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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What kind of writer are you? The Poet

The Poet -First off, not all male poets are gay, they are sensitive.  A poet is a person that has music running through their soul, and when they write, it comes out in rhythms and rhymes.  All you have to do is add music to their writings and you have a song.

There are so many kinds of poetry it will be difficult to describe them all here, but here we go anyway.  Let's start with the basics - The Sonnet.  Sonnets are lyric poems that contain 14 lines only.  William Shakespeare loved to write sonnets, and wrote many memorable ones.  They generally contain only one or two rhyme schemes.

The Epic Poem - For those poets that cannot get their message across in 14 short lines, there is the epic poem.  These poems usually have a hero or central character, and/or include an adventure.  Henry Wordsworth Longfellow was famous for Epic Poems like 'The Song of Hiawatha' or the 'Iliad' by Homer.  These poets would be considered the novelists of poetry.

The third type of poem is called the "Haiku" - These are much shorter than even the Sonnet, at three lines, and believe it or not they don't even have to rhyme.  Why they are even called poetry is beyond my comprehension, but alas, they are.  They originated in Japan, and that might explain it.  Perhaps they rhyme in japanese.

Moving onto the "Free Verse" poet - To me, these types of poems, which have basically no parameters, are a perfect example of a poet on drugs. They can be any length, be about any topic, include or exclude rhymes and leave the reader with no message whatsoever.  Perhaps if the reader is drunk or on drugs, they may make more sense.

The Cinquain - A five line poem inspired by the Haiku, if that is at all possible.  To top it off, there are numerous variations of the Cinquain.  Here is an example: TreeStrong, TallSwaying, swinging, sighing, Memories of summerOak.  Now if this is what you would call poetry and you get the message, you are a better person than I am.  But I must admit I love the use of capital letters in incorrect places.

The Ballad - Ballads, like Epic Poems, tell a story.  However, they are based on a legend or folk lore, and are often incorporated into songs to make them more effectively received and understood.  Another type of poem similar to a song.

The last popular form of poetry is the Name Poem - These poems should really be written for small children in my opinion, and they follow a particular format, just like the Haiku, Cinquain and Sonnet.  They begin a person's name, and each line thereafter begins with the next letter in that person's name.  For example if the poem is about James, the first line would begin with the word James, the next line would begin with the letter 'a', then 'm' and 'e' and finally 's'.  This would therefore be a 5 line poem.  Whoever dreamed up this type of poem was probably a highly organized neat freak.

There are many other types of poems and poets, but these are the major ones.  I am particularly fond of the ballad poet because I have been in numerous bands and have attempted to write lyrics to songs.  However, when I have found myself in a particularly depressed state, Free Verse has taken over a couple of times and I've written a couple of these gems.  When I go back and re-read them, I have absolutely no idea of where my head was at, but I do know that I was not drunk or on drugs.  I guess this is just one of those strange life's mysteries.

Next week -The Children's Author