1. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Tips on poetry

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cazann34, Feb 28, 2013.

    I'd like to try my hand at poetry but I'm a complete novice. I tried writing poetry years ago but wasn't very good at it I just seem to lose the flow/rhythm. Any suggestions?

    Here's an example of something I wrote a while ago but can't move it on any:

    Medieval

    This is a tale from long ago
    before you and me and all you know
    Back to a time when magic was rife and fear abound
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can recommend giving the Stephen Fry book Ode Less Travelled a read. If gives you a a good amount of information in writing poetry in Fry's typical wit. It's a good book. Also, see some of the criticism on this very site. You can pick up a lot from those too. Are you, for example, wanting to know more about iambic and trochaic feet? Images and metaphors? Forms and styles?
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You should read a lot of poetry. Make sure you don't restrict yourself to Western poetry; there's plenty of good Eastern poets out there. Once you read and study a lot of poetry, you'll develop a sense of what works and what doesn't.
     
  4. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Following the footprints in the sand...
    Break it up, draw the reader's attention. This is the opening stanza, catch them with a mystery and draw them in. If you are aiming for a rhyme scheme, set it early.

    This is a tale, of a long ago time
    Back when the world was young.
    The forests green and new.
    A time, when magic, ran rife...
    And fear, it did, abound...

    What was the cause of the fear? Just like any writing project, you need a few tenet points...What story are you trying to tell?
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^That's very true. The haiku of Basho can teach you so much about painting images and about getting to 'feel' images that it's actually kind of amazing. I must also ditto thirdwind in saying the thing you need to do is to read poetry, and read a lot of it.
     
  6. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read poetry.

    Don't read that Fry book lol

    It'll fry your mind . . .

    Seriously though, read a lot. And study the elements of the craft.
     
  7. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Erm....did I mention I was a complete novice.
     
  8. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I really like how you rewrote my poem. It sounds as if a fool (court jester) may of sung it.

    The fear is of magical creatures. In the Dark Ages they feared EVERYTHING. You name it they freaked out about it. I heard of a tale where folk believed that the forest was full of dog people, human bodies but with dog heads, they thought them devils who would put a hex on them.
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You did, but that doesn't tell me what you know and don't know, really.

    Iambic and trochaic refers to the way lines sound, and are built. Iambic and tochaic are the most common, there are others, but I'll show Iambic here. Take this line, you'll know it:

    To be or not to be

    Now, pay attention to the stresses in this line. I will make bold the stressed syllables.

    To be or not to be

    It makes a 'ta DUM ta DUM ta DUM' rhythem.

    There are different kinds of stresses, and different kind of feet, but Iambic is enough for now, and it's the most commonly used in English poetry anyway. This is Iambic feet, trochaic is the opposite, a stressed syllable and then an unstressed one. Thus:

    Double, double, Toil and trouble.

    These are the two most common 'feet' and a 'feet' is just this. Iambic would be just unstressed then stressed. If you've ever heard the word 'Hexameter' this refers to the number of syllables in the line. Even this can have significance too, I should point out. The way a line sounds can have an effect on the reader, even if the reader doesn't notice. The weird sisters of Macbeth are the only characters, I think in the entire of Shakespeare's output, to speak the way they do, with the 'feet' they do.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm a fairly full time, published poet
    mentoring many who try to 'go it'
    so you can email me for help and such...
    it won't hurt... well, not too much!

    my work's on my site as 'philosetry'...
    both browsing and help are all for free!

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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