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Elaine Arden


Why I Write Poetry

Writing poetry is a creative and expressive way of communicating one's thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Poetry can take many forms, such as sonnets, haikus, limericks, free verse, and more. Some poets write poetry for adults, which may deal with mature themes, complex emotions, or social issues. For example, Maya Angelou wrote poems about racism, sexism, and identity, while Edgar Allan Poe wrote poems about death, horror, and madness. 

Poetry has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. Some of the earliest forms of poetry were oral stories that used rhyme, rhythm, and repetition to convey meaning and memory. Poetry also emerged as a way of expressing religious beliefs, cultural values, and political opinions. Some of the oldest written poems are the Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia, the Vedas from India, and the Iliad and the Odyssey from Greece.

Poetry is not only a form of literature, but also a form of art. Poets use various elements of writing poetry, such as imagery, metaphor, simile, personification, alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhyme scheme, meter, and tone to create a unique and memorable impression on the reader. Poetry can also be combined with other forms of art, such as music, painting, sculpture, and dance. For example, poetic stories are narratives that use poetic devices to tell a story in verse. Comedy in poetry is a genre that uses humor, irony, satire, or parody to make fun of something or someone. Flowery poems are poems that use elaborate and ornate language to describe something in a beautiful or romantic way.

Poetry is still relevant and important in today's society. Poetry can be found in many places in today's market, such as books, magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs, social media platforms, podcasts, radio shows, TV shows, movies, songs, advertisements, speeches, and more. Poetry can also be performed live at events such as poetry slams, open mic nights, festivals, concerts, and workshops. Poetry can have many benefits for both the writer and the reader. Poetry can help people express themselves creatively and authentically. Poetry can also help people cope with stress, trauma, or grief. Poetry can also help people learn new words or concepts. Poetry can also help people appreciate different perspectives or cultures.

Writing poetry can be fun and rewarding for anyone who enjoys playing with words and ideas. However, writing poetry can also be challenging and frustrating at times. Some of the challenges of writing poetry are finding inspiration or motivation; choosing a topic or theme; finding the right words or phrases; following or breaking the rules of grammar or structure; editing or revising one's work; dealing with writer's block or criticism; publishing or sharing one's work; and finding an audience or market for one's work.

Writing poetry is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and feedback. Here are some tips on how to make poetry fun:

- Read different types of poetry from different poets to get inspired and learn new techniques.
- Experiment with different forms of poetry to find what suits your style and purpose.

- Use prompts or exercises to spark your imagination and challenge yourself.

- Write about what you know or care about.

- Use sensory details to make your poems vivid and engaging.

- Use figurative language to make your poems original and expressive.

- Use sound devices to make your poems musical and rhythmic.

- Use humor or emotion to make your poems relatable and impactful.

- Share your poems with others to get feedback and support.

- Enjoy the process of writing poetry without worrying too much about the outcome.

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The Poetic Challenge

Poetry is a form of literature that uses rhythmic and aesthetic language to express ideas, emotions, or experiences. There are many types and examples of poetry, such as:

- Sonnet: A 14-line poem that follows a specific rhyme scheme and structure. An example of a sonnet is "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" by William Shakespeare.

- Haiku: A 17-syllable poem that consists of three lines with a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. An example of a haiku is "The old pond / A frog jumps in / The sound of water" by Matsuo Basho.

- Limerick: A humorous poem that has five lines with a rhyme scheme of AABBA. An example of a limerick is "There was an old man from Nantucket / Who kept all his cash in a bucket / His daughter, named Nan / Ran away with a man / And as for the bucket, Nan took it" by Anonymous.

- Free verse: A poem that does not follow any rules of rhyme, meter, or structure. An example of free verse is "I celebrate myself, and sing myself / And what I assume you shall assume / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you" by Walt Whitman.

- Acrostic: A poem that spells out a word or phrase with the first letter of each line. An example of an acrostic is "Elizabeth it is in vain you say / Love not — thou sayest it in so sweet a way / In vain those words from thee or L.E.L. / Zantippe's talents had enforced so well / Ah! if that language from thy heart arise / Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes" by Edgar Allan Poe.

Some poets and their work are:

- Emily Dickinson: A 19th-century American poet who wrote about death, nature, and faith. Some of her poems are "Because I could not stop for Death", "Hope is the thing with feathers", and "I'm nobody! Who are you?".

- Pablo Neruda: A 20th-century Chilean poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971. He wrote about love, politics, and nature. Some of his poems are "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair", "Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market", and "I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You".

- Maya Angelou: A 20th-century American poet who wrote about racism, feminism, and resilience. She also recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. Some of her poems are "Still I Rise", One of my favorites: "Phenomenal Woman", and "Caged Bird".

- Rumi: A 13th-century Persian poet and mystic who wrote about love, spirituality, and the human condition. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time. Some of his poems are "The Guest House", "The Essential Rumi", and "The Masnavi".

- Langston Hughes: A 20th-century American poet who was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that celebrated African American art and literature. He wrote about the experiences and struggles of black people in America. Some of his poems are "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", "Dreams", and "Harlem".

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