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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!
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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.
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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
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