Wordplay: How to Write a Poem Describing a Few Minutes in Time | Shallene Antoine | Skillshare

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Wordplay: How to Write a Poem Describing a Few Minutes in Time

teacher avatar Shallene Antoine, Writer and Multi-artist

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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

7 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Writing Your Experience

    • 3. Storytelling

    • 4. Rhyme

    • 5. Rhythm

    • 6. Repetition

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

How do you write a poem describing a moment in time? How do you make a paragraph of words poetic, artistic or beautiful?

In this class, I will take you through my process of writing poetry. We will begin with the raw materials, recording what you have experienced. Then we will take that raw material and craft a poem where we will focus on rhyme, rhythm and repetition, three of the tools used by poets.    

By the end of the class, you will have written a poem.

This class is for:

- Aspiring poets 

- Aspiring writers

- Anyone who loves playing with words (hence wordplay!)

I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager. In my final year of university, three of my poems have been published in the school's first chapbook called The Vomit. I am currently working on my first book.

No prior knowledge or experience is necessary. If you have a desire to create poetry, you can take this class. The skills learned will be creativity, observation, writing, and using the tools of rhyme, rhythm,  repetition.

Meet Your Teacher

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Shallene Antoine

Writer and Multi-artist


Hello, I'm Shallene and I am a writer, but I have a love for all of the arts: music, fashion, and visual art. I am a very creative person but for a while, I gave up because I was told that I could not be successful as an artist. But there was always something inside me that would not go away. So now I am moving in the direction that I was born to do. I have so many ideas and I intend to work with them as much as I can. 

I studied English in university and my favorite course was Gothic Literature because of how the past influenced the present in the stories. That's why I have decided to teach this course focusing on the elements or themes present in these narratives. I am working on a non-fiction book, a memoir of sorts and I have three poems published in my last semester of ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Charlene, and I want to welcome you to my word play class, where you will learn how to write a poll describing a moment in time. I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager, and three of my poems have been recently published in My Allah Matters first book called The Bombing. During my final semester, I have lots of fun working with talented students to put this chocolate together. If you are an aspiring poet writer or just someone who enjoys playing with words, you might find this class useful. No experience is necessary for the class project. You will craft a poem from a paragraph of written observations about 3 to 5 sentences long . I will take you through one of the methods I use for writing poetry. You will learn the skills of editing, storytelling, Rhine rhythm and repetition. Thes skills are great toe have in creative writing, like fiction and nonfiction on in the world of social media, where people want to read messages that are both inspiring and entertaining. By the end of this class, you will be able to write poetry that you can share with family friends and if you really want to the world, so let's get started 2. Writing Your Experience: So the first thing you want to do is to describe in experience that took place a moment in time in a single paragraph. Don't worry about grammar or arrangement at this point. Describe everything you saw and felt in that moment as much as possible. And remember, this is a small snippet of time, like a minute or two. So right here I have my paragraph and I'm just going to read to you what I have. I went on my balcony for fresh air, but cooking smells are everywhere. At least my skin can feed on the sun and feel the bees breeze through my little space on my balcony. The cooking smells come and go wafts of chicken curry. I know as he can see, things are not grammatically correct. There's a mistake hair, and that's it for now. And in the next video, I will be talking to you about storytelling, and we will begin the editing process 3. Storytelling: So now we're going to place each part of this paragraph into separate lines. They may or may not be whole sentences. For example, Thes two made one sentence, but I broke it up into different parts because that's how the poem is starting to form. So I have. I went on my balcony for fresh sharing One line, the second line. But cooking smells are everywhere now. Cooking smells is in the first part of this paragraph. But then over here we have cooking smells again. So I want to change the order so that it makes sense. Also, this would change as well. The order of this entire paragraph will change so that we're talking about cooking smells and what the cooking smells are doing. Then we're gonna tell the sun was in the sky shining bright and my skin was feeding on. It's like I was also trying to think about the different ways I could, um, replace feeding on. So I have nourished. By taking in, I've decided to stick with feeding on as you will see in the next part of this. And at this point, you're looking for options for words and phrases as I was doing here. You also want to decide if your experience is a story or simply a situation that you are relating to your reader. So if you're writing a story, there should be a problem that has to be solved. And again, it has to make sense. Doesn't have to be a story. It could be a situation. It could be a feeling and experience your trying to relate in a politically so it really doesn't matter what it is, as long as the reader can have some sense of what you're trying to see. So I'm also asking questions like, Why did I go on the balcony? And this question changes everything, because on them, when I see changes, everything, asking questions, changes the direction you would go in your poem. So that's what I'm doing here right now. I have it outlined. I noticed there things that need changing. So what I'm about to do is show you what I did in the next on the next page. So I think unsee I made changes and things are in order. But I still have a problem here because of the bees breezing through my balcony now In reality, there were no bees. There were bugs. There were insects flying around, but there were no bees brought. It was a breezy day, so I thought I would make it up and put these since it rhymes with breeze because I want to Ryan. But in reality, this is not gonna because this is not what actually happened. So again you could look at you could make things up if you want to. But if you're trying to relate, ah, if you want to be realistic, then be then find a way to do that. And that's what I ended of doing. I made that change from bees two bugs that you'll see in the next page, but here it looks much better because everything is in order. I'm talking about why, what I wanted to do, what was in the waste in terms of cooking smells, the sun and how my skin waas feeding on the light of the sun. The wind was blowing through the trees while the bees breeze from my balcony. But it's still not complete because I'm still questioning my experience. What was the what was the reason for me going outside when I thought about it. It was the sun shining brightly outside. I was inside and the sun was inviting the outside because of how bright it was shining. That's what made me want to go outside. So I decided to focus on the sun and the effect the sun that affect the son had on me. And that's what leads to That's what led to this change. So now I have that it was an invitation, a call from isolation because I was in my room to take in the light of the sun. I really wanted some air to feel the wind in my hair and to take in the light of the sun from the sun. Cooking smells would come and go. One was curry that I know while basking in the light of the sun, the bugs flew, biased, a please brought in swiftly by the breeze, and I was into the light of sun. So is he concedes this Ah, drastic change from what I had earlier. And these are some of the things you can experience when writing poetry. Sometimes you start off in one direction and you end up doing something completely different. But As you can see, it's starting to take shape. It's still not complete. It is most definitely a process. But I'm starting to Ryen. I'm being conscious of the beats in the poem, the beats, any key lying and the rhythm and the and I wanted to be uniforms. Now you could be free form in your writing Nothing has to rhyme or anything but for me I want to rhyme And I want each verse to be the same. So and then So in the next video I'm gonna be talking about rhyming and you don't have to rhyme But it's up to you. But for this poem, I would like it to rhyme. So that's what we're gonna be talking about in the next video. 4. Rhyme: many times rhyming occurs without trying. You can play with different words and their sounds, as long as they work with the message of the poem and not against it. So, for example, I have here It was an invitation, a call from isolation. So I was invited outside and we're talking about the son and I was called from isolation or being alone inside, but invitation and isolation. They Rhine, they have a similar ending. And so that's what a Rhine is. But your poem doesn't have to write, so just go with how you feel. There are days when I would write poetry that does not right at all. I'm just writing down whatever I feel, but it flows really well, so it's still poetic because of the beat and the rhythm. And yeah, let's go with how you feel. There are different types of Ryan's on raining schemes. For this, classy will focus on Ryan's that occur at the end of the lying to keep things simple. Forwards to Rhine, they do not have to have the same endings. Words can look different but sound the same, such as bear and Hare. And when I say bearing B A r e and hair h A i r. So again, the focus should be on the meaning of the words you are using that will work with the meaning of the poem overall. So, for example, here I have cooking smells would come and go. One was chicken curry that I know. So go and no, don't look the same, but they sound the same. So it works, they write. So for this poem, I'm using couplets in the first two lines of each stanza and a couple of this simply where to a couple, it is where Two consecutive lines. Right? So this is a couple it And this is a couple of these 1st 2 lines. This is a couple it. And in the last stance of this, it's a couple it and that's it. You don't have to rhyme. As I said earlier, it's up to you as long as it flows. Well, in the next video, we're gonna be talking about rhythm and how syllables and meter work, which is basically beats and patterns. So I'll see you in the next video 5. Rhythm: drums are to music. What the syllable is. Tow lines in poetry. They're both about the beat. It is the beat that carries the poem and gives it life. It makes it rhythmical and musical. The syllable is a speech sound. While the meter is a pattern, for example, and is one sound you have end just one son and I marked it here while the word invitation has four sounds, four beats, So an has one sound. One beat invitation for sounds. Four beats. This entire line has seven beats, so there's a second line. The last line has eight. I ate meat, and that's primarily the syllabic meter. It just simply tells you what type of pattern the sons are making, and these usually include stress and on stress stones. But the focus for right now is just a sound itself and how many beats pro line. It's helpful to use in numbers for each beat or syllable, so that you will understand the sound pattern and how to repeat it in the rest of the poem . I did that for the first line and the last, but I want to make changes again because the last line of the other three stanzas are nine beats and I want everything to be the same in terms of beat. So everything for me has to be eight beats. So the rest of the stanzas Haas to match the first dance where there are seven beats for the 1st 2 lines and the last line has eight beats. So that's about it for the syllabic meter, it's a way of creating rhythm in poetry. In the next video, we're going to talk about repetition and how that is used in poetry. 6. Repetition: repetition is a great way to add emphasis to a message. At the same time, repetition is one of the tools use to create an esthetic look and sound. For a poll, you can use the same light at the beginning or end of all versus, for example, or you can change it slightly so that it works with the verse it is a part of. And this is what I did with the last line INEC stanza off this poem that I wrote the 1st 2 lines, and I will show you in the next more completed version of my poem. I have to take in the light of the sun twice and for the last two stands is I have while I'm in the light of the sun flying to the light of the sun. So I'm talking about bugs flying in the breeze and they're flying to the light of the sun. I'm talking about cooking smells coming and going while I'm in the light of the sun. I wanted to take some air and to take in the light of the sun. It was an invitation, a call from isolation to take in the light of the sun, so the light of the sun is repeated. But there's slight difference in the last two stanzas. So as you can see the 1st 2 lines or it's the same, you're talking about the last line. But thes two down here are different, slightly different. But the light of the sun is the repetition that's maintain ear, because that's the focus. That's what drew me outside. So I wanted to make that the emphasis So repetition can happen in two ways. The repetition of sound, as in rhyme and the repetition of words and phrases in the lines of a verse. And that's it for repetition. Go with how you feel and what sounds right to you on focus on whatever messages you want to convey to your audience or to your reader. In the next video, I'll give you my final thoughts 7. Final Thoughts: I've just taken you through my process of writing poetry. We looked at storytelling and the poetic tools of Rhine rhythm and repetition. And in all of this, I was taking you through the editing process of writing poetry. Now I focused on these three because my home was created using these politicals there many other tools. But this shows you that you even with a few elements, you can be very artistic with your words. Don't forget to share your private text in the class project gallery. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you for taking my class and I hope to see you in the next one.