from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The Met: Policing London: Episode FourThursday, 2nd July 2015 00:10 - BBC OneThis episode of OU/BBC's The Met: Policing London looks at tackling the city's crime after dark - from... Read more: The Met: Policing London: Episode Four
The Met: Policing London: Episode FourThursday, 2nd July 2015 01:00 - BBC One
The Bottom Line: Summer 2015: The Bottom Line - Burger BattlesThursday, 2nd July 2015 20:30 - BBC Radio 4
The Bank: Love and MoneyThursday, 2nd July 2015 23:20 - BBC Two
The Bank: Love and MoneyAvailable until Sunday, 2nd August 2015 00:50The second episode of The Bank looks at love in relation to money - with everything from engagements, marriage,... Read more: The Bank: Love and Money
The Met: Policing London: Episode FourAvailable until Monday, 6th July 2015 22:00
Thinking Allowed: Factory music and volunteering post-recessionAvailable for over a year
Thinking Allowed: White working class boys and French thoughtAvailable for over a year
Video and Transcript - PolishAs part of an international project to get our International Year of Light animation... Read more: Video and Transcript - Polish
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Start writing fictionHave you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course,... Try: Start writing fiction now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning 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, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. 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’re a regular user of OpenLearn and 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 in a 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.