from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Canals: The Making of a Nation: EngineeringWednesday, 2nd September 2015 01:20 - BBC FourEpisode 6 of 6 looks at the rise of civil engineering and the feats of technology behind the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Read more: Canals: The Making of a Nation: Engineering
Canals: The Making of a Nation: EngineeringAvailable until Friday, 2nd October 2015 01:50Episode 6 of 6 looks at the rise of civil engineering and the feats of technology behind the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Read more: Canals: The Making of a Nation: Engineering
More or Less: Chinese market crash, e-cigarettes and runnersAvailable for over a year
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 1Available until Tuesday, 29th September 2015 19:00
Are our kids tough enough? Chinese school: Episode TwoAvailable until Monday, 28th September 2015 01:55
Britain's Great War: Download your free 'The First World War Experienced' boo...From casualties to commemoration, explore the realities of war with this free booklet. Read more: Britain's Great War: Download your free 'The First World War Experienced' booklet
OpenLearn Live: 2nd September 2015The devil's music is just the start of a day of free learning. Read more: OpenLearn Live: 2nd September 2015
The Roman Empire: introducing some key termsThis free course will define basic concepts and terms that are essential for an understanding of... Try: The Roman Empire: introducing some key terms now
Forensic psychologyDiscover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and... Try: Forensic psychology now
What is poetry?
Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This...
Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This unit is designed to illustrate the techniques behind both the traditional forms of poetry and free verse. You will learn how you can use your own experiences to develop ideas and how to harness your imagination.
By the end of your study of this unit, you should have:
- an understanding of the common techniques underlying free verse and traditional forms of poetry;
- begun to identify aspects of your own experience and imagination that you can use when writing poems;
- learnt the basic terminology and practical elements of poetry.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning Outcomes
- 1 What is poetry?: an introduction
- 2 Forming the form
- 3 What is poetry?
- 4 Impersonation and imagination
- 5 Poetic techniques
- 6 Rhyme
- 7 Other rhyming techniques
- 8 Stress and rhythm
- 9 Metre
- 10 Hold that space!
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
What is poetry?
This unit introduces common techniques underlying free verse and traditional forms of poetry, and how it is necessary to use these techniques in order to harness what T.S. Eliot called the ‘logic of the imagination’ (Eliot, 1975, p. 77). We discuss the possibility of using your own experience, but also the power of imagination, and of utilising different personae in your poems. You are also introduced to the basic terminology and practical elements of poetry – the line, line-breaks, stanzas, couplets, tercets, quatrains and other stanza lengths, rhyme, rhythm, caesura and metre. As you work through the unit, the key terms we discuss are highlighted in bold. Definitions for these terms are provided in the glossary at the end of the unit.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from A175 Start writing poetry which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
The Open University is conducting a survey investigating how people use the free educational content on our OpenLearn website. The aim is to provide a better free learning experience for everyone. So if you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d be delighted if you could take part and tell us what you think
Please note this will take you out of OpenLearn, we suggest you open this in a new tab by right clicking on the link and choosing ‘Open Link in new Tab’.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Literature courses or view the range of currently available OU Literature courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 23rd April 2014
Last updated on: Wednesday, 23rd April 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.