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Snuggling Up to the Language of Poetry

At times, language seems spiritual, as insubstantial as breath on a winter's day. Everything seems slathered and permeated with language — it's how we think and how we see. Yet language is also a physical [more…]

A Crash Course in Poetic History

Poems represent some of the greatest works of literature assembled. Peruse these noteworthy poems to see some of the early creations and how poetry evolved: [more…]

Quick Poetry Quiz

Test your knowledge of poetry by taking this quick quiz. You can learn some cool facts about poets and their works — and impress your friends the next time you get together. [more…]

How to Read a Poem Aloud

Poems are designed to be read aloud — you'll get a better experience and understanding of the whole poem. Try these tips for reading poetry out loud: [more…]

Poetry For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Poetry is the practice of creating works of art by using language. The study of poetry should include important works that display a bit of the history and evolution of poetry. Poems are written to be [more…]

Why You Should Read Poems Aloud

When you read poetry aloud, read it as though you were delivering the poem to an attentive audience. Why? Here are the three most important reasons you should read poetry aloud: [more…]

Understanding the Subject of a Poem

The subject of a poem is the idea or thing that the poem concerns or represents. Looking for the poem's subject is natural. Almost all poetry has messages to deliver — lots of them, profound and diverse [more…]

Understanding the Tone of a Poem

The tone of a poem is the attitude you feel in it — the writer's attitude toward the subject or audience. The tone in a poem of praise is approval. In a satire, you feel irony. In an antiwar poem, you [more…]

How to Figure Out the Narrative of a Poem

Many poets are also storytellers, and as storytellers, they, too, use all the elements of narration. When reading narrative poems consider the narrative elements: [more…]

What to Expect at a Poetry Slam

Poetry slams are a form of poetry reading that are not for the faint of heart. Poetry slams are, most commonly, competitive readings at which audience reaction, or the reaction of a panel of judges, decides [more…]

How to Write Open-Form Poetry

Open-form poetry rejects the organization and structure found in traditional poetry such as sonnets and haiku. Open poetry — including chance poetry, Surrealism, and free verse — use experimental techniques [more…]

The Importance of Pauses in Poems

One of the most powerful tools in any reader's arsenal is the pause. Where do pauses occur in a poem? Wherever you see a powerful moment. Such moments include [more…]

Looking at Rhythm and Meter in Poetry

Rhythm is the pattern of stresses in a line of verse. When you speak, you stress some syllables and leave others unstressed. When you string a lot of words together, you start seeing patterns. Rhythm is [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Writing a Sonnet

Learn to write a sonnet in iambic pentameter, just like Shakespeare did. Discover the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the quatrains and couplets that make up a Shakespearean sonnet. [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Ballads — a Traditional Form of Poetry

The ballad is a traditional form of poetry that conveys romantic or even lurid stories. Ballads are narrative poems with roots in the thirteenth century. They are still are being written today, especially [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Traditional Forms of Poetry: Tankas and Haiku

The Japanese tanka is a verse form from classical Japanese poetry. Even older than its better-known poetic cousin the haiku, the tanka is a quiet, meditative form that focuses on the natural world and [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Writing Poetry

Millions of people have tried their hands at writing poetry. Often, people turn to writing verse at times of great emotion, insight, or need. A single article cannot tell you everything you need to know [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

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