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Poetry Magnum Opus

The Frame


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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Universal Forms

The frame is the structure, construction or style of writing through which the poet communicates. How the message appears on the page or sounds to the ear can influence the readers' response to the content. The structure should enhance the message. The content comes first. The frame or structure is a tool for the use and interpretation of the poet to assist the delivery of the content. It should never be considered a rule or requirement of poetry. However, always remember “Poetic license is not a license to scribe recklessly.” --C. Kennedy.

The major properties of the frame are the line, meter, and rhyme or lack thereof along with the many rhetorical and grammatical devices at the disposal of the writer. The frame begins with the line and develops into groups or units of lines known as stitches, stanzas or strophes depending on their relationship or not with other groups of lines. The units act as separation or the organization of thoughts. The units also give the poet the musical ability to create patterns of rhythm and sound through line length, number, meter, and rhyme.

A stich is a single line of verse. Adding a numerical preface mono, bi, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepa, octa, nona, deca to the term stich, indicates a stand-alone poem in the specific number of lines identified.

Often the terms stanza and strophe are used interchangeably or synonymously and the lines of their definitions have become blurred, but there was at one time a difference. Icarus Sarma, a friend, and mentor, once described a stanza or strophe as a group of lines expressing a thought unit.  Stanza is Italian for room.  In this regard, they are the same.  But technically a stanza is a uniform unit of lines written adjacent to other uniform groups of lines (the groups or units can be the same number of lines or can differ as long as a pattern emerges.) A strophe is similar to a prose paragraph only in lines. When written adjacent to other strophes, the line numbers and patterns can be variable. Free Verse is strophic, sonnets and ballads are stanzaic.

In English, various patterns of lines and groups of lines have been identified and named.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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