Structure of Poems

Structure of Poems: What Aspiring Poets Need to Know

Poetry just like any other form of writing has its own set of structures and guidelines they need to adhere to. The structure of poems will enlighten you on how words and lines should be divided and organized accordingly.

The lines in shaping a structure are building blocks that tailor every poetic line. This is where poets decide about the length of the line and when they’re going to cut it off. These poetic lines are every representation of the overall theme while it links from one stanza to the other.

This explains poems whose structure are the same as this:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

– Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)

The line breaks and its length are important decisions you make as a poet since these are vital factors that will impact your readers’ experience. Know some of them below:

 Sound of the poem

This is determined when your audience reads your poem out loud, through their minds, or the slight break they make at every end of the line.

 Reading speed

The speed of reading can be measured by how you shorten or lengthen the lines.

 Page appearance

How does it look like when it’s read? Is it pleasing to the eyes and easy to read? Is it consuming the entire page or fitted just with the right margin and space?

 Emphasis

This is establishing emphasis and attention to the closing lines of your poem. The concluding lines should incorporate more emphasis than the middle.

Building a concrete structure of poems was one of Margaret Fourt Goka’s greatest accomplishments in her poetry collection The Woven Flag. From the stanzas to its form, Goka has creatively structured her words with great emphasis and meaning.

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