In my preparation for this essay I thought that there was going to be very little that I would learn about the elements of poetry. This is not because I am an expert and have nothing new to learn, but rather the opposite. I have never really spent the time to break down and appreciate poetry. One of the reasons I think that I haven’t spent the time on poetry is due to my reading habits. I usually read to gather information and poetry is on the other end of the spectrum. Fredrick Gruber sums this up, “Poetry tends to give general truths while history gives particular facts.” (Gruber) Having said all of this though, I did see a couple of things that I could apply to my own writing. I will first start off with some elements of poetry that I don’t see myself applying.
First I will talk about rhyming. This is one of the first things people think about when they think about poetry. The old “Roses are red Violets are blue” verse is a perfect example of what comes to mind. Rhyming can add some feel to a poem and allow people to anticipate next lines, but it is not required. There was a time when rhyming was considered an integral part of a poem, but poetry has evolved. One person who helped this evolution was Emily Dickinson. “Sometimes she scarcely rhymed at all. And although there was a precedent for this practice. . . the music of her verse was new enough to seem revolutionary.” (Wolff 186) Dickinson did use rhyme, but she showed that it was not required. Song lyrics are many people’s only connection to poetry today. Lyrics, as we all know, make great use of rhyme. Looking forward in my writings I do not see myself using rhyme very much in my writings.
Poets also have alliteration and assonance at their disposal. I have known about alliterations and I do like the feel of their sound. I didn’t know what assonance was, but I knew of the idea of it. Robert Frost uses assonance in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". He uses the soft i sound repetitively here: “His house is in the village though” (Frost). Similarly to rhyming alliterations and assonances help create a flow and feel for the poem. They also draw the reader in and help them anticipate lines. I have used alliterations before in my writing, but I use them sparingly because I use them very overtly. I do not have the nuance that Robert Frost has so I will continue to use them sparingly.
Poems also have rhythm. Rhythm is built from the accent and meter of a poem. Depending on how and when accents hit in words it creates an audible cadence. The pattern that is setup from this creates the meter. This is analogous to music. There are many parallels that can be drawn from music and songs to poetry. I this is why you can consider many songs to be poems that are set...