Elements of Poetry

I sometimes think that a poet is really a frustrated engineer. Or is it, an engineer is a frustrated poet?

Researching what kind of metadata one could capture about a poem, I’ve found that there are a goodly number of rules and restrictions when it comes to poetry. More than I’m aware of from my limited education in the form.

Thankfully there are sites such as this one, virtualLit an online, free, and interactive poetry tutorial that covers the elements in poetry, using three poems as examples of each: “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop; “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell; and “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke.

What I’m discovering in my researches is that one uses one set of elements to find a poem, but a different set to understand it, both mechanically and sensuously. For instance, wanting to find poems that use the concept of birds as freedom would use the element of metaphor; but once found, then other elements, such as the poem’s poetic form could not only help the reader appreciate the art of the poem, but better understand the craft of poetry.

It is through better knowledge of the craft that we discover new ideas, such as a poetic form that’s based purely on visuals, called concrete poetry, where I found a link to this site that features extraordinary visual haiku.

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