Does the poem make use of rhythm?~ Part 4

Six Critical Questions About Poetry

AGockel Rhythm And Blues Does the poem make use of rhythm?

 Image by: A.Gockel


Part 4

Does the poem make use of rhythm?

Here again, the importance of revision cannot be stressed enough. If the poem is metered, where does the meter become monotonous and where, on the other hand, do the substitutions become so very numerous that the flow of reading is interrupted? If it is free verse, what rhythmical systems is the poet using? It is important to know what comes through to the reader. Reading as many different poets and their styles is the best way for a poet to critique his or her own work. Name the poets you find have reached out and touched you in some way. Every poet should have an immediate reaction to this statement; just relax and write from one to ten poets you have read and liked.
Why? This is one instance where familiarity does not breed contempt but illumination.

Poetic Example:

This Winter Day

The kitchen is its readiness
white greens and orange things
leak their blood selves in the soup.

Ritual sacrifice that snaps
an odor at my nose and starts
my tongue to march
slipping in the liquid of its drip.

The day, silver striped
in rain, is balked against
my window and the soup.

~Maya Angelou

Poetic Example 2:

Just as the use of images and the diction of a poem are closely related, so are the sound devices and rhythmical effects. Both, in this case, depend ultimately on the ear. It is for this reason that poets often read their own work out loud many times as they revise. The attempt is to hear the work as others will probably hear it. Revisions are partly intuitive, of course, even from the start. However, the serious poet has to be consciously aware of both sound and rhythm to ensure that one has made the most of each.


Works Cited

This Winter Day by Maya Angelou
Minot, Stephen.Three Genres: The Writing of Poetry, Fiction, and Drama. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Prentice-Hall, 1982

Article by Willow Rose


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