Poetry- An analogy
A compilation of subject points of interest-by Frank Norton
I have loved literature from the age of about 9. I have developed a passion
for poetry, and have even written a number over the years for fun. This in
turn has fuelled a further passion in my adult life for “Classical” music, and
indeed songs from the musicals (Especially “Cats” and “The Phantom of the
In compiling this project it is my intention to give a cross-section of
factsAnd figures which represent the heart of what poetry is essentially all
Included will be the following:
Genres and forms
Most quoted (But least read)
Obviously I will be writing a brief explanation of the origin of the word
POETRY itself. I will also be including an original poetic piece of my own.
The word poetry itself is derived from a Latin word poeta, which translates
almost entirely as Poet. It is a type of literary art that uses both aesthetic
and evocative qualities in its language1.
It takes a number of forms and genres, which are not the same. The form
of a poem is the TYPE of poem.
Here is a short list of some:
Ode-This is normally a solemn piece which pays tribute to a particular
person or item. Odes are generally used for Eulogies at funerals.
Sonnet- this is a poem, normally of 14 lines in logical rhyme, popularised
from the 13th century onwards
Limerick- a verse of 5 lines ,with rhyming of lines1,2,and5, and 3 and 4
together but not (traditionally) rhyming with the other 3.
Chastushka- a style of “Folk” poem from Russia.
Genre is generally the main theme of a poem, For example:
Narrative- This is basically a piece of poetry in story form.
Epic- Although very similar to Narrative, this is usually a much longer piece
Satirical- Satire is aimed at quite literally “Taking the mickey”, and even
though it is supposed to be (in essence) funny it is a much debated subject
in all areas of the literary world.
Dramatic- A genre which is spoken or sung (e.g Opera, theatre). The
poetry of Shakespeare for example was unquestionably dramatic.2
These were a group of American writers who emerged in the 1950s. They
seem to have been influenced largely by the drugs and sex culture of the
time, often writing VERY controversial pieces. Examples of their work
How- Alan Ginsberg (1956)
On the road- Jack Kerouac (1957)
Naked lunch- William s Burroughs (1959)
Of course one of the most well known and arguably one of the
most influential writers in history has to be the Bard himself,
William Shakespeare. One would possibly find examples of
everything noted so far somewhere in his works. He is rumoured
(probably correctly) to be the most quoted author of all time.3
Picture of Shakespeare by- Martin Droeshout/ circa 1623
One of the most fascinating points I have unearthed concerns the poet
Alexander Pope. He is reputed to be amongst the most quoted of all poets.
However he is ( strangely) one of the LEAST read.4
The top ten contemporary poets are:
1) Billy Collins
2) Nikki Giovanni
3) Gary Soto
4) Charles Simic
5) Elizabeth Alexander
6) Naomi Shihab Nye
7) Rita Dove
8) Mary Oliver
9) Kay Ryan
(Popularity based on Poets.org traffic data)
The first instance of modern WRITTEN poetry has been traced to (Yes it’s
them again) The United States of America in 1829. It was called
“Specimens of American poetry”, and contained 454 selections from 188
Although I am English I have Welsh heritage way back through the male
side of my bloodline, and being in Swansea (having previously noted the
greatest English poet), it would be only appropriate to mention that great
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
Dylan Thomas was born in 1914, and wrote some great poetry. He also
penned “Under milk Wood”, which was later made into a film starring the
late Richard Burton. Below is a Time line of his life:
1914 Dylan Thomas born on October 27th
1925 First poem published in school magazine
1932 Joins amateur dramatics group
1936 Meets future wife
1939 First child born
1947 Return Journey Home first broadcast
1953 Dylan Thomas dies
1954 Under Milk Wood first broadcast
All sources for this project can be found on my diigo library page
To finish this fun journey I am including (as I mentioned at the start) an
original piece of poetry of my own and the top 10 contemporary poets.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
People say that money talks, and all that glitters is gold.
But we learn that life is harder, hopefully before we grow old.
As children we’re drawn to SO many things, we think that life’s a dream.
Yet as we grow we start to learn, that things aren’t what they seem.
Its all so simple and serene, we just trust Mum and Dad.
However, our dreams are soon destroyed; with a feeling we’ve been had.
We toil, we sweat to make ends meet, we work into the ground
We pray the poverty we see (not so far from home), will NEVER come around.
We see reminders every day, of what we DON’T want to be.
But, be honest, who’s rich or poor, is it them or you or me?
So many think because of wealth, they are so much better than.
Others because they have much less, is this the REAL heart of man..?
The sycophantic ramblings and the Ran tings full of pride.
But think of how you feel, when no one comes to take your side.
Like priest and Levite, we walk by. “Too busy”, (or too mean).
“It’s not my problem”, we insist. Is our grass REALY so green?
We work so hard at being liked, we con, we lie, we flatter
But if our selfish plans are foiled, We say “Well-YOU don’t matter”
We project, we judge, and yes we condemn. We feel we have the right.
However who do we answer to, when facing our darkest night.
When all is said and done, this is the simple truth my friend.
“For all have sinned and fall short..1”. we’re all the same in the end.
So next time you well up with hate, and ostracise your fellow man
Remember God loves you not because he must, but because he can.
He only, has the right to judge, and one day indeed HE WILL.
But for now he wants us to be our best, and I hope with wisdom we will