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February 23, 2007

It's About Sound and Sense, Not Just Rhythm and Rhyme

Jerz, ''Poetry is for the Ear'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Even at the beginning and in the middle of each line, where you are not interested in rhyme, the sounds of your words should contribute to your poems meaning" (Dr. Jerz).

I think this is one of the best tips Dr. Jerz could have given me for my poetry writing. Again, I am not very experienced at writing poetry, but I would love to learn to improve my skills. I do think rhythm and rhyme come to mind instantly when we think of poetry. But poetry is so much more than that. We should be thinking about sounds of each word in general, not just words that might rhyme. Then of course, we need to think about how each word contributes to the meaning of the poem. We need to focus on sound and sense.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 23, 2007 8:09 PM


Do you think you'll have difficulties with this? I would love to do these things, but I REALLY have no idea where to begin! I was just wondering if you, or anyone else for that matter, are as overwhelmed by this as I am!

Posted by: Chera Pupi at February 23, 2007 10:52 PM

Like I said, this is extremely overwhelming. In my blog I wrote about how perplexing it is to try to get sound and sense to work together. It might not be quite that hard, though. I'm sure the sounds of words were chosen in some sort of connection with the meaning they're supposed to convey. "Soft" is a word that certainly sounds soft; it uses consonants that are in the front of your mouth and therefore naturally aren't as loud. "Hard" uses the more voiced sound "d" at the end so it definitely hits your ear in a less gentle way. I'm taking voice and speech this semester, if you can't tell, and hopefully that'll help me with getting better at figuring out what different sounds communicate.

Posted by: Matt Henderson at February 24, 2007 11:03 AM

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