The-Quality-of-Poetry-on-Scribeslice

Group: The Quality of Poetry on Scribeslice

Discussion on the various poetry forms.

Discussions on the various poetry forms starting off with blank verse and free verse.


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Free Verse
The textbook definition of free verse is ‘Verse that follows no conventional form or metrical form’. Rhyming can appear but usually not to any rhyming scheme such as ‘line1 and line 3. line 2 and line 4’. The secret for successful free verse is to make your own rules for a particular poem and demonstrate this throughout the poem. The lines may be of irregular length but if you want to avoid an accusation that it’s just prose chopped up then there has to be an apparent reason for the irregularity or line stop. Free verse was used at one time as a vehicle of rebellion against traditional forms. It doesn’t work that way anymore. It’s tired from overuse in that respect.

Free verse leaves optional room for metaphor, simile, alliteration and the right words in the right places. Of course you may write poetry in any way you choose without value judgements being made. You may write poetry for yourself alone; I often do.

My own golden rule is to choose free verse because it’s the most appropriate to what I want to say and not as a last resort because I can’t think of a better way.


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Harry, I have a question for you regarding punctuation in poetry. I read your comments regarding the use of unnecessary exclamation marks in poems and the carrying over of a line from the first stanza to the second. In case of the use of exclamation marks in poetry I want your opinion regarding the use of them in special situations viz. the speaker's monologue and when the speaker gives vent to his personal emotions in a dramatic manner. For example let us take this passage from Rilke:

"A tree sprang up. O sheer transcendence!
O Orpheus sings! O tall tree in the ear!
And all was still. But even in that silence
a new beginning, hint, and change appeared.

Creatures of silence crowded out of the clear
freed forest, out of their dens and lairs;
and it was clear that the inner silence of theirs
wasn't out of any cunning, any fear,

but out of listening. Growl, shriek, and roar
shrank in their hearts. And where there'd been
hardly a hut before to take this in,

a dugout carved from their darkest desire
with a lintel of trembling timber-
you erected temples for them in their inner ear."

(Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus: First Series; Part 1)

To me this passage from Rilke is in free verse form without any constraints regarding the flow of the sentences from one stanza to the other. How do you analyze such a passage where the exclamation marks further intensify the outburst of emotions from the speaker? Do you think that exclamation marks need to be used very carefully? If so in what situations? And how do they affect the flow of free verse?
Besides do you think that lyric poetry requires the medium of free verse alone or are their other possibilities?


Bhaskar Thakuria

2nd June 2013


Harry, a good initiative here. :)

Reading the above verse, I want to add my opinion too. As discussed earlier in Quality in Poetry, my understanding is that as long as the poem is in a good flow and meter, like the above posted example, its alright if the sentences continue in the next line and the use of punctuation is also allowed, only discouraged where it makes the verse appear prose like.


Asma Ahsan

2nd June 2013


Sorry all, but I don't get into the technical side of poetry. I like to write in rhyme and however it comes out which makes sense to me and I feel happy about it. Sometimes, trying to be technical, can really complicate my internal structure. I guess it is from not having gone to high school and learning about English Literature, etc.


Davide Castel

3rd June 2013


Lucy, continue to write in whatever manner suits you. What I list are not rules and you can do as you like.


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Absolutely right, Asma. On continuing into the next line see mu explanation of enjambment.


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Bhaskar, I have not meant my remarks to mean that they shouldn't be used in poetry. I've been going on about their improper use per se.
It may not be posted yet as I have only just sent it to Asma but I had coincidentally sent it to her.
An exclamation is not a sentence in that it doesn't have a subject, verb and object. For example - Good Lord! Blimey!
In the poem you mention an explanation mark is quite proper. 'Oh, sheer transcendence and the other one fit in this definition.
Also I have in these columns somewhere covered the continuation from one line to another. It goes by the name of enjambment. I used it in my recent poem The Spectre with a Hood.


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Bhaskar, I see lyric poetry as being written in verses or stanzas if you like. It seems to be usually in iambic pentameter but I think it's fairly open minded. I say this because I have a book of lyric verse which, in the same poem, jumps about from rhymed iambic pentameter to Pindaric ode and back and I don't know why though I expect the poet had a reason.
Do you think that the term is more a reference to its being emotional?


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Bhaskar, please also read the INDEX OF QUALITY OF POETRY in this group for further guidance and references.

Lucy, free verse suits you but you also rhyme very well.

Harry, added some definitions to the index. Do check them when you have time.


Asma Ahsan

3rd June 2013


Lucy, I agree with you. Although I am eager to learn about the quality of poetry to improve my skill, I will not force myself to follow strict guidelines. I feel that poetry is "heart work" and so it must feel right to me. I will always continue to experiment with the various forms of poetry but I feel my best works flow from me without the restriction of rules.


Cindy Beitinger

2nd June 2013


Quite right, Cindy. You shouldn't force yourself. I don't. I experiment with forms because I like the challenge but everybody's different, thank goodness.


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Asma, have you enough for the time being on the index?


Harry Wells

2nd June 2013


Cindy and Lucy, I respect your point of view about rules but what I am trying to promote is the gaining of knowledge about poetry in general and not to convert anybody to an adherence to rules. I have never suggested that anybody should write in a particular form for its own sake only.
The advice I give (which is open to dispute) I give in order to assist those who do wish to experiment with forms and to enable the greater appreciation of classic and modern poets of distinction.


Harry Wells

3rd June 2013


Yes. Understood. I am enjoying learning about poetry and the guidelines associated with its various forms. It gives me more to think about and while I experiment with these more rigid formats, it does give me a better appreciation of the art and the skill of classic poets. You are giving us much to think about Harry and I do appreciate the efforts that you and Asma have put forth.


Cindy Beitinger

2nd June 2013


Thank you, Cindy. Nicely put.


Harry Wells

3rd June 2013


Harry, I added the new definitions.

Thankyou Cindy. :)


Asma Ahsan

3rd June 2013


Here is my Free verse.



THE RIGHT CHOICE

Being with the one who relaxes you
Sharing of ideas has never been easier
Chuckling at each other's little jibes
Finding solace in a shoulder conveniently placed;
Being with the one who completes your world
Is the 'right' choice; It's not absurd.

I have used punctuations and also carried the fifth line into the sixth line as one long sentence. I have also used 'it's' in the last line as the abbreviation of 'it is'. So, what is your opinion about it Harry?


Asma Ahsan

4th June 2013


ENTRANCING BEAUTY

(Free Verse with rhyming last two lines.)

Entrancing beauty in all its glory
Seducing my senses, wooing my soul;
Making me forget my surroundings
Lost in the wonder of its magnificence;
I salute its creator for their endeavor.
Oh, but what seduces the senses to envision
A masterpiece, through artistic means?
A great feat indeed, materializing it.
In this cynical world, still beauty exists
Despite its negation, creativity persists.


Asma Ahsan

4th June 2013


I share the sentiments in The Right Choice. Try to find a way of making 'words' in the last line singular and you'll get a rhyming couplet in the last two lines.
Suggestion -the one who takes your word?


Harry Wells

5th June 2013


Be bold and use the terms - 'rhyming couplet' sounds more graceful.
This is a nice poem with a good use of words. It's a heartfelt exultation.
Can you do anything to add something to or into line 5 to make it about the same length as most of the other lines? That way it would look prettier on the page.


Harry Wells

5th June 2013


I didn't know what to call it. A rhyming couplet is such a pretty term. :)

Ok, the amendment.

New line :

"Being with the one who completes your world."

Talking soulmates here Harry. :)

Added to line five as follows:

"I salute its creator for their endeavor."

What do you think? If it's ok, I can amend in the published files too.


Asma Ahsan

5th June 2013


That feels better, Asma. Thanks for taking the suggestion.
Endeavour - Put the full stop after the quotation marks.


Harry Wells

5th June 2013


No, that was just for your reference, as there are no quotation marks in the actual piece.

I always thought that when quoting text, we leave the full stop inside the quotes if it's a complete sentence, like:

"He was just here, barely a minute ago." That is a complete sentence and the full stop was in the original quoted matter so it has to stay there.

If can be avoided if the sentence in incomplete like:

"He was just here, barely a minute ago," she stopped to catch her breath and continued, "but left as soon as he saw you approaching me."

I write it like that. All original punctuations from quoted matter have to stay within the full stops. Editor's rule on quoted matter. We cant remove a single dot from the original text at our own discretion. What is your opinion on it?


Asma Ahsan

5th June 2013


You are right about the placing of full stops and quotation marks. mea culpa - careless of me.


Harry Wells

7th June 2013


Oh dear. So I was right? Really Harry? Nice! :)

I told you I am an editor. I just don't edit myself. That's because I like others to do it for me. :)

Ok, so back to the order of business. When do you start the discussion on Blank verse?


Asma Ahsan

7th June 2013


Hi Asma, I'm writing it now.


Harry Wells

8th June 2013


Waiting for it Harry. :)


Asma Ahsan

8th June 2013


Harry, I read that a Blank verse can also be written in unrhymed iambic pentameters. What is your opinion on it?


Asma Ahsan

8th June 2013


It certainly can be or not, Asma. It's up to you. The main criteria for regarding it as blank verse is that it should have lines of ten or eleven syllables and unrhymed except, if you feel like it' ending with a rhyming couplet. Not all lines ten and not all eleven but as proves necessary.
It isn't usually written in stanzas.


Harry Wells

8th June 2013


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