Writing is an art of formidable depth and nuance, the more experienced the writer, the more complex and multidimensional the work becomes. It is not just the conveying of meaning, but the way in which that meaning is expressed, as well as the artistry in the expression that captures the mind and heart of the reader.
We may state our cause, use inference or redirection to affect the questions wanted. Good writers rarely just tell their underlying intention, rather evoke emotions and have the reader follow their own trains of thought to arrive at the wanted conclusion. In a way good writers manipulate their readers, take them on a journey of discovery, one that captures their imagination and their appreciation for the process.
Poetry is even more defined by its hues of expression, being somewhat more succinct by form. In that respect the artistry of this genre depends greatly on the ability to hone words to fit within precise parameters. We must beguile the reader with both the beauty of language and the flow of words that take them to realms unknown. It is a magical process.
Here, the mere sound of words is paramount. Not just the right meanings but the flow of sound can either make or break a work. Harsh sounding words that are abrupt give us a ‘jolt’ rather than flow in our minds, and that can disturb a fine work and immediately feel wrong to the reader. It is not just counting syllables or sticking to a rhyming scheme that validates poetry. Often free poetry can have just as much effect with meter than any rhyming scheme. This is achieved by the right use of words.
Today we are faced with endless structures within poetry. We may rhyme in schemes, use it sparingly, use free poetry with or without meter and basically choose any combination at our discretion. The importance is connection: to express meaning, vision, and artistry to a reader in the most pure and artistic form. We hope this will transport the reader to become lost within the aesthetics of the work. Here we paint picture with words, and not just any words, but those chosen for their meaning and sound, their placement within the syntax a flow of pleasured reading.
Editing poetry is important, not just for the checking of spelling or typos, but for the revision of all aspects of the work. Rhyme, meter, word flow, sound, syllables, movement, meaning, conclusion, and brevity when a work is over-written or verbose, are all important. All this is our craft, part of what we aspire to in writing poetry. None of us are perfect but it is these attributes that we pursue to hone our craft and write the best work we can, to inspire readers and to share our visions of the world.
Tony DeLorger © 2018
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