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Passions in Poetry

My first (short) poem in trochaic tetrameter(I think)

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moonbeam
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50 posted 02-20-2009 04:59 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok Christine.  

Before you tackle this next horror you need to think carefully about what you are writing and why.

You've demonstrated you can handle iambic pentameter and now you'll have to do it adding rhyme and not just any old easy rhyme scheme either.  You need to think carefully about end rhymes, because, as you know, a villanelle demands many words which rhyme together.  Rather than send you off to just do this thing, if it's ok with you I'd like to discuss it with you step by step.

So before we start we need to consider a few things - or you do.  First of all have a think about the poems of Thomas and Bishop.  What do you notice about the "argument", or should I say - the way in which each poem develops its theme.  Do you see how in both poems the poets start off with some statements of a fairly, shall we say "general" nature.  Thomas discusses the way different types of men react to death and Bishop tries to make a joke almost of the various ways you may lose things.  However as each poem draws to a close the significance of these general observations suddenly becomes clear because both poets zoom right in on the personal - something very close to their hearts.  In Thomas's case the death of his father, pleading with him to follow the example of the men he has described and rage and fight against death.  Bishop's poem is perhaps even more poignant as it suddenly focusses on the loss of a loved one seeking (and failing) to make light of THAT loss in the same way as the others she has described.  

The structure of the villanelle lends itself to this move from hypothesis to conclusion, and I would like you to try to do something similar in yours if possible.  It may be best to begin by thinking about the ending.  What issue or event will be addressed in those final 4 lines?

You then need to start considering the refrain lines.  How you will use them.  Think about the need for them to be VERY strong lines.

Finally tonight you could start thinking about the two rhymes.  For heavens sake choose something easy! I wanna have some hair left after this yanno!

I would prefer you not to start actually writing the poem for a day or two.  With any serious poem you ideally need to have a clear idea of what you want to say, but with a  villanelle you really do need a proper plan of action and preferably a short prose note roughing out the thinking behind the poem before you begin.    

Like I say, I think I will be able to help you write a good poem by taking this stage by stage rather than you just trying to write something straight off.  If you don't want that, that's fine, or if you feel uncomfortable doing it here in public we can move to e-mail for a while if you want.  It's up to you.

Got to go get some sleep.

Later.

M
moonbeam
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51 posted 02-20-2009 05:11 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok Zach - well done hearing the beat!

It helps in your poems for the reasons I said in the reply I gave on your recent poem.

It doesn't just help it's ESSENTIAL !!

Keep that da DUM thing in your head and try and create other lines of your own that sound that same da DUM rhythm.

Tell ya what.  Go look in CA at Christine's blank verse poem.  The long one!  Read it with that same da DUM rhythm.  It should be easy as the whole poem is written da DUM !

When you've done that see if you can write a few lines of your own in da DUM rhythm (or imabic rhythm as it is called).

Any old thing will do, like:

the CAT is ON the MAT - see easy!

you try it when you come back from reading Christine's poem.  Keep the da DUMs going in your head listening all the time for the rising and falling beats of the words.  Here's another:

in KEN ya TI gers GROWL

(in Kenya tigers growl)

or:

some GIRLS are HARD to UN der STAND

and on that very true note I'm going to bed!

M  
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52 posted 02-20-2009 05:20 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Okay, I'll just think for awhile, which is good for me, 'cause I have a mental illness, I have to finish a poem in the day I start it, otherwise, I won't(more like can't)go to sleep. It's bad, I know. I haven't found a cure yet, if there is one. That's why I was up till 4 am today finishing the blank verse

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
moonbeam
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53 posted 02-21-2009 03:29 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok Christine that's fine - no pressure!

You need to try and cure yourself of the poem in a day thing tho or you'll either wear yourself out or seriously affect your chances of writing good poetry.  

My suggestion would be to perhaps break the tasks of writing a poem down, and think of each task as a "poem" or small project.

So day 1 you complete your thoughts on what the poem is about and write a short prose piece describing it.

Day 2 you work on the refrain lines trying to come up with two really good ones.

Day 3 you start writing, but don't feel pressured - maybe treat each stanza as a poem in itself so you do a stanza a day or something.

There's nothing to stop you writing other poems at the same time if you want to finish something in a day.

M
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54 posted 02-21-2009 09:28 AM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Zach- I'm practically as stuck as you are. Except, my accent drives me nuts!!! I can't even get some of the syllables right because I say words wrong as it is...

I think I understand most of the stressing though... And please don't give up cuz if you do than I'm likely to...
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55 posted 02-21-2009 03:10 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Okay I'll try my best, but it really isn't pressure, it more like excitement, writing gives me adrenaline, and I can't help but want to keep going till I finish, but I'll do my best to break down the tasks in 2 to 3 day.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

moonbeam
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56 posted 02-21-2009 04:53 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

You're doing good Christine .  I was sort of joking about the pressure thing - but yanno I am anxious not to try and make you do stuff you don't want to do!

Anyway the blank verse was a new thing for you, and you did just great.  So maybe slowing down a bit on the writing of a poem might help too.  Plus there is nothing to stop you writing lighter and easier poems while you are working on a more serious one.  To be honest at any one time I can be working on up to 20 poems, although I use the word "working" rather loosely.

Glad you get excited about writing though - that's a good sign.

M
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57 posted 02-21-2009 05:17 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Oh, okay, and about what you wrote that I should do on the 1st day, I'll try, but it will be the first time I think about what write before I actually write. I think that might actually be the hardest part for me.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

moonbeam
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58 posted 02-21-2009 05:44 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Christine

I'm not saying that's how you should ALWAYS write a poem.  Some poems, usually short ones, just come to you - often from chance things happening to you; others you start off having no clue why you are writing what you write and the meaning and purpose become clear later; yet others you might start off writing the ending (I often do that).

Also, just because you think about what you are going to write and write a short prose plan beforehand, it doesn't mean you have to stick to it. Maybe when you start to write the poem will veer off in an entirely different direction.

The reason I'm suggesting that you plan this one is firstly that I suspect a good villanelle was never written without some planning, and second it will do you good to write in a different way to the way you usually do. Believe me, there is no such thing as experimenting too much when you are learning how to write.  It's all good practice, and if you don't try it you'll never know.

Now what's this villanelle going to be about?  Remember what I asked you to try to do?  Emulate DT and EB - try and move from the general to the specific.  Perhaps some general stanzas about an aspect of human behaviour, and then finishing by zooming in on how that behaviour has affected you personally.  The behaviour could be things like, love, betrayal, dishonesty, kindness etc etc ... anyway I don't want to distract you with my ideas, you must try and figure something out yourself.

Have a good evening.

M

PS When I said "you personally" I mean of course the speaker in the poem.  The speaker doesn't have to be you, and even if the speaker is the first person (I) you don't have to tell the truth as long as you tell the truth!  What I mean is you can of course make things up provided you are true to your feelings. I think I've confused you enough for one day.  
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59 posted 02-21-2009 07:54 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Hey Moonbeam and Christine, Would y'all mind if I cut in and worked with this as well? I've found a bit of spare time at last and would love to use it to work on my writing. Maybe I could begin with the IP assignment? Please!
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60 posted 02-21-2009 08:06 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Moonbeam, I understand, most of my poems, though in 1st person, are not about me, so no you didn't confuse me.

Michaela, I think it would be good for you to start that assignment as long as you understand where the stresses are and where they are not otherwise it would be pointless


With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
GothicCherry
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61 posted 02-21-2009 08:16 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Ha! I'm getting it. Slowly and possibly wrong, but I need this even if it is futile y'all can at least point out where I'm messing up.
freeand2sexy
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62 posted 02-21-2009 08:22 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

well, okay, I guess, I just don't want you to waste your time on 50 lines, if your not sure about understanding Iambic pentameter, but if you are I say go for it.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

GothicCherry
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63 posted 02-21-2009 08:30 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

I get how to use it pretty much. I've torn yours to bits by now. I'm probably going to cut it a little short, maybe thirty lines and then repeat the assignment with fifty with I fail miserably. It will take me more time than it does you though. I can't put that much time into mine in twenty-four hours as you did.
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64 posted 02-21-2009 08:34 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Don't worry about time, you should take as long as you need, I just happen to have an illness I'm trying to cure. I was up till 3am, and I wouldn't suggest that you do that, it mest up my sleep.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

GothicCherry
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65 posted 02-21-2009 08:51 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Ooooh, yeah I can't do that. I have a psycho mom that would be soooo mad if I did. She doesn't approve of me focusing on anything so I'll probably in trouble for taking this much time out for poetry as it stands.

So when I do finally complete the lines should I post it on this thread or start a new one in this forum?
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66 posted 02-21-2009 08:58 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Start a new one on either this forum or in CA, but keep in mind that in CA you will get more critiques from others. So it depends on whether you want them critiquing the content as well as the meter.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

GothicCherry
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67 posted 02-21-2009 09:00 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

Hmmmm, good question. I'll read it when I'm done and decide then.
moonbeam
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68 posted 02-22-2009 04:11 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Christine and Michaela

Yes, no problem Michaela I'd love to look at your IP effort.  I'd agree with Christine though, if you are still a bit hazy on IP try posting maybe 15 - 20 lines and we'll look at those first, make sure you are doing ok, and then move on from there to 50 or even 100!

Perhaps initially it would be better to start a new thread here.  In CA people will focus on the whole poem, and you may get comments that aren't really relevant to what you were doing, i.e. just practising IP.

Later, when the poem's knocked into shape, you can always post it in CA for wider critique.

All the best, and good luck.

M

  

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69 posted 02-22-2009 04:33 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Hi moonbeam,

I think I have an idea of what I want my villanelle to be about, but still a lil hazy on the specifics, so I'm still working on that.

Anyways, I'm a bit curious as to what your actual name is, since you know all of ours, I'd like to know yours if you don't mind.

And I'd also like to say Thank You!!! I'm not sure why your helping us so much, but I appreciate it, we all do.


With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.
moonbeam
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70 posted 02-22-2009 06:42 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

My actual name is Rob, Christine  

Not sure if I'm helping much lol, but thanks anyway.

I'm trying to help for several reasons. First I'm bored of the Alley - that's the least inportant reason.  Second I have a bit of spare time.  Third I love to try and help people who are receptive to new ideas, specially when they are starting out writing.  Young people are often more receptive than older ones.  Fourth I love discussing poetry.  Fifth there are so so many "poets" who start off writing kinda angsty teen poems (no offence) which is fine, but then they never progress from there their whole lives.  That may be fine for the vast majority of people (check out Open ), but sometimes there is a guy or gal out there who has it in them to be the next Carol Ann Duffy or Seamus Heaney - once, just once in my life I'd like to help someone on their way to achieving that.  That would give me a lot of pleasure.  So you see it's purely selfish really!

Does that make sense?
freeand2sexy
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71 posted 02-22-2009 07:04 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

yeah, it makes sense, I think, I'll have to check again in 4 hours, since I'm not completely here at the moment, it's 4am in Cali. I made a huge mistake at starting to redo and fix my last poem "my home, my grave" yesterday evening, I probably should have started today instead of yesterday, I think what I just said made sense, but I'm not sure.

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

freeand2sexy
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72 posted 02-22-2009 07:16 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Oh I forgot I have a question, is imperfect rhyme okay or am I better off avoiding it?

See in my poem I rhyme 'soul' with 'home', and I think that is called assonance or is that cosonance? no I think its assonance, well whatever I'm just wondering if it's okay

With God I am happy; sadness has no say in my life.

moonbeam
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73 posted 02-22-2009 08:45 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Oh I forgot I have a question, is imperfect rhyme okay or am I better off avoiding it?

See in my poem I rhyme 'soul' with 'home', and I think that is called assonance or is that cosonance? no I think its assonance, well whatever I'm just wondering if it's okay

Like all things in poetry everything is ok!  (If you know what you're doing that is).  Free verse of course makes use of internal (i.e. not line endings) rhyme and slant (imperfect)  rhyme all the time.

In more formal writing such as sonnets it's fine to use slant rhyme but usually you should have a plan!  (You'll be tired of hearing me say that soon, lol).  In other words if you start off using slant rhyme in a formal poem you might use it for the whole poem, or perhaps you'll do every other rhyme as a slant rhyme, but aim for something regular - something that looks like some thought has gone into it instead of just used because you couldn't think of anything else!

Yes "soul" and "home" are assonantly related - though not perfectly because the "o" sound is a little different.  But it's close enough to be slant I think.  Assonance is when vowel sounds match, and consonance when consonants match.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assonance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_consonance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliteration

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74 posted 02-22-2009 02:20 PM       View Profile for GothicCherry   Email GothicCherry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GothicCherry

I have one quetion about the rhyming in blank verse. Is it okay if I use internal rhyme? I know no end rhyme is to be used, but I use internal rhyme a lot without realizing it.
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