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Discussing & Analyzing Structure


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The structure of a poem is essential. Structure pertains to observing a poem's patterns in lines and stanzas. The way a poem is presented visually, and the way the poem sounds can affect the way the reader comprehends and perceives the meaning of your poem. Whether you are reading or writing a poem, you should pay close attention to the line breaks and the patterns within each line. There's always reasons why writers use line breaks where they choose to, and reasons why writers describe things in the manner they do throughout a poem.

Narrative poems are poems that tell stories. They reveal a particular degree of detail when it comes to structure. It is helpful to contemplate why the poet focuses on certain aspects and decides to not address others. Analyzing the lines and considering why could reveal something important about the story being told in the poem.

Poems that aren't narrative can be more difficult to analyze. The events aren't always set in chronological order and things aren't always evident to the readers. Sometimes the events used aren't even related to one another which can make it tricky to analyze.

As you read the poem, look at each line separately. See if you can notice any patterns that develop. Below you will see some common patterns. Ask yourself these questions and think about some of these things next time you analyze a poem:

Visual Patterns: Analyze the poem's appearance on the page. Does it seem to represent anything?

Rhythm and Meter: Analyze the rhythm and meter of the poem. Does either thing change how you perceive the speaker or the tone?

Rhetorical Patterns: Do the words or phrases follow a similar format or persuade you by their choice of language?

Rhyme: Think about the importance of the ending words in rhyming poems and in poems without rhymes. What is the writer trying to connect within the end of each line?

Patterns in Sound: Onomatopoeias, alliteration, and assonance create sound effects. Why would the writer choose to use them where he or she did?

Alliteration- Repeating initial sounds in surrounding words:
Time twists together
Dreams stream in depths of darkness

Assonance- This device is used to stress words or imagery. It's similar to alliteration. Repeating vowel sounds in a poem: road & boar, farther & harder, partial & facial

Onomatopoeias- Using words that sound like what they mean: Bees buzzed through the air. Bees make a sound which resemble the sound of the word buzz.

Challenging yourself to use different poetic devices, forms, and meters can teach you to grow in creativity.

Lexi is an author on http://www.Writing.Com which is a site for Creative Writing .


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