Feature Article: Reviewing the Elements of a Poem

by | Sep 8, 2021 | Featured Article | 0 comments

Although poetry is considered a free and spontaneous form of expression, it’s nice to get familiar with its fundamental elements.

Poetry is one of the oldest and most basic forms of expression. Its spontaneity and form characterize it. It is referred to as food for the soul and used to express human emotions. While poetry is known for its aesthetics and rhythmic qualities of language, we need to know many other elements about written and spoken poetry. Today, we will identify the essential elements of poetry and get to know more about this amazing literary form.

Stanza

Most poems are written like a song. Even elegies (poems written as letters) are arranged in stanzas. 

 A stanza is a group of lines that are separated by an empty line called space to separate them from another line or group of lines. In poetry, the most common stanzas are Couplet (2 lines), Tercet (3 lines), Quatrain (4 lines), Cinquain (5 lines), Sestet (6 lines), and Septet (7 lines). A space in spoken poetry can be identified as a gap or a brief pause.

Verse

A verse is a fundamental element in any poetry. Also called a “line,” the verse gives the poem its basic structure. There are three common types of verses. First is the rhymed verse. It’s the most common, and it usually has a metrical form. Many amateur poets used this type of verse. The second is the blank verse which has no rhyme scheme. Its consistent feature is a meter with ten syllables in each line (pentameter), where stressed ones follow unstressed syllables. Modern poetry is more of free verse which features no specific rules and no rhymes either. One example is Poetry in Motion Quattlebaum book. It is a devotional poetry book that features free-flowing poetry and expression by poet Raymond Quattlebaum.

Form

Form is often referred to category though that is not entirely appropriate. Nonetheless, the most common forms of writing or speaking poetry are lyrics or lyrical poetry, narrative poetry, and the third is descriptive poetry. Lyrical poetry is first-person poetry and is based emotions and feelings of the poet. Narrative poetry features a specific story, a myth, or even a saga and has different characters or POV. Descriptive poetry is more about imagery and adjectives and features the environment around the poet.

Rhyme

As kids, we are familiar with nursery rhymes or rhyme songs. This is quite the same with poems, especially with spoken poetry. There are three types of rhyme and four types of rhyme schemes in poetry. The types of rhyme are Perfect rhyme (dead and head), Rich Rhyme (steak and stake), and Eye Rhyme (love and dove). As for schemes, below are the types:

  • Alternate rhyme: It follows the pattern ABAB CDCD EFEF and so on.
  • Ballade rhyme: It’s a lyric poem that follows the rhyme scheme ABABBCBC.
  • Coupled rhyme: The rhymes occur in pairs, such as AABBCC.
  • Enclosed rhyme: The pattern is ABBA, in which A encloses the B.

Mood

The mood is the soul of each poem. It deals with the emotions and feelings of the poet and how they deliver the words. The mood can be festive, happy, ecstatic, exciting, melancholy, sad, lonely, grieving, defeatist, angry, vengeful, remorseful, funny, hilarious, silly or contemplative, etc. There are many emotions you can convey with poetry, and they are what make each poem effective. Poetry is all about conveying human emotions. Poetry also covers many themes, and they range from the most common to personal themes.

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