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Thread: Rules for poetry?

  1. #1

    Question Rules for poetry?

    I'm sorta new here, and I noticed people speaking of meters, metrics, structures and what-not and it has me baffled, what exactly dose this mean? I always thought of poetry as a song of sorts, are there rules to poetry? I know this must seem like an idiotic question to the experts on here however I find myself getting enthralled in poetry and want to know it's rules if such a thing exist.

    Please and thank you.

  2. #2
    It's not an idiotic question at all, Chiefspider. The rules of poetry are slippery and hard to pin down in one spot. There are so many different forms and different rules which apply to each one. Here are a few links to some of them.

    How to Measure the Rhyme and Meter in a Poem | eHow.com

    http://www.writingforums.com/writing...se-poetry.html This one is on this site.

    Types of Poetry: All the Different Types of Poems

    Poetry Terms

  3. #3
    Thank you, these links will help a great deal

  4. #4
    A really good question Chiefspider, I wonder that myself all the time. I'm toddling off to read those links, the technical nitty-gritty of poetry is definitely something I need to work on. Cheers for the links Gumby.
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  5. #5
    WF Veteran Nick's Avatar
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    I like to think there are no rules to poetry. As long as someone can look at it and say "That's poetry" then it is! Trying to write rules for poetry is as constricting as defining poetry. It can be so abstractly wonderful that there are truly no boundaries that you can't explore with poetry.

    However, reading a lot of poetry will help you understand some of the general 'rules' people might associate (the general way a poem should be formed etc.)

    I read a book recently which I found quite interesting - Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled. Check it out some time if you're interested in developing your poetic knowledge.
    Last edited by Nick; May 23rd, 2011 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Thinning out the typos
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  6. #6
    Vary insightful nick thank you and I will check out the book

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    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
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    A very useful site: http://www.volecentral.co.uk/vf/ every poetic form known to man, with examples!
    A man in possession of a wooden spoon must be in want of a pot to stir.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I like to think there are no rules to poetry. As long as someone can look at it and say "That's poetry" then it is! Trying to write rules for poetry is as constricting as defining poetry. It can be so abstractly wonderful that there are truly no boundaries that you can't explore with poetry.

    However, reading a lot of poetry will help you understand some of the general 'rules' people might associate (the general way a poem should be formed etc.)

    I read a book recently which I found quite interesting - Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled. Check it out some time if you're interested in developing your poetic knowledge.
    I agree with you. I like free form.
    No boundaries in Poertry is no boundaries in thoughst and words.

  9. #9
    There are not rules to poetry unless you want to limit yourself to a certain form -- for example, if you want to write a sonnet, it cannot be 4 lines long.

    The words you're thinking of like meter, rhyme scheme, etc -- they are not rules. Calling them rules would be like calling the sideline on a soccer/football field a rule. Or a free throw or a three point shot. They're not rules; they are vocabulary/terminology which makes talking about poetry easier.
    I don't write stories, I lick them out of the ice and let them find their own way.

    My rather strange dreamjournal blog! - http://eastcoastwobble.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Well said JW. Rules apply to form, not thought. I find that writing in a fixed form helps me be more disciplined when I move to free verse.
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

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