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Understanding the poetic elements

At some point in our lives, we all have to deal with reading, understanding, analyzing, and even writing poems. Either it is our passion or our Language and / or Literature teacher forced us to do it because our curriculum requires it. For some, reading, understanding and writing poetry presents great challenges while for others it gives them pleasure, as if they were chewing popcorn while watching a very entertaining movie. These people have become very familiar with the elements of poetry and this has made them adept at reading, understanding, and even writing poetry. Familiarizing yourself with and understanding these elements will help you greatly to develop a better vision and understanding of poetry. These are some of the items to keep in mind:

Theme. That’s what the poem is about. The subject of the poem can vary greatly from subject to subject, as the poet wishes it to be. By Robert Browning Perspective and William Cullen Bryant’s Thanatopsis talk of death, while Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The arrow and the song talk about friendship. Within the theme of the poem, universal truths It can be found. Universal truths, as the name suggests, are timeless principles conveyed by the poem that is connected to the theme. Perspective and Thanatopsis It tells us that death is nothing to fear, that it must be received with open arms because nature unites us and levels all of creation, because we all die. These are the universal truths on the subject of death. The subject of a poem can only be a word or phrase, but the universal truth it conveys could be longer than a paragraph.

Spokesman. The speaker is the character of the poem who expresses the emotions and / or feelings in the point of view of the first person who may not necessarily be the author herself, as she may not share the same feelings. The authors use speakers in their poems to create a more realistic expression of the emotions and ideas in the poem.

Tone and mood. The tone is the “voice” of the poem in which we imagine the poem is read. It can be outraged, happy, sad, etc. Mood is the general feeling that the poem conveys that can be created by the tone and / or the choice of words that can clearly express indignation, disgust, love, etc.

Rhyme scheme. Rhyme is very common in poetry, although not all poets impose rhyme schemes on their poems. The rhyme adds effect to the structure of the poem, often also helping to convey the theme, and emphasizing the mood of the poem by the playful sound it creates.

Subway. It is the basic structure of a poem: the units and subunits of a verse, syllable and stanza. Most poems come in pentameters (a line of five metric feet).

Style. Poetry comes in different packages: we have free verse, blank verse, sonnets, etc. These styles include rhyme, meter, and the arrangement of everything. Does it come in verse, quatrain, sestet? Is it a haiku, a sonnet, a saying? Sometimes the poet imposes the style of poetry to add visual effects in the transmission of the subject. Most of the time, the style is not a random choice, but a discreet and wise utility of the poetic element.

Symbolism. This element of poetry seems to be the most difficult to understand because the interpretation can vary from one reader to another. These symbols are figures or things mentioned or implied in the poem that mean or mean something else. A sword could be used as a symbol of power, violence, justice, and many more, depending on how the author used it. A wind can symbolize trouble or support. Interpretation of symbolism requires additional and in-depth reading and reflection. You may also need to check cross references within the poem and other works to attest to the meaning of the symbol as suggested by the poet.

These are some of the elements of poetry that one should become familiar with when reading, understanding, or writing a poem. This article may not provide an in-depth look or tutorial, but it can give a hint on how to approach poetry, whether you want to read, understand, or write one.

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