At this point, I will not explain what poetry is because we all know that it is a form of literature that uses rhythmic and aesthetic qualities of a language to evoke meanings. But what does it take for a piece of poetry to be completely splendid? A quality poetry piece comes from the heart. It sprinkles magic just as it is. Have a look:
I tell you, I will remind you once again,
of the story of the sun and the moon.
How the beauty of the moon was the pride of the sun,
and how much the stars shied away admiring their love…
Poets have the ability to write what they feel, what they actually feel at that specific moment when they are sprinkling their magic out. A good poet can express himself well enough that the readers can relate, a good poet knows which cord to strike, which words to use to get the attention of his readers and at the same time, drive the point home.
It takes practice to make a poet better in his art. That is why, they say “Practice makes perfect”. Like any other form of literature, a poet should also read various books of poems e.g. ‘Leaves of grass by Walt Whitman and ‘The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson’ by Thomas Johnson. Another way that a poet can perfect his work is by being engaged with platforms that foster poetry e.g. the ‘Hello Poetry’ website which is one of the biggest platforms of poets all over the world and there are various poems that are shared each single day. With practice, a poet can move from nowhere to actually being able to write to the sky. Have a look:
I can write to the sky,
let the whole world know.
How much you have shattered my illusions,
how much you have intoxicated me.
You are sunlight,
shining with your rays.
And while the breeze wants to touch you,
I want to seek from it, to touch you gently.
Please give me refuge like that of the clouds,
drench me like the rains,
be with me in my forever.
Good pieces of poetry have good command of the language. Does this mean that an ungrammatical poem is not a poem? As much as poetry is seen as part of literature, it has to abide by grammar though it is also permitted to divert a little bit. Personally, I would opt to read a poem that obeys the laws of grammar than one that doesn’t. Below is an example of a poem that is fully grammatical:
I feel it, when I miss you, and sometimes I miss you a lot,
I need you to tell me how you are, I need to know it.
I have lived knowing and believing that I am living a life,
When you came along, you blew me apart exposing my fault lines,
Now, I know you are the secret ingredient to the best of me.
It takes good use of stylistic elements to make a poem interesting. These are elements such as repetition, metaphors, alliteration, onomatopoeia, symbolism, irony and images that can make a person easily familiarize with what the poet is aiming at.
Repetition in poetry serves as emphasis for messages evoked e.g.
I am at war with the community,
War with my family,
War with him and her,
War with myself.
Symbolism creates a certain mood where the poet uses an object or a word to represent an abstract idea mainly to hint at it than blatantly say it out. It is a good feature of style to adopt in poetry and it breaks the monotony. Check out:
The birthday cake had beautiful fondant flowers
But as she observed deep, she saw withered hope
A definition of lost hope
It was all gone
The birthday cake was symbolically used to bring out the feelings of the persona. If the same piece was written just plainly, couldn’t that have been uninteresting?
Irony, on the other hand, is figure of speech whereby words are used in such a way that they bring out a different message than that that was intended. Irony allows the readers to create castles and then break them down at the end of the work. Irony is a unique style that allows readers to raise hopes and then have their hopes faltered. Have a look at the poem below:
As you swayed your body,
as you let the rains embrace your whole existence,
Who does that in this time and age?
You were really the one,
the number one, oh my,
the only one.
And right now as I remember all that,
I don’t want to be a punchline anymore,
for this joke we refer to as love.
The ability to put everything else behind, the ability to write a poem like that is your last second on earth, that is what makes one poem better than the other. A good poet engages his readers in such a way that they can fully trust his potential and know that no one else can give them what he offers. A good poet has magic in the hand, he floats in the moon, dives in the deep seas, sees a ray in every single thing that his hands puts on and the magic that he spreads is a carton of love and emotions, a bag of infinite quality.
***photo courtesy: unknown (Feature Image)