"doubt belief"

2010/06/07

Rhyme reasons

Rhyme, patterns of sound correspondences, with which you compose poems much the same way music composers craft songs.

True rhyme, good wood could.

consonance, good god giddy,
wed bid sad, witty letters bait.

assonance,  late shade bakes, vocal loads boat.

Alliteration, “The Force that through the green fuse drives the flower,”
Summer sunset inside.

Write five hundred lines quickly, without the application of too much conscious thought, in which you mix the above types of rhyme.
Rhyme is only on accented syllables, but don't worry too much about this now. Soon.

Then do the same tomorrow.

The next day.

Do this for two weeks.

Do not try to make sense, just make sound paragraphs.

2010/02/22

Some music please

Forget what you were taught about poem making in grade school, middle school, high school, undergrad, and grad school, unless you had a teacher who actually knew that it is a craft.

What you will read here is not original, not my ideas, they are the practice of previous masters and practitioners of the craft. Two sources in particular I will rob from and I recommend that you acquire copies of each.

Historical Manual of English Prosody
George Saintsbury

The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, Third edition, University Press of New England, 2000. Lewis Turco

Saintsbury is the Samuelson, the Darwin, the Einstein of prosody. His work is descriptive not prescriptive; he documents the practice of poem makers through the centuries. It is not necessary for poets to read, but it can’t hurt. It is necessary for scholars, prosodists, and those in the craft who teach to read it. The Book of Forms is the best handbook for a poet. Most of the others are filled with misinformation.

The context here is always the Anglo American tradition unless I specify a different tradition.

You have heard teachers say poetry and prose. They put a genre with a mode because of their profound ignorance.

There are two modes in which you can write, prose and verse. Prose is unmetered and verse is metered. If you want to offer spurious arguments with this I suggest that you don’t read this blog. If you want to learn something about your craft continue.

The genres are novel, play, essay, and poem. Poem is different in that music is the important focus not the tell a good story of novel, dramatize a good story as in play, or explaining or describing as in essay. Although a poem may do some or all of these, its focus is playing music.




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