I’m waiting for a guide to Post-Modernism to arrive in the post, so currently I don’t feel massively confident about distinguishing different era’s or styles of Poetry. However I’ve done a little research into more contemporary poetry.
I came across Popshot Magazine which combines Poems, Short-Stories & Flash Fiction with Illustration. I thought this was a good place to find some poems to check their use of poetic devices. I also took a look at the Poetry Foundation website and a chose a poem based on the subject of ‘Autumn’ to find examples of poetic devices.
Analysis of Poems:
I have one book poetry which is a collection of William Blake’s poems. I wanted to look into one of his poems as an example of poetry from a different era, the 1800’s but also of a different feel.
Analysis of an extract from a novel:
In the extract taken from F.Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night , he makes use of personification to add to the emotion or drama of the incidents that happen to the characters. It aids the imagery and reinforces the perspective of the lead character Rosemary.
Sarah Kay is a poet, or spoken word poet, and teacher from New York. During the Ted talk above she discusses how she approaches teaching poetry, in particular spoken poetry, which involves performance. I think it’s interesting to see the rise in this form of creative expression, I always found it easier to engage with a story if it were read aloud or visualised in some form.
She also mentioned a technique she used to help people write their own poem’s, she asks them to list 3 – 10 things they know to be true and then explore one of those as a subject area.
Sarah Kay performance poetry:
Listening to their performances I could pick out fairly consistent use of Rhyming couplets, Metaphors, Repetition of phrases or single words, assonance.
Mostly I just enjoy their subject matter, it’s refreshing to hear poetry that isn’t self absorbed or exploring the darkest parts of life, repeatedly.
Using Sarah Kay’s Method – 10 Things I know to be True
- Life is better lived in community
- Joy is not the same as happiness
- Crisps are my favourite snack food
- Love has to be maintained
- You cannot change the past
- My granny is the cheekiest old lady I’ve ever known
- Doing the food shop whilst hungry is always a bad idea
- Having your heart broken hurts at whatever age it happens
- Creativity is healing
- It is possible to change.
I first came across Kate Tempest during an episode of Artsnight, which was looking into poetry, particularly how contemporary poetry was breaking the stereotype of poetry being ‘high cultured’ or of a certain class.
For my own personal interest it’s also interesting to see someone exploring Spoken word poetry from a Christian or Discipleship perspective. Using poetry to explore religion is nothing new, I certainly remember reading William Blake poems at A-Level. But I find that this format feels fresher, there’s something different in hearing and seeing the poem play out.
Considering it’s form as a piece is interesting; it is poetry and yet there’s a story told in the visuals alongside it; in this case someone preparing a meal, which reinforces the message which has been spoken. I wonder do we live in a generation which cannot just hear something and understand it, do we always need visuals to connect to the meaning of a piece?
That’s not a criticism of the piece of the visual, I think both tie together more a question or statement about creative expression today.
Writing my own poem’s using Poetic Devices & Sarah Kay’s method:
Granny is the cheekiest old lady I’ve ever known
When my granny was three,
Or so she tells me,
She used to steal vegetables from her father’s garden
When she was sixteen,
She was living the dream.
Being paid to sell bananas,
From a green grocers shop.
At the age of three,
I sat on her knee,
And laughed whilst she farted repeatedly.
When I was sixteen,
I took her out to the zoo,
She got confused and used the men’s loos.
I introduced her to someone,
My husband to – be,
To him she took a fancy,
As it came to goodbye,
With a glint in her eye,
She kissed him on the lips and not the cheek!
And that is why,
My granny is the cheekiest old lady I have ever known.
I think I managed to use rhyme, repetition and some consonance, but not much else, so I tried to write another poem using more of the devices…
Joy is not the same as Happiness
Happiness has haste in its DNA,
It waits for no one,
It wants what it wants, now!
Her favourite phrase is ‘me, me, me’.
Joy is different entirely,
She waits out the storm patiently,
Not driven by emotions or circumstances,
She lends her ways to others.
Happiness is hungry even whilst eating a feast,
Joy can withstand the harshest famine,
They have as much in common as night and day.
I think I managed to use; alliteration, assonance, personification, repetition, rhyme, simile. I’m not perfect a poetry so I think that I’ve done well to at least try and make use of the poetic devices for this exercise.