What first thought strikes our mind when we hear a word ‘poetry’? In most cases, it means inspiration, sensitive and expressional freedom, affection, passion and love that may take many forms and colors, to say so. This is a true art of writing, as it is necessary to have a talent and specific way of thinking to transfer your thoughts and feelings into rhymes that form lines of a poem. No one can tell exactly how to write poetry, as it does not just come from the mind, but mostly from heart.
Prose writing is considered to be a slightly easier process than poetry writing, as a workable idea and plot are quite enough to start writing a small narrative story. However, when it comes to writing a poem, it is not enough to have a plot, the main character or a great idea to produce a breathtaking, interesting or even inspiring poem. You should know what a particular poem consists of, what its main concepts and features are, as well as figures of speech that interchange each other all the time throughout the text. Feelings, events and bellowed people of poets are decoded in their verses; hence, readers should not only admire these poems but also try to decode some message hidden in their works. Writing poetry and writing about poetry are two polar opposite processes that are interconnected in a way, but still require the application of different strategies and techniques. For example, writing an essay on poetry requires understanding of main types of poems, an author’s style and mood, a poem itself and author's intentions, and what he or she wanted to say in this work.
As nowadays it is possible to write poetry online, you can always practice and apply your poetic skills. There are numerous websites that can help you pick a decent word that rhymes with the one you have in mind, and create a poem that would adhere to the specific style you can choose from the lists available. It is possible to post your masterpiece and receive useful feedbacks that will allow you understand the quality of own writing and the ways it can be improved. While it is hard to say that poetry writing websites are good enough to look for the critique at, you can treat any assessment given as an opportunity to see how people of different ages perceive poetical works. You can help these people with their poems too, and learn something new about the history, symbolism, meanings, types, styles, and genres from the information presented. And who knows, maybe in a few months you will become successful enough to write poetry for money online.
Certainly, to write about a poem, it is necessary to know existing types of poetry since the analysis process of a particular poem involves determining a poem’s type and other main features. For instance, here are six most popular poem types that may be particularly useful:
Acrostic. This is a very interesting type of poem, as its first, middle, or last letters read in a particular order form a word or even a phrase. This type of poem is often used in different secret messages written to be read only by a person who knows how to decipher it.
Ballad. This type can be described as the one that tells a particular story, very often this is a poetic story of love and passion or of loss and sadness. It is also worth mentioning that this type of poem is used in songs because of its poetic structure and rhymes.
Blank Verse. This is also a very popular and widespread type of poem that is characterized by a distinctive structure that has no rhyme, but consists at least of five feet lines, and the poem itself has an iambic pentameter. As a rule, lines in such poems are interchanged with stressed and unstressed syllables.
Epigram. This is also a very well-known type of poetry of satirical and humorous meaning, and they are usually short in length, about four or five lines long. Sometimes poets write only one-line epigram and make it their motto.
Lyric. Along with ballad poems, lyric poems are also about love, often about long-lost love that an author cannot forget. They are very emotional in nature, as authors express all their feelings in such poems.
If the teacher requested to prepare a poem and gave you freedom to choose the type to use, you can either pick something from the selection presented above or look up some other options in any poetry writing paper. Nevertheless, this list is incomplete, as there are about 50 different types of poems that are characterized with their own distinctive features. If you are involved in writing diverse academic works from poetry thesis papers to simple essays, it is necessary to get acquainted with all of them.
When you are asked to write a poetry essay, it may turn out to be rather challenging to tailor one, especially if you do not understand the purpose of this assignment. This is important, as diverse essays help develop different skills that are useful in real-life situations. For instance, if a person is able to analyze fast enough, he or she may find solutions to different complex situations. Nonetheless, different types of poetic essays have different objectives.
- Poetry Comparison Essay
The main purpose of this poetic assignment obviously is to compare two different poems. But there are some options regarding the comparison elements. A student may be asked to compare two different verses of the same author to find differences and similarities, analyze the author’s style and figures of speech he or she used to create this special atmosphere. On the other hand, an assignment may contain a requirement to compare two or more different verses of different authors to track some distinctive features that each of them possesses. As a rule, to do it, a student should get acquainted with poems to be analyzed and understand what the author(s) tried to tell in it/them. You may face the same task later during the studies while working on a poetry coursework or similar project. Thus, if you need to write a comparison essay, put enough effort into researching how to do it properly, as you will most likely be asked to compare a bigger number of poems in future, and that work will surely be worth of more points.
- Poetry Analysis Essay
An analysis essay is usually focused on one particular poem, and a student is expected to analyze it and produce a thesis statement for the paper. It is also known as a poetry review, as the assignment requires an in-depth examination of the poem from the chosen perspective. You should understand the poem, track poetic elements and relate them to each other. The major goal of this type of essay is to teach a student how to enjoy reading verses in the first place. Read the poem and find some specific idea to argue and develop the statement until it is clear.
- Poetry Explication Essay
An explication essay is considered to be more complex than other types as it requires multiple and attentive reading to be able to find points that you do not understand and understand at the same time, as the combination of known and unknown elements will certainly help you explicate the poem. The main idea of explication is to show to an author of the essay, as well as to other readers, that form and meaning of the explication essay are inseparable. To produce a good explication essay, it is necessary to listen to the poem, literally. You should understand the music of the poem, its emotions, and moods. Describe the author's journey by combining the already discovered elements and those that you should discover in the process.
Poetry writing assignments for high school are rather specific when it comes to the type of essay students have to work on. If you are assigned the type you are not familiar with, or cannot find the information on, it is necessary to ask the teacher or the peers to provide clarifications. When neither of the options are working, you can always use a professional poetry homework help. Our team will be glad to explain every point that seems confusing and craft the top-notch essay for you.
As a poetry analysis or review is one of the most common assignments for essay writing on the subject, it is crucial to pay a special attention to its preparation. You will have to complete such task numerous times throughout the school years, which means your final marks will often depend on the quality of the essays you submit. Thus, if you do not want to finish this and the following years with a low GPA, it is critical to learn how to write a poetry review, and guidelines presented next will definitely help you with that:
- Choose the poem. If you were not asked to review a specific poem, it is your great chance to choose the work you would really enjoy analyzing. You may be told to stick to the specific period, genre, and it is necessary to look for the poetry article or website with the list of relevant poems. Make sure to pick something that invokes an emotional response in you, as poems of such kind are usually easier to work with.
- Look for the information. Try to find the data on the author, his life, problems, significant events, views, and beliefs in order to understand what possible meaning could some of the words or lines in the poem carry. You can look for the details in any poetry research paper on the author and his/her poetic heritage.
- Check the requirements. Your poetry analysis assignment may include very precise instructions regarding the points you need to address in the paper, the style or the outline you need to use, and the formatting that has to be followed. It is crucial to read them before moving any further with the task completion and note down the major requirements that influence how and what you should write.
- Pick the criteria. As the key in the essay is the analysis, you need to decide what exactly you will analyze. It is important to pick the criteria, ask your teacher how many of them you are allowed to use, or determine it yourself, relying on the given word limit.
- Organize and write. Outline the essay, and remember about three most important parts that are crucial to include. Note that you need to start by presenting the name of the poem and its author in the intro, and providing necessary background information that will help the reader understand why you assessed the poem the way you did. The next section is the body where you analyze the poem using the criteria you have chosen. The final part is the conclusion with the summary and link to the broader context.
It is better not to look at the other reviews of the poem even if you are running out of time and cannot come up with the proper way to analyze the work. Try to focus on your feelings and the knowledge gained from the lessons, and you will surely create a unique essay with an adequate analysis.
Certainly, writing poetic verses is something that does not come easily, unless it is an inborn gift. And it is a gift, after all, to be able to rhyme about things that bother or get on your nerves or, on the contrary, tailor poetic lines about passion and love and strong emotions that dwell in the human heart. When you understand that you do not understand a thing, it is a high-time to start looking for some template to fit in your own thoughts. But what to do if you have no thoughts? You should consider a possibility of placing an order with Pro-Papers. We are the service that has a bunch of true poetic souls and poetic experts to help you with your assignment within the deadline you set.
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|Writing from scratch|
Writing About Poetry
Contributors: Purdue OWL
Last Edited: 2018-02-21 12:51:36
Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry, by its very nature, makes demands on a writer who attempts to analyze it that other forms of literature do not. So how can you write a clear, confident, well-supported essay about poetry? This handout offers answers to some common questions about writing about poetry.
What's the Point?
In order to write effectively about poetry, one needs a clear idea of what the point of writing about poetry is. When you are assigned an analytical essay about a poem in an English class, the goal of the assignment is usually to argue a specific thesis about the poem, using your analysis of specific elements in the poem and how those elements relate to each other to support your thesis.
So why would your teacher give you such an assignment? What are the benefits of learning to write analytic essays about poetry? Several important reasons suggest themselves:
- To help you learn to make a text-based argument. That is, to help you to defend ideas based on a text that is available to you and other readers. This sharpens your reasoning skills by forcing you to formulate an interpretation of something someone else has written and to support that interpretation by providing logically valid reasons why someone else who has read the poem should agree with your argument. This isn't a skill that is just important in academics, by the way. Lawyers, politicians, and journalists often find that they need to make use of similar skills.
- To help you to understand what you are reading more fully. Nothing causes a person to make an extra effort to understand difficult material like the task of writing about it. Also, writing has a way of helping you to see things that you may have otherwise missed simply by causing you to think about how to frame your own analysis.
- To help you enjoy poetry more! This may sound unlikely, but one of the real pleasures of poetry is the opportunity to wrestle with the text and co-create meaning with the author. When you put together a well-constructed analysis of the poem, you are not only showing that you understand what is there, you are also contributing to an ongoing conversation about the poem. If your reading is convincing enough, everyone who has read your essay will get a little more out of the poem because of your analysis.
What Should I Know about Writing about Poetry?
Most importantly, you should realize that a paper that you write about a poem or poems is an argument. Make sure that you have something specific that you want to say about the poem that you are discussing. This specific argument that you want to make about the poem will be your thesis. You will support this thesis by drawing examples and evidence from the poem itself. In order to make a credible argument about the poem, you will want to analyze how the poem works—what genre the poem fits into, what its themes are, and what poetic techniques and figures of speech are used.
What Can I Write About?
Theme: One place to start when writing about poetry is to look at any significant themes that emerge in the poetry. Does the poetry deal with themes related to love, death, war, or peace? What other themes show up in the poem? Are there particular historical events that are mentioned in the poem? What are the most important concepts that are addressed in the poem?
Genre: What kind of poem are you looking at? Is it an epic (a long poem on a heroic subject)? Is it a sonnet (a brief poem, usually consisting of fourteen lines)? Is it an ode? A satire? An elegy? A lyric? Does it fit into a specific literary movement such as Modernism, Romanticism, Neoclassicism, or Renaissance poetry? This is another place where you may need to do some research in an introductory poetry text or encyclopedia to find out what distinguishes specific genres and movements.
Versification: Look closely at the poem's rhyme and meter. Is there an identifiable rhyme scheme? Is there a set number of syllables in each line? The most common meter for poetry in English is iambic pentameter, which has five feet of two syllables each (thus the name "pentameter") in each of which the strongly stressed syllable follows the unstressed syllable. You can learn more about rhyme and meter by consulting our handout on sound and meter in poetry or the introduction to a standard textbook for poetry such as the Norton Anthology of Poetry. Also relevant to this category of concerns are techniques such as caesura (a pause in the middle of a line) and enjambment (continuing a grammatical sentence or clause from one line to the next). Is there anything that you can tell about the poem from the choices that the author has made in this area? For more information about important literary terms, see our handout on the subject.
Figures of speech: Are there literary devices being used that affect how you read the poem? Here are some examples of commonly discussed figures of speech:
- metaphor: comparison between two unlike things
- simile: comparison between two unlike things using "like" or "as"
- metonymy: one thing stands for something else that is closely related to it (For example, using the phrase "the crown" to refer to the king would be an example of metonymy.)
- synecdoche: a part stands in for a whole (For example, in the phrase "all hands on deck," "hands" stands in for the people in the ship's crew.)
- personification: a non-human thing is endowed with human characteristics
- litotes: a double negative is used for poetic effect (example: not unlike, not displeased)
- irony: a difference between the surface meaning of the words and the implications that may be drawn from them
Cultural Context: How does the poem you are looking at relate to the historical context in which it was written? For example, what's the cultural significance of Walt Whitman's famous elegy for Lincoln "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" in light of post-Civil War cultural trends in the U.S.A? How does John Donne's devotional poetry relate to the contentious religious climate in seventeenth-century England? These questions may take you out of the literature section of your library altogether and involve finding out about philosophy, history, religion, economics, music, or the visual arts.
What Style Should I Use?
It is useful to follow some standard conventions when writing about poetry. First, when you analyze a poem, it is best to use present tense rather than past tense for your verbs. Second, you will want to make use of numerous quotations from the poem and explain their meaning and their significance to your argument. After all, if you do not quote the poem itself when you are making an argument about it, you damage your credibility. If your teacher asks for outside criticism of the poem as well, you should also cite points made by other critics that are relevant to your argument. A third point to remember is that there are various citation formats for citing both the material you get from the poems themselves and the information you get from other critical sources. The most common citation format for writing about poetry is the Modern Language Association (MLA) format.