Ahh, poetry, the muse...and all that. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to learn that I esteem verse above all other artistic modes. That is not to say, however, that I'll not set forth with bellicose rhetoric, and thunder against any poet I think is being unnecessarily "puffed-up".
In fact the wanton elevation of the rhyme game is my bête noir. It's only done to stop Joe Public from having a bash at setting down a stanza or two. Take it from me, there's really nothing to it. One need only hold on to a couple of technical pointers in order to churn out some reasonably palatable poetry. These are as follows:
- Subject matter should revolve around and about natural phenomena - animals, plants, rivers etc - wherever possible.
- Metre is crucial. I'd advise most beginners to stick to the iambic pentameter. We won't go into the nuts and bolts of it here. Suffice to say that if you can scream your lines along to the theme from The Archers without wandering off the beat too much, you'll not be going far wrong.
- Try and rhyme as much as possible. The only thing that separates a bona fide poem from a washing instruction label is rhyme. I really can't emphasise this enough.
- Simile and metaphor are the most powerful weapons in a poet's armoury. To say something is like something else is the heart of poetry. Otherwise we'd all just make lists. Start off with simile. As confidence increases, try substituting the occasional metaphor.
Bearing the above in mind, consider the following, which I ran off in about two hundred seconds.