Skip to main content

Learning To Love Line Breaks

Learning To Love Line Breaks


When you are writing a poem it is important to keep in mind that line breaks are as important to free verse poems as end rhyme is to a poem written in rhyming couplets.

You should aim to keep the words that belong together on the same line.

You may wish to emphasize a word or a phrase by placing it on a line all by itself. By carrying the word over to the next line it may add a greater degree of suspense or surprise to the poem.

You may arrange line breaks in your poem to create a visual effect with regard to the shape of the poem.

If there is a repeated refrain, it might help to isolate those important words on a line each time, to draw greater attention to them.

On other occasions, it just feels right to break the lines in a certain way. Don’t be afraid to experiment.


To help you gain some experience with line breaks, I invite you to take these deconstructed poems and recreate them using your own line breaks. Have fun…


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Words of Student Poets

Recently I had the special treat of working with Year 7 poets from Brighton Primary School in Adelaide. During the day we closely examined a range of poetic structures and devices and applied them to our writing of poetry.
With one group I introduced Suzanna Marshak’s  powerful book ‘I Am The Ocean’ to alert these enthusiastic poets to the potential power of writing through a mask and using personification. Another group looked at personification through their connection to things in the world around them. 

Using the poem, ‘I Am These Things And More’ as a model.  Students were challenged to think about these important connections. A particular focus of the writing was to try to incorporate effective use of repetition, line breaks, simile and white space in their composed pieces.
These young poets talked in groups and identified their targets for personification. They rehearsed their opening lines. They rechecked the list of craft moves available to them and then they set about writing t…

Compound Interest POEM

I cannot claim credit for thinking of this idea, but I have had a lot of fun making this poem using compound words. I have used the words to sing the praises of someone special in my life- my wife, Vicki. I invite you to try this simple, yet effective approach to writing poetry. It is a fine example of word play. In this case playing with compound words. Poetry fun to share...



Compound Interest
You are the jingle in my bells The tick in my tock The flash in my light The spring in my time The whirl in my wind The tell in my tale You are the ever in my lasting The ginger in my bread The life in my boat It has to be said








Idioms and Poetry -Name Dropper

The inspiration for this poem came from idioms. In this case, I used idioms involving people's names. My father's generation frequently used such idioms in everyday language. Clearly my exposure to such idiomatic language had an influence. It was fun to play around with these wonderful old terms. Hope you enjoy the word play...

Name Dropper
My Dad knows lots of people I reckon He often tells me Bob’s your uncle But I don’t know any Bob’s
He believes Scott is great He’s always saying Great Scott! He wants to rob Peter to pay Paul and I’m not sure why He thinks Fanny Adams is sweet And someone called Nelly is nervous Last week he told me to run like Billy O How does Billy O run? That’s what I want to know
Dad does a lot of things for a fellow called Pete Sake And he thinks Alec is smart because he’s always saying What a smart Alec he is He thinks Ann is raggedy And Simon is simple Freddie is blind But even he can see Which I find a bit confusing
And somehow Johnny is on the spot And Jack is in a box May…