OpenLearn Scotland
OpenLearn Scotland

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Free course

OpenLearn Scotland

7.3 What is poetry?

Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This course 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.

The course 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’. It discusses 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.

To access this material click on the course link below. It leads to a separate OpenLearn course and will open in a new window.

Learning outcomes

By the end of your study of this course, 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.

 

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