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Breaking Poetic Rules
Emagic <Eric> (Flikr)

Happy New Year it's 2014 so let's talk about breaking some rules, rules often found in poetry not only to restrict, but to give the writer a mental workout.

Poetry like food comes in a whole variety of forms and flavors and a good poem is a matter of personal taste. An example of this is Shakespeare though classic and world renowned his work does not fit everyone's taste. Like food there are rules and recipes for preparing a poem, but this where the poetry and food similarities end since there are worst consequences for consuming poorly prepared food. As for poetic recipes or poetic rules it is important to understand them in order to break them. Additionally understanding poetic rules would allow the writer to apply them to their own creative style with an individual voice. Here are a few rules that when understood can turn a good poem into a great poem:

Rhyme Scheme: Rhyming is one of the more basic rules for poetry used to: link verses, create a sound, build a theme or guide poetic flow. Free verse and spoken word poems benefit heavily from rhyme schemes, whereas for sonnets and limericks rhyming is an essential component.

Similes & Metaphors: Similes would compare two things using like or as, with respect Metaphors they compare two things without the use of like or as. Found in almost every form of poetry they are almost a necessity when it comes to love poems an example is: (simile) 'my passion is the burning sun', (metaphor) 'your voice is the morning breeze'.

Repetition: Repetition is a necessary rule in poetic forms like the pantoum or villanelle where entire lines are repeated. However this rule is great for stage poetry and free verse as well when wanting to create a memorable poem, or a smooth rhythmic flow.

Syllable Count: Counting syllables is the name of the game when writing haiku or tanka forms of poems, but they can be useful for free form poetry or even spoken word when music the poem is set to music. Additionally counting syllables can make poetry that much more memorable to readers and audiences.

Using rules in poetry and breaking these rules will not only keep poetry fresh but it also keeps poetry dynamic and memorable. Poetry should also be a fun mental excessive and form of self expression and poetic rules can also be seen as tools for better poetry. Often many poets intentionally break rules for a standard poetic form and thus creating a new poetic style. There is a rule to breaking rules in poetry: have fun.

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