On Writing Poetry for Fame and Fun

A couple of years ago I enrolled in some WordPress classes. They were free, and served to help in learning the WP system, and meeting new like-minded people online. Short stories, flash-fiction, various forms of poetry, and educational or informative opinion pieces. Photography classes were fun and instructional. All of the classes were interactive, no pressure—there was a daily assignment and interactive chat rooms and commentary. Students were free to do a project that was “assigned,” do something else, skip the exercise altogether. There was no judging, no right or wrong, everybody’s work was respected no matter what.

My favorite was Poetry Class. I suppose I learned some poetry forms back in literature classes in high school, but most of that information I either ignored or filed away back in my file-cabinet-brain. To this day I love reading poems out loud. There is something about poetic meter that is as deep as song, and pulls me out of the doldrums or self-pity-dumps within my soul.

My favorite example is in these first six lines of the classic account of the famous (if factually lacking) poem by e.e.cummings.

The first poetry that comes to mind to this very day is e.e.cummings’ classic account of the famous (if factually lacking) poem about Christopher Columbus. Hear are the first six lines

(Here we go: let our eyes glide over the words of the opening line::)
“In fourteen hundred and ninety two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.
He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.”

(Now, let’s try it again, with emphasis:)
” In FOURteen HUNdred NINEty Two
ColUMbus SAILed the OCean BLUE!
He HAD three SHIPS and SAILED from SPAIN
He SAILED through SUNshine, WIND and RAIN
He SAILED by NIGHT; he SAILED by DAY;
He USED the STARS to FIND his WAY.”

Doesn’t that metered rhyme add a poke and a jog to the reading?

[to be continued…]