Poetry Free Verse

Hi! I am a poet. Every poet has a preferred form. I think that I want to add a discussion of forms to Monday poetry for a few weeks. There are more forms then I personally use.

I love to do free verse. Not as many rules to limit the creativity. Free verse doesn’t have rhyme rules. There is no structure rules. It is the most open form to be able to express my thoughts.

I believe that next week I will talk about Haiku.

Words are hard

Yesterday I was wanting to do a post about Japanese poetry forms. Japan is a place with a very rich culture and their literature shows it. Their mythology and history is such a diverse and interesting set of topics that the average person might be confused by it.

So I was wanting to be sure that I had the spelling and such right. When I don’t know the proper way to spell… I Google. Google led me to an article that I was blown away by. The writer is far more eloquent on the topic than I feel capable of. So, I admit I felt discouraged.

One of the problems that many authors face is the issue of comparison… Not by others but the comparison we do ourselves. It is so hard to see our own writing and feel accomplished. It is so hard not to hate on our own way of speaking. Dude, words are hard. Especially when you read someone else has written it in a way that just makes sense.

So, I have shared the link above to the article on Japanese poetry. I ask you… What forms do you like and where does it orignate from? Do you find articles that hit home and feel seen or discouraged? And why?

Poetry Form : Lyric

Lyric Poem

A lyric poem or lyrical poem in literature is a poem in which the poet either expresses his feelings and emotions. The poet also presents a character in the first person to express his emotions. It is a combination of lyric and poetry where a piece of poetry is written as a lyric. Lyric has been derived from lyre, a musical stringed instrument used during the Grecian period to accompany the poetry sung during different festivities.

Aristotle used the world lyric or lyrical with reference poetry to categorize it into three distinct types. A lyric poem is often short and non-narrative but keeps some elements of melody. Although odes and elegies are other categories, they, too, are placed under the lyric poetry. Lyric poems can follow any metrical pattern, be it iambic, trochaic, or pyrrhic.

An iamb is a literary device that can be defined as a foot containing unaccented and short syllables, followed by a long and accented syllable in a single line of a poem (unstressed/stressed syllables). Two of Robert Frost’s poems, Dust of Snow, and The Road not Taken are considered two of the most popular examples of iamb.

Trochaic an adjective of trochee is a metrical foot composed of two syllables; stressed followed by an unstressed syllable. This rhythmic unit is used to make up the lines of poetry. However, it is deliberately inserted to make the text sound different. The material pattern of trochee is composed of “falling rhythm” as the stress is at the beginning of the foot. It, however, plays a great role when writing about dark subjects like madness and death. Etymologically, trochee is derived from a Greek word, “trokhaios” which means ‘to run.’

Types of Trochaic Meter
Trochaic Tetrameter: It is a type of meter consisting of four stressed syllables per line. For example, “By the shores of Gitche Gu”.
Trochaic Heptamer: It is a type of meter consisting of seven stressed syllables per line. Such as, “Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and”.
Trochaic Pentameter: It is a type of meter consisting of five stressed syllables per line. “And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor”.
Iambic Trimeter: It is a type of meter consisting of three stressed syllables per line. For example, “This has neither wax nor”.
Catalexis: The absence of a syllable in the final foot in a line is called catalexis.

Pyrrhic meter
A metrical unit consisting of two unstressed syllables, in accentual-syllabic verse, or two short syllables, in quantitative meter. Though regularly found in classical Greek poetry, pyrrhic meter is not generally used in modern systems of prosody: unaccented syllables are instead grouped with surrounding feet. Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” contains examples of pyrrhic meter, here in bold: “To a green thought in a green shade.”

So we have the technical information on Lyric poetry. I gathered the above from other websites (all listed below). Lyric poetry is often the basis for songs. Not always, but often. I normally don’t use the writing from other sites, even though I am citing the sources… But I wanted to give you information on a form that I don’t use. I have no skill with lyric poetry.

Let’s talk about Rap… Tuesday Tunes

So I don’t generally listen to a lot of Rap. It is a genre that I don’t give much thought to. It is spoken word instead of singing. There is a definite difference between poetry and music verse… Rap lands somewhere inbetween. There are a few artists who I actually do listen to. Emenim and LL Cool J being prominent among them. I have wanted to write lyrics for music, but I have never felt capable. Today I choose a song that Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J did. It feels like poetry to me.

Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J – All I Have

[Intro: Jennifer Lopez, Sample & LL Cool J]
Love is life and life is living
It’s very special
All my love…
Uh, baby, don’t go
All my, all my, all my love
Baby, don’t go, yeah
Very special
Baby, don’t go, uh
All my love
Baby, don’t go, yeah
Baby, don’t go
All my, all my, all my love
I understand, just chillin’
Baby, don’t go, yeah, yeah
Why you actin’ like that?

[Verse 1: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
It’s such a shame, but I’m leaving (Uh)
Can’t take the way you mistreated me (Uh)
And it’s crazy, but oh, baby (Come on, yo, uh, uh, uh)
It don’t matter, whatever, don’t phase me
I don’t believe you wanna leave like this
I don’t believe I just had my last real kiss
I do believe we’ll laugh and reminisce
Wait a minute, don’t bounce, baby, let’s talk about this, man

[Pre-Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
Well, I’m bouncing and I’m out, son (What you want, baby?)
I gotta leave you alone (Come on now)
‘Cause I’m good, holding down my spot
And I’m good reppin’ the girls on the block (Don’t go, baby)
And I’m good, I got this thing on lock
So without me you’ll be fine, right? (Come on, baby)

[Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
All my pride is all I have
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have
You’ll be needing me, but too bad
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh

[Verse 2: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
The nights I waited up for you (Oh, boy)
Promises you made about coming through
So much time you wasted
That’s why I had to replace you (Uh, uh, uh)
It makes a cat nervous, the thought of settling down
Especially me, I was creepin’ all over town (Creepin’)
I thought my tender touch could lock you down (Yeah)
I knew I had you, as cocky as it sounds
That’s the way you used to giggle right before I put it down
It’s better when you angry, come here, I’ll prove it now (Come here)
Stop playing (Haha, aw), you gaming
I gotta leave you alone (What you want now?)
[Pre-Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
‘Cause I’m good holding my spot
Stop acting like that
And I’m good reppin’ the girls on the block
Now you know you need to stop
And I’m good, I got this thing on lock
So without me you’ll be fine, right?
Here we go

[Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
All my pride is all I have
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have
You’ll be needing me, but too bad
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh

[Verse 3: LL Cool J & Jennifer Lopez]
People make mistakes to make up, to break up, to wake up
Cold and lonely, chill, baby, you know me, you love me (Oh)
I’m like your homie, instead of beefin’, come hold me
I promise I’m not a phony, don’t bounce, baby, console me (Come here)
Ain’t nothing you can say to me that
Can change my mind, I got to let you go now (Chill, baby)
And nothing will ever be the same, so just (Yeah)
Be on your way, go ahead and do your thing now (Baby, don’t go)
And there’s no more to explain to me, you know (Come on, now)
I know your game and I’m not feeling what you do (Come on, now)
So I’m bouncing and I’m out, son (Don’t bounce)
I gotta leave you alone, yeah, yeah (Don’t bounce, don’t bounce, baby)
[Chorus: Jennifer Lopez & LL Cool J]
All my pride is all I have (Don’t bounce, baby)
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have
You’ll be needing me, but too bad (Don’t bounce, baby)
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad (Uh)
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh
All my pride is all I have (Don’t bounce, baby)
Pride is what you had, baby girl, I’m what you have (Baby, don’t go)
You’ll be needing me, but too bad (You’re everything to me)
Be easy, don’t make decisions when you mad (You mean everything to me, baby)
The path you chose to run alone
I know you’re independent, you can make it on your own (We all make mistakes, you know what I’m sayin’?)
Here with me you had a home, oh, yeah (I still love you, baby)
But time is of the essence, why spend it alone? Huh (I’ll always love you, baby)

[Outro: LL Cool J]
I promise you
You know what I’m sayin’?

What is Poetry?

Poetry is emotions in written form. It is a pure form of expression unique to each person. It is technical and it is free flowing. Poetry is the world’s most complex and easy form of communication.

The Basics of Poetry
I personally write free verse. I experiment with other types… But I am most comfortable with free verse. The thing with poetry is in writing it you can ignore the rules, poetic license is a thing… But you should know what the rules are before you break, or ignore, them.

1. Stanzas
They are a series of lines grouped together. Its the poetry version of a paper’s paragraph.

couplet (2 lines)
tercet (3 lines)
quatrain (4 lines)
cinquain (5 lines)
sestet (6 lines) (sometimes it’s called a sexain)
septet (7 lines)
octave (8 lines)

2. Form
Commonly the ruleset used for the poem. As I stated… I prefer free verse… But there is also

1.) Blank verse. Blank verse is poetry written with a precise meter—almost always iambic pentameter—that does not rhyme.
2.) Rhymed poetry. In contrast to blank verse, rhymed poems rhyme by definition, although their scheme varies.
3.) Epics. An epic poem is a lengthy, narrative work of poetry. These long poems typically detail extraordinary feats and adventures of characters from a distant past.
4.) Narrative poetry. Similar to an epic, a narrative poem tells a story. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” exemplify this form.
5.) Haiku. A haiku is a three-line poetic form originating in Japan. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line again has five syllables.
6.) Pastoral poetry. A pastoral poem is one that concerns the natural world, rural life, and landscapes. These poems have persevered from Ancient Greece (in the poetry of Hesiod) to Ancient Rome (Virgil) to the present day (Gary Snyder).
7.) Sonnet. A sonnet is a 14 line poem, typically (but not exclusively) concerning the topic of love. Sonnets contain internal rhymes within their 14 lines; the exact rhyme scheme depends on the style of a sonnet.
8.) Elegies. An elegy is a poem that reflects upon death or loss. Traditionally, it contains themes of mourning, loss, and reflection. However, it can also explore themes of redemption and consolation.
9.) Ode. Much like an elegy, an ode is a tribute to its subject, although the subject need not be dead—or even sentient, as in John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”.
10.) Limerick. A limerick is a five-line poem that consists of a single stanza, an AABBA rhyme scheme, and whose subject is a short, pithy tale or description.
11.) Lyric poetry. Lyric poetry refers to the broad category of poetry that concerns feelings and emotion. This distinguishes it from two other poetic categories: epic and dramatic.
12.) Ballad. A ballad (or ballade) is a form of narrative verse that can be either poetic or musical. It typically follows a pattern of rhymed quatrains. From John Keats to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Bob Dylan, it represents a melodious form of storytelling.
13.) Soliloquy. A soliloquy is a monologue in which a character speaks to him or herself, expressing inner thoughts that an audience might not otherwise know. Soliloquies are not definitionally poems, although they often can be—most famously in the plays of William Shakespeare.
14.) Villanelle. A nineteen-line poem consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with a highly specified internal rhyme scheme. Originally a variation on a pastoral, the villanelle has evolved to describe obsessions and other intense subject matters, as exemplified by Dylan Thomas, author of villanelles like “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”

3. Sound Patterns
Rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds. In poetry, the most common kind of rhyme is the end rhyme, which occurs at the end of two or more lines. It is usually identified with lower case letters, and a new letter is used to identify each new end sound. Internal rhyme occurs in the middle of a line.

4. Figurative Devices
Simile is the rhetorical term used to designate the most elementary form of resemblances. Most similes are introduced by “like” or “as.” A metaphor leaves out “like” or “as” and implies a direct comparison between objects or situations. “All flesh is grass.” A symbol is like a simile or metaphor with the first term left out. “My love is like a red, red rose” is a simile. If, through persistent identification of the rose with the beloved woman, we may come to associate the rose with her and her particular virtues. At this point, the rose would become a symbol. Personification occurs when you treat abstractions or inanimate objects as human, that is, giving them human attributes, powers, or feelings (e.g., “nature wept” or “the wind whispered many truths to me”).

Note that poetry is possible without rhyme, or simile or metaphor. As I said… Learn how to write with the rules and then adapt poetry to suit you. Don’t let your poetry suffer for someone else’s views on what poetry should be.

April chaos

I have planned to do a poetry based post every day of April… To celebrate national poetry month… And then chaos… You know… My life…. Happened. My allergies are still kicking my butt. Yesterday I was down with a tension headache. I am going to be doing a post later today… But I didn’t want to start off a day late with no introduction of my intent.

I do not know if I will be doing the normal posting schedule with this new posting. There is going to be 4 types of post for the national poetry month. 1. prompts (this is fairly self explanatory) 2. Poetry(mine or a famous poet) 3. Lesson (I with these are planning on trying to show how to write poetry… Or types of poetry) 4. Submissions (I will be sharing places looking for poems)… I am not sure what is going to be what day… But I am going to be trying to post daily. May will see a return to the normal schedule.

Also, Fae Corps is going to do a daily prompt starting later today. (I am the one usually doing the blog there so my headache yesterday prevented the normal Indie Wednesday post. I had forgotten to schedule it)

Life’s gift on coffee house

The editors on coffee house writers challenged the poetry department to write a sestina. That is so out of my wheelhouse, so I am very proud of the result. So proud that I used it for my post this time.


Ode to poetry

The technical definition ode
a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter.
a poem meant to be sung An ode is a type of lyrical stanza. It is an elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode.

In plain words… An ode is a poem written about a single subject that is usually meant to be sung. (You see this often with poetry… Meant to be sung. Not all poetry works as song, but if you can’t at least read it aloud then you need to rewrite it.)

I am a free poet. The more structure in a form the harder time I have with it. Not because I do not know how to write within a structure, but because I don’t like the confines. Some poets are assisted by the structure. I am not.

I read that the best poets know and understand the rules of poetry so as to break them. I have been finding out lately that I can write these forms, just that I do not want to. However, that is me. You may enjoy the structure of a new form.

Here is my attempt at an ode.