EMPHASIZING is your friend

One of the creative powers in writing poetry is emphasizing the important messages within the work you’ve created.  There are many ways to emphasize your poetry, the most common and most recognizable way to give emphasis is through repetition. However there are other ways to emphasize without any repetition at all.  Here are some ways to emphasize your poetry:

Repetition
There are many ways you can incorporate repetition into your poetry. You can repeat singular words over and over again within the text or you could repeat specific sentences. I, personally, enjoy repeating sentences by starting and ending my poems with the same sentence. In using the same sentence to start and end the poem, you’re giving emphasis to the journey between the two points and showing the reader how the situation has changed.

For example, I wrote this a couple days ago. Notice the repetition of the first and last lines.

A Translation

Dripping, bleeding, following the path.
I guess this is what it means to be in love with someone who is constantly running away.

Under a skirt, over a bench, through to the white house.
All you do is take her on trips but I’ve gone on trips with you first. When will this jealousy ever leave my mind?

Subtlety, monastery, included in devastation and horrid reclusion.
If only we could just run away to our own place the way it was last year, but without anyone with blond of long hair. That would be nice, I would be there all the time.

Jumping, hopping, skipping over hoops just to get you to remember me.
I’m still here and I hope that you still want me to be. But should my friendship with you ever become anything less, I may just shut down. The way I did last year.

Dripping, bleeding, I followed the path to the road less travelled and I wondered if you would be there, waiting for me. 

Play on words
If you are fascinated by playing with words and how they sound when pronounced differently, then this will be super easy for you to do. Playing with words can mean anything from relating two completely opposite things as being similar or using several words that sound the same and placing them next to each other.  This could be something like writing the word “hear” instead of the word “here” or “right” instead of the word “write.” There are so many opportunities with poetry and play on words.

Comparisons: Metaphors & Similes
Comparisons are especially fun to use because in poetry you can compare humans to nature and other uncontrollable forces. Comparisons allow the reader and the writer to connect on how the poem makes poet feel and how it was meant to make the reader feel. From last month’s “Poet of the Week,” Michael Lottner, here’s an example on comparisons with his poem Autumn.

Rhyming
Rhyming is probably one of the oldest ways of emphasizing poetry. Rhyming shows effort and fluidity. For some reason, if done correctly, the reader can feel the scene the writer presents and that way they are able to empathize with the situation. Be careful, though, because rhyming can be done like a fifth grader or like a professional. Readers can tell when rhyming is forced or natural. Words don’t only rhyme with words of the same ending, it is the sound that creates the rhyme not the spelling.

Here’s an example from poet Bill Winchester:

you should have known
me when I was
green,
straining,
reaching for an
answer
that was never
really there

Text Organization
Text organization takes a lot of hard work and commitment. This is usually when the poet takes the time to type out a specific formation using their words. Usually the shape of the text emphasizes the overall theme of the poem. It is usually seen as a way the poet has interpreted what is known as “the blank page” in front of them. This is not a popularly used form of emphasis, however those who succeed at it tend to be remembered for it.

I hope these examples have been helpful to you and all your future writing adventures!

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