Poetry Basics: How to Write a Publishable Poem | Elizabeth Dean | Skillshare

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Poetry Basics: How to Write a Publishable Poem

teacher avatar Elizabeth Dean, Poetry and Writing Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Poetry Basics Promo

    • 2. Poetry Style

    • 3. Poetry Topic

    • 4. Poetry Sounds

    • 5. Poetry Lines Edited

    • 6. Poetry Imagry

    • 7. Rhyme Edited

    • 8. Poetry Stanzas Edited

    • 9. Poetry Form Edited

    • 10. Poetry Conclusion

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About This Class

Learn to harness your emotions in a beautiful (and perhaps profitable way)!  Learn everything you need to craft a grand poem. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Elizabeth Dean

Poetry and Writing Instructor


Hello, I'm Elizabeth. I'm a poetry enthusiast and a teacher. I have taught for 4 years. I love to meet new people and new ideas!

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1. Poetry Basics Promo: 2. Poetry Style: style. Hello and welcome to our first lesson. This is exciting. First, we're gonna talk about picking your style, so choose what style best suits your purpose in your audience. Just like you'd wear a suit to prom or a T shirt to a picnic. You want to switch it to, would you? Well, you might if you were a fashion diva, but let's just say you won't. If you're writing for Children, you're not gonna want to do a dramatic monologue. If you're writing for adults, you're not gonna want to do a nursery rhyme like let likewise we need to choose the right purpose in the right audience in the right style. So here I have listed five styles and we're gonna go over each one an allegory. Ideas are represented by characters, and here we have crime and punishment. That is an allegory. The main character represents Marx's ideas. There's a character represents law, character, the represents love. There's all these different characters have all these different ideas. And another example would be Narnia is a allegory. Pilgrim's progress is a very obvious allegory, and there are tons of others a dramatic monologue. This is where one person's talks the entire time, and you only hear one side of the conversation. So an interesting dramatic monologue might be about a psychopath who talks and you don't know. It was like a positive. The front, maybe perhaps, like Edgar Allan Poe's Tell Tale heart that's a dramatic mild monologue. Confessional poetry, extremely intimate poetry. Now most modern poetry is actually confessional poetry. It's like opening someone's diary and just pouring over it and reading at all. Except for this. In this case, you're actually running your diary for to be read. People are often a lot more intimate than I would be, but that's okay. That's your style. Then go for it. Pepe Graham brief satire. So I have no idea what the point of this is, but it's a satire, and it's a brief, sat tired, just satirical cartoon, but it's still a satire. An epigram is a very brief point that has a sharp wit. Narrative is a long story, so I'm sure you can think of hundreds of narratives. They're very popular. At least they were. They're still pretty popular, too, but that would be a good you can actually have two styles. You have a narrative and an allegory, you could have all sorts of different combinations. It's all up to you. That's the great thing about poetry's. It's very creative and very fun. And finally, an ode in honor of now here I have Queen Elizabeth, but you do not have to write your own and owner of Queen Elizabeth. That's just what I put on the screen. You can run an ode to anyone or you can even write a satirical owed you could say and 02 slavery and write a point that sounds like it's an honor of but is really against. There are plenty of odes like that. All right, I'll see you next time. 3. Poetry Topic: welcome back to how to write poetry, this electoral becoming how to choose a topic. It could be literally anything. There have been great poems written about Nats about dirt. There's a famous one called Death of a Toad, where the guy was millions lawn and he accidentally had a toad, and that became a very famous point. It really can be literally anything. Metaphors make some of the best poetry. This is just another world tip. Don't directly state things if you want to write a love point, but you can say Rosa, red violets are blue Something, something and I love you something like that. But that's been done before. You want to do something new, something fresh. And metaphors make the freshest and best points. It also allows the reader to think for themselves and try to figure out what you're trying to say, and it really adds a dimension to your poetry. Having trouble choosing a concept, just start an idea will come. Just start writing. It doesn't have to be coherent. It doesn't have to be anything. It just has to start flowing, inserting your brain toe signal to your brain that you need to start coming up with ideas, Brain. If it doesn't come, hopefully it will. But if it doesn't flip through a magazine or watch TV, you never know where inspirational come. Just like that poem, Death of a Toad, which I recommend all of you all read watching TV could produce the next death of a toad or reading a magazine. Maybe. So you see an ad for Coca Cola, and that becomes the next great point. You never know. Here's some examples of concepts pigs, animals, courage, kindness, evil, those air. Just random things. Make sure to choose a message to that should never be an afterthought. And I have done that before where I've started appointment started on his love point. And then I realized, you know, this point do better as a satirical love point, and it did not turn out very good. So make sure you choose what you're gonna say first. That should be the first thing, and then you can choose a metaphor, and then you can choose everything else. But first, choose your message. All right. So thank you for joining me, and I'll see you next time 4. Poetry Sounds: hello and welcome to how to write poetry. This lectures on sounds now sounds are very powerful in poetry there, one of our tools in our toolbox, and they can convey all sorts of ideas and all sorts of tones and all sorts of moods. They're very powerful tools, for instance, and William Blakes, the Tiger. He's my very poet. In the Tiger it goes Tiger Tiger burning bright in the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry? So he uses a lot of an if teas and efs, and it conveys kind of a sense of urgency the way the syllables go and it conveys harshness . And he did that intentionally, of course. And he has another point called Lam, which is a contrast to the tiger. It goes little lamb who made thee Dostal know who made the sea. It uses soft the l soft. It kind of sounds like a lamb bleeding. It's very, very sweet and subtle. Okay, so the two types our estimates repetition of owls. For instance, the owl owns an Oscar and repetition of the O syllable and a liberation the repetition of continents. So Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. So you need to be very careful with liberation unless you want a tongue twister, because the sound is powerful and it will overwhelm the reader. For instance, when you're saying Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, you never thinking of Peter Piper's pickles. Instead, you're actually just thinking about Oh, can I say this tongue Twister? Is it gonna roll off my tongue or am I gonna mess up? You don't want your reader doing that, that you want them focusing on your point, not on themselves and how they're reading it or how they're thinking it. Don't overdo it, so make sure the sound matches the mood. So here are four words that mean roughly the same thing. But each of them sounds a little bit differently. Slop sounds silly. Soup sounds neutral. Broth sounds professional biscuits sounds fancy. So if I were writing a Children's nursery rhyme, I might say slop. Sally sipped the slop or something like that if I was writing a fancy point. I don't know where you use this, but if you're writing a fancy point, you might say Bert, bitch, the biscuit. I don't know. I'm trying to think of something but see how each of them conveys a different mood. Mood is very important and you're sounds are very important. Remember, poetry is choosing the best word in the best order. Prose is choosing a good word in a good order. You want to write poetry, you want to write the best. So you need to be very careful of your sounds. I'll see you next time. 5. Poetry Lines Edited: how to write poetry line length. Okay, so this is an often neglected part of poetry. A lot of people just think you had enter every now and then just toe. Give it weight or toe just ah, you know, get it over with so it makes it look like a point. No, do not do this. Be a professional and use line. Length to your advantage. Remember, crafting a point is like making a puzzle. There's all sorts of pieces, and let's say it's a three d puzzle. Certain sides connected certain sides, but they also connect to other sides, and it just creates this big, beautiful picture. Shorter lines are better for emphasis. Long lines are better for more material and better to create a big picture. So if you have, like a your describing verse, I you're not gonna want to use small one. Do you? Might. Here's how it would sound with shorter lines and King Louis, the 14th Space on an Angel and Apollo in the sun because he's the sun God. That sounds very boring, and it's just not useful for that much material. If you're describing exercise and that's just a little bit of a fragment. But how about if I said like this? Gold on the ceiling and walls, gold everywhere. Louise face on everything. Believes he is the son. Now that's not quite a point, but it is much better to understand, much easier and less boring. It really depends on what you're doing. Now, if you're trying to emphasize Louise ego, you might want to put a Kasur Oh, which we'll talk about in a second. Um, Teoh indicate that he thinks he is the Sun God. When should you break, either Naturally, to help the reader understand your point or for emphasis. So if you want your reader to be able to read it out loud very quickly without having to read it a couple of times first, then you might want a break. Um, not use your comments to break naturally. Or if you're trying to emphasize certain words like really emphasize them heavily emphasized them like hit you over the head. Emphasis, emphasis cause yours are natural pauses often indicated by a comma. There are a lot more subtle. Let me show you what I mean. I think the best way to learn about this is through an example. So we're gonna talk about No, I'm going to read this point. I chewed by links and here's I think it's the best example for this because it's wonderfully uses cause yours and line breaks. But I'm going to read it like appointment actually should be read. Most people don't read it like it should be read. They read it where the line break. They read it, they would say when company comes. But I laugh and eat well and grow strong. Those air actually natural light drinks. But here is not nobody'll. Dare say to me, Eat in the kitchen then That's not How do you read a point? Let me show you. I too sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes. But I laugh and eat well and grow strong. Tomorrow will be at the table when company comes, Nobody'll dare say to me Eat in the kitchen then. Besides, they'll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed. I too, am America. Okay, there's a lot to emphasize there, so let's jump to this line. You notice how this tomorrow takes up a whole line. Well, why is it, uh, just cause he hit the enter button or on the typewriter? I think Probably more like a typewriter. But no, he's emphasizing tomorrow the next Not tomorrow, in the literal sense he's saying in the future. And he's emphasizing that. And he also emphasized that again, he says. Then period tomorrow. Comma Kasur. Well, that's actually in line breaks. I don't think there Wait. Yes, there's a casual right here. I too sing America that emphasizes the word too. I also I am, too. I sing America and I am America. So remember to use your line breaks well. 6. Poetry Imagry : hello and welcome to how to write poetry imagery. So what is imagery, visually descriptive or figurative language? And, for example, this is a son. So well, you, of course, know this is a son, but how about it kind of looks like a flower in this picture. So let's say the flower shone brightly in the sky. The flower shone brightly in the sky. Or you could say there is a sun, which sounds better. Hopefully, you would agree with me. The former sounds much better. Images allow the readers understand better. They provide a richer experience. They allow you to fully comprehend what the writers trying to get across and to really feel like you're there, and people are more open to your ideas if you present in this way, poetry is wonderful, because you can present ideas in a way that people are more likely to understand and agree with you because they can feel your side. They can not only use logic, which is great and all, but they can attach emotionally to you, and they can understand from a new perspective. Poetry really allows readers to do this, make sure the imagery matches the tone and I have seen this over and over again where there was an image and it didn't match the tune quite well. Like you'll have a Children's book and you'll have referenced Teoh Horrible crime. I read Children's point that referenced a horrible crime, and I and it was pretty obvious what it Wasit wasn't hiding it from Children. So make sure the imagery matches the tone. Don't if you're running for Children, maybe don't use imagery of a horrific crime. You're writing a poem for adults. Maybe don't use a bathtub ducky as your imagery. That's just a a little example of tone types of imagery. Okay, so there's two main types of imagery. Symbols and metaphors. So a symbol. You care what this symbol means? Metaphor. You care about what the metaphor is, So let me explain. Here we have rosemary, and it's not very common anymore. It used to be very common as a symbol of death. So if you have Rosemary mentioned in a point, you'll probably you should know. That person's probably talking about death. They know what they're doing. However, someone use a metaphor. You pay attention to the qualities of the items so like, um, if someone says a rosemary is death, you're not gonna say, Oh, death, flowers and death smells kind of nice. And you can cook with death. No, But if you say a river is like a mirror, well, that's a simile, but it's the type of metaphor. Then you think, Oh, well, they're both reflective. They're both. Both can be distorted, different things like that. So you need to actually connect much more with metaphors, unlike pre existing symbols. Now, if you're going to use a symbol that you've come up with yourself, make sure to establish what you're doing. No, there's different ways to do that. But just make sure that the person knows that you're using a symbol on, not a metaphor. They're very well known symbols, and there's some lesser known ones, and you probably want a reference such a little bit mawr if you're using a more obscure one or one you're creating, so you might say the rosemary covered the funeral pyre and then link it that way. But yeah, so see you next time 7. Rhyme Edited: All right, So we're gonna talk about how to write a publishable point today. We're talking about Ryan. So there are three main types of Rhine. There are endless variety of other types, but we're just gonna talk about three now. There's a lot of different styles, like there's rich rhyme, Which means, like son and son like, um, the sun in the sky or your child. Your son. Those were rich rhymes because they sound exactly the same when spoken. Now, the 1st 1 we're gonna talk about of the main types is pure rhyme. Here, all the syllables and letters are exactly the same, except from one letter like fall and ball cry and dry. And these air words that you probably here in a Children's book, it doesn't have to be. Of course, you can make a beautiful point with, um these lines by varying the line consistency or doing other things to it, or using very complex words throughout. There's a lot of ways you change it up a little bit, but it makes a very stable sounding point because it's very consistent. There's also slant rhyme where the words are similar, but they can have more than one letter difference. So Fire desire Rome grown those little especially this one. X doesn't quite rhyme, but it's a slant rhyme because of the O sound in the middle. And this, of course, has the same ending. But that would be used to create a different effect. Teoh still add some overarching theme to your point, but have it so that you can have a little bit of instability with the point now, the last time we're going to talk about his internal rhyme, this could be pure slant. Rhymes occur within a single line, so fire, fire, fire. My heart is burning with desires from Broke song. But notice that fire and desire rhyming. It's in the same line, making it a internal run. Now we could say, um, my heart has grown in Rome. That's a terrible run, but you get my point like one from the last page. So that's of slant Rhyme is the Slater I'm too, but chase the ball and fall, just trying to use the examples. But that is how you do that, and I will see you soon 8. Poetry Stanzas Edited: hello and welcome to electron stanzas and poetry basics. So we're going to talk about Well, stances and stances are these little things right here? Um, that would be called in writing paragraphs, and we're gonna talk about the three main types and the importance of each and why we can use each to further our poetry. So let's get started. So there are three types. Well, there are a couple more, but these are the three main times. The first is the quatrain, which is made up of four lines. So that little point beforehand was a quatrain. Here we have a church sat, which is three lines and a couple it, which is two lines. So these are important terms for you know. You don't, of course, have to memorize them, but they're reference very commonly and poetry analysis and other poetic discussions. So the first type is a quartering, so that's four lines, so its balance and important. So if you have a poem of great depth where you're discussing something that's, um, deep and heavy, you might want to use a quatrain. So, for instance, there's a point about a child who died. That's and that's made up of. There's actually some proponents like that, and they're all made up of quad trains or most the more because it's a very balanced, important hate, heavy and waited subject. That's a quatrain. Next, we're gonna talk about a ter set. Now after set is the stanza of movement. It's also incomplete. So if you know from counting, you know that we count in twos. 12345678 like that, we don't do 123456789 10 11 12 Because we have two feet only have two hands and we do everything in twos because of that. When we see threes, we consider that kind of incomplete also, however, a very fluid stanza. So if you have a stanza that you want to sound like movement motion because that three that kinda leaves it incomplete gives us a little push. But you won't have that same waiting this of a quartering. So the last stanza is a couple it. Now this is light, and it's used for emphasis. So if you know from general riding, you know that if you see a short sentence, then it's usually meant to draw your attention to it. It's a emphasis thing. So the couple it often shows the meaning of the point, especially in science, which we'll get to in a second and how it's kind of light. It's It's the shortest of the stances, and it's but it's complete cause it's too. So here we have sawn, it's and some it's always end with a couple it. We're gonna talk about forms next time. But Shakespeare's famous for silence there, actually two types of stone that so many will go back to that later. So here's this one. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see so long lives this and this gives life to thee. So that's the meaning of the point. In a nutshell. That's what's on its do. They spend this whole time talking about something, and then they shorten it into two stances. Two lines, one stanza. Okay, so I will see you for the next lesson. 9. Poetry Form Edited: Hello and welcome to our lecture on form. So today we will be covering well form. And you're probably wondering why we're covering form since most modern poetry is free form . Well, in order to know, to do a modern point, you must know form. You don't have to use form. But you must know it. At least here I have an example of Why so I know it's not a point, obviously, but think about it this way. So here we have a mug, this mug a little bit complicated because I have a little holes and this little night looking thing. So in order to make this cup, what do you What must you know first? Well, you must know how to make a regular cut first. If you didn't know how to make a regular cup, you couldn't make this cup because you might say, Oh, let's put cold all the way through. Well, if you did that, then you couldn't drink out of it, so it would be useless. You must know what you're doing. You don't have to use form again. What a lot of poets do nowadays is they'll take a point right in form and then break it down from there. And just to test the waters, try different forms, things like that. So we're going to be covering the reforms. There are so many to cover I When I was preparing for this course, I was just looking over all the different types. There's way too minute to cover in one lecture, so I'm just gonna give you three very, very basic ones that you absolutely must know. So the 1st 1 you might be wondering what? Oh my gosh, Is this elementary school? Well, no, it's not elementary school. But that reaction shows you that you should probably not use this four of poetry for most serious points because in Western culture, at least, this form of poetry is not respected. So ah, haiku. I wrote it down wrong, so I'm all they're gonna redo it, but it is in 575 syllable form, not 757 It's a beautiful high coups, but it's just not respected in today's society. So let's go over some points that are taken more seriously. So this is a she experience on it, also known as an English on it. So there are four stanzas in this there Teoh three of them or quad trains in the last one's a couple it So it goes a B a B C D c d e f e f g. So that's probably pretty obvious to you, but a B a would be line one. The Dog B eight. Again the frog be bait. I could see how you probably want longer lines in that, but that's just one example and lost to have to rhyme, of course, and these lost to summarize your whole purpose in this. It's really the meat of the point is, in this last couple it so lost format we're gonna talk about is the patrol. It's on it, also known as the Italians on it, and it comes with a eight line stanza and a six line stanza. So the eight line stanza goes A B, B, A, A, B B A, and the six line stands. A must be rhymed, but there's no standard format for how is rhymed. Okay, so that covers all the forms of brother cover. In this course, I might cover more forms if everyone wants me. Teoh, depending on if you do reply in the comments or send me a message that you want more forms and I will definitely cover that. So thank you so much for watching and I'll see you think in conclusion. 10. Poetry Conclusion: congratulations. You made it all the way through this course. You now know how to write a beautiful point. So thank you so much for watching, please rate and review. And I have to see very