Poetry techniques

Nahrenne

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I know that not many people have posted poetry on SH, nor are there that many that have read any that poets have posted. However, I thought it would be nice for people to mention different poetry techniques they know of, or use themselves, so that both readers and poets alike may gain something more from this form of literature.

As such, I thought it would be helpful also for those who are still in education, since the terminology used in poetry can often be utilised in other forms of literature which, in turn, would aid writers of other mediums to develop in their techniques.

I'll start off with the names of some techniques I know of. I'll try go into more depth if people are interested, but I don't want to make a wall of text for the first post.

Metaphors
Similes
Rhyming couplets
Sonnets
Haikus
Para-rhyme
Free verse

X
 

Alverost

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I know that not many people have posted poetry on SH, nor are there that many that have read any that poets have posted. However, I thought it would be nice for people to mention different poetry techniques they know of, or use themselves, so that both readers and poets alike may gain something more from this form of literature.

As such, I thought it would be helpful also for those who are still in education, since the terminology used in poetry can often be utilised in other forms of literature which, in turn, would aid writers of other mediums to develop in their techniques.

I'll start off with the names of some techniques I know of. I'll try go into more depth if people are interested, but I don't want to make a wall of text for the first post.

Metaphors
Similes
Rhyming couplets
Sonnets
Haikus
Para-rhyme
Free verse

X
Why don't you give us a few examples of the techniques?
 
Last edited:

Hopetoread

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Parallelism is poetic method , it is hard for me to explain so best to use search engine to look up
 

Nahrenne

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Simile:

A simile is when you describe something as something else.
You can identify a simile when 'as', or, 'like', have been used with the description.
Some examples would be:
'Her skin was as shiny as a fresh pearl, not a blemish to be seen.'
Or
'Her skin was like a fresh pearl, pale and white, with no blemish to be seen.'

X
 

Nahrenne

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Metaphor:

A metaphor is similar to a simile, except you are not likening something to another thing, but are saying it is that other thing.
Some examples would be:
'Her skin was made of pearl, all white and without blemish.'

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Nahrenne

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Rhyming Couplets:

A rhyming couplet is when you have two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme on the last word of each line.
Examples would be:
'I flew up into the sky,
I went rose up high.'

'Sleeping in a bed of silk,
The child had fed on its mother's milk.'

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Nahrenne

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Parallelism:

This is when you present contrasting views on the same thing in a parallel structure.
It is often used to emphasise the contrast in things.
An example from the poet, John Donne:

“Good we must love, and must hate ill,
For ill is ill, and good good still;
But there are things indifferent,
Which we may neither hate, nor love,
But one, and then another prove,
As we shall find our fancy bent.'

X
 

Nahrenne

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Personification:

This is when you impose human qualities on non-human things.
Examples:

'The tree moaned as the wind passed through.'

Or

'The rabbit spoke with its eyes.'

Or

'The dress's beauty was mesmerising.'

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Nahrenne

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Sonnets:

This is a style of poem whereby there are 14 lines.
Each line will be divided into a rhyming scheme, as well as have a strict rhythm to them.
There are many types of sonnets, but one famous style is the Shakespearean sonnet.
This comprised of 12 lines of alternate rhyme, followed by a rhyming couplet.
It would be written in iambic pentameter, in which each line would contain 10 syllables, where the stress of syllables would be alternate in the line.

An example of a Shakespearean sonnet:

'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.'

X
 

Nahrenne

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Haiku:

A haiku is a Japanese style of poem with strict rules.
There are 3 lines to a stanza/verse, in which the syllables would go: 5,7,5. However, some versions have 3,5,3 instead.
The lines will rarely have any rhyme to them, and will be read/said in a cutting way.

Example from part of Matsuo Basho's poetry:

'An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

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Nahrenne

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Para-rhyme:

This style was first used by the poet, Wilfred Owen.
This technique basically means half-rhyme; it is where, instead of rhyming the full word, only the first half of the word is rhymed.
An example would be an excerpt from Wilfred Owen's poetry:

'It seemed that out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.

Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands, as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall,—
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.'

X
 

Nahrenne

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Free Verse:

This is where there are little to no rules for the poet to follow.
You can make your own rhyming scheme up, choose the number of lines within a stanza, etc...
A brilliant example of such a thing would be in Margaret Atwood's, 'Half Hanged Mary'.
Here is an excerpt:

'7pm

Rumor was loose in the air
hunting for some neck to land on.
I was milking the cow,
the barn door open to the sunset.

I didn't feel the aimed word hit
and go in like a soft bullet.
I didn't feel the smashed flesh
closing over it like water
over a thrown stone.

I was hanged for living alone
for having blue eyes and a sunburned skin,
tattered skirts, few buttons,
a weedy farm in my own name,
and a surefire cure for warts;

Oh yes, and breasts,
and a sweet pear hidden in my body.
Whenever there's talk of demons
these come in handy.


*************************

9pm

The bonnets come to stare,
the dark skirts also,
the upturned faces inbetween,
mouths closed so tight they're lipless.
I can see down into their eyeholes
and nostrils. I can see their fear.

You were my friend, you too.
I cured your baby, Mrs.,
and flushed yours out of you,
Non-wife, to save your life.'

X
 

Hopetoread

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Parallelism:

This is when you present contrasting views on the same thing in a parallel structure.
It is often used to emphasise the contrast in things.
An example from the poet, John Donne:

“Good we must love, and must hate ill,
For ill is ill, and good good still;
But there are things indifferent,
Which we may neither hate, nor love,
But one, and then another prove,
As we shall find our fancy bent.'

X
Thanks @Nahrenne for posting an example
 

S.D.Mills

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Don't forget metonymy, synecdoche, merism, chiasm, and being a know-it-all. :p

If I'm honest though, I think pretty much all of these except metaphor should be tossed out the window by newbies. It's like walking into an auto shop and picking up random tools and trying to fix a car without ever learning what a spark plug is. You need to know what poetry is. A lot of stuff new poets write isn't poetry—it's a bunch of words stuck to the left side of the page, and maybe some of the words happen to rhyme. Write a bunch of stuff until you realize, "Oh, I wrote a real poem. I wrote something worth saying." Then touch the power tools. Sorry for the rant. I hope it's helpful. :-)
 

Devils.Advocate

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A: I LOVE Quatrains
A: call me insane
A: I LIKE them plain
A: Like fresh summer rain

A: I like them Haikus
A: they make me sound Cool
B: But ones I like more
B: they follow quad laws

A: I love them Quatrains
B: because they rhyme
A: I like them quite plain
B: it saves me time.
 
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