Hot answers tagged

35 votes
Accepted

Is there a name for the technique in songs/poems, where the rhyming pattern primes the listener for a certain line, which never comes?

I believe it would just be called a teasing rhyme, or more widely a mind rhyme. As in the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_rhyme: Mind rhyme is the suggestion of a rhyme which is left unsaid ...
user avatar
34 votes
Accepted

Are there situations where using an anastrophe is ill-advised?

It's never good style to depart from standard usage without a good reason. It just makes things harder to read and understand. In your example, the meaning is clear, but there's nothing about it ...
user avatar
22 votes

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

Here are Shakespeare's sonnets in a text file from Guttenberg.org http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1041/1041.txt Open the file in a text editor and strip away the metadata and footnotes. These are ...
user avatar
  • 24.3k
19 votes

What makes a poem a poem?

There is a continuum between poetry and prose. Some prose is very poetic, and some poetry is deliberately prosaic. At one time, the distinction was easier to draw, because poetry was chiefly ...
user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Using “sparkling” as a diminutive of “spark” in a poem

(Assuming I understood your question, and you mean 'sparkling' as in a baby spark) If I were to come across this without any context, I would probably read it as a verb or adjective (sparkling water, ...
user avatar
  • 2,458
19 votes
Accepted

How do you say that a land is desolate without telling it literally in a poem?

What kind of land is it? No man is an island, and no desolation is empty. The moon will be stark black sky against endless grainy grey wastes of fine dust and rock. Deserts will be hot and dry, with ...
user avatar
  • 12.8k
15 votes
Accepted

How to convey newlines in tweeted poetry, if at all?

In general, to convey poetic line breaks in "continuous text", replace the line break with a slash. "I've never seen a purple cow./I never hope to see one./But I can tell you anyhow,/I'd rather see ...
user avatar
  • 25.2k
15 votes

I noticed that several already-existing poems used the same highly specific puns and phrases that I used. Is this unintentional plagiarism on my part?

You're being overly sensitive. Any combination of two words, no matter how original, could be already used elsewhere. That's not plagiarism, that's statistics. The only slightly worrying case is ...
user avatar
14 votes

Using “sparkling” as a diminutive of “spark” in a poem

"-ling" is a valid diminuitive, but in this case your coinage would be directly competing with a common English word, the adjective "sparkling." Given that, I'd argue against use of this unless there ...
user avatar
13 votes

Is there a format I can save my poems in that will make the publisher unable to copy and paste?

Under no circumstances will you be able to protect textual works. From a technical standpoint. Not on Kindle, not on iBooks, not on Nook, not on your smartphone, not on the web, not in a Word document,...
user avatar
  • 251
13 votes
Accepted

Having a character quote an entire stanza of a poem

Format it the same way, with blockquote indents, and if you can add a little dialogue before and after, you don't have to worry about weird quote mark placement. Bilbo stood and cleared his throat. "...
user avatar
13 votes

Everything I write ends up being a rhyming poem, or lyrics maybe

So you want to write the story of your life, but are more comfortable with verse than with prose? Why not think of it as a strength rather than a weakness? You're expressing your life in verse, right? ...
user avatar
13 votes

Are there situations where using an anastrophe is ill-advised?

Is there a situation where reversing the natural word order is ill-advised or completely wrong. Yes. Consider a simple sentence such as "Mary ate an apple." Using anastrophe, you could write this as ...
user avatar
13 votes

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

A concordance lists every word used in a work (or across a series of works) alphabetically, so the link Concordance of Shakespeare's complete works from OpenSourceShakespeare will be helpful. Clicking ...
user avatar
  • 3,573
12 votes

How to show that one long line of poetry is only one line

This totally isn't a question about the English language, but you could indent the continued parts like so: +----------------------------------------+ |Peter Turner | |code ...
user avatar
12 votes

How do you get over the fear of exposing yourself in writing?

I have resorted more than once to citing Neil Gaiman's 2012 address Make Good Art. Let me quote from it here too: The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, ...
user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Making science for toddlers easy to remember

It's been decades since I was a kid watching cartoons on TV, and I can still sing some of the Schoolhouse Rock songs. Schoolhouse Rock, for those unfamiliar with it, was a series of short (2-3 minute)...
user avatar
12 votes

How to display a duet in lyrics?

This is how Tolkien solves a similar problem in The Lord of the Rings: ENT. When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and sap is in the bough; When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on ...
user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Do poets care about the meter when writing for the first time?

As far as I have heard from poets who have been guests at the university, their approaches are very diverse. Many first write down their thoughts and then form a poem with rhythm and verse and - if ...
user avatar
  • 389
11 votes

How Many Poems Does a Chapbook Typically Contain?

This guide to creating a chapbook (PDF) suggests a length of 20 to 30 pages with no more than one poem per page, so roughly 25 shorter poems. If a poem takes more than one page, it would be ...
11 votes

Should you publish or share poetry that was written simply in an angry or sad rant?

I don't think it matters what your state of mind was when writing; if anger motivates you to write, then why not use that as a muse? What matters is whether the finished work is any good or not. I'd ...
user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

How can I add more depth to my poem?

The reason your 4th grade poems didn't have any depth is you weren't putting any in there. As you said, they were just fun bits of doggerel that rhymed. If you want deeper poetry, choose a deeper ...
user avatar
11 votes

How do you say that a land is desolate without telling it literally in a poem?

Let’s start with ‘Water, Water, Everywhere, nor any drop to drink.’ from the The Rime of the Ancient Mariner It provides some simple essential facts — surrounded by water — followed by something a ...
user avatar
  • 7,885
10 votes

Metaphor or Personification

It is personification. Simile and metaphor are both comparing X to Y, but in different ways. A simile always uses "like" or "as": "The rustling of the branches was like trees whispering to each ...
user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How many poems are in an average book of poems?

Books under 50 pages, particularly if they are saddle stapled or bound in some similar style, are generally referred to as chapbooks. Based on what I've seen of publishers requirements for submissions,...
user avatar
  • 1,760
10 votes
Accepted

What is it called when poets changing grammar rules?

This is called poetic license. Although the more familiar use of the term is to depart from the facts for a better sounding story or phrase, the use of it to mean departure from standard grammar and ...
user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Coincidence of Similarity in Writing

Don't worry - everything has been done before; just try to be yourself Your goal shouldn't be to be the only one to ever blog about something. This is especially true for fiction as there are only a ...
user avatar
  • 5,586
10 votes

Difference between Writing Song-Lyrics and Writing Poetry

I can think of two large differences: prosody, and the more ephemeral nature of music that is listened to versus poetry that is read. Prosody Both poetry and lyrics can have meter or not, but with ...
user avatar
  • 1,692
10 votes

How can I add more depth to my poem?

There is a character-building strategy that uses Theory of Mind where an important character is described only through the perception of another less-important character. It forces you to imagine ...
user avatar
  • 24.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible