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Rated: 13+ · Editorial · Community · #790166
Editorial for Dec. 29, 2003, poetry devices
          I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

         As I presented last month, poetry has emotion, imagery, significance, beauty, dignity, rhythm, sometimes rhyme, a different arrangement which can include inversion, and concreteness in its images.

         One way we are able to attain the qualities so essential to making words poetry is through the use of poetry devices. We won’t begin to cover all the known poetic devices or terms. Rather we’ll discuss and use some of the more commonly known and used ones.





         Below are the more commonly used poetic devices and terms. Hopefully, with the examples given, everyone can better understand some of the ways to make poetry, well, more poetic.


Poetry Terms


Poetry devices (a major sampling):

alliteration: the repetition of a beginning sound

allusion: a casual reference to someone or something in history or literature that creates a mental picture.

analogy: the comparison of two things by explaining one to show how it is similar to the other.

caesura: the pausing or stopping within a line of poetry caused by needed punctuation.

enjambement: the continuation of thought from one line of poetry to the next without punctuation needed at the end of the previous line(s).

hyperbole: extreme exaggeration for effect.

metaphor: the comparison of two unlike things by saying one is the other.

metonymy: the substitution of a word for one with which it is closely associated.

onomatopoeia: the sound a thing makes

oxymoron: the use of contradictory terms (together)

personification: the giving of human traits to non-human things incapable of having those traits.

simile: the comparison of two unlike things by saying one is like or as the other.

symbol: something which represents something else besides itself.

Other terms:

elegy: a poem of lament (extreme sorrow, such as caused by death)

free verse: a poem without either a rhyme or a rhythm scheme, although rhyme may be used.

blank verse: un-rhymed lines of iambic pentameter (ten syllables with all even numbered syllables accented)

imagery: the use of words to create a mental picture

mood: the emotional effect of a poem or a story


Examples of Some Poetry Devices


         All the following poetry examples are my poems. I will give examples of the writings of others on site further below.

alliteration:
         Rain reigns roughly through the day.
         Raging anger from the sky
         Partners prattle of tormented tears
         From clouds wondering why
         Lightning tears their souls apart.


allusion:
            A Common Woman

         No Helen of Troy she,
         Taking the world by war,
         But a woman in plain paper wrapped
         With a heart of love untapped,
         She waits, yearning for her destiny
         Whether it be a he on a charger white
         Or one riding behind a garbage truck.
         Perhaps instead a room of students
         Lurks in the shadows of her life
         Needing her interest to be shown.
         Yet other concerns may call
         To bestow her talents all.
         No, no Helen of Troy she,
         But a woman set the world to tame
         Wherever she may be.


analogy:
           Day’s Journey

         The day dawns as a journey.
         First one leaves the station on a train,
         Rushing past other places
         Without a pause or stop,
         Watching faces blur through the window,
         No time to say goodbye.
         On and on the train does speed
         Until the line’s end one sees,
         Another sunset down
         Without any lasting memories.

NOTE: the whole poem is analogy, the comparison of a day and a train journey.


caesura:
         Living, breathing apathy
         Saps energy, will, interest,
         Leaving no desire to win.
         All that’s left are ashes,
         Cinders of what might have been.


enjambement:
         Looking through the eyes
         Of wonder, of delight,
         Children view their world
         With trust, with hope
         That only life will change.

NOTE: enjambement is found at the end of lines 1, 3, and 4.


hyperbole:
         Giants standing tall as mountains
         Towering over midgets
         Bring eyes above the common ground
         To heights no longer small.

         Arms of tree trunks wrap
         In comfort gentle, softness
         Unthought of due to size,
         Yet welcomed in their strength.


metaphor:
         Sunshine, hope aglow,
         Streams from heaven’s store
         Bringing smiles of warming grace
         Which lighten heavy loads.

         Clouds are ships in full sail
         Racing across the sky-blue sea.
         Wind fills the cotton canvas
         Pushing them further away from me.


metonymy:
         Scandals peep from every window,
         Hide behind each hedge,
         Waiting to pounce on the unwary,
         As the White House cringes in dismay.

onomatopoeia:
         Roaring with the pain
         Caused by flashing lightning strikes,
         Thunders yells, “Booooom! Craaaashhhh! Yeow!”
         Then mumbles, rumbling on its way.

         Grrrr, the lion’s cry echoes
         Through the jungle’s den
         Causing creatures small
         To scurry to their holes.

NOTE: Roaring, rumbling, cry are not examples of onomatopoeia, but are verb forms.


oxymoron:
         Freezing heat of hate
         Surrounds the heart
         Stalling, killing kindness,
         Bringing destruction to the start.


personification:
         Anger frowns and snarls,
         Sending bolts of fire from darkest night
         That bring no brilliance,
         Rather only added blackness of sight.


simile:
         Sunshine, like hope aglow,
         Streams from heaven’s sky
         Bringing smiles of warming grace
         On breeze whispers like a sigh.


         Clouds are like ships in full sail
         Racing across the sky-blue sea.
         Wind fills the cotton canvas
         Pushing them further away from me.


symbol:
         The dove, with olive branch in beak,
         Glides over all the land
         Searching for a place to light.
         Storms of war linger on every hand,
         Everywhere the hawk does fight.



My search through Writing.Com for writings using some of the poetry devices revealed some excellent examples. Not all of them use punctuation or capitalization, which I think are necessary for the reader to truly be able to understand what the poet is saying, but the devices are used extremely well.

         One poet's writings are so filled with poetic language that I have to include two of his works. The first shows us oxymoron, and the second has personification and alliteration.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#789576 by Not Available.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#789580 by Not Available.


         Here's another poetry that could use punctuation (I know, I know, some people think poetry doesn't need punctuation), but, WOW! it's worth the reading to enjoy the poetic language.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#343552 by Not Available.


         A wonderful example of analogy (or a long metaphor) is

 Climb  (ASR)
Hanging on for dear life
#779564 by Merrijane


         Then we come to a poem packed full of poetic language as well as allusion, enjambement, and caesura.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#745943 by Not Available.


         Hyperbole sometimes tends to be misunderstood. The following poem should illustrate the device completely:

Hyperbole  (13+)
In tribute to one of the great literary devices.
#576342 by Davy Kraken


         Many people have no idea of what oxymoron is, even believe that the word is an insult. However, the next poem should help all of us to understand.

 Same Difference  (E)
A poem on pain written entirely out of oxymorons.
#670400 by Jax





More Feedback


         Some very interesting messages were sent concerning my last newsletter. I want to share with all the readers and answer any questions asked, well, try to answer.

By: Elisa, Gobble Stik
Elisa the Snowman Stik

Dear Viv,

While reading through your latest newsletter, I was especially taken with the statement "Poetry is concrete."

Instantly, I thought this was kind of an odd statement. From a writer's standpoint, I suppose that all poetry is concrete to an extent. However, to many, poetry can be an abstract melanage of images and hooks that don't really culminate to specifically discuss one particular idea. As an admitted poetry novice, I still have this notion that poetry can be abstract in form and content. Am I crazy for having this notion?

         Even if poetry is abstract, some communication must occur or the reader is left out of the process. If a writer is writing for himself, then random thoughts and phrases may meet the needs of the poet, but if the writer wants to communicate his ideas to a reader, there must be some concreteness, some basis for the reader to understand meaning.

Submitted By: truewonder
truewonder

"Poetry tries to tell us something that cannot be said," amen to that. Poetry allows my spirit to speak well for me, not only does it allow me to share my feelings, but in re-reading my own work I learn more about myself. I enjoyed this newsletter immensely, well said, thank you for sharing.

         Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the newsletter. Please pass the word. We could use more subscribers. *Delight* Your kind words are appreciated.

Submitted By: Vik
lenavi

Thank you for this newsletter! The grammar theme embarrassed me slightly. I have to pay double and triple attention to it (grammar), English not being my mother tongue. As for inspiration..- the right line comes from nowhere - and a poem follows.

         Even those of us whose first language is English have to be careful about punctuation. We all learn as we go, too. I know I still am.

Submitted By: Butch
knibb

Vivian,

I'm very happy that you are contributing to this newsletter. This edition is excellent in content and instruction.

Butch

         Thanks, Butch. I appreciate your comments. How about submitting some poetry with sensory words and descriptions? I'll be discussing those in a couple of months.

Submitted By: justme
Linker

Poetry is very well described in this newsletter, capturing 'a moment' is so much the poets art.
Concreteness is an unusual term for me in the UK.... but I see where you are coming from.

         I'm glad you could understand my use of "concreteness." Synonyms for concrete include specific, real, definite, with substance, concise.

Submitted By: Tiberon
tjsharky39

Another great newsletter. Just wanted to submit another poem to add to your ones that create a painting with words. "Invalid Item by Uma was the winner of my first contest. It was so powerful that it won hands down. I am looking forward to your next newsletter.

         Thanks, Tiberon. I hope readers will click on the link in your message, read the poem, and enjoy the word painting.

Submitted By: Leianna Ava
heartonapage

I agree with a lot of people who have written in this newsletter about how inspiration comes from experiences, places, or emotions. Another I have found, though, is whatever smacks me in the face at the moment. For example, maybe I just learned a valuable lesson in friendship, or someone pointed out one of my wrongs that I had never seen before. Also, quotes make AWESOME poetry prompts. Look for them anywhere. Online, in magazines, newsletters, even movies!

         Your inspiration ideas are very helpful. Thank you.


         Next month, I will discuss prose and poetry and the difference between. The newsletter four weeks later will be about using sensory words and details. If you have any poetry with sensory descriptions, please email me the links. I'll use the best six to eight examples sent me.
© Copyright 2003 Vivian (vzabel at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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