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writing poetry - what makes something a poem?

  1. annie laurie profile image76
    annie laurieposted 8 years ago

    I have never written  poetry before I have published my very first poem and I am not sure that I have written poetry now. When it comes to poetry I am clueless as to what makes something a poem and what prevents it from being a poem. Can some one help me out before I make a complete twit of myself?

  2. profile image0
    ralwusposted 8 years ago

    Well you have read poetry haven't you? Many poets are here and some very good ones too. I will go read yours now.

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks ralwus for reading it and yes I have read some poetry but before coming to hubpages most poetry went right over my head. Where poetry is concerned I am not the brightest bulb in the pack. Here on hubpages most of the poetry I have read I can understand and relate to that is what inspired me to have a go myself. I enjoyed doing it so much that I have written another one.

  3. LVM profile image48
    LVMposted 8 years ago

    You must be writing poems intuitively, huh!

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      It was because I hadn't a clue what I was doing that I asked this question and I am thankful for your response and it does seem that I must have

  4. Fiction Teller profile image60
    Fiction Tellerposted 8 years ago

    It is indeed poetry, and as a first try, you did great. 

    As you write more, you might experiment with a few techniques to flex your poetry-writing muscles.  Often poems that powerfully speak to people have these traits:

    1) The poem might have imagery that could be interpreted multiple ways, using metaphor and analogy. This can move your readers deeply.  For example, in a poem about a teacher impersonally criticizing a young child's handwriting, you could write it in a way that it could be interpreted as cruelly breaking someone's hand.  As in: 

    She grabbed his wrist and slashed
    through the hand's uneven strokes

    2) Some poems changes a reader's ideas about something or show the reader a new way to look at something.  Henry Reed's "The Naming of Parts" is an awesome poem that does this, using naturalistic imagery for something functional and mechanical.  After reading it, you never look at a gun quite the same way.

    3) Other poems explores emotion in several ways.  For example, your first poem conveys regret...you might compare that regret at not going earlier to the dentist with other types or occasions of regret.  You could bring to light a range of regretful emotions, from rueful regret to aching regret.

    These are just some ideas to get you started.  Great start here and good luck!

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      First let me thank you so much for this comprehensive reply to my plea at this stage in the game I am not sure that I’ve even got muscles to flex. Lol

      The example that you use in your first point is very powerful and I am not sure that I could come up with stuff like that as I don’t think as creatively as that though I will try.

      The poem of your second point which I had not heard of before I went to YouTube and heard the poet himself read this (which I think makes it all the easier to understand) and then I listened to other renditions. The one that I found that was a mixture of the poet and a soldier reading the poem I think was the best.  This was an excellent choice to illustrate your point.

      Your third point is something that I had not thought of doing you are so right these are good ideas and they have given me much to ponder on and I will do my best to put some of these into practice

      1. Fiction Teller profile image60
        Fiction Tellerposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        No problem, I'm glad it helped.  Don't worry--it can be hard at first but it does get easier. 

        Writing anything--poetry included--is mostly about building up creative and technical musculature. You spend a lot of joyful and ardous energy nurturing your creativity and learning the techniques.  It's similar to the way a competitive runner cultivates her determination and love of running as she builds up her body and her form. 

        By the time someone notices her performance and goes, "Wow, that's great, it sure looks easy," it is.  But it takes a while getting there.  Usually.  There are those who are geniuses from day one, darn their hides...

        1. annie laurie profile image76
          annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

          Well I am ready to start my body building exercises so to speak, it is very encouraging to hear that it is  not one of those ‘you either have it or you don’t’ things and that it is not all technique or I would have been scuppered before I started.

  5. Lisa HW profile image80
    Lisa HWposted 8 years ago

    I think what makes a poem a poem is that the author writes it with the intent of writing a poem/verse.    Any poem may be seen as "good" or "bad", but if the author calls it "a poem" - then a poem it is.  smile

    1. LVM profile image48
      LVMposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Based on this definition, I might become a poet too.smile

    2. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you so much for your reply I think I will hang on to this definition of what makes a poem a poem then even I can write poetry lol

  6. LVM profile image48
    LVMposted 8 years ago

    annie, how about uploading a profile photo before you write more poems?

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Have posted photo as you requested

      1. LVM profile image48
        LVMposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Just as I thought, you're as beautiful as your name!

  7. rosariomontenegro profile image77
    rosariomontenegroposted 8 years ago

    Molière has a character, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, who marvels when he discovers that he can do PROSE! We might be doing the same here because POETRY is so typically human ... I suppose it´s a matter of awareness?

    Actually I´ve written poems all my life and I don´t know what makes a poem a poem.
    It just comes to you from time to time. Sometimes several words just push their way out of your subconcious and you have to repeat them or write them ... most of the time you just create the poem in your mind without taking the time of writing it down.

    The most moving is when what pushes from inside yourself to get our of yourself is just a type of rhythm, a faint low profile music that precedes words and you can leave it at that or you can become more attentive, sharper, and then the words will coalesce and you end up with a full blown poem ...

    Poetry is not the same as rhyme. But rhythm, an inner beat, different according to the voice of the poet, is always present.

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I know what you mean about writing in your head, I had a very funny little poem going on for verse after verse it just flowed but I was in the middle of something that I couldn’t leave unattended. But now several hours later it has almost totally gone and I can’t even get it started. On reflection it was more of a rhyme I suppose but it amused me and while it was flowing it almost had a life of its own I was surprised that I was almost just listening to it happen in my head and not taking an active part in the process. I just wish I could get that first line back again, everything I come up with now is not quite right. Next time I will break off and at least make some notes.

      1. profile image0
        \Brenda Scullyposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        i am convinced it will come back to you when you least expect it.... so carry a pad and pen with you at all times

  8. rosariomontenegro profile image77
    rosariomontenegroposted 8 years ago

    Is it true that you just started writing poetry or did I misunderstand you?
    It's very peculiar to discover poetry out of the blue. I think in general poets start to show something quite early on. But of course, you are very young.
    I'd be interested in knowing how it happened.

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Yes it is true these are my first ever poems and I am more than a little peculiar and as you see from my question when I finished writing the first one I wasn't sure what I had discovered. If you want I will drop you a line and tell you how it all started just a few days ago.

  9. annie laurie profile image76
    annie laurieposted 8 years ago

    Brenda said - I am convinced it will come back to you when you least expect it.... so carry a pad and pen with you at all times


    thanks Brenda I certainly will

  10. profile image0
    Pacal Votanposted 8 years ago

    I don't know. Maybe writing about the things that happen to you.

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you for being so kind to comment and I think the same as you

  11. rosariomontenegro profile image77
    rosariomontenegroposted 8 years ago

    I'll be very happy to read the chronicle of your discovery. It's a rare occurrence to witness the birth of a poet.

    1. annie laurie profile image76
      annie laurieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I have sent you an email

 
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