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How To Appreciate Poetry English Grammar Poetry Basics


How To Appreciate Poetry English Grammar Poetry Basics

What is poetry?

Many tried to define poetry, no one has succeeded in giving a satisfactory definition. Poetry looks include all attempts to describe it. You should know something about poetry, and learn to purify our feeling for it, so that you may gradually come to recognize it and know when it is present. The best we can do is to point out some essential characteristics of real poetry. Before we discuss these critical characteristics, let us try and understand the connection between poetry and verse. The verse is the shape of poetry. Poets generally write their poetry in verse-form. But there is a lot of poem written, which is no poetry at all. The verse is the body,

and the poetry is the soul, and the body without a soul is a dead one. We shall get this better as we go on.

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The verse is usually written so that we can describe it from prose at a glance. But it is the ear, not the eye, which is the actual verse test, for when the poem is read loudly, it sounds very different from prose. You can listen to the different sounds of these two passages, one in prose and the other in verse :

(i) “On Linden, when the sun was low.

Alt bloodless lay the untrodden snow;

And dark as winter was the flow

Of Iser, rolling rapidly.”

The two passages are precisely the same in meaning. The very words are the same. No. (i) contains the first four lines of Campbell’s poem called “Hohenlinden’. No. (ii) includes the same lines with the same words differently arranged. Yet how differently they sound when read loudly. If you can hear this difference, we shall soon describe the difference.

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The two points about the verse-form of the passage that we notice are its:-

(1) Regular Rhythm :

If you read it, can you not hear the regular beat of sound, like the steady tramp of soldiers marching; or the steady beat of the feet of people dancing? There is nothing like this traditional swing in prose passage. The poet arranges his words so that the accented syllables we naturally lay stress in the telling come at equal intervals. While the accented syllables in the first line are italicized, you will see that every second syllable must be pronounced louder.

“On Linden when the sun was low.”

The fall and rise in the passage of sounds in poetry, these intervals of strong and light sounds, like the sound of a drum regulate dance movements, is called rhythm; rhythm is the main and an essential characteristic of verse distinguished from prose. This will be made clear later on.

(2) Rhyme :

The next point is that the words at the end of the first three lines all have the same sound – flow, mow and low. While rumors have the same vowel sound and end with the same consonant sound, we call them to rhyme, e.g., peep, keep, lump, jump; hate, late; crew, few; slide, glide. Rhyme is not necessary to verse, but the poem is generally rhymed. Rhyme has two purposes; it makes verse more musical by giving it good sounds, like the chimes of a bell, and it helps to preserve the verse-form in which the poem is arranged by writing the ends of the lines.

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