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Writer's Workshop: Poetry

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Poetry Group Work

on 9 June 2011

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Transcript of Writer's Workshop: Poetry

What is poetry? "Poetry is the chiseled marble of language; it's a paint-spattered canvas - but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is you. Perhaps the characteristic most central to the definition of poetry is its unwillingness to be defined, labeled, or nailed down. Poetry is the imagination that breaks the chains subdued to a mind. Poetry in itself is a life form, with emotion and feeling that is meant to captivate the reader. If you really want to know what poetry is, read it. Read it carefully. Pay attention. Read it out loud. Now read it again"
(Mark Flanagan, contemporarylit.com). Along with this 'deep' definition, poetry's literal definition is defined by the types and the devices used to make it stand out amongst other literature, such as short stories and novels.

The devices used in poetry include: Alliteration,
Personification, and
rhyming schemes
(such as AB AB or AA BB, etc.) Types of poetry... Haiku,
DEF poetry (Spoken Word)
Blank Verse,
Limerick etc.. We are going to analyze... DEF Poetry (Slam Poetry) Sonnet Blank Verse Poetry Romanticism Slam Poetry "Slam" Suggest & intense abrupt &
jarring motion An act that would receive immediate attention Outlet for people to release their views Emotions Life experiences Information Spoken Word Refers to performances that consist soley or
mostly of one person as if it were spoken naturally More akin to narration Speaking as if the person is engaging in a conversation Consist of story telling and poetry Q? Q? Def Poetry Form of poetry typically based on
urban culture and themes. often with an expressed focus on the African-American
experience. Not defined purely by racial themes or poets Anyone of any race or cultural background may compose
such works. "Def Poetry Jam" Television series that broadcasts slam/spoken word poetry Developed out of Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Series This type of poetry is often read out loud at spoken word performances.
rather than published in journals ot magazines. Def Poetry is often used as way to express the experiences or opinions of the poet Poets have oppotunity to share their poems with the world. Blank Verse Poetry What is it? Questions? Blank Verse is poetry that is written in unrhymed meter. Blank verse is often unobtrusive, where different meters deterime the style and rhythm of the poem. How do I write a Blank Verse? Example of Iambic Pentameter Types of Meter... Iambic Pentameter Trochaic Tetrameter Spondaic Dimeter Trochaic Tetrameter Trochaic tetrameter is a meter in poetry, referring to a line of four trochaic feet. The word "tetrameter" simply means that the poem has four trochees. A trochee is a long syllable, or stressed syllable, followed by a short, or unstressed, one. Spondaic Dimeter is a meter in poetry, focusing on two equally stressed syllables. This has a line of two syllables, called spondees. Questions? Questions? - / - / - / - / - / / - / - / - / - / - / / Iambic pentameter is a meter in poetry, focusing on dividing each line by its syllables, and bringing the reader’s attention to each word’s significance in the poem. The syllables follow the pattern of unstressed, stressed. Each line has ten syllables, or five feet. Example:

Hey, John,
where's Ron?
Don't know;
I'm slow. 1. Find your meter. Blank verse depends on using a certain meter (iambic, trochaic, spondaic.

2. Find your length. Blank verse is classically written in pentameter, so that there would be five instances of your meter in each line.

3. Find your theme. It's pretty difficult to write without a general poetic thesis and if you do it will probably come out sounding like gibberish.

4. Follow your muse. This critical part of poetry writing is the hardest thing to advise. Either the inspiration comes to you, or it doesn't. Think about your theme and words that would describe your feelings. Then try to use them in your lines.

5. Keep the iambic pentameter just the slightest bit off. Classical examples of blank verse sometimes bend (or break) iambic for a couple of beats, particularly when using the names of places or people, sometimes adding extra syllables. Questions? Iambic Pentameter Romeo and Juliet Juliet:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
- / - / - / - / - /
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
- / - / - / - / - /
What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
- / - / - / - / - /
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
- / - / - / - / - /
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
- / - / - / - / - / - /
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
- / - / - / - / - /
By any other word would smell as sweet;
- / - / - / - / - /
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
- / - / - / - / - / - /
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
- / - / - / - / - /
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
- / - / - / - / - /
and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
- / - / - / - / - /
Take all myself.

(Romeo and Juliet Act 2, scene 2, 38–49 ) Birches “When I see birches bend to left and right
- / - / - / - / - /
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
- / - / - / - / - /
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
- / - / - / - / - /
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
- / - / - / - / - /
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
- / - / - / - / - /
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
- / - / - / - / - / -
After a rain. They click upon themselves
- / - / - / - / - /
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
- / - / - / - / - / -
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel”
- / - / - / - / - / -

(Robert Frost). Questions? Q? What is a sonnet? A sonnet is fundamentally a dialectical construct which allows the poet to examine the nature and ramifications of two usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states of mind, beliefs, actions, events, images, etc., by juxtaposing the two against each other, and possibly resolving or just revealing the tensions created and operative between the two (Nelson Miller). Shakespearean Sonnet The English or Shakespearean sonnet, developed first by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547). The topic of most sonnets written in Shakespeare's time is love–or a theme related to love.The topic of most sonnets written in Shakespeare's time is love–or a theme related to love. Poets usually wrote their sonnets as part of a series, with each sonnet a sequel to the previous one, although many sonnets could stand alone as separate poems. Format The English sonnet has the simplest and most flexible pattern of all sonnets, consisting of 3 quatrains of alternating rhyme and a couplet. The rhyme scheme of the sonnet is as follows: First stanza, ABAB; second stanza, CDCD; third stanza, EFEF; and the couplet, GG. Also, the author introduces the main point of the sonnet in the first two lines of Stanza Italian Sonnet The Italian, or Petrarchan sonnet, named after Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), the Italian poet, was introduced into English poetry in the early 16th century by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542). It is a verse form that typically refers to a concept of unattainable love.Conventionally Petrarchan sonnets depict the addressed lady in "hyperbolic terms and present her as a model of perfection and inspiration". Because of the structure of Italian, the rhyme scheme of the Petrarchan sonnet is more easily fulfilled in that language than in English. The basic meter of all sonnets in English is iambic pentameter although there have been a few tetrameter and even hexameter sonnets, as well. Sonnet sequences do not follow a spelled-out narrative progression, nor are they simply compilations of random poems with similar themes, they are something in between." Example Format The Italian sonnet is divided into two sections by two different groups of rhyming sounds. The first 8 lines is called the octave and rhymes: ABBAABBA
The remaining 6 lines is called the sestet and can have either two or three rhyming sounds, arranged in a variety of ways, like:
The point here is that the poem is divided into two sections by the two differing rhyme groups and NEVER ends with a rhyming couplet. Shall I compare thee to a summer's
Thou art more lovely and more
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of
And summer's lease hath all too short a
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven
And often is his gold complexion
And every fair from fair sometime
By chance or nature's changing course
But thy eternal summer shall not
Nor lose possession of that fair thou
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his
When in eternal lines to time thou
So long as men can breathe or eyes can
G Sonnet 18 Example Q? In what bright realm, what sphere of radiant thought
Did Nature find the model whence she drew
That delicate dazzling image where we view
Here on this earth what she in heaven wrought?
What fountain-haunting nymph, what dryad, sought
In groves, such golden tresses ever threw
Upon the gust? What heart such virtues knew?—
Though her chief virtue with my death is frought.
He looks in vain for heavenly beauty, he
Who never looked upon her perfect eyes,
The vivid blue orbs turning brilliantly –
He does not know how Love yields and denies;
He only knows, who knows how sweetly she
Can talk and laugh, the sweetness of her sighs. Translation of Sonnet 159 A
D Questions? Questions? Romantic Poetry Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning. Poetry touches the soul.
People of ancient times were emotionally no different than us.
Some were more explicit than others but the message was still the same. They yearned to express their love for one and other lyrically.
The earliest examples of love poetry were made by the ancient Egyptians but they were soon followed by the Greeks. Ancient Egyptian Love Poetry History Shows that the Egyptians always regarded literature as very important. Many of the poems were written on papyrus, which was the form of paper the Egyptians used to write on.
Egyptians were skilled in romantic verses and they used rich imagery to communicate deep feelings.
Many of the love poems were said to express themes of Egyptian religion, which was very important to them. “If I am [not] with you, where will you set your heart?
If you do [not] embrace [me], [where will you go?]
If good fortune comes your way, [you still cannot find] happiness.
But if you try to touch my thighs and breasts,
[Then you’ll be satisfied.]
Because you remember you are hungry would you then leave?
Are you a man thinking only of his stomach?
Would you [walk off from me concerned with] your stylish clothes and leave me the sheet?
Because of hunger would you then leave me? [or because you are thirsty?]
Take then my breast; for you its gift overflows.
Better indeed is one day in your arms… than a hundred thousand [anywhere] on earth. This poems author is not exactly known. It was among many poems and writings found in ruins of what was Ancient Egypt.

This poem has such a strong sense of passion and love. Like many of the early Egyptian poems. It uses such descriptive words that force our imaginations to take over and just envision what is being said.

After translation the poem is easy to read mainly because it is very similar to the way we view things today. Making the poem that much more enjoyable. "Seven days have passed, and I've not seen my lady love; a sickness has shot through me. I have become sluggish, I have forgotten my own body.
If the best surgeons come to me, my heart will not be comforted with their remedies. And the prescription sellers, there's no help through them; my sickness will not be cut out.
Telling me 'she's come' is what will bring me back to life...” This poem shows some of the true characteristics of what we would view as a broken heart. There are times where we can feel so heart broken that we can relate to the feelings described in this poem.

This poem brings out the same use of imagery as described to be a big characteristic of Egyptian Love Poems. And now... -The characteristics of Romantic poetry from the 1800's are that it emphasizes feeling, intuition and imagination to a point of irrationalization.

-Charles Baudelaire quoted that "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in a way of feeling."

-Others feel that it emphasizes individualism, freedom from rules, spontaneity, solitary life rather then life in society, and the love of beauty and nature. Romanticism, a philosophical, literary, artistic and cultural era which began in the mid/late-1700's as a reaction against the prevailing Enlightenment ideals of the day (Romantics favoured more natural, emotional and personal artistic themes) which also influenced poetry. Inevitably, the characterization of a broad range of contemporaneous poets and poetry under the single unifying name can be viewed more as an exercise in historical compartmentalization than an attempt to capture the essence of the actual ‘movement’. Activity! Final Questions? Thanks.
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