Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cadence in Free Verse

Poetry may be based on the irregular rhythmic cadence or the recurrence, with variations, of phrases, images, and syntactical patterns rather than the conventional use of meter.
Rhyme may or may not be present in free verse, but when it is, it is used with great freedom. In conventional verse, the unit is the foot, or the line; in free verse the units are larger, sometimes being paragraphs or strophes. If the free verse unit is the line, as it is in Whitman, the line is determined by qualities of rhythm and thought rather than feet or syllabic count.

Such use of cadence as a basis for poetry is very old. The poetry of the Bible, particularly in the King James Version, which attempts to approximate the Hebrew cadences, rests on cadence and parallelism. The Psalms and The Song of Solomon are noted examples of free verse.

The Bride and the Bridegroom (Song of Solomon)
I have compared thee, O my love,
to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels,
thy neck with chains of gold.
We will make thee borders of gold
with studs of silver.

Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass was a major experiment in cadenced rather than metrical versification. The following lines are typical:
All truths wait in all things
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon.

Matthew Arnold sometimes used free verse, notably in Dover Beach.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. 

But it was the French poets of the late nineteenth century --Rimbaud, Laforgue, Viele-Griffln, and others--who, in their revolt against the tyranny of strict French versification, established the Vers libre movement, from which the name free verse comes.

In the twentieth century free verse has had widespread usage by most poets, of whom Rilke, St.-John Perse, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, and William Carlos Williams are representative. Such a list indicates the great variety of subject matter, effect and tone that is possible in free verse, and shows that it is much less a rebellion against traditional English METRICS than a modification and extension of the resources of our language.

Adapted from: Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics / Alex Preminger

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge


Breakfast at Tiffany's is a novella by Truman Capote published in 1958. The novella tells the story of a one-year (autumn 1943 to autumn 1944) friendship between Holly Golightly, and an unnamed narrator. The two are both tenants in a brownstone apartment in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Holly Golightly (age 18-19) is a country girl turned New York café society girl, who entertains all the rich men she can find, hoping to snag one in marriage. Despite popular misconception, Capote explicitly denies that Holly is a call girl. Holly, who likes to stun people with her outspoken viewpoints on various topics, slowly reveals herself to the narrator who finds himself fascinated by her curious lifestyle. In the end Holly fears that she will never know what is really hers until after she has thrown it away.

Visit the Goodreads quote page and choose an excerpt from the novella to inspire your own ideas.  Write a poem in any form or style, in which you explore the thoughts which arise.  Share the quote as a preface to your poem.  There is no time limit to this challenge. 
Please leave a comment after you have linked up your poem.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Calling All Toads

Open Link Night

Please link up poems, old or new, which you would like to share with everyone this week. You may choose how many poems you would like to add to the list.  Please leave a comment after posting and support the other members, by reading and reviewing their work.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Figurative Language

D.A. Powell wrote a great article on a few years ago that breaks down the different methods and uses of figurative writing in poetry. I recommend this article to anyone that is looking for new avenues of expression in their writing, and every time I read it I get something different out of it.

The Great Figure: On Figurative Language by D.A. Powell


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poetic Exercise

I think Sherry said it best, when she used the word, "toadly".  I love the view of the pond Kerry, very pretty.  Summer for me is a crazy time; I have two kids and there is always something going on. I will do what I can to contribute more. We all know how life can get in the way. Thanks Robb for this home and Thank you Kerry for redecorating.  I thought it would be great to begin with a poetic exercise.

I love fortune cookies, the best one I ever received said, "Monday would be a very special day".  It was on a Friday, I received this message. I still have it tucked away in a scrapbook. I was pregnant and my son was born on Monday.  This was the due date I had been given; the Dr said, it wouldn't happen, but it did!  See those fortunes, sometime share great wisdom and speak the truth.  I thought it would be fun to include a fortune saying in our poem. You can pick which one speaks to you.  Here is a list of general ones, or you can select  one here, or pick from another list. When you share you poem, please share the cookie's fortune with us and then pen your poem with the fortune as one verse.  Pick your favorite cookie, I mean verse :D

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday: Calling All Toads

Any Toads in the House?

This is an open invitation to share any poem you have written ~ old or new.  Please leave a comment after you have linked up and support the work of others by visiting their blogs and leaving a review or comment.

If you have not used a Mr Linky before, you will need to copy the URL of the specific poem on your blog that you want to link to and paste it in the appropriate space below. Click on the title of the poem, before copying the URL, otherwise the link will go directly to your home page.