Poetry. There’s nothing to it. 

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I was trying to explain poetry to my son. I started by pointing out the differences between rhyming and non-rhyming and fun vs serious. I was greeted with a blank face.

I then moved onto the rhythm of certain poems, the beat of the sentences, the syllables. Still the blank face stared back at me. 

‘I get that mum.’ He said, ‘But what’s the point of so many opposite rules?’

He had a point. After a few minutes my advice to him, when confronted with a poetry writing task, was this.

‘Screw it. Just write a paragraph on the subject, throw in some metaphors, break it up into short sentences and tell your teacher it’s a poem.’

If you think about it, I’m not far wrong. Poems don’t have to rhyme, they hardly ever make sense and I doubt he’ll ever be challenged on it as I’m pretty sure that on this basis – anything goes. The more abstract the poem, the more likely he is to be considered a poetry genius.

Here’s an example. It’s essentially a long sentence broken down and pretending to be a poem. If you don’t see it, just cock your head to the side and stroke your chin in a thoughtful way. It’ll come to you.

A blanket of fog 

restrains thoughts scattered 

about the mind, 

groping for an anchor  

in the mental storm.

I’ll leave that thought with you 🙂

I’m such a great mum.

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About Nicola Auckland

Busy wife to one & mum to two. I've caught the creative writing bug, now need to practice, get awesome and write something worth reading. Simples.
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17 Responses to Poetry. There’s nothing to it. 

  1. Ben says:

    I’m about to dip my nervous big toe into the world of poetry for my MA. This has calmed me a little 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nel says:

    Thank you. Ive always struggled with thoughts of rules when writting. Thanks for explaining 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you, too. Generally I’m not a fan of poetry, but it’s a lot like music (actually, lyrics are poetry set to music…right?) Music “generally” has rules like beats per measure and tonality….but you can really put any old sounds together and label it “music” and in some circle, it’ll fly. You have to deviate from SOME of the rules, or you get the musical equivalent of greeting card poetry – but stray too far and many will be quick to label you as “not music.”

    I’m in Team Anything Goes, because I’m not snooty about it, I just read what I like.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. luckyjc007 says:

    I love the kind of help you gave your son! I’m in favor of poems that rhyme and ones that make sense to me right away.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ron877 says:

    I’ve been working for a couple of weeks “explaining” haiku to my son. He immediately noticed there was no rhyming to it, then the question “so, is it poetry?” Then the quest for meaning.
    So I just cocked my head back, stroked my chin, and realized I had to shave.
    I think I’m losing the battle to be the font of all wisdom to the younger one.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Meritings says:

    I’ve always had difficulty in accepting non rhyming poetry as poetry, just as I have difficulty in accepting, for example, Tracey Emin’s dirty bed as art. Have we all been conned, or should we join the naked fashionistas in saying WOW?
    Your advice to your son is great and, if he takes the advice, he could become the greatest poet/artist/designer/mathematician/fighter pilot/nurse/horserider, or anything else he sets his mind to in the history of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ranu802 says:

    We’ve been told a poem doesn’t have to rhyme, so it’ll be a great help for your son. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. trE says:

    Reads like a poem to me and beautifully so. Great advice to your little one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. magarisa says:

    I agree that your loose definition of poetry is not far wrong! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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