Have you ever received a love letter with words that soothed your heart and you felt like writing back? Well, most of us have been entertained by words spoken or written to us by people who love us. Poetry Dates back to the 7th century in ancient Greek. The Greeks used poetry to convey their feelings, which could be feelings of sadness, happiness, or disappointment with life occurrences. From the time memorial to this day, poems have been popular in all cultures.
Well, everything depends on individual preferences. Those of us who literature find poetry exciting due to the use of figurative language. Writing poetry has become a hobby for some people because it helps them convey or pass a message using specific techniques, such as stressed and unstressed syllables. Although modern poetry might differ from that of the past due to technological inventions, writing poetry is as crucial today as it was in ancient times.
Perhaps you are still wondering what poetry is even as we discuss it in length. In simple terms, poetry can be defined as a piece of literature that combines certain literary devices with imagination to convey feelings and elicit emotional responses. Some of the common features of literature used in poetry will be explained later on in the article, but it suffices to state that poetry is about using creative and imaginative powers and combining them with literature to send a message to an intended target, which can be an individual or a group of people.
In general, poems express feelings or thoughts regarding someone or something. It helps us share what we consider the right emotions and opinions on a matter. Before they start writing, poets ask themselves the reason for writing their poems. The motive will then influence even the type of poem that an artist selects.
For example, some poets will prefer writing a descriptive poem, while others might opt for narrative poems. The purpose of a poem may also influence its structure. Some poets prefer writing poems with three line stanzas. As readers or listeners interact with a poem, they create images in their minds, and this makes a poem interesting.
Having understood the meaning and purpose of poetry, we should not shift our focus on the most important elements of poetry. This section is crucial for anyone who wants to write a poem or read one because it will make it easy for you to understand what each word represents. Therefore, read through to understand the primary elements of a poem and why each of them is important to a poet in terms of conveying feelings.
In a poem, the voice is one of the crucial elements of poetry because it helps us know the person speaking. In every poem, someone must be speaking and conveying feelings to the audience. Poets can choose to write a poem in which they themselves speak. Alternatively, poets can decide to include a persona. In poetry, a persona is someone else speaking other than the poet. A person in poetry can even be an animal or inanimate objects. It is also important to note that poetry includes a tone as well. While voice is about what is being said either by the poet or persona, tone refers to the attitude expressed in a poem.
When it comes to writing a poem, some upcoming poets struggle to include a persona voice due to the lack of exposure. Before we get to the process of writing a persona in poetry, please review some of these poems to have a better grasp on how to write a persona voice in poetry.
You may want to write a poem in a persona but do not know where to start. Well, many students struggle to come up with a persona. Admittedly, it is not an easy step; otherwise, everyone would be doing it, and there would be no use for this article. Here are the steps to follow when writing a persona for your poetry work.
Sound is another aspect of the several elements of poetry. Typically, sound emphasizes specific words. Many poets use the sound element in poetry to elicit an emotional response from the audience. The common features of sound in poetry are repetition, alliteration, consonance, onomatopoeia, assonance, and rhyme and rhythm. We now expound more on these elements for your better comprehension.
The thug lived on his own
His location remained unknown
Yet he took a huge loan
In the above example, the last syllables create one sound without interfering with the flow of the poem. Readers feel motivated to read the next line. That is the purpose of rhythm and rhyme.
Poets use this technique throughout a poem for several reasons. First, repetition creates rhythm by ensuring the recurrence of sounds. Poets also achieve rhythmic goals by utilizing rhyme schemes. Repetition further forms metrics, which come through stressed and unstressed syllables. It is imperative to note that repetition can be done in the form of stanzas, phrases, or just a single word.
Diction is among the elements of poetry and plays a crucial role in conveying a message in any structured poem. In brief, diction can be explained as the choices of words that a poet uses to pass a message. A writer can choose to use various literary devices to send a message. For example, figurative language is common in poetry and can take many forms, including metaphors, imagery, personification, simile, and hyperbole. Let’s sample some of the main elements of figurative language used in poetry.
Typically, extended metaphors go beyond one word, with some extending to a few sentences of paragraphs. The following example is an extended metaphor: “This friend of yours called Joyce is a snake.” Again, the word ‘snake’ here is not to be taken literary. As you can see, metaphors form part of poetic elements that influence readers to read an entire poem.
The structure forms parts of poetry elements, and it is vital when writing or analyzing a poem. In simple words, the structure has to do with the organization that a poet chooses for a poem. Previously, most poets paid much attention to structures, but modern poetry adopts what we call free verse structures, which simply means that the poems do not have a specific style that readers can identify. Nonetheless, let’s focus on the two important parts of structures.
iii. Narrative Poetry- narrative poems are interesting because it tells readers a story. It starts with a plot in the introduction and highlights conflicts. Later, it climaxes into the central message.
It is imperative to note that there are other poems that fall in one of the categories addressed above. Let us sample a few of them because they are critical.
A sonnet is an example of a lyric poem, and it contains at least 14 lines and often follows the iambic pentameter. In poetry, iambic pentameter refers to the use of an unstressed syllable, which is then followed closely by a stressed syllable. One example is the Shakespearean sonnet. You can also use this example to comprehend the sonnet: “It is a deLIGHT to see you here.” In this example, the word ‘delight’ stresses the last parts. Therefore, a sonnet is a type of lyric poem. Historians classify lyric poetry into two groups. First, there is the Petrarchan sonnet, which originated from Italy and was promoted by a Renaissance poet called Petrarch. Second, there is the Shakespearean sonnet.
Another lyric poem whose purpose is to mourn a deceased. It follows a logical sequence, starting with reminiscing about the dead, explaining the cause of death, before climaxing in a sense of hope that death is not the final part of humanity.
While elegy and sonnet are lyric poems, a ballad is classified as a narrative poem. It has a musical element, and its elevated style means one can sing along. It does not follow grammar rules, but its end rhyme, Shakespearean sonnet, and iambic rhythm are considered important in passing the message.
This is another narrative poem that thrives on an elevated style talking about the history and achievements of a hero. Although it is regarded as part of creative writing, the contents are factual and tend to cause emotional insight and make a poem memorable because people can relate with the hero being praised. Oftentimes, epic poems use a single poetic voice to avoid confusing readers, and the poet repeats stressed syllables to convey a message.
This subtype of poetry falls under the narrative. Poets do not employ a recurring pattern of iambic pentameter but choose to address someone or something in the poem. Ode traces its roots in Ancient Greece, yet most modern poetry writers often use it. Besides addressing an event, individual, or object, a poet in an ode uses a serious tone and attaches a lot of emotions. Ode poems adhere to metrical patterns, although modern poets may use free verse modes. The use of three line stanzas is common among ode poem writers, but internal rhyme occurs once or twice.
As for Haiku, it comes from Japanese society, and it has three line stanzas. It does not have many rules, such as line breaks, recurring patterns, constant beat pattern, or even iambic pentameter. In fact, it can even contain an irregular rhythm. As a result, it can be used for creative nonfiction or fiction work. Many times, poets 5 syllables in the first line, with the second and third lines having 7 and 5 syllables, respectively.
In limerick, poets write a total of 5 lines, with the last one being an anecdote. The use of the same letter to produce initial sounds of vowels or consonants may be utilized. However, Limerick uses the rhyme scheme of AABBA. It is often used for younger populations, such as children, and tend to promote humor.
We have spent the larger part of this article addressing the elements of poetry. You can now use your creative writing capabilities to come with up with various poems. It could be descriptive poetry, lyric poetry, narrative poetry, free verse poetry, which we also call modern poetry, or any other types of poetry. Nonetheless, let’s outline the exact method you should follow when writing poetry.
When you decide to write poetry, you need to think about what you want. If you are an introvert, you can spend time alone coming up with a good topic. Alternatively, you can ask your friends to help. Brainstorming is a good way of writing poetry. You can interact with your peers on Google classroom if you want fresh ideas. Think of everything that you want in your poem, including the sound patterns, the initial sounds of your words, internal vowel sounds, and all other elements of poetry. At this thinking stage, considering these elements even without writing them will help come up with a good topic.
Once you settle on a topic, you may need to identify the theme. Let’s say your poem is about love. You need to go ahead to be clear on what exactly this love is all about. Is it about betrayal? Is it about expressing deep feelings? Settle on one theme to avoid confusing your readers.
You will need an extended metaphor to make your poem exciting. Refresh your mind on what we said about extended metaphors. You can ask your friends in Google classroom to express their views about your metaphor. You can use line breaks in Microsoft Word to organize your metaphors if you feel the need to do so.
Organize your poem according to the elements of poetry discussed here. This means that you will need to use the voice, diction, structure, and sound. When planning about the diction, remember to identify the figurative language you will use. Do not forget that it is figurative language that makes poems exciting. Do not let your reader feel bored by literal language; use as many elements of figurative language as you can. In the structure, choose whether you want free verse poetry or traditional poetry. Remember, free verse poems do not adhere to the principles of traditional poetry, which requires specific numbers of lines. When settling on elements, you may need to specify the type of poem you want. It could be descriptive poetry, lyric poetry, or other poems.
If you have settled on your free verse poems or any other, it is time to write a draft. Do not worry so much about grammar rules as long as the words you use are easy to decipher. For example, you are allowed to use “goin'” for ‘going’, but spelling mistakes should be avoided. Do not worry if at first you seem to come with words containing the same letter. In other words, you are likely to think that your reader wants a rhyme scheme. While a rhyme scheme makes your reader feel entertained, do not be obsessed with it. You could also be tempted to think that all of your words must have similar sounds, but that is not the case. As long your written word makes sense, the rest should fall in place.
You should now read and re read your poem to ensure it makes sense to you. If a poem does not make sense to you first, it is unlikely that it will to your readers. Make your reader feel excited to read your poem. This editing process can be daunting, but enlist professional writers to help you. Make sure they do not change the theme of your poem. Let them know what the editing process should entail.
It is natural to feel inadequate at first after writing your free verse poems, lyric poems, or any other type of poetry you choose. However, do not feel bad about yourself as long as you have incorporated all the specific elements of poetry in your poem. Give it to a friend who understands poetry and ask for honest reviews. Make changes where necessary and pat yourself on the back.
Your draft is now ready for presentation. Hand it out to whoever ordered it or the person you were writing for, and ensure it is legible. You will realize that you will keep improving with time.
Your poem should make the reader feel happy, sad, or express any other emotion without external influences. In short, reading a poem alone is enough to evoke feelings. Your poem is not good enough if it does not elicit an emotional response from your readers.
Readers should know who is speaking, the message conveyed, and the intended target. You can achieve the above by utilizing all the elements of poetry and using the rhyme scheme.
The problem with people who write poems for the first time is that they want everything to be perfect. They want words with similar words, internal vowel sounds to follow each other, figurative language elements to be everywhere, and rhyme schemes to occur in every word. They end up messing up the whole poem and making it sound illogical. The key thing in poetry is to ensure it makes sense.
Do not write a long title for your poem. A standard poem should have two or more words but not longer than four words. Readers want to remember the title and content of your poem. Therefore, keep it short and simple. One to three stanzas are enough, although most modern poetry goes up to a page.