Poetry 101

Poetry 101

A Lesson by Samantha Altrosse
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The basics of poetry.

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Poetry has plenty of technical elements to it, but let's skip over those, since you can find those things by searching poetry elements on Google. I'm here to instruct you in the abstract things of poetry, beyond meter and rhyme.

 

Besides technical elements, there are two things in poetry which make it essential to being poetry, and, though the "conventional" poets may criticize me for it, there are two things: Message, and Form.

 

Your message is central to your entire work. If your poetry has no message, there is no point to it, so you may as well scrawl SKIP THIS across your work if you have no message.

 

Your form is a means of enhancing your message. If you are talking about how the world is difficult, don't lay out your point. Make your reader work for it. Be abstract, write in broken verse. If your message is that we are all going to die in the end, maybe you should put your poetry into the shape of a knife. If your message is that people are inherently good, but are corrupted by money, make your text the color of your audience's national currency. If you are writing to expose a wrong that has been hidden under many layers of cover-up, write abstractly at first, and then slowly get simpler and simpler until at the end your point is all but laid out.

 

Experiment for a while, and if you are a student of this course, I expect to see a couple of poems like this in your galleries soon. Then we'll move on.



Comments

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Posted 1 Year Ago


I agree with not laying out your point, and making the reading work with it ! I also agree with the other reviewers about having to have a certain message.

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Posted 5 Years Ago


There is no rule that poetry must have a message. We are free to write any kind of poems. That's what makes poetry unique. Nonsensical poems are pretty humorous, i say. Just like Neil Gaiman's 'The Day the Saucers Came'.

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Posted 5 Years Ago


This article and its responses point out a unique characteristic of poetry; Its 'value' is subjective, based on the interpretation and utility of the reader.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


Poetry doesn't have to have a message. That's one of the reasons why it's beautiful. It can be nonsense. It can be half-sense. It can just be.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


Read Billy Collins.
80 percent of his poetry has no message at all, just him talking.
Yet he's a great poet.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


This is pretty interesting but I'd have to disagree. Poetry is about the beauty of words and how they sound together. That's one of the reasons it's supposed to be read aloud. I can never write poetry if it has a meaning I simply find pretty phrases like, shattered dreams, lost paradise, black rose, and then work off of that. The end result is lovely.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


Interesting. I have noticed that poetry is harder to write when I don't have a firm grasp of what my point is. Thank you for the insight.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


I like your comments, Samantha, and especially agree about message and form.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


I agree with your point that if there is message, there is no point. How can one write if they have no idea/message/theme they want to get accrss. With no idea, there are no words, simply a blank peice of paper.

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Posted 6 Years Ago


I kind of disagree with having to have a message in a poem. Sometimes the best poetry has no meaning.

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Author

Samantha Altrosse
Samantha Altrosse

AZ



About
I write about almost anything and everything, in almost every style imaginable. I am capable of writing journalistic articles, argumentative essays, research articles, poetry, reflections upon the nat..