I Wish to Write Better Poetry

Personally I have always considered poetry to be the highest form of writing as it brings many great elements of the art of writing together, it can twist music and words together into a common bond and at the same time paint a picture that goes far beyond words alone. The relationship between bear and bare is something we all understand yet when used appropriately can aid the rhythmic effect of a poem, when used cleverly can introduce humour, happiness, sadness, and many other emotions. Poetry provides a whole world of intrigue and whether portraying fact or fiction sets off much thought, yet can be very effective at telling the story and to my mind it tells an effective story with optimal use of words.

When it comes to poetry I am a lover of old or traditional style works and feel that for a poem to provide the best results it should have rhyming lines, clever word usage,  and break down into verses. I know there are other (more modern) styles. I remember writing poetry at school, but have no copies from that era, yet a long time ago in my early twenties I penned one, which is repeated here, unchanged:
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I see lovers in the park
As I go wandering by.
They’re all arm in arm
And they make me think of mine,
But she’s so far away.

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They are kissing in the dark,
Some things we enjoy
And how I miss your arms,
Hugging me close and tight.
Oh if she were here.

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There’s romance in the air
And I just walk on by,
Wishing for your kisses,
So this fear in me can go away
Then we can kiss again.

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There were other verses for this piece but they have been lost over time, this was discovered with some of my older manuscripts and started me thinking about poetry once again. I consider this form of writing to be among the highest used and it can be tough to live up to the standards of the real masters of the art and how to learn to imitate their style. One of my favourites starts as follows:
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Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

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This is the opening from “The Tyger” by William Blake and I like the way line 2 reflects line 1 and line 4 reflects line 3, provided the word symmetry is deliberately miss-pronounced to make the “try” segment of the word sound like “eye,” one of the ways the writer uses poetic licence to play with sounds. I also believe it appropriate that the word symmetry is used because poems are in many ways symmetrical in nature, giving something and reflecting at the same time. Another poem I recall is by William Wordsworth:

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I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

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For me this poem paints a picture in the mind that is a view of nature, the sky, hills and valleys, the natural life impacted by the wind, close your eyes when listening and you can see the landscapes unfold in front of you, who would think of a cloud as being lonely? Certainly more of the skills I would like to acquire in order to become a more complete writer, this ability to paint through words is very powerful. Walt Whitman, on the other hand, witnessed the full fury of the American Civil War seeing battles and seeing the conditions in the hospitals.

How Solemn As One by One
(Washington City, 1865.)
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HOW solemn as one by one,
As the ranks returning worn and sweaty, as the men file by where stand,
As the faces the masks appear, as I glance at the faces studying the masks,
(As I glance upward out of this page studying you, dear friend, whoever you are,)
How solemn the thought of my whispering soul to each in the ranks, and to you,
I see behind each mask that wonder a kindred soul,
O the bullet could never kill what you really are, dear friend,
Nor the bayonet stab what you really are;
The soul! yourself I see, great as any, good as the best,
Waiting secure and content, which the bullet could never kill,
Nor the bayonet stab, O friend.

.

This poem is much darker than other ones I have highlighted but truth is life is both happy and sad, clean and dirty, light and dark, often at the same time or one juxtaposed against the other. The reality is that poetry covers all aspects of life and needs to reflect reality, the worst of times as well as the best. Whitman also writes in a different style to the other poets that I mentioned, rhyming isn’t his immediate priority, but he certainly uses words very well.

Which brings me to a portion of my second poem, written a few years ago, the whole work is available by following the link, but I include the first few verses:

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Somewhere out there; Where was that Wrong turn?
.
1 – Lost Paradise

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It is sad to admit,
somehow things went off track,
what happened to the path of greatness?
Just now it seems so far away

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Must we really convict?
He needs some time on the rack,
Seeing through all roots for weaknesses
And sadly it seems here to stay

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Once was we now restrict
the alley of darkness comes back,
For all to share, is this the meekness
From which we all hide away?

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How to get right past it?
The obstacle simply stares right back.
Challenged to the core, this madness?
All we need – to run away

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In this case I was trying to explore the darker reaches of the mind or soul, sour and harsh moods, but of course I could not experience the same war scenes as Walt Whitman did and simply had my own experiences or imagination to draw upon. When it comes to poetry I admit that I’m still learning, which brings me to something I’m currently working on which I have called “Tick to Nothing“:

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Tick, then nothing,
Tock, much more nothing.
Time goes slowly by
What happened? The clock has
Stopped or something.

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Tick, more nothing,
Tock.What is happening
to time? My oh my.
It shuddered. Who the heck cares?
Bored and needing.

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“Lick it! Get Moving.”
“Make it get going.”
I’m caught, my oh my
“Day dreaming.” He muttered, aware’s.

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The aim being to describe those moments when time seems to stand still. This has far to go, being very much a work in progress, even the last line of the third verse is yet to appear in my mind.

I would love to hear from both readers and writers what they feel about my poetry and perhaps comment about what drives them in poetic terms.

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thank you for contributing his thoughts on poetry.

 

 

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2 Replies to “I Wish to Write Better Poetry”

  1. […] another article I talked about words and how they sound as being a crucial part of building great poems, it is phenomenal that we have access to so many tools to build anything we write. Global Language […]

  2. […] another article I talked about words and how they sound as being a crucial part of building great poems, it is phenomenal that we have access to so many tools to build anything we write. Global Language […]

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