LESSON I. What Is A Poem?

LESSON I. What Is A Poem?

A Lesson by Richard 🍃
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The Seven (7) Basics Of Poetry

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I. What Is A Poem?

Introduction

Some people will say poetry is the music of the written word. I would agree and add that like music, poetry has many rhythm forms. In fact, the highly respected James Knapp, English Professor at the University of Pittsburg, explains it like this:
"A poem is a composition written for performance by human voice. What your eye sees on the page is the composers verbal score, waiting for your voice to bring it alive as you read it aloud or hear it in your mind's ear.
The more one understands about musical notation and the principles of musical composition, the more one will understand and appreciate the composer's score. Similarly, the more one understands of versification (principles and practice of writing verse), the more one is able to appreciate poetry, and in particular, the intimate relationship between it's form and it's content. What a poem says or means is the result of how it is said, a fact that poets are often at pains to emphasize.

"All my life," said W. H. Auden, "I have been more interested in technique than anything else."

T. S. Eliot claimed that, "the conscious problems that one is concerned with in the actual writing of poetry, are more those of a quasi-musical nature in the arrangement of metric and pattern, than that of a conscious exposition of ideas."

   It is my personal contention that one does not have to chose technique over ideas, but that the truly accomplished poet becomes skilled enough that they can utilize both to compose amazingly effective poetry, and in fact, this is the pinnacle of what poetry writing is all about.
   Though, there are many schools of thought about this and on what a poem is, I'll keep it as basic as possible by saying, "Generally, a poem is that which the writer and reader discerns and agrees a poem to be!" And, this can be broken down into an amazingly, almost endless, array of definitions, ideas, opinions, philosophies, etc.

Basically, there are seven (7) widely-recognized and used styles or genre of poetry:
   1) Poetic Prose: unrhymed, unmetered, highly expressive, image-laden, deeply meaningful words of imagery, emotion, and metaphor, utilizing highly impressive word arrangements, in normal paragraph, indentions, capitalization, punctuation, etc; this is not Prose (normal talking).
   2) Free Verse: unrhymedhighly expressive, image-laden, deeply meaningful words of imagery, emotion, and metaphor, utilizing highly impressive word expression, arranged in unmetered lines and verses, with well-timed line-breaks, normally capitalized and punctuated (but, this is at the  author's discretion).
   3) Free Style: intermittently rhymedhighly expressive, image-laden, deeply meaningful words of imagery, emotion, and metaphor, utilizing highly impressive word expression, arranged in unmetered lines and verses, with well-timed line-breaks, normally capitalized and punctuated (but, this is at the  author's discretion).
   4) Unmetered Rhymed Verse: two (2) or  more lines with end rhymes, without a set syllable count or meter, including Rhyming Couplets (2-line verses), Quatrains (4-line verses), Sestets (6-line verses), etc. 
   5) Metered Rhymed Verse: at least two (2) or  more lines rhymed with end lines, and with a set syllable count/meter, including Rhyming Couplets (2-line verses), Quatrains (4-line verses), Sestets (6-line verses), etc. 
   6) Metered Unrhymed Verse: one (1) or  more unrhymed lines, with a set syllable count/meter, including Blank Verse, Rhyming Couplets (2-line verses), Quatrains (4-line verses), Sestets (6-line verses), etc. 
   7) Japanese Poetry: structured, metered, and unrhymed, including the Chōka, Tanka, Renga, Haikai, Renku, Hokku, Senryu, and Haiku, etc. 

(This is a work in progress. Check back in a week.)


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Richard 🍃
Richard 🍃

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Songbird by Sacha SmedleyI like to sing... I do dabble with guitar.. enough to accompany myself at home... but not good enough to take public... but I love singing ... and find it a relaxing hobby. I ..