Play With Poetic Structure

Print Friendly

Play with Poetic Structure

Don’t be afraid to let our words play on the page. Let them line up like soldiers on parade. Let them dash down stairs. Let them fall fast and crash on the grass. Or skip from rock to rock across a stream. To emphasize a word, make it live alone on its very own line. Add stanza breaks or dashes to make the reader stop. Play with punctuation. Ellipses make the words trail off. Parenthesis add afterthought to a sly aside. Indent a line to expand on the thought of the line that came before. Let your words build and explode. Let them linger in the air. Let them slink away slowly till they are barely even there.

from Immersed In Verse by Allan Wolf (Lark Books, 2006).

Note the author’s use of poetic language (rhyme, rhythm, assonance, consonance, personification, etc.) in the nonfiction prose above. Prose and poetry share much in common.

Don’t Be Afraid

to               let               your               words
play          on                the                  page.
Let             them          line                 up
like            soldiers     on                   parade.

Let
them
dash
down
stairs.

Let
them
fall
fast
and
CRASH on the grasssssss.

Or      skip      fromrock      torock      across      a      stream.

To emphasize a word, make it live
alone
on its very own line.
Add stanza breaks

or dashes to make the reader—stop.
Play with punctuation:
Ellipses make the words trail off . . .
Parentheses add afterthought (to a sly aside).
Indent a line
to expand on the thought
of the line that came before.

Let your words build and explode!

Note how this “poem” still relays the same information as the prose form. In fact, verse allows the text to actually demonstrate the concepts it is attempting to explain.

them                in            air.

Let                 linger         the

Let them slink away
s      l      o     w     l     y
till they’re barely even there.

Comments are closed.