Friday, August 9, 2013

A Beginning Poet's Assets

Poetry takes many different forms.  Meter, syllable count, rhythm, and literal shapes are combined in endless ways, or even avoided completely, to create poetic pieces.  Line breaks, organization, and white space can be used to change or create meaning in a poem.  Although my main goal is to write fiction, I find poetry writing a great exercise because it often heavily utilizes many literary devices that are beneficial to both forms.  During a recent poetry writing workshop with Southern New Hampshire University, I found the following resources most important to my writing process.

Poetry

The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
A full spectrum of poetry information sorted alphabetically for easy navigation.  From poetic movements to terminology, the site a great first resource for poetry knowledge.

Shadow Poetry - A Poet's Writing Resource
Shadow Poetry explores poetic figures of speech, forms, mechanics, and terms.  The site provides definitions and examples, a poetry guide, a poetry handbook, and a word challenge poetry competition.  The numerous forms of poetry discussed and explained will prove a great resource to a poet looking to stretch out of their comfort zone, challenge their abilities, or simply learn new forms by which to express their poetic ability.

Rhymer by WriteExpress
A free rhyming dictionary that allows you to search for rhyming words by beginning rhyme, end rhyme, first syllable rhyme, last syllable rhyme, and double rhyme.  The free online version is limited, but very helpful.

Thesaurus
Find synonyms and antonyms for words.  The search breaks words down by definition, part of speech, and the directly related synonyms and antonyms for each one.  A simple click of one word will bring you to the same break down for the selected word.  Sometimes in poetry you need to express things differently from your initial wording and a thesaurus is necessary to really explore your options unless, of course, you're a walking dictionary and thesaurus.

VirtualSalt: A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices
A list of 60 rhetorical devices to spice up your writing with definitions and examples for terms such as alliteration, anaphora, assonance, oxymoron, metaphor, personification, etc. 

How Many Syllables
Simple syllable counter for those words you aren't too sure about. 



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