Poems come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short like blips on a radar screen, provoking a burst of thought in the reader (haiku, for example). Others are long, sweeping songs full of passion, emotion, suffering, and death (Homer’s epics). And many in between tell stories of people, objects, and animals (from Tennyson to e. e. cummings). But few types of poetry leave you as simultaneously stuck and fascinated as the villanelle.
Story Embers Staff Writer
Dwelling deep in the forests of New England, Graham spends most of his time reading, taking walks with his dog, and learning new and interesting things (and reveling in cooler, more temperate climates). Born and raised in the Boston area, Graham was homeschooled from an early age. After high school, he proceeded to get a bachelor’s in Literature from Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia. He currently resides in the Boston area while pursuing a master’s in Education at Gordon College, steeping in the rich history of his home turf and a continued exploration of literature from across the world. He says you should read Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country and Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, because they are incredible novels. Also, read Robert Frost.
A glance at the pages of history reveals that poetry is not a young art. Poets from the Greek and Roman epochs were often renowned rhetoricians—their speeches captured the minds, imaginations, and sensibilities of the people in that era. Thus, poetry and rhetoric (the art of persuasion) are not far removed from one another.
My rushing sigh flows in and out like the ocean surf that writes in the dark on reams of slimy kelp with the ancient ink of primeval octopi.
Two broken youths in the wild wood watch the dying daylight fade among the ancient ferns.
When you take the leap and attempt writing poetry, you’ll find a multitude of tools at your disposal. Some are self-explanatory, some are surprising, and some are downright strange. All you need is practice. You can arrange rhyme, metaphor, and simile in a variety of combinations to wreak havoc with language.
I have a couple confessions to make. First, I am biased toward poetry, not because I believe it is inherently better than other art forms (like novel writing), but because poetry is largely misunderstood. People interrogate poetry to gauge its worth, asking questions such as, what is the point, why are we reading this, and why do people even write this?
You have never seen life until you’ve stepped in a fall of rain, as Autumn slow and long creeps to hidden music, a Tuesday song on a steel-gray morning, in a chair you’ve kept for the Friend who may yet come. Alarming as it may be, but no sweat in the thought, you...
I’m used to thinking this city of the world proud and impregnable, with our ideals the bunting, vividly shaded on election day, with the hum of hymns for social justice ringing in my ears—hear ye, hear ye! This just in, pick it up yourself from your local village...