Saturday, 17 April 2010

C is for Couplet

I know a woman whose name is Dennis
Her name was not meant to be a menace

Her parents longed for her to be a boy
But when she came forth they had little joy

Until they decided no matter what
Dennis would be Dennis boy or not

Couplets are two lines of verse. When read aloud you can pick up the rhythm of the poem. In the above example the couplets also rhyme. This is done by having the last word on the first line of the couplet rhyme with the last word on the second line of the couplet.

To write the couplet above, I began with a basic idea. An idea can be on any topic. Also, you can build upon your idea by making your poems into more than one couplet. As you can see from the example above three couplets have been written.

Decide on what style your couplet will take in order to assist you in your writing process.

One specific style is an open couplet. Here you will write two lines of verse that rhyme. However, if you decide to carry over the thought you have in one line to the next without pausing, your poem will be said to have lines that are enjambed.

Another specific style is the closed couplet. Again, you will write two lines of verse that rhyme and that can build into a longer narrative. The one distinction being each line must end. The poetic term for this is end-stopping, which is the opposite of enjambment. Here each line of poetry is a complete thought. You can also use full-stop punctuation to show that you have completed your thought by the end of the line in your couplet verse.

Why not build your couplets into a longer narrative and illustrate your work further with a photo-story. There is another form of couplet that can ideally be used here, namely, the heroic couplet.

As with open and closed couplets, lines are written in pairs and rhyme. Adopting a heroic couplet style, however, means adopting masculine rhymes. There are a few more elements to consider when choosing to write in heroic couplet style of verse. Masculine rhymes are when the last syllable in the line of verse is stressed.

If you remember our article on iambic pentameter when the line of the poem is measured out in ten syllables with the stress on every second beat, this is the same style you would adopt for the heroic couplet. Also you would use the closed couplet style of poetic verse to build your narrative. By being strict with the way in which you construct your couplet verse you can also have a lot of fun.

Why not put together a photo-story either to assist you with ideas for your couplet verse or as a means of further illustrating your poem. Either way you have the means at your disposal to end up with memorable photo-story-poetry.

When putting together a photo-story you would consider putting together a series of photographs to essentially tell the story. However, a photo-story that uses photographs and poetic verse has two elements (photographs and verse) that must somehow compliment each other. Working with photographs and verse to tell an overall story makes you consider how the two relate to each other.

Our suggestion is to take lots of photographs first. Overall, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to take some fun photos and have lots of inspirational material at hand. You might then want to use one photograph for each couplet verse.

Although couplets are two lines of verse, you can write several two line verses to make a longer poem.

Couplets can be written in open, closed or heroic style of verse.

Adding photographs to your couplet verse poem can provide you with the means to extend your ideas or be part of the overall story.

© Copyright e1top 2010

Monday, 29 March 2010

B is For Blank verse


If you make him
believe to have found you
Question his every glance
he’ll shoot your way
Don’t allow him to
settle for home truths
Stretch his mind
not your wallet to win over
Make her converse
the words you want to hear
Challenge her notions
on all that is real
Don’t let her lay
frustrations at your door
The more she cherishes
you challenge her

Showing him how
vulnerable life is
Brings all the
stereotypes into one
Your child will know she
is much more than that
This is what love is
when you are on point

When writing poems in blank verse your focus needs be on the narrative of the poem. You should also concentrate on the stress patterns you adopt within your piece.

Each verse of your poem can be referred to as a stanza. Concentrating on building your narrative with each stanza also enables you to determine the beats of your blank verse poem.

Take a look at the first four lines of the opening stanza of our poem “If You Make”.

If YOU make HIM
beLIEVE to HAVE found YOU
he’ll SHOOT your WAY

Read the words out loud to enable yourself to hear where the stress patterns and beats are to be found. All the words in bold contain the stress syllables. Try placing extra emphasis on these words when you read them aloud and you should also hear the beats throughout.


The best way to think about an iambic pentameter is as a line of ten syllables and five beats. When reciting your poem out loud, your tone of voice should emphasis the second, forth, sixth, eight and tenth syllables in each line of the stanza.

At first glance you may think that this does not occur in our poem “If You Make”. However, if you consider that each line is broken in two, you will see that this poem definitely uses iambic pentameter.

Sometimes blank verse poems are written with an extra syllable. This is known as an iambic pentameter with a weak ending. So for good measure I have thrown in such a line for you to find. Read the poem again to see if you can locate the broken line where I used the extra syllable, if you cannot, never mind, all will be revealed in the final note.


If your blank verse poem is a narrative about specific people this gives you a golden opportunity to take some flattering portraits of your would be subjects.


These tips are useful for the non-professional, with a medium range digital camera. A medium range digital is a point and shoot camera that has easy to use features.

Use a digital camera with a built in portrait setting (usually the outline of a head).

Your overall aim should be to draw attention to your subject. This can be done by blurring the background. To make the background blur even more, use a zoom lens.

If you take your portrait in good available light, you will get good results. If you take your portrait photograph using your flash, your results should be even better. Setting your flash to go off even in good lighting conditions will give you the effects of softening shadows on your subject’s face.

To force flash look for the lighting bolt icon or one for red-eye reduction; for best results make use of the outdoors and in particular the sun. Your subject should ideally be in front and to the side of the sun. Finally, think carefully about how best to frame your shot.

Look out for our shot composition feature in one of our future articles in our photographic series.


Earlier I promised to reveal the broken line with the wear ending:

Stretch his mind
not your wallet to win over

Did you find it? I hope so.


Create a narrative for your poem, a background story that will give you an idea of the beginning middle and end.

Read your blank verse poem out loud so you can hear the stress syllables and the beats within your stanza.

An iambic pentameter is a line poetry that has ten syllables and five beats.

An iambic pentameter with a weak ending provides you with an extra syllable to use and in turn strengthens your piece, otherwise there would be no need to utilise one.

If your poem is about people use it as an excuse to practice your portrait-taking skills. Make use of the best lighting conditions you can find or construct, with the use of forced flash. UNTIL NEXT TIME, WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.

The IPoetry TV Team
© Copyright e1top 2010

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

B is for Ballad


I like the way
you look at me
The way you see
the things I see

All the while
you know me

I like when your
eyes meet mine
you’re like a ray
of bright sunshine

All the while
you know me

I like the way
You’re always kind
the way you share
precious time

All the while
you know me

I like the fact you
always stay
to hear the words
I have to say

All the while
you know me

The way you brighten
up my day
so bad thoughts
won’t get in the way

All the while
you know me.

If I could always
make you mine
if you could be
my valentine

For all the while
I love you

Tradition shows that ballads are narratives. The above narrative is also an example of how ballads can be poems that are set to music. In other words this particular ballad has a tune. For this reason ballads are also songs and are great to recite or sing out loud.

Key Ideas

Ballads often rhyme. Consider the ballad above. Can the rhyming pattern be easily worked out?

We can do this if we make a list of the words that we found at the end each line of the poem.

WORD LIST (in part)


I like the way
you look at me
The way you see
the things I see

All the while
you know me

I like when your
eyes meet mine
you’re like a ray
of bright sunshine

Saying the words aloud and looking for spelling patterns also helps the process of ballad writing.

Top Tip: Write a synopsis for your poem

We said earlier that the ballad is a narrative. As such we can give it the same treatment as we would do were we writing a story, if we write a synopsis for the piece.

A synopsis is an outline in which can include the theme. The theme tells us what the story is about. In order to know what our story is about we can explore other elements such as plot and characters. Considering plot gives us license to think about what will happen next in our narrative right through to its conclusion. Knowing your characters, their likes and dislikes and any other aspects of them gives you more options to build into your narrative.

Photographic Series

Why not rummage through old photographs as a way of giving you inspiration. You could put together a collage to assist you further. Collages are particularly useful because can they bring together a mixture of ideas to sit on one canvas. This may be used as a great tool for collecting ones thoughts before moving on to creating that final ballad. Think of a collage as bringing together all your thoughts and ideas. What’s useful about this tool is that you can also jot down words and phrases (to assist you in the writing of your ballad) next to the images in your collage.

Today’s Final Note

We hope you enjoy this article and that you keep checking in with us for the latest issue. We at the IPoetry team would like to wish you a wonderful valentine’s day.

Key Points to Remember

Ballads are narratives, poems set to music. They can be spoken or sung aloud.

Write a synopsis for your ballad including such areas as theme, plot and characters.

Working out the rhythm of your poem is a great asset because it enables you to focus your thoughts into specific patterns.

Using old photographs in a collage adds to the inspirational element of your poem.


The IPoetry TV Team
© Copyright e1top 2010

Saturday, 13 February 2010

A is for

Alliterative Poetry

Fuzzy, furry fella
find him to be
much more than
a friend to me.

My insight
My intuition
My ideal

When I need, I take a break
I stroll, he runs
We never languish

Laughter lifts the air
delicious delightful cheer

Hastily he pulls me along.
Am I about to levitate?
In the next instance
I’ll be flat faced.

Would I have it any other way?
Hope my fuzzy furry fella
Lets me stay another day

You may not know what alliteration is in which case this article will open your eyes to a completely new literary device.

In modern alliterative poetry you use the same consonant sounds in words. In old English verse you would alliterate by using vowel sounds.

Take a look at our alliterative poem above:

Fuzzy, furry fella
find him to be
much more than
a friend to me.

Five words begin with the letter “f” but only the two words beginning with “fu” truly alliterate in the modern sense.

Key Ideas

In alliterative verse it is the sound and not the letter that is important. For example, repetition of the same sounds or of the same types of sounds may be found at or near the beginning of words. The repetition is in stressed syllables.

Consider how alliterative poems are put together by pulling out all the repetitive sounds in the above poems and others you find. Try also saying these words out loud.

Spoken-word poetry benefits greatly from effective use of alliteration. It can be used where and when you want specific verses to stand out. As a bonus adding emphasis using repetitive consonant sounds allows your poem to become more memorable to others.

Top Tip: Consider who or what you are writing about.

Alliterative poetry is fun. When you have an opportunity to share your love of words with a specific group be it family, friends or loved ones, you might also try getting them to write their own pieces.

Ask lots of questions of them. For instance, ask them to pick out the alliterative words in poems other than their own.

Ask them to create a bank of alliterative words that they can use in their own poems.

Ask them to think of a person, place or object, to have in mind before they begin their piece.

All the alliterative questions you ask of others you can ask of yourself when you write your own poetic verse.

Photographic Series

Why not think how you might capture your poetic ideas in a series of photographs.

Telling a photo-story is often a fun way to bring out more ideas in your poetic verse. It also gives you a great opportunity to get out and about with those family members, friends and loved ones – making it a great alternative to watching television, don’t you think!

Today’s Final Note

Thanks to all of you who have been sending us your pieces on facebook and entering our competition. Please keep them coming we love hearing from you.

To enter our poe-tography contest details can be found here:

Send your Poe-tography entries to:

We’ve got some great ideas for how competitors might feature within IPoetry TV in the future. Yes we want you all to be a part of our future so keep your work coming.

Key Points to Remember
Alliterative Poetry makes use of the same consonant sounds in words

Thinking about who or what you are going to write about enables your work to have a specific focus.

Have fun with others creating a photo-story for your poetic verse.

Continue to follow the rest of these articles in our poetry-e-series for more tips and ideas.


The IPoetry TV Team
© Copyright e1top 2010

Thursday, 14 January 2010

A is for Acrostic Poetry

Acrostic Poetry


May I know you how?

Antithesis of snow be

Not storm, flurry nor fall

The above poem is an example of an acrostic poem. Acrostic poetry takes shape by having a capitalised word down the page. For example a poem titled Man begins as:




The letters in the title now become the initial letter of each line of your poem. This form of poetry then uses the title as the main topic.

Man as a main topic is, of course, huge. In order to deal with any given topic I like to jot down other key words and ideas. On this occasion my other key words are the following:

Other Key Words




Fall &


Yes, it’s been snowing where I live lately. Using what’s around you is an important part of the process in any form of writing poetry is no exception.

Making Comparisons &

Considering Differences

A great way to keep motivated when writing poetry is to think about how two entities might compare and how they might differ.

Key Ideas

When I think of MAN what do I think about? In this instance, I am thinking about how my main topic compares with my other key words: how man compares with nature.

As an example, of how I considered comparisons and differences with in this poem, let’s take a look at one of my key words.

Antithesis means in direct contrast. I have used the word to emphasise that in order to know man I compare him to snow and snow like whether conditions.

I then use the word not alongside some of my other key words (storm, flurry and fall). This is to suggest that at the point at which I feel I understand man and can compare him to an entity I understand: snow at first sight is always soft and pleasant. Yet the pleasant appearance of snow can hide the havoc it can bring and its initial appearance over time gives way to a complex and sometimes impassable landscape.

Man is also more complex than any first impression can reveal, hence, my use of the words storm, flurry and fall. This is because snow can also mean snowstorm snow-flurry and snowfall and it shows how the climate like man is a multi-faceted and complex subject.

Top Tip: Discuss Ideas with a Partner

Writing poetry is a solitary occupation but it does not have to be, try bounding ideas around with a writing partner or a group of friends. Give each other ideas or focus on different aspects of the same topic.

Even if you decide to go it alone it’s great to have that second opinion and remember a writing partner can also proofread for errors in spelling, if nothing else.

A Photograph in Time

Poems can be enhanced with photography. Here at IPoetry TV, we like to call it Poe-tography. Yes, we made it up!

With this in mind how does one take the perfect image to encapsulate words written on a page? In our example, our main topic is MAN. There’s our start.

People in photographs make for interesting subjects. Take the opportunity to study how people can be used in your images.

Inspiration now becomes your new motivation. Think particularly about the insight you have towards your given topic. How much involvement you have with the subject will also give you numerous ideas to create great photographs and poems alike.

Composition is another very important element in a photograph. Think of composition also in terms of what’s in the background of your piece.

If you have written your poem already you will have a head start: Although trying to incorporate the elements of a poem into one image might not be all that easy, you now have something concrete to work with.

Alternatively, with your key words in mind just go out and shoot several images. In turn, this may give you more ideas about your poetry.

As a reminder, mine were:




Fall &


Subject is, I believe, another important aspect to consider when shooting that all important image. This is your theme, in other words, what you want your images to be about.

Have you spotted my second acrostic? Of course you have!





Today’s Final Note

We at the I Poetry TV Team are looking for those budding poets who wish to become instructors. While we make every opportunity to respond to your individual queries, we are particularly keen to see your poetry and media contributions; so why not take the opportunity to send us your work via our facebook pages or enter the competition we are currently running. Send your Poe-tography to:

The more we see what you can do and get a feel of your dedication and commitment to the business of poetry and media the more we see ourselves working with you in the future.

Key Points to Remember

In Acrostic Poetry begin by using a capitalised word or words down the front of your page.

Use your capitalised word as the main topic of your poem and other key words to enhance the topic even further.

Work with others as a way to discuss, strengthen and be each other’s editors.

Photography can be used as an added motivator and also can be incorporated into your final piece of work: Poe-tography

Submit your work to a variety of sources and enter competitions as a way of gaining exposure for your work.

Continue to follow the rest of these articles in our poetry-e-series for more tips and ideas.


The IPoetry TV Team

© Copyright e1top 2010