poetry

Below is some advice on poetry that you may find useful

When devising new pieces of poetry, consider using syllables to form the structure. A syllable is a ‘sound block’ or unit of ‘speech sound’ in a word, a stress if you like, normally incorporating a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), though sometimes also a ‘y’, as in the word ‘syllable’ itself, which has three syllables in it: sy-lla-ble.

Below is a poem printed twice, first as it appears on the page, and second as it is constructed syllabically,(note also how some words represent just one syllable, and how other words are made up of more than one):

Dance of the Dragonflies

Around the still lake the dragonflies danced
In a flurry of cobalt and green –
They buzzed their glass wings and blindly chanced
Skimming the water-sheen.
One hit the water then hurtled and skidded,
Seemingly out of control –
A pilot was drowned where the lily-pads lidded
The mantle which merged with the shoal.
The pilot’s son cried as he tried to forget
But leapt up with a new sense of hope
As he spotted a dragonfly, wings stuck with wet,
Drag itself up the bank’s sandy slope.

Dance of the Dragonflies

|A| |round| |the| |still| |lake| |the| |dra| |gon| |flies| |danced|10
|In| |a| |flur| |ry| |of| |co| |balt| |and| |green| – 9
|They| |buzzed| |their| |glass| |wings| |and| |blind| |ly| |chanced| 9
|Skim| |ming| |the| |wa| |ter| |sheen|. 6
|One| |hit| |the| |wa| |ter| |then| |hur| |tled| |and| |ski| |dded|, 11
|See| |ming| |ly| |out| |of| |con| |trol| – 7
|A| |pi| |lot| |was| |drowned| |where| |the| |li| |ly| |pads| |li| |dded| 12
|The| |man| |tle| |which| |merged| |with| |the| |shoal|. 8
|The| |pi| |lot’s| |son| |cried| |as| |he| |tried| |to| |for| |get|11
|But| |leapt| |up| |with| |a| |new| |sense| |of| |hope| 9
|As| |he| |spo| |tted| |a| |dra| |gon| |fly|, |wings| |stuck| |with| |wet|, 12
|Drag| |it| |self| |up| |the| |bank’s| |san| |dy| |slope|. 9

In poetry, as shown above, the syllables of a line form what is called a ‘meter’, which is the rhythm of a line according to how many syllables or ‘metrical feet’ it contains; the amount of syllables/metrical feet per line is written on the right.

Photo by dreamsjung

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