Poetry has always been one of the best means of expressing thoughts and feelings. The sweetness, melody and smoothness that we feel while going through poetry, cannot be found in any other form of literature. It exhibits a special kind of empathy that directly touches the heart and soul of people, mainly those who can understand the deep thought veiled behind simple lines. A good poem always comprises of certain basic elements, which help it in achieving higher degrees of perfection in expression. In case you are interested in reading or writing poetry, familiarity with these basic elements will help you develop a better understanding of this melodious form of literature.
What Are The Main Elements Of A Poem
There are seven basic elements of poetry, which that comprise together to form an interesting poem. The main feature of all these seven units is to provide easy-to-read flow, synchronized expression and necessary meaning to a composition.
A poem is not written randomly. Several thoughts and expressions are synchronized together, to give a proper theme to the poem. In fact, the theme can be described as the soul of a poem. It is the actually what the poet wants to express through his words. It may either be a thought, a feeling, an observation, a story or an experience.
The expression in poetry is often not direct. Rather, it makes use of several symbolic and virtual substances and themes to express the deep hidden meaning behind the words. The use of symbolism gives a more reflective empathy to the poem. It is one of those basic elements of a poem that are conceived at the very beginning of the composition.
Meter is the basic structure of a poem. It is conceived right after the theme and symbolism of poem have been finalized. This is point where a poem takes an entirely different structure from that of prose. Every line in a poem has to adhere to this basic structure. The entire poem is divided into sub-units and it is made sure that a single unit conveys a single strand of thought successfully.
For a smooth flow of expression, a musical symphony in the poem is compulsory.
A dry and broken piece of literature can never ever be good poetry, despite having a good theme. However, it is not the rhyming between two words of consecutive lines, rather the resonation of words along with the sounds and the music produced, when the poem is read aloud. This musical link must not be missing in a poem.
A rhyme may or may not be present in a poem. Free verse variety of poetry does not follow this system. However where present, the pattern is present in different forms, like aa, bb, cc (first line rhymes with the second, the third with fourth, and so on) and ab, ab (first line rhymes with third and the second with fourth). Rhyme has a very significant role in providing rhythm and flow to poem, which further helps in maintaining the reader's interest.
This element of poetry is also not compulsorily inculcated. However, most of the poets use it in order to give their poem a beautiful sound effect. In this, several words in a line may be beginning from the same word as for example say 'M', say 'musical melody of the mystic minstrels'. Alliteration is basically a way to adore the poetry.
Simile is a way to add interesting comparisons in the poem, not only to adorn the beauty of the composition, but also to make the lines more expressive and understandable. In simile, comparisons are made using ‘like’ or ‘as’. For example ‘her laughter was like a babbling brook’. This is another important, but optional element of poetry.
Metaphor is one another way used to include interesting comparisons in a piece of poetry. Here, the comparisons are much more complex than the simple ‘like’ or ‘as’ of simile. For example while expressing himself as a vibrant and 'happy go lucky' personality, the poet may compare himself with a rainbow. A poet may or may not use this element in his/her poetry.