Three Common Misunderstood Elements of Poetry
Vibhor Mittal is in Houston tonight, reading what he loves, poetry, which so many people explore at some point in their lives. Generally, these poems written from dramatic life crises of youth don’t work. Mittal admits that most of his poetry doesn’t work the first go round, either. He suggests that writing good poetry requires reading. And after that, read some more.
The first step (after the first step, reading) is avoiding clichés. The second step is to use the common elements of poetry. The third step is to read what is being published today. Finally, Vibhor Mittal in Houston has learned that practice makes nearly perfect, because he believes perfection is not truly achievable.
Here are the most common, misunderstood, elements:
- Rhythm: Every piece of writing has its flow. The show Frasier has been praised for the sound of its dialogue. More poets should care about how it feels to speak their writing aloud.
- Rhyme: Very little modern poetry rhymes. There are many reasons. Modern poets see it as a needless distinction between prose and poetry. Much of it sounds forced, because many people who sit down to write it aren’t able to commit long enough to find two perfect words (or more!) that actually go together. Still, poetry has internal rhymes, slant rhymes, and other structural techniques that promote the added flow provided by inconsistent rhyming.
- Metaphor: Similes dominate bad poetry, and pass almost unnoticed in good poetry. It is easier to improve similes, according to Vibhor Mittal of Houston. Still, when have you watched a movie and thought it perfectly defined your childhood? Was it art explaining experience? Mittal suggests that this means you were just assassinated by metaphor.