• June 2020
    M T W T F S S
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Quotes on Poetry by Poets

*  Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.  ~ Khalil Gibran

*  Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.  ~ Carl Sandburg

*  Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.  ~ Dennis Gabor

*  Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.  ~ Paul Engle

*  Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.  ~ Robert Frost

*  Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.  ~ Charles Simic

*  Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.  ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

*  Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.  ~ John Keats

*  Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.  ~ Salvatore Quasimodo

*  A poem should not mean but be.  ~ Archibald MacLeish

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Poetry Terms

Today I’ll put together some poetry terms for those of you looking for them or their meanings. There are lots more but it’s not possible to put them all together in one post, so I’ll just give the most important. I hope this will prove to be useful to those of you interested in poetry… but even you’re not interested in poetry, it’s always good to improve your vocabulary, isn’t it?

First off, what are poetry terms? These are the terms used to describe content or structure of a poem.  The terms:

Alliteration: Repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of words. Seven scientists saw some stars – all the words begin with the same sound, s.

Assonance:  Repetition of the same vowel sound. Suppose Rose goes to Moe’s – all the words have to o sound.

Caesura: A pause or break within a line of poetry.  To err is human,|| to forgive divine (Alexander Pope) – the break is between human and to.

Enjambment: Continuation of a sentence from one line to the next in a verse.

Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now….
(Robert Browning)

Foot: Two or more stressed and/or unstressed syllables that together make up the smallest unit of rhythm in a poem.

Meter: An arrangement in which the stresses occur at equal intervals.

Metrical foot: Two or more syllables with stresses occurring at equal intervals. There are four basic types of metrical feet.

(i) iambic (noun = iamb): an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one – to SWELL the GOURD, and PLUMP the HAzel shells (John Keats)

(ii) trochaic (noun = trochee): a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one – SHOULD you ASK me, WHENCE these STORies (Henry W. Longfellow)

(iii) anapestic (noun = anapest): two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed one – Unless SOMEone like YOU cares a WHOLE awful LOT (Dr. Seuss)

(iv) dactylic (noun = dactyl): a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones – THIS is the FORest primEVal, the MURmering PINES and the HEMlocks (Henry W. Longfellow)

Rhyme: Same or similar sounds in two or more words. Town and crown have the same sounds.

Rhythm: Repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables in lines of poetry. I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice,
I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused, or following…
(Walt Whitman)

Scansion: The process of describing the meter of a poem by marking the stresses in a poem (with a u on an unstressed syllable and a / on a stressed syllable).

Stanza: A division or a unit of a poem formed of two or more lines.

Versification: The system of rhyme and meter in poetry.

Not found the term you’re looking for? Do write in and ask.

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Ten Main Forms of Poetry

poetry 3The beauty of poetry is that it has no definition. Each poet has defined it differently, but I personally find Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s definition most apt – “Poetry is the best words in the best order”.  As to what this best order is, again differs from poet to poet. Each poet puts his best words in the order that he feels will best communicate his feelings and moods to the reader. These different ways of expressing feelings has given rise to different forms of poetry. What are these different forms?

There are in all 51 different forms of poetry. It’s a little difficult to give all the forms here, so I’ll just give ten. The ten main forms of poetry in alphabetical order are:

1. Acrostic: A simple poetic form in which the first letter of each line spells out a related word. In other words, if you read down the first letters of each line, you will see that it forms a word that is usually the subject of the poem.

2. Ballad: A poem that tells a story, usually a folk tale or a legend. A ballad usually has seven, eight, or ten line stanzas; with last stanza being shorter with just four or five lines. Each stanza ends with the same line, called a refrain, which gives the effect of a song.

3. Blank verse: A poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. It is often unobtrusive and resembles the rhythm of speech.

4. Couplet: A poem with stanzas of two lines each, with each of the two lines ending with rhyming words.

5. Elegy: A sad and thoughtful poem about the death of a person.

6. Free verse: A poem with no pattern or style. This form allows the poet to express his feelings freely with no restriction of any kind.

7. Haiku: A three line poem with a set pattern – the three lines having five, seven, and five syllables each. Although a Haiku must essentially be about Nature, some poets tend to expand the subject area.

8. Limerick: A short five line witty and humorous poem with a set pattern – lines 1, 2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables, rhyme, and have the same rhythm; lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables, rhyme, and have the same rhythm.

9. Ode: A lengthy lyric poem of a serious and meditative nature, with an intricate formal structure and a dignified tone. An ode generally celebrates an occasion, something or someone.

10. Sonnet: A lyric poem consisting of 14 lines that follow a strict rhyming pattern. There are two types of sonnets :– a) Shakespearean – 12 lines in three alternating rhymes and the last two as a rhyming couplet, i.e. ABABCDCDEFEFGG; and b) Italian – 8 lines rhyming ABBAABBA, and 6 rhyming CDECDE.

Would you have chosen these ten as the main forms of poetry, or would have selected other forms?

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Happy Friendship Day

Here’s wishing all my readers a Happy Friendship Day.

Today I’d like to share a beautiful poem,  entitiled Friendship, written by the famous poet and writer, Khalil Gibran:




And a youth said, “Speak to us of Friendship.”

Your friend is your needs answered.

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

And he is your board and your fireside.

For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”

And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;

For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.

For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.

If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.

For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?

Seek him always with hours to live.

For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.

For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.


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