Poets enjoy playing with words to express the emotions of life. There are many different types and genres of poetry for the undergraduate student to explore. The basic forms of poetry are:
object poem (open type of poetry with no standard form), formula poem (subject poetry), cinquain poem (five lined poetry), haiku poem (non-rhyming poetry with 5/7/5 syllable structure), synonym poem (find words similar to subject, last few lines rhyme), tanka poem (5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure), diamante poem (specific adjectives, verbs and other words used in formal structure), acrostic poem (alphabet poem written vertically), and free verse poem (non-rhyming free patterned poem).
College professors teach poetry classes by allowing the students to write various types of poetry and encouraging them to tap into their emotions when looking for subject matter. Poetry writing can take on several different forms, and can be literal, literary, visually stimulating and can even relate to a fantasy or dream of the writer. The challenge for the college student studying poetry will be to create original work based on old feelings, life experiences, and relationships with others. The study of poetry is related to the study of dance and music, since many songs are poems set to music for the enjoyment of an audience. Poetry is an art form, and is available to people of every walk of life as a way to express the emotions of life and living in verse. The writing of poetry allows the student to arrange meter, sentence, syllables and words in a pattern that expresses ideas on a topic, issue or concern. Poetry is seen in religious texts and in everyday popular songs, and it allows the audience's imagination to “see” what is being said based on the magical and often mystical descriptions given in a poem.
Poetry can be a powerful medium in a person’s life, and poems have been credited with teaching people how to live more fully in their lives. When a student tries to create a poem as a homework assignment, or better yet, reads a great poem, the student can be transported to a different time in history such as during a war that is being described by a soldier who writes poetically on the day’s events in his wartime diary. Students of poetry learn to choose their words carefully to express their thoughts in the most vivid way possible, and they work on editing and rewriting their poems to make them have the greatest impact on the reader.
College students can study the classical poets, such as Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, W.H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop by visiting a terrific online poetry course titled Modern Poetry offered by Yale University's Yale Open Courses. Be sure to visit The American Poetry Journal, The American Poetry Review, and Southern Poetry Review.
On a level appropriate for a student seeking college homework help, a great online tutorial for poetry is offered by MIT's OpenCourseWare and is titled Reading Poetry.
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