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 ...
The_Puzzler's 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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
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 ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
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, ...
tryin's user avatar
  • 2,468
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 ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
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 ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
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? ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
13 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, ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's 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 ...
David Richerby's 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 ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 4,053
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 ...
Max Williams's 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)...
Monica Cellio's 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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's 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 ...
signedav's user avatar
  • 389
12 votes

Why do artists make grammar mistakes in their songs?

Here's one linguist's take on this. The following four points appear in order of INCREASING importance. First of all, song writers and poets consciously and unconsciously play with the grammar and ...
Araucaria - him.'s user avatar
11 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,...
Terri Simon's user avatar
  • 1,830
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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
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 ...
EDL's user avatar
  • 12k
10 votes
Accepted

What is it called when poets change 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 ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
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 ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
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 ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 1,710
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 ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
10 votes

What is the minimum requirement for a song to be considered a story?

No, your song represents an emotion; longing. Many songs do that. A story, at its minimum, is a sequence of causes and effects, typically leading the listener to wonder what happens -- and then get ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
9 votes

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

Max Williams has given the best workaround with that indentation suggestion. However, one other possibility is to rearrange the items in the list, thereby producing more couplets that fit into the 40-...
J.R.'s user avatar
  • 1,143
9 votes
Accepted

What to look for when criticizing poetry?

I studied literature at school, and the most important thing I learnt is that the obejctive of a poet is to transmit something, whether an idea or a feeling. To do so, the poet uses a range of ...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
9 votes

As a new poet, where can I find help from a professional to judge my work?

Go to a local university and speak with a writer in residence or a professor who is well-respected. Take creative writing courses and listen to the feedback. Join a writers group - but remember, ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
9 votes
Accepted

Scansion tool for checking my meter

This might help with the identifying-meter educational part of it. For Better for Verse: It’s an interactive on-line tutorial that can train you to scan traditionally metered English poetry. Here you ...
April  Salutes Monica C.'s user avatar

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