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Poetic Structure

April 26, 2017 Thomas Reischel

What to Remember When Writing Poetry

poetic structure

For the lover of words, two of the greatest art forms can be found in poetry and prose. The former is trickier to accomplish since it holds so much meaning in fewer words. It also differs in structure. There is what we call the poetic structure, which is easy to understand and follow. You only need to keep in mind a few things.

They say the line is the poem’s building block. The lines make up the stanzas. The number of lines and stanzas may vary, depending on the type of poetry one is writing. The most common poem, which we call the quatrain, has four lines.

 

A deer was in the tall grass
As I walked along the shore.
’Cross the pond, it made a pass.
Couldn’t ask for any more.

 

Some poetry forms follow certain rhyming schemes; others can do with none at all. Usually, the rhyme is found at the end of each line. It is called the end rhyme. There is also the in-line rhyme, slant rhyme, and true rhyme. Here’s a sample of a poem that rhymes in the end.

 

As buds begin to show on trees
Their promise stirs my sour soul.
Bare branches dangle in the breeze,
They whisper, “Spring is in control.”

 

Most poems may contain structured syllable count, which we call meter. Through this, a poem’s rhythm is established. The measure is called feet. The most common type of foot is an iamb. It can be considered an iamb if it consists of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. A line with five iambs is called an iambic pentameter.

There are many ways to write a poem. The traditional poetry forms include acrostic, song, ballad, epic, sonnet, free verse, limerick, haiku, ode, and many others. It is up to you to choose which style suits you best. You can start from the easiest to the most intricate. The challenge is to embody all the structural makeup that sets poetry apart from other writings—the line, the rhythm, and the meter. Remember your poetic structure.

 

References

Carole Thompson. 2001.  “The Poetics of Robert Frost: Form.” Accessed April 21, 2017.  http://www.frostfriends.org/form.html.

S-cool the Revision Website. “Form and Structure.” Accessed April 21, 2017. http://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level/english-literature/unseen-poetry-a-single-poem/revise-it/form-and-structure.

Vanier CEGEP/College. “Poetry’s Structure and Form.” Accessed April 21, 2017. http://www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/tlc/tipsheets/reading-and-analyzing/poem-form-and-structure.pdf.

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