After my initial (public) foray into the land of poetry recently, I thought it wise to educate myself a little more about the poet’s toolkit beyond a bit of basic rhyme and my own personal sense of what sounds OK.
<br><br> The article in Wikipedia was a great place to start, and helped me get up to speed with a bunch of interesting devices (and fancy words like alliteration, assonance, and prosody). It’s an amazingly diverse field, ranging from the minimalist haiku to the epic Greek tragedies through to the authentic Australian imagery of Dorothy Mackellar.
<br><br> One thing that struck me was the role of basic rules or parameters in defining particular forms of poetry. For example, ten syllables per line, with the 2nd and 4th line of each stanza rhyming. But there are countless possible variations.
<br><br> I think for me the appeal of poetry is the creative challenge of finding meaningful and compelling arrangements of words that fit a particular structure. The tension between structure and boundless possibilities is what gives birth to this creative form.
<br><br> On a similar note, I’ve heard others say they need a trigger or a deadline to really get the most out of their own creativity. If you just sit there awaiting creative inspiration, nothing much happens sometimes. But with a focus or theme, the magic starts to unfold. And what is a theme if not a simple form of structure?