Before you become good at something, you first have to master the fundamentals. You can’t really build a tall, sturdy building without ensuring that you have secured its foundation.
The same goes for mastering poetry. Those who aspire to become great poets—unless of course you’re a genius—need to master the basics and the fundamentals of making a good poem.
Without this foundation, it’s highly plausible that there will be a few misses in the long run. Don’t worry though, they’re not all that difficult to master. Enough practice and time will allow you to fully absorb everything you need to become a great—perhaps, published—poet in time.
Want to know what these fundamentals are? Keep on reading. After that, we’ll also let you know where to study in Edmonton so that you can fully master these fundamentals with the help of established poets and professionals.
The Fundamentals of Poetry
It can be quite dreadful learning the fundamentals of poetry when you can just start writing poems yourself. But then again, having strong foundations are necessary to maximize your abilities.
Don’t worry, as you become more and more capable, you’ll notice how these fundamentals played an important role in your improvement as a poet.
So, here are the fundamentals you need to keep in mind:
Types of Poetry
Of course, you need to differentiate the different types of poetry from each other. This also allows you to choose just what kind of poetry you want to focus on.
There are two types: narrative and lyrical. Narrative poems, as its name suggests, tells a story of an event, a character, or a plot. A lyrical poem is quite similar to making a song and these poems describe feelings, emotions, or state of minds.
Forms of Poetry
There are different kinds of poetry, contrary to what you might have thought the first time you encountered one. For the most part, a lot of the more famous poems follow the free verse form, where it doesn’t really follow any rules strictly.
However, there are about 7 forms of poetry. You have the following:
- Free Verse - as mentioned, this doesn’t strictly follow any rules and is written freely by the poet;
- Haiku - a poem that has 3 lines; the first and last line has 5 syllables, while the second line has 7;
- Sonnet - a poem with 14 rhyming lines;
- Couplet - can either be a standalone or part of a poem; this poem has two rhyming lines;
- Epic - a long narrative poem that usually depicts celebrations, adventures, or accomplishments of heroes;
- Limerick - has 5 lines, with both odd and even lines rhyming separately with each other.
- Acrostic - a poem with each starting letter of a line spelling out a word that depicts the theme of the poem.
Sound of the Poem
Poems aren’t just notable for their forms. Sound also plays an important role in creating a poem, which is something that most authors keep in mind.
One of the easiest ways to make sure your poem sounds right is to follow a rhyme. But if it doesn’t really make a good fit or a great sound, might as well drop it. There are still some other techniques you can use to have the same appealing sound effect.
- Internal rhymes - instead of going for the line ending rhymes, you can create rhymes within a sentence;
- Alliteration - achieve a staccato effect by using the same consonants or sounds—like CH, T, and ST—at the beginning of words within a line;
- Assonance - repetition of vowel sounds in a sentence.
Where to Study Poetry in Edmonton
Now that you know the fundamentals of poetry, it’s time you find out where you can take poetry classes and workshops in Edmonton.
There are a variety of opportunities to learn in this city which is why it’s going to be an exciting journey for you. So, here are your learning options in Edmonton:
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is recognized as one of the world’s top research universities—it ranks fourth in Canada. One of the main objectives of this university is to answer the fundamental questions to build new businesses and industries.
It has five campuses all over the area, with four in Edmonton and one in Camrose. Given the size of this university, there are more than 200 undergraduate programs and 500 graduate programs that students can choose from.
In relation to poetry, they currently offer Creative Writing courses that cover several aspects of literature—not just poetry. Some of the courses are Introduction to Writing: Nonfiction, Introduction to Writing Poetry, Intermediate Poetry, A Poetics of Treaty, and many more.
These courses are not always offered so best to check at this school for more information.
Check out the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies’ Creative Writing Certificate if you ever want to explore this huge city.
Established in 1971, MacEwan University is an institution known to provide warm and supportive student-focused instruction in a comfortable atmosphere. Here, you can guarantee that students learn well because teachers do their ultimate best to teach well.
The university is located on the Treaty Six Territory which is a traditional gathering place for indigenous peoples. Given the university’s respect for this fact, they honor the ceremonies, culture, language, and history of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuits who treat their location as home.
As for poetry writing, the university currently offers a Creating Writing minor for its students. Students who want to take this minor in addition to their programs can do so with proper consultation from their home departments.
The minor program consists of different courses that focus on fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, script writing, and other forms of writing. You’re not just going to learn about the basics but you’ll also hone and develop your writing styles through the course.
Workshops will also be provided so that students can test their own perceptions in comparison to those of great writers, both of the past and the present.
If you have a plan to study in the capital city, you can also take a Creative Writing minor in the University of Ottawa.
Online Poetry Cafe
As technology helps us become more and more connected, so do other aspects of daily life. One of these is being able to gather virtually. Given the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Poetry Cafe has moved to an online platform to continue the members’ endeavors.
This gathering takes place in a now online setting every Sunday, at 12:30PM to 2:30PM. But due to the protocols, they have explored using the Zoom app for their regular meetings.
The Poetry Cafe is an activity where poets gather regularly to write new work, share their poems, and encourage fellow poets to keep on writing. Sometimes, they also have special guests, too!
The regular Sunday gathering combines poetry prompts and exercises, with writing exercises in the first 75 minutes and a workshop in the second half of the activity.
If you wish to hone your skills and connect with your peers in a much more comfortable and informal way, this is a viable option for you.
Should you be in Calgary, you can also access this activity every Sunday.
Finding a Private Poetry Tutor in Edmonton
You can also opt to hire your own private tutor as either a supplementary form of learning or a primary one. Both these methods provide you the same kind of benefits, perhaps even better than the ones you get from group classes and workshops.
By hiring your own private tutor, you’re able to decide on your own schedule and pacing for the entire program. No need to worry about being left behind or wanting to have more sessions than usual!
Moreover, if you really just want to focus on writing poetry, this is a method that allows you to focus on this aspect of literature. Not only are you going to get a professional to teach you the basics, you’re also going to learn from their own experiences.
So, want to have your own private tutor? Visit Superprof today!
On this virtual platform, you can find a tutor that meets your needs and fits your budget. You can check out the descriptions they have for themselves, their rates, and reviews made by former students so that you have an idea of what your sessions will be like.
Once you find one, book your session immediately. Don’t worry, the first session comes for free so take the time to discuss everything you need to during that time.
What are you waiting for? Find a private poetry tutor on Superprof today!
You can also find a poetry tutor in Vancouver if you’re in the area.
There’s a reason why we need to master the fundamentals of poetry before we can move on to the more advanced parts of it. By mastering the fundamentals, you’re laying out a good foundation for this writing skill that you wish to learn and making it fool-proof for mistakes in the future.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be making a dozen poems in no time. To help you learn these fundamentals, just simply check out the institutions that offer poetry classes and workshops. You can also hire your own private tutor if you wish to have a more flexible schedule.
You might want to check out poetry classes in Montréal.