1. LoneWolfSolace

    LoneWolfSolace Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Nagai's Land

    Sentence Fragments, etc. in Poetry

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by LoneWolfSolace, Jul 30, 2008.

    When writing in a strict meter in poetry, do rules of grammer apply the same as in prose, or can some words be omitted in order to keep the meter? I am writing a poem in the form of an epic, and I admit to sometimes dropping a word to keep the meter. Is this acceptable in poetry? I haven't really had any formal instruction on writing poetry, so I am still learning the rules (even some of the basic ones).

    The most glaring examples:

    24. Past the ocean’s know’ed waves,
    To the foreign seaside caves,
    Searching for a strange new brave
    ‘lone in the Far World.

    25. Far World’s island, so untamed,
    Undeserving of a name.
    Creatures there held realmwide fame
    For their ghastly deeds.

    27. Rocky waters, deadly seas,
    Plants that poisoned with disease-
    Though most died by twos and threes,
    Some managed to live.

    42. Though a hero to the wise,
    Some thought Maca fought for lies.
    Loathing to watch friend’s demise,
    Readied to revolt.

    ETA: Great- A glaring typo in the title, and I am unable to edit it. -_-; Mod help?

    Mod response - all you need to do is click Go Advanced, and teh advanced mode lets you edit the title as well. I fixed the typo already this time.

    Ah, ok- Thank you. :) I'm still learning these boards.
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    yes, if it still makes sense to the reader... a godd poet will often bend and break most of the rules meant for prose, but the result is the test... if it works, it's ok... if it doesn't, it's not... browse the work on my site and you'll see that even in my most structured, meter-based works, some rules will be abandoned...

    you'll find the same joyous freedom in many of the world's greatest poets' works, as well...

    that said, a lot of what you've done there doesn't work, imo... i'm short on time now and it's a pain to do a lot of editing in a post, so if you want to send it to me, i can show you where and why...

    love and hugs, maia
  3. Silque

    Silque Member

    Jul 7, 2008
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    A lot of the worlds greatest poets didn't restrict themselves to the confines that we now have to deal with.

    The likes of Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Shakespeare all simply allowed their imaginations to take control, presenting their hands with the freedom to just write.

    Don't confine yourself to rules and such. Just write. Let it flow from your imagination, and your heart.
  4. draupnir

    draupnir Member

    Jul 27, 2008
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    I'd just echo what's already said; ellipsis used to be an acceptable poetic tool for conforming to metre. It's frowned on a bit these days though; and word order inversions done to confirm with metre would seem old-fashioned.

    One thing though, ellipsis (omission of words) is only good if you can understand what is being said from contextual clues.

    for example, makes the reader stumble and do too much work, thereby negating the effect of smooth metre which is meant to be carrying them along.

    But as a general rule, it's okay to break rules. Just my thoughts.
  5. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Get someone, preferably someone who is generally good at reading aloud (a parent who reads bedtime stories to the kids?), to read the poemm back toi you cold. Take careful note as to where your helper stumbles or pauses, as well as where the poem seems off its rhythm.

    You might try a second pass, noting things that your reader is able to self-correct on the second try, but the really useful info will come from that first reading. Yopu may even want to record it.

    Then ask your reader where he or she had to fumble for the right way to read it. Some people can compensate pretty quickly, but you still want to know where they had to think fast.

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