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Saturday, 9 June 2018

People session 3 Poetry

Poetry (1)
All poetry began as song, song which gradually managed without the musical accompaniment.  Some poems are still called ‘lyrics’.
Usually poetry is written in lines, so that there is some sort of repetition involved, line from line.   The most straightforward repetition is that of sentence pattern.   This method is used in the Psalms in the Bible, and elsewhere.   Here’s a passage from the famous Song of Solomon.

I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me. 
Come, my beloved,
let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.
Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom-
there I will give you my love. 

Some poetry uses rhymes to mark the ends of the lines.
And there was the lovely Christina
By God you should have seen her

 Some poetry uses alliterations.  So many for each line.

Lee looked at the line
of  perfect polish helmet pigeons

Some poetry uses just the number of beats and/or syllables per line.   This last is a common one to us because Shakespeare uses it.
Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I
says Hamlet.  Ten syllables per line, and five of them stressed
Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I
Five beats and five non-beats and they alternate.  Di-dum, di-dum.
This is the so-called ‘iambic pentameter’ which is in fact the commonest of all in English poetry.   You can add rhyme to it as well.
The rhyme marks out the ends of the lines.
Wild Gabrielle once took me for a drive.
I came back pale of face but still alive

Or you could measure out the line by the number of stresses (beats) only.

Eddie’s ship is home at last in its harbour.
Now he has one home and one wife

In modern times, since the early twentieth century many poets have decided not to measure out their lines, and simply make the them sound in some way parallel to each other, and in some way musical.
You could just follow the natural pauses in what you’re writing
Deborah was sucking a soft chocolate log
and closed her eyes
and groaned

Also poets tend to like repetitions of sounds and patterns, apart from using them to mark out lines.  Note  the  repeated sounds in suck, soft, choc, log.

All this -   lines and sounds and so on – is connected to the general point that in poetry the writer savours the sound of the language as such

(1) Write a poem called:  For Someone in Trouble.  Use any type of line.

(2) Take any sentence or passage from the paper and mark the beats (stressed syllables)   Imagine you had to beat a drum in time to it.

Linda Hillborne was arrested last night for dangerous flying.  She suddenly glided out of her bedroom window.  

Or do both

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