Sunday, 24 January 2016

Definition of poetry

Poetry has been defined in a million different ways, I can say. If asked, everyone would give their own different definition of poetry. This is based on what view one looks at Poetry from.
Authors and poets also look at Poetry from different perspectives, which makes each one of them define it distinctively.

Some define it as a talent, which I completely agree with. To some poets, Poetry just came automatically and all they needed was frequent practice.
Others define Poetry as an art. Just like any artist, a poet presents his art in figurative language such as imagery and symbolism.

However, other people call it a language. Poetry is one of the most historically rich, complex, and beautiful forms of expression in any language. The cultural and emotional impact that poetry has had over the years cannot be overstated. The famous writer Salman Rushdie said that “A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.” This respect and fascination for poetry has spread throughout the world, and the medium’s incredible popularity has only grown.

The history of poetry goes back thousands of years, and the interest in creating and reading great poetry has never been stronger. There are journals and communities and magazines and competitions for creating poetry all over the world.
On the Internet, there are forums, blogs and poetry related websites. These help poet's to connect and share ideas. They also help to mentor new and upcoming poets.

Over the years, just like human beings, Poetry has undergone many evolutions. From the simple language that Poetry used to be years ago, it's now a complex and an internationally recognized language. With time, the complexity has rendered Poetry one of the most challenging subjects for students.
These evolutionary changes have been brought about by language revolution. Owing to immigration and modernisation, languages have experienced massive changes in structure and expressions, which has made it necessary that Poetry adjusts accordingly.

However, despite the evolution,  different organizations have been founded, such as Poetry Foundation, which ensures that Poetry doesn't lose its original taste and flavor. Without such organisations, poetry would be at such a high risk of getting extinct.

In conclusion, whatever definition of poetry that one holds, whether based on modernity or an ancient one, they all are correct and should be respected. to me, all are just like a single script, only different cast.

Saturday, 16 January 2016


I've been receiving questions on my social media from readers that have ideas on writing poetry but just don't know how to present them in sensible stanzas.

For this reason, i decided to write this article to help you come up with impressive and well structured poems.

Remember that no matter how good your ideas are, without the perfect structure, your readers will have difficulties reading your work.First impression, they say, is the best impression.
let's get started;

Poem structure - the line is a building block

The basic building-block of prose (writing that isn't poetry) is the sentence. But poetry has something else -- the poetic line. Poets decide how long each line is going to be and where it will break off. That's why poetry often has a shape like this:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

That's the beginning of a poem by Robert Herrick. No matter where it is printed, the first line always ends with the word "may" and the second line with the word "a-flying" because the poet has written it this way. If you print a piece of prose such as a short story, the length of the lines will depend on the font size, the paper size, margins, etc. But in poetry, the line is part of the work of art you have created. The length of the lines and the line breaks are important choices that will affect many aspects of the reader's experience:

  • The sound of the poem - When people read your poem out loud, or in their heads, they will pause slightly at the end of each line.

  • The speed of reading - Shortening or lengthening the lines can speed up or slow down the way people read.

  • How the poem looks on the page - Does the poem look light, delicate, with a lot of white space around the lines? Or are the lines packed solidly together?

Emphasis - Words at the end of a line seem more important than words in the middle.                               

Poem structure - types of lines

If you are writing a poem in a standard form such as a sonnet, your choices about line length are somewhat restricted by the rules of the form. But you still have to decide how to fit the ideas and sentences of your poem over the lines. When you fit natural stopping points in a sentence to the end of your line, the reader takes a little pause. When a sentence or phrase continues from one line to the next, the reader feels pulled along. If your line break interrupts a sentence or idea in a surprising place, the effect can be startling, suspenseful, or can highlight a certain phrase or double-meaning. 
Lines that finish at ends of sentences or at natural stopping points (for example, at a comma) are called end-stopped lines. Here's an example:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:

Lines that in the middle of the natural flow of a sentence are called run-on or enjambed lines. Here's an example:

But being spent, the worse, and worst 
Times still succeed the former.

Here, Herrick interrupts the phrase "worst times" with a line break between "worst" and "times," focusing extra attention on the word "worst."
If you are writing in free verse, you have even more decisions to make than a poet writing in a traditional form. You can decide to use short lines or long lines, or to vary the length. You can decide to stack your lines evenly along the left margin, or to use a looser or more graphical form. Some poets even write poems that are in the shape of the thing they are writing about, for example, a circular poem about the moon. You have many options, but these choices should never be made randomly. 

Poem structure - stanzas

In prose, ideas are usually grouped together in paragraphs. In poems, lines are often grouped together into what are called stanzas. Like paragraphs, stanzas are often used to organize ideas.
For example, here are the two final stanzas of the Robert Herrick's poem. In the first of these stanzas, he is explaining that being young is great, but life just gets worse and worse as you get older. In the second one, he is saying: "So get married before you're too old and have lost your chance."

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst 
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry. 

Poem structure - decisions about form

So many decisions to make -- line length, line breaks, arrangement, speed, rhythm. How should you choose? The right form for your poem depends on, and works with, the poem's content, or what it's about. If the poem is about flying, you probably don't want lines that feel slow and heavy. If you're writing a sad poem, short bouncy lines might not be the way to go.
You may feel overwhelmed by so many issues to think about. How can your inspiration flow freely if you have to keep track of all of these aspects of a poem? The answer is to do the work in two stages.

  1. First, let your ideas flow.

  1. Then, go back to the poem later and work on improving the poem structure and form.

In the second stage, it's a good idea to experiment a lot. Try breaking the lines and different ways and compare the effects. Try changing the order of things. Try reorganizing things to move different words to the end of the lines so that the reader's attention goes to them. You've got nothing to lose -- you can always go back to an earlier version.
As you go through this process, ask yourself:

  • What is my poem about?

  • What feeling or mood do I want the reader to have?

  • Do I want the poem to move quickly or slowly? Are there places I want it to speed up or slow down?

  • What words or phrases do I want to highlight?

There are a lot of things to consider. But the more poetry you write -- and read, the more natural and instinctive some of these decisions about poem structure will become to you.

Saturday, 9 January 2016


On great minds Poetry establishes
By illusion of the eyes it thrives
Across great seas it travels
Out to conquer human behavior
One Kingdom that no army can conquer
Poetry gives accolade to the deserving
Condemns the condemnable
And fights the battles for the meek
Sarcasm and imagery,
Count among its greatest weapons
Rhyme, the pillar on which it stands
Poetry is like a heavy load on a poet's hand,
One only put down on paper
It's lie an emotional ignition of the heart,
To let the pen just glide
Left to right along the lines
Uncontrollably over the paper
Poetry never disappoints
It works beautifully,
And pays handsomely

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The sunset

Down this dusty path
Across the silent stream 
Through the already darkening forest 
I hold my breath 
As i jump over the thick bushes 
Leaves and the woods already cold 
And the crickets singing they songs 
A sigh of relief, 
As i finally come to the clear land 
All spread out like a dead lawn
The scary forest i see from behind
I see the hut from a far 
Across the valley up the hill 
I can literally count my footsteps 
With the labyrinths to the village 
Winding upwards, 
Humbly spaced out 
I sneeze and cough 
The dust, maybe 
Tired, definitely

I write this as i silently watch the sun beautiful vanish into the west 

To begin, for homework, ask your students to make lists of five things that are meaningful to them in their everyday landscapes, such as objects in their bedrooms or things they see on the way home from school. Have them answer these five questions:
Who was the last person you thought of before going to bed last night?Who was the first person you thought of when you woke up this morning?What song lyric can’t you get out of your head right now?What was the happiest day or moment of your life?What was the saddest day or moment of your life?
When the class meets again, students will have made their lists and answered the questions. Organize them into pairs. Ask each pair of students to swap lists and answers so that everyone has a different person’s list and answers. Ask students to write five- to ten-line poems using three words, objects, or descriptions from their partner’s lists and three of their partner’s answers to the questions. Essentially, they’re making poems out of lived experiences and using their imaginations. Why not? But let’s not stop there.
When the students finish their poems, ask them to read the poems to each other in pairs. Next, each set of pairs will write one poem collaboratively. How will this happen? Each student should pick three or four favorite lines from his or her partner’s poem, which was written from his or her own list and answers. Then each pair should work together to put the six to eight chosen lines from both poems together into one poem or, as I like to call it, “remix” the lines into one poem.
Encourage the students to share their collaborative poems with the entire class by reading them aloud. This way, they will get confident with whatever they do. Good luck in spreading the gospel of poetry 

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Welcome to my blog. It's all about my own written poems and articles on how to improve on your poetic skills. Hope you like it.