Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm not a poet, but I love to write poems just as I write stories about my personal thoughts and feelings. I know, like you do, that stories are usually written in prose. We also know that there are times when a good story can be told with the richness of words, rhythm, and rhyme.

Few of those good examples of stories in poetry form are: "The Highwayman" written by Alfred Noyes, which is the story of a highwayman's ill-fated visit to Bess, the landlord's daughter; "Lord Randall", an old ballad written by an unknown singer to celebrate the sad story of Lord Randall and his sweetheart; "The Wreck of Hesperus" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a story of sea adventure and tragedy in New England.

Sometimes, a poem does not tell a story. It arouses in its reader a mood, a feeling, or emotions he may have felt but is unable to express. A poet has the ability to see and hear things sharply and describe them vividly. Some poetry is very easy to read and understand that it requires no further study, while others must be carefully examined before it can be fully understood and enjoyed.

Poetry has special qualities readers must know in order to comprehend its meaning and enjoy it. They are the following to wit. After reading, can you tell from which famous poems these lines are taken?

1. Imagery: Poetry uses figurative language.

"Grant him, O Lord, a full control,
That he may learn in heights of heaven
The rapture altitude has given. . ."

2. Compression: Poetry can say a great deal in a few words.

"The lark's on the wing;
The snails on the thorn:
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!"

3. Intensity: Poetry expresses deep feeling.

"And so, all the nighttide, I lie down
by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and
my bride,
In her sepulcher there by the sea -
In her tomb by the side of the sea."

4. Rhythm: The regular accent of repeated sounds is one of the beauties of poetry.

"With rue my heart is laden
For gold friends I had,
For many a rose-lipped maiden
And many a lightfoot lad."

5. Rhyme: Some poetry please us by repeating the last sound in each line.

"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree."

Source: Adventures for Readers Book I, Elizabeth C. O'Daly, et. al. , California State series, 1961.

Here, have a look at my attempt to express my feelings in this piece of poetry. Remember this though, when reading a poem, you always have two choices, to get the meaning intended by the writer or to follow your own meaning to it.


You greet this day, yawning away
the pains of day before.
Yesterday has its own tale to tell,
but today is a new day.
Arise! - a ray of hope is arms' away,
but hark!
Only the fools see it,
through seared myopic sights.

The great and the mighty,
sprawled carelessly,
under canopied beds.
They lay motionless, savoring still
the Godly taste of vintage wine,
unmindful of the priceless china
that lay broken near their manicured feet.
While their bodies gyrate yet in interlude
of last night's tale of woes.

Do they ever know, of the biting taste
of sufferings, the lone and frail figure in the dark
must brave,
as he waits for his chance, to gather the crumbs,
under the upturned chairs.
the excesses of the night, strewn around,
them cats and dogs feasted on-
to pick unnoticed,
and bring them with glee to his hungry siblings, waiting. . .
with their mouths agape in resigned patience?

Yes, you are right! The great disparity between the rich and the poor is real. It hurts, really hurts.

Photo by: Gustavo Montes de Oca

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