"GoldenKeyesParsons"Golden Keyes Parsons here looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior in just a little more than a week. It is a festive season with a flurry of activities. Many of us have speaking engagements this time of year, and a luncheon, tea or banquet is usually the preferred event rather than a retreat. Although it is easier to come up with a one-session message, we only have one shot at them. What we have to say needs to be crisp and to the point.

Let’s continue our discussion with some speaker DON’Ts this time…

Writing craft

Poetry Basics: Organizing the Poem I

DonnBusPhotos-007a2x3      Hello. I'm Donn Taylor, here again to talk more about poetry writing and ways to achieve the "higher voltage" that distinguishes poetry from most prose. We've talked about putting strong words in emphatic places, use of images, and a little bit about figurative language. Reserving that last for further treatment later, today we'll begin looking at ways to organize a poem. Those ways are infinite, or course, so we'll confine ourselves to some of the most common. Today, only one.

      First, some generalizations: In narrative poetry, the structure of the story becomes the structure of the poem. That leaves us lyric poetry: that is, poetry that expresses the poet's thoughts or emotions. (We hope those will be significant enough to interest the reader.) I like to compare a short poem to a paragraph: it has a main idea that may be stated or unstated, and everything in the poem points to or develops that one idea. (There are, of course, impressionistic poems that don’t follow that principle.)