then just fill them in the blanks below to make your instant verb verse.|
Line 1: Verb One Verb Two Verb Three
YOU HAVE A POEM, Here's one.....
WRITING A POEM
choose, flicker, click,
look, puzzle, edit
it's almost complete.
Thursday, 4 February 2010
The sound in poetry plays a vital role which gives it musical rhythms and therefore poems are recited with genuine interest. Alliteration is such quality that gives beauty to the poetry. There are alliteration famous poems that really appeal to the lovers of literature.
What Makes it Alliteration?
Well, it is nothing but a recurrent repetition of a speech sound presented in a sequence of close by words. It's generally applied to consonants when the recurring sound starts a word or stressed syllable within a word. In the opening line of "Piers Plowman" by William Langland, every four stressed syllables are alliterative by nature:
"In a somer seson, when soft was the sonne..."
Examples of Alliteration in Later English Poetry:
In the later English poetry, the application of alliteration was meant for achieving stylistic effects and to reinforce and intensify the meaning. For instance; the repetition of the sound /s/, /th/, and /w/ consonants in the following Shakespeare's Sonnet 30:
"When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past"
There are special speech sounds, called assonance and consonance, repeated in alliteration. Assonance means the repetition of similar type of words (particularly in stresses syllables) in a sequence of close by words. For instance; the recurrent /i:/ is repeated in the opening lines of Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn":
"Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time..."
Consonance means the repetition of a sequence of more than two consonants but a slight change in the prevailing vowel for instance; lean-alone, live-love etc. Moreover, it can be seen in W. H. Auden's following poem:
"O Where are you going?" said reader to rider...
"Out of this house" - said rider to reader,
"Yours never will" - said farer to fearer,
"They're looking for you" said hearer to horror..."
This device of alliteration in poetry provides rhythm and rhyme.
Sunday, 31 January 2010
I cannot stress enough how important verbs are in a poem. Here’s an example of excellent verb use in a well-known poem:
from ArielBlack sweet blood mouthfuls, Shadows. Something else Hauls me through air—— Thighs, hair; Flakes from my heels. White Godiva, I unpeel—— Dead hands, dead stringencies. And now I Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas. The child’s cry Melts in the wall. And I Am the arrow, The dew that flies, Suicidal, at one with the drive Into the red Eye, the cauldron of morning. Sylvia Plath
This poem uses verbs very effectively. “Something else / hauls me through air.” “Thighs, hair; / Flakes from my heels.” “I unpeel” “I /Foam to wheat.” “The child’s cry / Melts in the wall.” [my emphasis]
The resulting effect of using active verbs in a poem is that your reader will be able to experience the action of the poem in their head, rather than just hear about it. So many poor poems are reported. “This happened. That happened. Something else is happening.”
The reason using “being verbs,” adverbs, and adjectives to depict the images in your poetry is ineffective is that it unnecessarily removes the reader from the experience of the poem. When a poem is reportedrather than enacted the poet serves as an intermediary between the poem and the reader.
Think about it this way: would you rather look at a beautiful sunset or have someone describe one to you?
This will be covered in greater detail in an upcoming installment (this phrase is becoming a mantra of this series).
For the remainder of this article we’re going to assume you’ve completed a poem and want to make a first-pass at improving it.
Jough Dempsey is a poet & critic and the webmaster of Poetry X
Saturday, 30 January 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Writing a poem is all about observing the world within you or around you. You can write about anything from love to the rusty gate at the old farm. As long as you are enjoying it or finding it releases something from inside you, you're on the right track.