Elements of poetry essay

Leibnitz lighted in his speculations upon a conception of organic nature which may be false as a fact, but which is excellent as an ideal; he tells us that the difference between living and dead matter, between animals and machines, is that the former are composed of parts that are themselves organic, every portion of the body being itself a machine, and every portion of that machine still a machine, and so ad infinitum; whereas, in artificial bodies the organization is not in this manner infinitely deep.

elements of poetry handout

The poet's art is to a great extent the art of intensifying emotions by assembling the scattered object that naturally arouse them.

This discovery need not be an ethical gain—Macbeth and Othello attain it as much as Brutus and Hamlet—it may serve to accentuate despair, or cruelty, or indifference, or merely to fill the imagination for a moment without much affecting the permanent tone of the mind.

Features of poetry

Yet, even as it is , a scientific and mathematical vision has a higher beauty than the irrational poetry of sensation and impulse, which merely tickles the brain, like liquor, and plays upon our random, imaginative lusts. Main article: Rhyme scheme In many languages, including modern European languages and Arabic, poets use rhyme in set patterns as a structural element for specific poetic forms, such as ballads , sonnets and rhyming couplets. One man's speech, or one nation's, is compact, crowded with consonants, rugged, broken with emphatic beats; another man's, or nation's, is open, tripping, rapid, and even. By this union of disparate things having a common overtone of feeling, the feeling is itself evoked in all its strength; nay, it is often created for the first time, much as by a new mixture of old pigments Perugino could produce the unprecedented limpidity of his colour, or Titian the unprecedented glow of his. So Byron , mingling in his boyish fashion burlesque with exquisite sentiment, contrasts English with Italian speech:— I love the language, that soft bastard Latin Which melts like kisses from a female mouth And sounds as if it should be writ on satin With syllables which breathe of the sweet South, And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in That not a single accent seems uncouth, Like our harsh Northern whistling, grunting guttural Which we're obliged to hiss and split and sputter all. In modern and contemporary poetry, any topic is acceptable. We should hesitate to say that such writing was truly poetical; so that some euphuism would seem to be necessary as well as metre, to the formal essence of poetry. In the lines, in their delights some poets sing their melodies tendering my nights [ Poetry is not at its best when it depicts a further possible experience, but when it initiates us, by feigning something which as an experience is impossible, into the meaning of the experience which we have actually had. Several circumstances, however, might suggest to us the possibility that the greatest function of poetry may be still to find. Such poets are aware of their highest mission; others, whatever the energy of their genius, have not conceived their ultimate function as poets. In its most extreme form, this can lead to concrete poetry or asemic writing. Thus the picture of an unmeaning passion, of a crime without an issue, does not appear to our romantic apprehension as the sorry farce it is, but rather as a true tragedy.

Let us now dwell a little on this higher function of poetry and try to distinguish some of its phases. These are important firgures of speech, and elements of a good poem.

The substance of poetry is, after all, emotion; and if the intellectual emotion of comprehension and the mimetic one of impersonation are massive, they are not so intense as the appetites and other transitive emotions of life; the passions are the chief basis of all interests, even the most ideal, and the passions are seldom brought into play except by the contact of man with man.

Structure of a poem

If he is short-sighted, they are blind, and his poetic world may seem to them sublime in its significance, because it may suggest some partial lifting of their daily burdens and some partial idealization of their incoherent thoughts. The emphasis will be on the physical elements, or structure of the poetry, less on the meaning. Acrostic poems conveyed meanings in the initial letters of lines or in letters at other specific places in a poem. Yet, even as it is , a scientific and mathematical vision has a higher beauty than the irrational poetry of sensation and impulse, which merely tickles the brain, like liquor, and plays upon our random, imaginative lusts. If, through persistent identification of the rose with the beloved woman, we may come to associate the rose with her and her particular virtues. The differentiation of the passions, as far as consciousness is concerned, depends on the variety of the objects of experience—that is, on the differentiation of the senses and of the environment which stimulates them. Instead of studying in experience its calculable elements, he studies its moral values, its beauty, the openings its offers to the soul: and the cosmos he constructs is accordingly an ideal theatre for the spirit in which its noblest potential drama is enacted and its destiny resolved. The vocabulary and the texture of the style are precious; affected, perhaps, but at any rate refined. Although a poem be not made by counting of syllables upon the fingers, yet "numbers" is the most poetical synonym we have for verse, and "measure" the most significant equivalent for beauty, for goodness, and perhaps even for truth. The "symbolic" significance always depends on interpretation and therefore must be read in context. How slight that bridge commonly is, how much an affair of trestles and wire, we can hardly conceive until we have trained ourselves to an extreme sharpness of introspection. Decide what or who is valorized and devalorized. For more help, try this review of metered poetry.

Symbolism Symbolism is the use of a specific object or an image to represent an abstract idea. It was a capital error in Fichte and Schopenhauer to assign essential fertility to the will in the creation of ideas.

literary elements in poetry

Gray Onomatopoeia: words that sound like that which they describe - Boom! The pathetic fallacy is a return to that early habit of thought by which our ancestors peopled the world with benevolent and malevolent spirits; what they felt in the presence of objects they took to be a part of the objects themselves.

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Elements: Poetry