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Posted by: A Nomadic Soul (202.157.192.---)
Date: June 21, 2004 07:31AM

Hey there!

I've recently begun writing poetry of my own, although i've been exposed to the likes of Lord Tennyson, Yeats, Frost and Owen, my knowledge on the technicalities of poetry is very limited.

Ofcourse I know about Metaphors, Diction, Connation etc. I'm wondering whether I really ought to be focusing on the structural aspects, something I know little about (types of poems, rhyme patterns ....)

What should be I thinking about in terms of structure when I have an idea for a poem ?

I'd really appreciate it if you could point me in the direction of any sites/books on the structural aspects....any advise is much appreciated....

Thanks in Advance....

Re: Inquisitive
Posted by: Talia (
Date: June 21, 2004 10:37AM

Well, in my opinion, poetry is subjective; therefore it is a matter of taste. My professors tell me that you have to know the rules before you can break them, though, so I guess it is a good thing to write rymed rythmic poetry, then you can branch out and rebel. The other folks on here can tell you much more about the conventional poetry than I can, but my advice to you is to read lots of poetry and keep writing.

Re: Inquisitive
Posted by: lg (
Date: June 21, 2004 12:11PM

Nomadic, I would definitely keep writing. Experiment with conventional forms,
the fun ones, such as limericks and haiku, the treacherous ones such as, sonnets and villanelles. All of these will help you understand rhythm and rhyme.

You need not conform to anything to be a poet, but if you truly wish to understand the past masters of the art I think you should be concerned with form and substance.


Re: Inquisitive
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: June 21, 2004 12:18PM

Ofcourse I know about ... Connation

Of course.

Books to be read are the dictionary, of course, and go with Western Wind by John Frederick Nims for a prime primer on poetry.

Online, Dana Gioia has an interesting site:


Re: Inquisitive
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: June 21, 2004 04:54PM

You asked "What should be I thinking about in terms of structure when I have an idea for a poem ?"

My answer is: You should be thinking about what kind of structure will best enable you to express your idea.

I can think (offhand) of a couple of ways to fish around for the right form.

1. Write everything down any old way, in as many lines and words as you like, just letting it flow. Then go over the flow and circle just the phrases that jump out at you as NEEDED -- containing the ideas and images you car about. Then arrange those on a page and see if they SUGGEST a form.

2. Start by writing a Haiku. If you're done now, STOP.

3. If the Haiku doesn't do the trick, ask yourself: Why not? What else is NEEDED? Add that, and see if a form begins to emerge.

Re: Inquisitive
Posted by: A Nomadic Soul (202.157.192.---)
Date: June 23, 2004 04:37PM

Thanks alot for the feedback! I've written just one poem titled "An Escape"
I posted it a few days back.

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It's simplistic but it based on a rather strong memory of mine. Like this I have many ideas that I want to get on paper. But I worry if im just writing a story ...simmilar to a bit of prose or an actual poem which is what i intend. Perhaps my worries are you say.....further reading and writing will help me identify the correct structure for an idea.....thanks again.

Re: Inquisitive
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: June 23, 2004 04:46PM

That's right.

Worry less, write more.

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