Poetry Mini-Lesson. Line
Much of the meaning in poetry comes from the way the poet arranges
the lines. In poetry, each line is a unit of meaning. The words a writer
uses at the end of each line are specifically chosen to build meaning.
In the hands of a poet, one sentence can become a work of art. William
Carlos Williams was inspired to write a poem as he was caring for a dying
little girl (he was a doctor too). He looked out the window of her room,
as he sat by her bed, and saw the scene he describes. This is one of the
most famous and best-loved, as well as most analyzed poems of all time.
Here it is as a sentence:
So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside
the white chickens.
Try arranging this sentence into a poem.
Feel free to: chop it up into lines, chop up individual words, repunctuate,
not punctuate, play with the capitals.
Just don't: rearrange the order, add or subtract any words.
Remember: you're trying to build meaning into the poem with your line
arrangement. This could be from the arrangement of syllables to the way
the poem looks.
We'll look at the poet's version in a bit. Then keep this poem in mind
as we read chapter 3 and beyond, in The Giver.