The Art of Poetry: Ballad, Verse and Rhyme
The art of poetry is composed of some of the most remarkable words ever written. From Shakespeare to Whitman, T.S. Elliot to Sylvia Plath or Emily Dickinson, to the words of Robert Frost and Allan Ginsberg, poetry has been around for centuries. Today, we take a closer look at the art form that has long been recognised as one of the most important in our lives, but one that can sometimes feel less mainstream or accessible.
As with many art forms, there have been many claims made about the art form through the years, most of which have been refuted. Is poetry dead? It is boring? Far from it, actually: many poems have become cultural icons. Think about how a reading of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ made it to the immensely popular film, ‘The Notebook’. In one of the scenes, Noah reads to Allie, while Noah’s father mentions that he made his son read poetry to help him get rid of a stutter. Need another example? In The Intouchables, a well-known French film, when Driss goes for a job interview, he remarks to the lady who asks to pay attention to the slogan of the company “c’est presque une alexandrin ça! Pre-nez le temps peut-être de lire notre slo-gan...Douze pieds.“ This quote focuses on the composition of the art of poetry.
Researching poetry quickly makes one realise just how complex the art of poetry really is. Looking at all the various forms, elements, patterns, and genres – the complexity becomes more and more evident. The word poetry is derived from the Greek poiesis, which means making. This art form uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of the written language to give rise to the reader’s mind, to mental images, offering a deeper meaning to words.
The history of poetry spans back to prehistoric times, with it being first evidenced in the form of hunting poetry in Africa. The first written occurrence of this in Africa is the Pyramid Texts, while the first Western Asian epic poetry that has survived to more modern times is the Epic of Gilgamesh.
In search of alternative interpretations and evoking emotions, poetry uses various written conventions. Thanks to alliteration, onomatope, rhythms and repetitions, the assonance of poetry becomes musical and almost incarnate. Using ambiguity, irony, symbolism and various other stylistic elements, it is usually up to the reader to understand the multiple homonyms. Figures of speech like metaphors, similes, or metonymies create parallels by adding layers of meaning and bringing together images that would otherwise have not to be brought together.
Who’s your favourite poet, or perhaps you have a preferred poem? This (short) article quickly brushes on the surface of poetry. There is a myriad of outstanding poets and poems in all languages, and we would love to discover even more of them.
Rhymes, verses, alexandrines and the art of creating poetry from the most straightforward words is no easy feat, however, many of our adopters have perfected the craft. Here is a small selection of some of them!
Talented artist Shamanic is a beatboxer, spoken word poet, singer and songwriter. He has performed at Boomtown Music Festival, and you can also meet him in the streets of Japan. His voice, coupled with his unconventional energy, is his artistic weapon.
A student of Creative Writing and Media Journalism at Howard University, Mosiah Asad is a young creative entrepreneur and activist. Asad focuses on writing across different genres – whether it is poetry, fictions, essays, etc. His .art website holds various categories such as “Creative Direction“, “Poetry“ and “Visual Art“.
Running Dog Running Dog is an online arts publication platform producing articles on contemporary art, which aims to provide a platform for experimental modes of arts writing. Thanks to their graft, you can have access to a range of quality work by poets, critics, film scholars, musicians and fictions writers.
Catherine Coulson Catherine Coulson uses her artwork to explore ecology, biodiversity, and conservation, and contemplate our connection with nature. Curious about the relationship between aesthetics and emotion, Catherine Coulson uses the mediums of photography, poetry, gouache and mixed media sketches to demonstrate thought and responsibility in its themes and materials.
Dream Noir Dream Noir is a magazine for various forms of art and literature, whose mission is to create and celebrate a diverse spectrum of visual and literary art forms. Dedicated to those emerging or established as writers/artists, Dream Noir explores a diverse spectrum of artworks: fiction, poetry, prose, op-eds, etc. On your marks, get set, submit!
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