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Poetic Form: Leaning on Many Leaves

When Walt Whitman self-published the original twelve poems the world has come to know as Leaves of Grass in 1855, it was not well-received. Perhaps if Ralph Waldo Emerson, a like-minded Transcendentalist, had not deemed it “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has now contributed,” Whitman, […]

Poetic Form: Sonnet

Most high school English courses include an introduction to Shakespeare and his voluminous collection of sonnets. But, Shakespeare was not the only poet to hone his skills at waxing poetic to his Muse in iambic pentameter for fourteen lines of three quatrains and a couplet. In fact before Shakespeare, Petrarch […]

Poetic Form: Free Verse

Free verse is a literary device that can be defined as poetry that is free from limitations of regular meter or rhythm, and does not rhyme with fixed forms. Such poems are without rhythm and rhyme schemes, do not follow regular rhyme scheme rules, yet still provide artistic expression. In this way, the poet can give his own shape […]

Poetic Form: Sestina

I was going to focus on Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” as an example of a villanelle. But, since I have been working on a sestina, I decided to read Bishop’s “Sestina” for some encouragement. A sestina is a challenging, yet worthwhile form. I have written and published one that is, […]

New and Occasional Additions

Throughout the month of April, I shared insights about poets, poems, quotations, poetic forms, and my own poetry practice based on these themes. I decided that I enjoy what I am learning about the poets I am studying. Learning new things–even about topics I already know in depth–excites me and […]