Using words to express complex ideas in an emotional and relate-able way is one of the many definitions that exist for poetry. To understand what makes the best poetry, you need to understand what connects people on a basic level. Some of the best poets ever have gone through incredible trauma that created pain that everyone can relate to. To learn the messages in the most powerful pieces of poetry, you must learn how to memorize and understand poetry. Worry not, there are ways to learn how to understand poetry and tricks and courses that teach how to memorize poetry. Memorizing poetry will help you create the artistic repetition of the words in poems inside your head. This will help you, in turn, understand the poetic tones of the world around you. Practice makes perfect and finding the best poetry starts with understanding what makes poetry great.
Elements of Poetry:
While there are fourteen or more different elements in today’s poetry, a few stand out as the most distinctive elements used in the most popular poems of our age.
Alliteration – Alliterations are combinations of words with similar beginning sounds. Amazingly American, patiently pondering, and very vindictive are a few examples of this literary tool for poets used in almost all poetry.
Metaphor and Simile – Metaphors and similes are all of the comparisons made using ‘like’ or ‘as’ to connect the two. For example, this food tastes like garbage, you are a mountain of a man, and people are as dumb as dirt are statements that make comparisons without explicitly being factual. The food does not actually taste like garbage, the man is not a mountain, and any intelligence is greater that that of dirt. Metaphors and similes are used to create a comparison so that the reader can get a lot more adjective descriptions of objects they have not personally experienced.
Meter – The style and rhythm of poetry that determines the way in which the poem is read is determined by meter. Shakespeare, one of the foremost poets of all time used the widely popularized iambic pentameter that involves five lines with ten syllables each. Though meter does not need to be exact, nor does it need to contain a pattern, it is often used by poets especially since poetry is easier to write and remember if it contains a specific meter.
Rhyme – This is the oldest form of poetic expression that tests skill and ability to command the language that you are writing in. Rhyming is difficult because you must be very aware of the words you choose when writing so that your narrative is linear and rhymes.
Imagery – Using images to express feelings is very effective in all of the best poetry and gives the reader a visual or physical stimuli that will reflect the authors intention in writing the poem. Describing something as being soft. Like the kiss of a butterfly’s wings against your cheek will give you, the reader, an unconscious understanding of the physical sensation of such a touch. This improves your understanding of the poetry.
Tone – One of the most important motives behind poetry is sending a message. Most poets use tone to send this message by implying a feeling by use of specific words and sounds to set the tone of the poem. One of the writers of the best poetry ever uses this technique to create a morbid feeling of loss, loneliness, and terror in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Poe always felt like a poet, though after his real father’s death, his foster father, a tobacco business entrepreneur, wished he would follow the call of business. He learned the hard way how to write his own poetry using the ‘o’ sound to create a haunting poetic tone. Lenore is a woeful name now, in my mind, and the mind of others that I have introduced the poem to. Learning to publish your own poetry can help you to also get your style across to the masses. To learn, you can use the chapbook poetry publication guide. This guide can get you on the road to creating the best poetry ever.
The top few poems of all time are listed for you to review and understand what makes a great poem.
“We Real Cool,” Gwendolyn Brooks
This poem is taught in high school and in college for a reason, it is amazing. Also some people who get paid to decide on what poems the youth should read think this is a good one. Not that people mind because this rhythmic classic by Gwendolyn Brooks, starts off playful and then, without warning, cuts short, deadly.
THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
The “We” is stressed in every instance causing a musical lilt to the poetry. I will not list all of the poems in their entirety due to the amount of writing that would entail. The full poems can all be found easily as they are all very famous works.
“since feeling is first,” e.e. cummings
e.e. cummings, much adored by students of poetry for his unorthodox typographical style and modernist tendencies, was also a romantic. The poem is loved for being weird and pretty all at once. As a romantic his poetry is very distinctive. To understand more about romanticism and learn more about their impacts on poetry, you can take this class on Providence eLearning Romantics online. Romantic poetry is very important to the history of poetry and has had a profound affect on those poets that have come afterward. Besides poems like those two above, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven also realizes a new level of poetic genius, utilizing a style all his own. Read the poem and listen to the rhythm, then try to write your own mimicking that style. It is incredibly difficult. This is evidence of his abilities if his other works are not.
William Blake, also an amazing poet has created poetry that attempted to illuminate the lives of the lower class to those in the upper class. Poems in the books “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience” are amazingly vivid, littered with alliteration, imagery, and prevalent tones the author purposely includes to incite emotions. To learn more of William Blake’s Illuminating poetry you can study his poetry and methods in this illuminating course on the poetry of William Blake. William Lasseter, an English professor, illuminates these masterpieces in his online course, where you can see how he sends his message of equality and his humanitarian traits through his writing. William Shakespeare has some of the most well known plays that are written poetically putting him in the list of top poets, but so is the epic poet Homer for his Illiad and The Odyssey. These poems are written in iambic pentameter and are amazing tales of heroism and perseverance.
The best poetry, though, has not been written. There is always room for improvement and the next best poet can be you. All it takes is dedication and true emotions for what you write. You must love yourself and trust your heart. While the greatest ideas and thoughts have come from the minds of the most intelligent men and women; the greatest poetry has come from the hearts and souls of the most caring and generous people. Generous because they choose to share their personal view of the world with anyone willing to read. Go out there, write your heart out, and become the artist you have always wanted to become.