Basic Poetry Terms
Denotation - the dictionary meaning of a word.
Connotation - the implied or suggested meaning connected with the word.
Literal meaning - limited to the simplest ordinary, most obvious meaning.
Figurative meaning - associative or connotative meaning
Meter - measured pattern of rhythmic accents in a line of verse.
Rhyme - correspondence of terminal sounds of words or lines of verse.
Cento Poem – from each source poem. The sources maybe poems of a single poet or many poets, or even many different languages.The word means patchwork in Latin and refers to a poem placed together from lines taken from other poems, in other words, a collage poem. From the beginning, poets have quoted other poets, stolen phrases and lines and reworked them into their own poems.
Some poets make small changes in the lines they appropriate for a cento, while others adopt the lines without amendment. Usually a cento will use no more than one line
Ghazal Poem – a ghazal is a short lyric poem composed of a series of about 5 to 15 couplets, each of which stands independently on its own as a poetic thought, but linked through a rhyme scheme established in both lines of the first couplet and continued in the second line of each following pair of lines. The meter is not strictly determined, but the lines of the couplets must be of equal length. Themes usually are connected to romantic love and longing, and the closing signature couplet often includes the poet’s name or an allusion to it.
Haiku – a haiku is an unrhymed, syllabic form adopted from the Japanese. The poem is made up of three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Because it is so brief, a haiku is necessarily imagistic, concrete and pithy, capturing a single moment in a very few words.
Since the form has been brought into English from a language written in characters, in which haiku appears on a single line, many poets writing haiku in English are flexible about the syllable and line counts, focusing more on the brevity, condensed form and Zen attitude of haiku.
Limerick – The limerick, which gets its name from a town in Ireland, is a five-line joke of a poem.
The standard form of a limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second and fifth having eight or nine syllables and rhyming with one another, and the third and fourth having five or six and rhyming separately. Lines are usually written in the anapaestic meter, but can also be amphibrachic.
The first line traditionally introduces a person and a place, with the place appearing at the end of the first line and establishing the rhyme scheme for the second and fifth lines. In early limericks, the last line was often essentially a repeat of the first line, although this is no longer customary.
Shadorma – The Shadorma originated in Spain and is made up of a stanza of six lines with no set rhyme scheme. It is a syllabic poem with meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5. It can have many stanzas, as long as each follows the meter.
Triolet – The triolet is a very brief, tightly rhymed poem that takes part of its structure from the repetition of entire lines. The triolet is composed in eight lines.
1st – line A
2nd – line B
3rd – line a (rhymes with A)
4th – line A (entire first line repeated)
5th – line a (rhymes with A)
6th – line b (rhymes with B)
7th – line A (entire 1st line repeated)
8th – line B (entire 2nd line repeated)
Ways to Cultivate Receptivity for Poetry
*Photocopy your favorite poem (your own or someone else's) and mail it to all your favorite people.
*Do a guerilla poetry blitz. Create a zine of your poems and make a hundred copies. Be sure to include your e-mail address so people can share their delight with you when they find it. Leave them in cafes, libraries, bookstores, and other public places where they are likely to be found, read and enjoyed.
*Sign up to receive a daily poem by e-mail from the Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. It's free, easy and it is delightful to have poems chosen for you and delivered like a little gift every day.
*Host a poetry circle in your home. Combine it with a meal, if you like. Invite friends to spend the evening sharing there favorite poems. Vary this by reading and discussing your own poetry in addition to the work of others.
*Create a free poetry stand in your front yard. Get a real estate sign or something similar and install it in your front yard. Instead of house for sale fliers, fill the compartment every week with copies of a different poem. Decorate the sign in a way that makes it clear that you're offering a gift of poetry to passersby.
*Participate in online poetry community
Wild Poetry Forum - www.wildpoetryforum.com
Writing the Life Poetic - www.writingthelifepoetic.com
*Declare your own National Poetry Writing Month
Write a poem a day. It doesn't have to be a good poem or a finished poem. Just a poem.
Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry by Sage Cohen
Most people think to be a poet you must be sad or in an extremely bad place in your life. Not so. Sage's workshop was nothing short of amazing. The love for poetry that radiates from every spoken word is inspiring.
Being in an accepting mind is when poetry starts to happen. Poetry happens when you're paying attention. When you are open and excepting the poetry will flow. Sage explained that we see things as we are - not as they actually are.
Poetry invites us to Be. Ways to help you Be open and are excepting are:
1. Welcome accidents and mistakes.
2. Tune in when you would rather tune out.
3. Change your rhythms, do something out of your normal routine. Do something edgy.
4. Free Write.
5. Change up your writing location, different stimulus will give you different creativity.
6. Music impute - listen to different types of music than you're used to and see what happens.
Poetry lives on the edge of comfort and uncomfort. Every day ordinary has its own unexplored wildness. So go and explore it.
Poets are everyday people and poetry is available to everyone. All you need is to tune in and begin. If you have an opportunity to attend any of Sage's workshops I encourage you to do so.
Visit Sage's website to learn more about Poetry, click here.