Poetry / Uncategorized

Making a mountain out of a mole hill.

imagesYou’ve heard the saying before, right? How one may take some small problem and creating an even bigger one? It’s much the same process when writing poetry, I find.

Let us begin with the mole hill. Say you’d like to write something on the subject of – let’s go with – love. That subject has always been a classic, and a lot of people say that it’s very cliché in poetry. I have to say that I do agree that the subject is a little cliché, but that all depends on your take of the subject.

So, let us move on to creating the mountain. How would you like this subject of love to be developed? Will the protagonist of the poem fall in love with a charming, but brooding young man? Will she mope about lost love? Or will this character go on to describe how love is worthless – or necessary – to life?

Now don’t go mistaking this for prose, or for a short story. Though poetry is very similar to story telling, it takes a much more abstract form and there isn’t much room for explanation. The difference is how you can allow your reader to interprete whatever you wish to be saying in your poem.

Do you remember all those jokes like this :

What was written : the curtains were blue. 

What the English teacher thinks it means : the blue curtains represent a deep sadness, or a desire for isolation, etc. 

What the author meant : the curtains were blue. 

If you remember that then you can certainly understand the meaning of poetry. Poetry is where the reader is supposed to interprete what the author is trying to say.

I went a little off track there, so let’s get back to this mountain. Once you’ve decided how to develope your subject, you must now think of what you’d like to use to represent these themes and messages. You want to use symbolism, assonance, metaphores, similes, hyperboles, etc. [More on those later.] These are all means to help get your point across.

You’d even want to use a specific form, maybe a free verse? blank verse? sonnet? or an ode? These are all different forms that can be used to give a different aspect of the poem. [More on forms at a later date].

So, now you’ve got the gist of how to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I’ll be sure to explain more on how to create this mountain at a later date. Maybe friday, if you’re still waiting for another post.

Write on,



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