Tag: Creative Writing

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I mentioned the cæsura in last Wednesday’s post about the Haiku, and then realized I had not talked about the cæsura yet. A cæsura is a pause or break in the line of poetry. In songs, it is a good place to take a breath break. Ditto in reciting poetry. It helps to break up […]

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We have now seen several forms having different requirements. Rather than learning something totally new today, we will look at a form that developed out of the tanka. Brief History: The haiku is a Japanese form. It started out as the first three lines of the tanka, which would be used in an extemporaneous chain […]

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Today’s form, the mad cow, is a pastoral form, meaning it is about subjects pertaining to the country. This is most definitely not a citified form, no sirree, Bob. It’s also rather long. The lines are fairly long and there are a lot of lines to it. Schematic: In alexandrines (twelve-syllable lines) with rhyme scheme: […]

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The tanka is a form that comes from Japan. Courtiers were expected to not only be poets, but to compose poetry extemporaneously. The tanka was the basic building block of much of this style of court poetry. It is a five line form in two parts, and it was not unusual for the first courtier […]

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Today we will be working with a fun exercise in poetry. The abecedarium or abecedarius is a poetic structure that relies on an alphabet or other sequence as the basis of the structure. The most obvious versions of these are didactic primers for juveniles of the “A is for apple” variety. A skilled poet can […]

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By special request, today’s form is the villanelle. Its major feature is repetition, which can be used for comic effect or to enhance the seriousness of the poem, depending on the subject matter and skill of the poet. History: There have been poems called villanelles for centuries, but what those poems were has changed significantly. […]

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In our previous lessons, we learned about everything necessary to enable us to compose what some would call the pinnacle of English-language poetry, the English sonnet. We have learned about measurement systems, rhyme, rhythms, formal lines, and the pivot. Now, we shall put these all together into one package. History and Origin: The English sonnet, […]

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The Diamante is a simple-seeming form. While it could theoretically be stanzaic, most are simple, meaning one stanza in length. It is seven lines long and has only sixteen words in those seven lines. It is based on parts of speech. The first and last lines consist of one noun each, and these nouns are […]

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I am proud to be a part of Taliesin Nexus and I encourage all emerging filmmakers, storytellers, novelists, and nonfiction writers to learn more about and apply, for free, to the following programs at http://talnexus.com All of the programs are free of charge to participate in. You just have to display some chops as a […]

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There is a poetic device that has various names, including: the Pivot, Volta, or Turn of Thought. All three terms mean the same thing, and I probably missed a few other terms for it. The basic idea is that the poem starts off in one direction, and then at some point turns to thinking in […]

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We are going to ease into the accentual-syllabic poetry with the Heroic Sestet. In previous discussions, we have talked about the five metrical systems. We have practiced syllabic poetry with the triolet and accentual poetry with Old Story Measure. We also talked about rhyme and ways to make it less Suessish. We talked about the […]

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We have talked about and played with both syllabic and accentual verse. Our next step is to put them together in accentual-syllabic verse. To do that, we have to put our best foot forward. So, today’s sidelight looks at rhythmic feet. The rhythmic foot varies depending on the number of syllables in the foot and […]

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English is a naturally stressed language. Some words and syllables are more important than others and receive stress. Others are less important and are not stressed. When it comes to meter and metrical forms, English most naturally trends towards the forms that are accentual, meaning measuring by stresses. In Anglo-Saxon, sometimes called Old English, the […]

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Today’s form combines the lessons we have previously touched on. It has repetition like the pantoum. It is a syllabic form like the nonet. And it has rhyme, which was discussed in this last Sunday’s sidelight. Beyond that, it is a simple eight line form. Description: A French form of eight lines where the first […]

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As has been mentioned earlier in our series, poetry tends to be filled with mnemonic devices. They are the check digits that ensure proper memorization and recitation. For most of history, the epic poem was the equivalent of the blockbuster action movie filled with explosions and gore. Of the mnemonic devices used to keep those […]

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Our first form was the pantoum, which had one main requirement, and that was a pattern of repetition. In our most recent sidelight, we talked a little about the five poetic metrical systems. Our second form, the nonet, might be said to have a few requirements, but the main requirement is that it is nine […]

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Most formal or traditional poetry is written in metered verse. So, what exactly is being measured, and how? The answer to that tends to depend on the language and time period. For a simplified set of examples, the ancient forms of the languages Greek and Sanskrit had a different idea of long and short vowels […]

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This will be the first in a weekly series presenting poetic forms from around the world and throughout history. We will start on forms that are easy for anyone to try and work our way up to incorporate more complex ideas and requirements until we get to the truly and obnoxiously stupid forms that proved […]

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Here in the West, and especially in ’Murica, people not steeped in a deep knowledge of poetry often think of poetry, “I know it when I hear or read it!” Parts of what they expect are the mnemonic devices and forms that have developed over the centuries that have worked well in the English language. […]

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