WSC Poetry Writing Tips

WSC Poetry Writing Tips

WSC Poetry writing tips shared below and in other Matrix and Vagabond posts look at what poetry is and how it is different from other forms of writing including prose. Knowing about how to structure a poem into lines with consideration of different tools including metre, forms and styles. Explanations on various forms are discussed plus poem prompts are shared.

the WSC Poetry framework

The tips highlight what poetry can be defined as and how it is different from other forms of writing including prose. Knowing about how to structure a poem into lines with consideration of different tools including metre, forms and styles. Explanations on various forms are discussed plus poem prompts are shared.

CIA

Context

Each moment in my life is placed in a selected context. I am not the context. I am in a place in time and space. They do not move. I do. Each moment is a potential poem with a poetic context. As a poem I carry a repetitive motif with a consistent context. That helps to bring a voice to the abstraction.
In Howl, Ginsberg carried the context of the harsh footprint of American life throughout the poem.

Images with metaphors and other descriptive language

Sometimes these abstractions such as love and fear are ineffable. When I think of dominant or complimentary images from same context if helps to bring a voice to the emotion, thought or abstraction. Metaphors and other tools to use language to describe the abstraction help to communication thoughts, ideas, and emotions. The image in free verse poetry is the seed of the metaphor. Howl, is his stream of consciousness, introduces the abstraction of ‘best minds’ and in the line takes us to ‘starving, hysterical, naked’.

Abstraction

Each moment I am dealing with a particulars abstraction that come from my heart and soul.
In Howl, the themed abstraction was the lament for the ‘lamb in America’.


The WSC poetry devices

DRILS

Density

Sets the poem apart from prose. Density is how much is said in how little space. It is the ability to use metaphors and incorporate sounds and rhythms is unique to poetry.

Rhythm

I follow the rhythm of my heart. So I am rhythm without rhyming. Paying attention to assonance and consonance can help bring rhythm into poetry through sounds.

Imagery

Poetry becomes powerful and exciting because I don’t tell all. But I do show and I write and talk in a language of my own. Love hurts is an abstraction that tells all.

I am a metaphor, a simile, a symbol, an image full of images living in a world of images of vibration, texture, taste. In poetry we describe the image underlying a metaphor.
We do this to press an idea about the human condition, while simultaneously persuading the reader to feel a certain way. This is done by incorporating the sound and rhythm of the words.

All of this is done in the same space. Ginsberg used enjambment (see below) to do this. In Howl, one image spills into the next as though moving from the lucid to the hallucinatory. The lines looping a series of images and metaphors together to highlight the context and the abstraction.

Line

Diversity frees us from the prisoner of the rigid structure of a line. Moving against the grain of conformity. As a poem, I can pause, break from of the flow. My rhythm is a controlled or modulated by my path. When I pause, I take time to break up my lines in my mind — crucial to personal growth and having a voice that is empowered

Sound

euphony

There are two sound patterns to know here. One is soft and harmonious, I like to think of it like the sound of angels humming. This is euphony.

In euphony, words are chosen for their soft consonant sounds and melodious quality.
(euphonious letters/sounds: L, O, S, SH, M, N, Y, W, U, PH, A)

cacophony

In cacophony, words are chosen for their hard sounds and general obnoxiousness.
(cacophony letters/sounds: K, J, T, Q, V, C, X, G, Z, CH)

The other sounds more like large metal machines clanging about in an empty warehouse. It’s much harsher and the sounds kind of rattle off your tongue. This is cacophony. Ginsberg used enjambment.

Enjambment

Enjambment is another technique used heavily in stream of consciousness poetry as lines loop connecting one image, metaphor, or symbol spilling onto the next. In contrast, philosophical poetry presents a repetitive pattern with the poet’s feelings stated as the abstractions a stepping stone to the metaphor–a repetitive motif creating a consistent context.

In contrast, enjambment is not typically utilized in philosophical poetry. Gibran writes in a way that incorporates more pauses and a more gentle flow.

This make me think of use of sound patterns as writing tools to create different effects. Although they vary in use in all types of poetry, I would relate euphony (pleasing and harmonious; serene images) more closely with Gibran and cacophony (sound patterns used to create an opposite effect of discord or dissonance) with Ginsberg.

What figure of speech uses descriptions to engage the five senses of the reader?

A. Personification
B. Imagery
C. Metaphor
D. Simile

The correct answer to this question is B. A figure of speech is a word or phrase used in a non-literal way to emphasize a point, be rhetorical, or speak more vividly. Imagery is a figure of speech that creates an image of what is being talked about by engaging all five senses: sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.

Adjectives are a big part of imagery so the reader or listener can envision the topic. Other figures of speech include metaphors (where one thing is compared to another thing without using the words “like” or “as”), similes (where two things are compared using the words “like” and “as”), and hyperbole (extreme exaggeration).

~ namasté, Leah J. 🕊

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