You Can't Break the Rules of Poetry
You can’t break the rules of poetry because technically their aren’t any. I’ll wait while you read that again and calm down..go on, relax and calm down. You good? Okay. Now what I mean by there are no rules is just that. There aren’t any list of rules that state how poetry has to be or what it should and should not have. Sure there’s tons of people and sites who have come up with lists of their own of rules of poetry but these by definition are their rules and not official rules of the poetry world or community. Anything that one could consider a rule about poetry isn’t a rule but a common sense principle of writing poetry. I’ll get into examples and details in a moment but just know that if someone tells you that you broke the rules of poetry just either tell them that there are no rules or smile and walk away.
Poetry needs emotion-
Refer to my post on this. Not only does poetry not need to be written with emotion but you can write tons of poems without feeling any sort of emotion. People naturally assume that it has to be written with emotion, feeling but the truth is, it doesn’t and just because you didn’t use it doesn’t mean it won’t give the reader feelings or make them emotional.
Poetry needs to rhyme-
Anyone who believes this either doesn’t truly know or understand poetry or just assumes one thing with the other. Prose is poetry without rhyming and with the use of powerful words doesn’t involve any rhyming whatsoever. It doesn’t need to rhyme to be good and it doesn’t need rhyme to be considered poetry.
Rhymes need to connect-
Not a rule but more of that common sense principle I mentioned earlier. Let’s be honest we are all guilty of rhyming a word with another that has nothing to do with the poem it’s called being an amateur but we grow over time. A good poet finds words to rhyme that go together and if not they use a different word that rhymes or they are clever and really make that word rhyme within reason. Again this isn’t a rule but more something you pick up and understand over time.
Poetry can’t have punctuation-
Someone said this to me once when they noticed a poem I had written have several commas. I simply replied back that poetry is what you make it and can be written any way you want it to and since it’s written word like anything it needs to have proper punctuation.
Poetry needs form-
Again this should be a given so that doesn’t make it a rule. Poetry naturally needs form, structure, a way to which its written but that doesn’t mean it’s a rule.
Now do you understand? People will say poetry needs this or poetry needs that but these are the same people who believe that poetry is dead or they try way to hard to follow the very rules that they made up to appease the imaginary poetry gods that they also made up. Case in point? Poetry does not have any rules you can break, only the rules to which are essential to all things written. Just because you write different than someone else doesn’t mean you can make up rules for them. Poetry is a way of expression, writing it is no different.
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