Generally, people think that poem is ‘a text that rhymes’ or ‘a channel to convey self-expression.’ But these definitions are not reasonable at all. Poetry is not a limited subject. It is present everywhere, whether it is religion, politics, or any other domain where language plays an important role. If you are not a poet or writer then chances are you might have never given any significant attention to poetry. Maybe all the poetry you have read was in a high school literature book or a brief poem written on the right of a magazine page. And, that is why you don’t know much about this literary field. Hence, this article lets you know all you need to know about poetry.
What is a poem?
“A Poem is a group of words or text that expresses thoughts, emotions, ideas, a scene, or an incident in a distinctive fashion and rhyming arrangement of words.”
Poetry is a limitless field, it exists wherever humans are present. The language as well as poetry are considered to have a relation with ritual in initial agricultural civilizations. It is believed that lyrical spells were chanted to guarantee decent crop production.
Technically, one parameter the poetry counts on is the line. This transforms its shape on the paper. Besides, people take this as a signal and recite poetry in a very different fashion when compared to typical prose.
Poetry cannot be defined in a few sentences or paragraphs. Even a complete book or thesis might not be sufficient. This was an attempt to give the readers a succinct definition of poetry.
Poetry Vs Prose
Poetry is the way of expressing something special in a creative way. Poetry is the fancy version of language; it uses rhythm to trigger emotions and feelings. Also, poetry does not follow the rules of prose. Thoughts are expressed in lines and it is not necessary for these lines to be perfect sentences.
On the contrary, the prose is a lot different. Almost everything we write every day is prose. Generally, the language in prose is easy to understand; it is not as fancy as poetry. It follows some simple rules: ideas are expressed in sentences, sentences are gathered together to form paragraphs and every sentence starts with a capital letter. The purpose of prose is to simply communicate ideas and thoughts in a straightforward manner.
Types of Poems
Below mentioned are the common types of poetry, some with complex rules and others with relatively easy rules. Examples are also mentioned to give you a sense of what the type is like.
Poems of this type have a lot of repetitions. Particular lines are selected and used again and again. A typical Villanelle consists of 6 stanzas and a total of 19 lines. The first 5 stanzas are made up of 3 lines, whereas the last stanza consists of 4 lines.
Undoubtedly, the sonnet is the most popular type; mainly because of Shakespeare. Interestingly, sonnet can further be categorized into two types:
a) Petrarchan sonnet
b) Shakespeare sonnet
Petrarchan sonnet has 2 stanzas. The initial 8 lines express an argument, hypothesis, or question. In the second stanza, the answer to the asked question is mentioned.
A Shakespeare sonnet consists of 3 quatrains; each of 4 lines. A couplet of 2 lines comes at the last. The couplet serves as the conclusion.
Many of us have written poems of this type back in school. Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry. It was devised in the 17th century japan. Haiku is a very short poem and consists of only 3 lines. Line 1 has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line 3 has 5 syllables.
This type of poem has no set rules. It is generally written to mourn the death of a loved one.
The poems of this type are humorous. The form of these poems is very different; 2 long and 2 short lines with a finishing line that creates humor.
Epigram is the ultimate choice if you want to read or write something short. However, those few lines need to be splendid and entertaining. Epigram doesn’t necessarily need to be a poem, but you will often find them as poems. The ending of an epigram is mostly humorous and surprising.
Ballad is written to state stories. Ballad is one of the oldest forms of poetry. In ancient times, famous ballads got passed from one generation to another. A typical ballad consists of groups of four lines.
An epitaph is much similar to an elegy. The only difference is that it is a bit shorter. Mostly, the poems mentioned on gravestones are epitaphs. However, they can also be humorous. Interestingly, there are no set rules for writing an epitaph.
#9 Concrete poetry
Also known as visual or shape poetry. The motive is to give the poetry a specific shape. For example, a romantic poem written in the shape of a heart.
#10 Free verse
The name simply defines what this type is like. The poet doesn’t need to follow any set rules. There are no rhythm patterns, no set limit for line length, and no line limit for stanzas. Undoubtedly, free verse is a perfect starting point for beginners.