Nonlinguistic aspects in the meaning of poem, such as a typeface that produces a visual image of the theme, are emphasized. George Herbert's "Easter Wings" and "The Altar" are two examples, as is George Starbuck's "Poem in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree." Look through more concrete poetry.
Concrete poetry is the art of writing using only the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet in combination with punctuation, without any words being used as sentences. It is so called because it can be represented schematically as a concrete object, such as a slab of stone or a ball of cement. The term was coined in Britain in 1969 by John Latham to describe a then-new form of poetry that he had been experimenting with.
In its most basic definition, a concrete poem is a series of letters, numbers, or other abstract symbols arranged in a pattern that gives meaning when read horizontally or vertically but not necessarily in either direction.
A concrete poem may use alliteration (repeating consonant sounds), assonance (similar vowel sounds), and consonance (musical relations between notes). Concrete poets often write about ideas important to them, using the techniques of typography as their vehicle for expression.
Poets employ figures of speech in their work. There are several forms of figures of speech from which they might pick. Simile, metaphor, personification, hypberbole, and understatement are the most prevalent. A simile is a comparison that uses the terms "like" or "as" to compare one item to another. For example, "her hair was as black as ink" compares her hair to ink. Metaphors use words that have a similar meaning but do not describe what you would expect them to describe. Thus, "roses are red, violets are blue" is a metaphorical description of love. Personifying objects makes them appear to have feelings and act like people do. Hypberbole is when someone says something huge and impressive but not really considering how big or impressive it is. For example, if I say that Napoleon was a great military leader, this is hyperbole because he was not very good at math. Imitation is using words or phrases that sound like someone else's work. For example, Edward Lear wrote poems that sounded like the songs of birds. Laughter is also an imitation because we know what words will make us laugh and we use them instead.
Poetry in free verse. A song of the open road describes a journey, and journeys begin and end at their beginning. All roads lead to Rome (or home), but not all routes are taken by the same person. Many travelers may use a single road, while others travel by different paths to reach their destination.
Free verse is poetry that does not follow a strict form or pattern of lines and syllables. It is the most common form of poetry in the English language. Free-verse poems can be as few as ten lines long or as many as several hundred. They can be about any subject and deal with various topics within that range. Popular subjects for free-verse poems include nature, philosophy, love, politics, history, and religion.
As you write your own songs, it's important to keep in mind that like stories, poems are forms of communication. The more you understand this process, the better able you will be to communicate ideas, feelings, and events to others through writing.
The best way to learn about poetry is by reading lots of great poems. Try reading one every day for a week and see how it affects you.
Poem examples from literature
Shape poetry first appeared in Greek Alexandria in the third century B.C. Poems were inscribed on things such as an ax handle, a statue's wings, an altar, or even an egg during this time period. Concrete poetry conveys meaning or impact by visual techniques, such as patterns of words or letters or other typographical tricks. It emerged at about the same time as shape poetry, but did not become popular until much later.
Concrete poetry is more abstract than shape poetry but no less inventive. Concrete poets often use typography to create images and phrases that convey meaning. They may combine type with painting, drawing, or sculpture to create multi-media works of art. Some concrete poets write their poems on site using found objects. Others type their poems directly onto their computers.
Shapes are important to concrete poetry because they can be used to organize and display the poem. Many concrete poems include images of plants or animals to reflect ideas about nature, creativity, etc. Even when these images are not visible, they can be felt through sound or touch. Some concrete poems are only audible when read out loud. Others contain hidden meanings that reveal themselves only when read together with other poems or texts.
Concrete poetry is not limited to alphabetical or linguistic forms. Some concrete poems are made up of numbers, symbols, or diagrams and act as sketches, maps, or designs. Other concrete poems use handwriting, photos, or recordings and add voice or music as part of the artwork.