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While poetry does come from the heart, it won’t express your true feelings without work and control of the creation process.  The best love poets learn the rhythm, language and mechanics of poetry.   It’s not just about winning contests or getting a good grade.

[What is “it”?  And what does “getting good grades” have to do with anything?]

It’s about creating this poem in a way that can most accurately and fluidly be read and understood. Mechanics are not about stifling your creativity but instead a way of helping you write with a proper structure so your poem flows effectively. Just like a musician, born with natural talent, still has to learn how to put notes together to make his sound, the poet must learn the mechanics of poetry to make his rhythm.  A good                                                                                                       poem doesn’t just happen.

This is a Definition Essay.  In this type of essay, the student builds a definition, offering information piece by piece, until a full understanding of a particular object or subject is presented.   I’ve also highlighted in red the common mistakes of student writers.    –Miss McCulla

A poem is not just a bunch of words scribbled down on paper. While it may sometimes seems [seem] that way to the untrained eye, a lot of work and structure actually goes into an excellent poem. A poem has many parts. It has a structure. Every single word has a meaning and a purpose. Everything comes together to form a magnificent work of art when you have a completed poem. A work of art.

Most poetry has a rhythm. A poem doesn’t have to rhyme but it should have a rhythm or flow to the words. This rhythm is achieved by emphasizing or deemphasizing particular syllables in the words of the lines. Early forms of poetry were not written on paper but were actually spoken and passed down through generations as oral traditions; this is one reason that rhythm was so important.  It is also why you should recite your poem out loud as you write it.  Hearing it is the best way to modify the rhythm as you go along.  It makes sense that poetry “readings” are so popular at coffee shops and bookstores. The rhythms are meant to be heard and appreciated.

This is a typical student essay (with better grammar control).  It is clearly written and has a couple of tips for the reader.  This paper would receive a “C-” in my Senior Honors class.   The essay needs specifics in the body and a summarizing conclusion at the end.  —Miss McCulla

Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years.  She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career.  She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms, analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publisher houses, and years of “teacher tips” and “general interest examples,” and passes them on to interested writers.

March 15, 2019   45   mary    Definition Essay, Help With Student Essays, Poetry  
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