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Thread: Narrative Poetry

  1. #11
    FoWF Terra's Avatar
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    Sep 2020
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    I'm dipping my big toe into the poetry forums because my home group mentors have said I write in a 'melodic and flowing' style. I have gleaned a handful of narrative poems from short stories I've written, and expanded several short stories from poems I've written -- it's just playing around mind you, but I enjoy trying new things to figure out where I fit in the writing world. I learn best from hands-on experience, and I think the poetry forums will help me develop a style I seem to naturally write in.
    I write emotional algebra - Anais Nin

  2. #12
    Always, Terra, welcome to the poetry section
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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Darren White View Post
    That's not ironical at all. For some reason sonnets and flowery language are mentioned in one sentence very often (and I don't mean you ). But that doesn't have to be the case. Indeed, Blank Verse already helps you a lot, because it removes the chains of end rhyme. It does however not remove the iambic pentameter requirement (or any other formal form).
    For my own book I only have here and there a poem that might be classified as an end-rhyme poem. I prefer Free Verse, even though I have a 'classical' poetry education.

    Wiki has a surprisingly thorough and historically accurate article on the introduction, evolution, and internal nature of the Sonnet from its Sicilian origin in the 13th Century to contemporary usage. Can a sonnet be a successful narrative poem, that is, present a successful story within the constraints of its pre-conceived form?? Of course it can. The word i Italian means "little song." Stories can be told in extremely short span (American Destroyer Captain in WWII , at a time when Allied radio transmissions were to be kept to a minimum: "sighted submarine sank same.") The issue does, however, devolve to a simple question, posed by Darren-- why bother? Where's the beef? What is the net gain to YOU of taking a stylized traditional form, perhaps playing with the expected beat, eschewing end rhyme, and adding another couple of lines? Through it all, telling a story.

    It is very demanding to tell a story satisfying to a reader in 14, 15, or 16 lines. Perhaps that's why sonnet ​sequences were so popular in the heyday of the form in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

    Introducing the sonnet sequence dodges rather than 'answers' the OP, but if the Elizabethans felt the need for MANY sonnets to tell a story . . . does that suggest limitations on the single sonnet as a 'tool' for narrative poetry? Of course, the sonnet sequences of the Elizabethan period were written within or in the dying decades of the tradition of courtly love, noted for its hyperbolic excesses. Hyperbole is hardly a platform for succinctness.

    Our expert on the sonnet is James, who might book onto this thread.


    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

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