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How can I write a free-verse poem using elements of imagism, typography, or...

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carsonpearson | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 12, 2013 at 10:00 PM via web

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How can I write a free-verse poem using elements of imagism, typography, or experimental form.

imagism: literary movement stressing clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images

typography: arrangement of text on a page

experimental form: unusual use of punctuation, syntax, and spelling

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 12, 2013 at 11:13 PM (Answer #1)

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You’ve got a good teacher and are very lucky to have this assignment.  Cummings’ poetry is a good example of what is being asked for here:  Abandon the so-called “rules of grammar [do not use punctuation marks randomly, though—invent your own rules for commas, apostrophes, semi-colons, etc., as emoticons have done:  ; ) for example] and find new ways to defy the rules of grammar, parts of speech, etc. (again, don’t just write anything—make some new rules just for yourself).  But start with fresh images—not clouds and swans and roads (they are from a different century), but images from your own life.  (“Love is like a textbook with its cover torn off”??  “My iPad broke when you unfriended me”). Then put it on paper and trust your own personal vision of this world.  The assignment asks you to get past “the past”—to write, not according to past tried-and-true methods, but to write by your own rules, your own means of expression.  Your teacher is saying “You will understand poetry by stepping back from what others have seen and expressed as poetry, by exploring your own ‘take’ on the world.”  There are no wrong answers to your response.  But I would be doing you a great disservice by writing it for you.  This is what is meant by an education.

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