CLASSIC POET’S CORNER: Robert Frost

A Lesson in IMAGERY

Whether you’ve stumbled upon this section of my website by accident, through Following me (see below to Follow my Blog if you haven’t already), through the WP Newsfeed, or if you zapped one of the QR codes in my latest publication, WELCOME!

I’m a romantic comedy author, sappy poet, English teacher, wifey, mother of two, hopeful dreamer, and all around spinner of snark. My recent publication, Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) is live on AMAZON and contains all kinds of writerly inspiration. You’ll find poetic-device-driven prompts, literary tools, word lists, creative writing exercises, and more, along with journal pages for your own writing explorations. The workbook and journal is currently under $10 and makes for a perfect gift for that teenager, young adult, or adult in your life that loves to write. My workbook is filled with QR codes that direct you to my website, expanding on the lesson at hand and offering even more prompts for my beloved writers to use, as you will see below:

IMAGERY can be a writer’s greatest tool in the kit. Packed with five powerhouse senses, this poetic device creates vibrant poetry. Use one or use them all, no matter what, let your readers see, smell, taste, touch, and hear what’s going on with their experience when reading your poems. Robert Frost—lover of all things natural and earthy—liked to tap into the sensory world with his poetry. When I read his work, I’m feeling the icy wind and warming sunshine. I smell the fresh snow, and hear the birds beckon the warmth to set spring free…

I have an entire section devoted to imagery in my workbook and a lengthy list of sensory terms for you to play with—just head back to the workbook and flip a few pages ahead.

Below are some additional sensory phrases for you to plop into the middle of your verses. I’m all about the feels—I write romance, remember? Take a peek…

SIGHT:

Shadows slid across the ground …

Lavender bells swayed in the wind …

Candy apple red lips laughed …

SCENT:

Ripe orange peels and eucalyptus permeated the hole-in-the-wall, used book store …

Warm leather and spice filled her senses as she buried her nose in his neck …

Sweet cherry blossoms shimmied on the branches scattering their perfume through the breeze …

SOUND:

The bed groaned beneath the …

Cackling laughter carried across the pitch black alley …

Her giggling led to snorts and before she knew it …

TASTE:

A ribbon of succulent peach juice trailed down the child’s chin …

Pungent scum blanketed the lifeless pond …

Blackberries and oak burst in her mouth as she swirled the sip of wine around her tongue … (if you’re a teen: tart cherries and pineapple burst in his mouth as he gulped the ice-cold drink)

TOUCH:

Warm grains of sand slid through her fingers …

The velvety blanket enveloped …

Icy wind pressed against …

Go forth, you delicious maker of satisfying poems, and craft a sensuous beauty for me. I can’t wait for you to share your poetry with me!

~Brooke E. Wayne

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

CLASSIC POET’S CORNER: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A Lesson in HYPERBOLE

Whether you’ve stumbled upon this section of my website by accident, through Following me (see below to Follow my Blog if you haven’t already), through the WP Newsfeed, or if you zapped one of the QR codes in my latest publication, WELCOME!

I’m a romantic comedy author, sappy poet, English teacher, wifey, mother of two, hopeful dreamer, and all around spinner of snark. My recent publication, Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) is live on AMAZON and contains all kinds of writerly inspiration. You’ll find poetic-device-driven prompts, literary tools, word lists, creative writing exercises, and more, along with journal pages for your own writing explorations. The workbook and journal is currently under $10 and makes for a perfect gift for that teenager, young adult, or adult in your life that loves to write. My workbook is filled with QR codes that direct you to my website, expanding on the lesson at hand and offering even more prompts for my beloved writers to use, as you will see below:

We’ve all heard the opening line of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s most beguiling love poem, Sonnet 43. We’ve quoted it, parodied it, seen it in textbooks and on coffee mugs, and have probably heard it at a dozen weddings or more. It sings of true love—a heart bursting with emotional truths—and maybe a tad bit of unhealthy obsession, too.

Browning’s playful extremes, aching with desperation, resonate with anyone who has ever fallen irrevocably in love with someone–a love so deep the idea of death do us part doesn’t even seem like it could bring those feelings closure.

As a writer, it would be a practical exercise to mimic this poem. Why? The poem’s overuse of hyperbolic statements makes it a wonderful lesson in going to the extreme. Writing a poem in general is like pouring a glass of wine into a thimble and doubting the sip will embody all the wine’s fruity notes…and yet, it does. One tiny drop of wine on the tongue can deliver its overall explosive flavor to your taste buds—that’s why wine tasting is just that—a sip. (If you’re a teen, disregard my implied metaphor and think, wow, that stick of gum still tastes like mint even after I’ve been chewing on it for an hour. I bet my breath will stay fresh forever!)

Poems hold everything a reader needs to know to fully understand the poet’s intentions in just a few verses or stanzas, like a sip of wine (or a stick of gum–just go with it).

            Emulating Sonnet 43 in your own original poem will give you an opportunity to mess around with hyperboles—a play on words easily overlooked as a poetic device because of their overuse in everyday life as common language. A hyperbole is an absurd exaggeration meant to prove a point. Your creative challenge will be to veer from the theme of love that Browning expounded upon, and dive into another emotion wrapped around a different context.

Here are some possible prompts to create your own hyperbolic poem:

Your passion for writing

Your anguish over a political topic

Your hope in a dream coming true someday

Your sorrow over the loss of something valuable

Your determination in reaching a goal

Your grief in losing someone you love

Your inner strength and focus on self-care

Your rage over a situation in which you were wronged

Your joy in accomplishing a project

Your respect for someone you admire

Your responsibility towards someone you care about

Your fears towards something you cannot control

Now, go forth, you imaginative artist, and write some hardcore, over-the-top poetry, and feel free to overuse the pesky exclamation point all you want!!! I can’t wait for you to share your poetry with me!

~ Brooke E. Wayne

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

CLASSIC POET’S CORNER: Adelaide Crapsey

A Lesson in REPETITION

Whether you’ve stumbled upon this section of my website by accident, through Following me (see below to Follow my blog if you aren’t already), through the WP Newsfeed, or if you zapped one of the QR codes in my latest publication, WELCOME!

I’m a romantic comedy author, sappy poet, English teacher, happy wifey, mother of two, hopeful dreamer, and all around spinner of snark. My recent publication, Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) is live on AMAZON and contains all kinds of writerly inspiration. You’ll find poetic-device-driven prompts, literary tools, word lists, creative writing exercises, and more, along with journal pages for your own poetic explorations. It is currently under $10 and makes for a perfect gift for that teenager or adult in your life that loves to write, or maybe, you just want a copy all to yourself. 😉 No matter, my workbook is filled with QR codes that direct you to my website, expanding on the lesson at hand and offering even more prompts for my beloved writers to use, as you will see below:

Repetition, as a poetic device, can seem like a shortcut to making your poem longer, but it’s actually a multifaceted technique that makes your poetry shiny and reflective. You’ve heard of the poem about all the miles to go before that guy can sleep. You know the one where he’s trudging through the woods on a snowy evening. Ring any bells? No? Frost, anyone? Anyone? Celine Dion borrowed his line for a song; I even stumbled across a weightloss blog that lifted the phrase, too. The point is, repetition sticks in people’s heads, so they use it (even if it’s someone else’s line). People like it, connect to it, and feel all cozy and familiar because of it. That’s not a bad thing. You want your poem to be remembered, right? Throw a catchy line in it, then lather, rinse, and repeat every stanza or so.

Notice how Adelaide Crapsey uses the phrase, “properly scholarly attitude,” like an excuse, a weapon, a fault, a badge, and even an unattainable burden? As the inventor of the Cinquain poem, she knows her way around repetition in all sorts of manifestations. In this poem’s case, the meaning of the repeated phrase changes with every utterance due to its context.

As my “Dear Writer,” section of my poetry workbook and journal explains, REPETITION comes in different flavors. You can have the standard repeating of a word, phrase, verse, or more (think couplet/quatrain, etc.) You can also sprinkle a bunch of synonyms in your poem, and voilà, there’s a concept repeated. Patterns, rhythms—you name it—do it more than once, and check off this device as done.

The other thing you might want to know about repetition as an FYI thing is that it takes on specific (Greek and Latin rooted fancy-shmancy) names depending on where you plug your repetition into your work and how. (For example: Anaphora—a word or phrase that hangs out at the front of a line … Mesodiplosis—a word or phrase that hangs out in the middle of every line …) Shall I go on? Overwhelmed much? I’ll save the full-blown college course on all these types of repetition for another blog (or workbook) … Let’s keep it simple with what’s commonly referred to as a REFRAIN (which hangs out at the end of a stanza, like in Crapsey’s poem above) for this exercise.

Here are some one-liners you can use in your work, if you want, but no pressure, mm-kay?

… for all the reasons why.                                        

… because no one could.                                           

… underneath the shimmering stars.

… when I look into your eyes.                                  

… inside my heart.

… around the merry-go-round to me.                        

… before we knew it all.                    

… into the mist they went.                                       

… until the world grows wise.

… between the lines.                                                 

… where I find my place in you.       

… beyond the realm of reality.                                   

… behind the lies comes truth.

… somewhere inside my heart.                                 

… after the rain came to an end.        

… amid the burning embers.               .                                   .

Now, go forth, my suave poet, and use one of these prompts or come up with your own prepositional phrase to make some memorable poetry. I can’t wait for you to share your poetry with me!

~ Brooke E. Wayne

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON