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

CLASSIC POET’S CORNER: Alfred Lord Tennyson

A Lesson in ALLITERATION

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:

Loaded with all kinds of poetic devices and layers upon layers of secrets within its surface meaning, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s shortest poem could fill a book with all its depth. We’ll keep this lesson short and sweet though, just like the poem if you only read into it like it’s about a hungry bird.

The spotlight this round is ALLITERATION—that snazzy poetic device that requires two or more words in a verse to begin with the same consonant and sound.

Society loves alliteration. We shake this poetic device all over everything liberally like we’re salting the snowy earth with it after a severe storm. (See what I did there. Bam!) We like our Taco Tuesdays, Breakfast Bonanzas, and our Fun Fridays, don’t we? Whether it’s a book club, quilting circle, or a Facebook group, I betcha the squad’s name is composed of a cluster of words that all start with the same consonant and clip off the tongue when pronouncing it. (Now, read that line out loud for extra fun!) I’m not even going to hide the fact that I went all alliterative with the catch phrase “Classic Poet’s Corner,” when, in fact, some of the poets I use for this writerly segment are not even from the Classic Era. I just liked the way it sounded. So far, no one seems to mind.

Alliteration is a beautiful thing. It creates a melody in our heads when we read lines of poetry harboring this little gem. It gives free verse poetry rhythm while it’s lacking rhyme. It also makes memorizing poetry a cinch.

Here is an extensive list of alliterative words that you can shake into your own poetry:

Amazing, Adorable, Awful, Aching , Adamant, Austere, Awesome

Boisterous, Bossy, Bad, Beautiful, Becoming, Bright, Brilliant, Blushed

Crisp, Crunchy, Crackly,  Clever, Clipped, Cloudy, Crystal, Clear

Dry, Dripping, Drought, Dusty, Dank, Dark, Deadly, Doomed, Destined

Energetic, Expressive, Ecstasy, Elated, Enchantment, Enthralled

Fond, Futile, Feverish, Fresh, Flourishing, Frightened, Freakish, Fun

Gross, Grand, Grisly, Garish, Ghostly, Gorgeous, Great, Gritty

Heavenly, Heated, Helpful, Hurtful, Hyper, Hysterical, Happy

Icky, Irritable, Irked , Iridescent, Ironic, Inspirational, Insipid, Instant

Justify, Jargon, Joyful,  Jittery, Jumpy, Jovial, Jointed, Jerk

Kinship, Keeping, Kinetic, Knot, Kind, Kiss, Kaleidoscope

Love, Like, Lust, Lilting, Lofty, Liquid, Lazy, Laboring

Magnificent, Marry, Momentous, Majestic, Meticulous

Nocturnal, New, Narrow, Naughty, Narrative, Narrow, Nice

Overly, Obvious, Oblivious, Off, Obnoxious, Opposing

Perfect, Pretty, Pity, Precipitous, Precocious, Proper, Precious

Quivering, Quilted, Quiet, Quest, Quintessential, Quaint

Robust, Rotund, Rot, Ripe, Ruddy, Resplendent, Radiant

Steamy, Stylish, Secretive, Solid, Sassy, Secure, Seductive

Taunting, Teasing, Tumultuous, Timid, Texture, Timely

Upon, Underrated, Undeniable, Understated, Utopia, Uppity

Verified, Vanilla, Veritable, Vast, Void, Vulnerable, Vixen

Wizened, Wisdom, Whimsical, Wish, Wonderful, Wanderer, Wet

Xerox … I got nothin’ without Googling a bunch of weird words neither of us would use. :-/ Maybe try some silly made-up onomatopoeias?!)

Zephyr, Zoo, Zoom, Zap, Zigzag, Zany, Zesty, Zip, Zebra

Now, go forth and buckle up buttercup; you’ve got to get that gorgeous poetry written. I can’t wait for you to share your poetry with me!

~Brooke E. Wayne

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

CLASSIC POET’S CORNER: Edgar Allan Poe

A Lesson in ONOMATOPOEIA

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:

CLASSIC POET'S CORNER: Edgar Allan Poe
A Lesson in ONOMATOPOEIA

Onomatopoeias fall under the poetic device of Imagery, which taps into all five senses. The star of the show for this term is sound. This device uses words that actually imitate the sound they’re describing. Using words as sound effects makes for an imaginative playground in your head. Wrap some SLAM poetry around a handful of Onomatopoeias, and your competition doesn’t stand a chance the minute you step up to the mic. This poetic device beckons to be spoken aloud. But, if you’re the silent type, that’s okay. You do you. Just feel free to load up your poems with words that trickle off the tongue with every intention of evoking emotion, or at least let others whisper them while they read your work.

Lots of people think of words like, “pow,” “zoom,” “boink,”–or any other 1960s-Batman-television-show variety–when they think of onomatopoeias. Those are fine. Maybe even a little, meh. I challenge you to level up with some better choices that serve a stronger purpose in the poems you write. Choose onomatopoeias that actually have meanign and provoke sound imagery within a setting you’ve created in your poem that includes other senses, too. My workbook and journal has an extensive list of words to use for every sense. You should take a peek, and use as many as you want.

If the example provided by Poe doesn’t do it for you, check out the complete version of his poem, “The Bells.” I wanted to use the full poem, but since it’s super long—I took a pass worried that my readers would lose interest and want to get right down to writing instead of reading the whole thing. “The Bells,” though, is the quintessential example of all things onomatopoeia, so when you have the time of day (or night—this is Poe we’re talking about, night is a good time to set the mood), then do an Internet search for it and enjoy hearing all the different sounds of the types of bells he celebrates in his poem.

For this exercise, here’s a list of onomatopoeias that would love to hang out in a verse that comes to life with other sensory details:

Trickle          Sputter         Squeak         Crackle            Clap             Squeal

Hush             Howl               Sizzle              Rev                  Woof             Mumble

Gurgle          Warble            Smash             Ring                Splash           Click

Stutter         Whisper          Whine             Fizz                Tick-Tock       Thud

Gulp             Chug              Slurp               Rattle              Slosh               Clip

Here are some scenarios to bring to life with a few sound descriptors:

A lifeboat with two survivors drifting on the turbulent sea, pitch black, nothing but stars …

A hungry wolf stalking its prey, ribbons of neon green flowing above them, the full moon dances with the Northern Lights …

A field of tulips in every color imaginable, a swarm of bees feast on all the nectar …

A man stands in the rain outside her window, drench, shaking, wondering if she knows …

A shark cruises the shoreline, his fin slicing the undulating waves, a surfer mounts his board …

Now, go forth, my word-whisperer, and make some noise all up in those sweeeet poems of yours. I can’t wait for you to share your work with me!

~Brooke E. Wayne

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON