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22 April 2018

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"Introduction to Poetry" By Billy Collins.

I asked them to take a poem
And hold it up to the light
Like a colour slide.

Or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
And watch him probe his way out.

Or walk inside the poems room
And feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to water-ski
Across the surface of a poem
Waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
Is tie the poem to a chair with rope
And torture a confession out of it.

They began beating it with a hose
To find out what it really means.

Thank you Phil for the comment. A couple of individuals in Simbu have already published their poetry books. The comment on the different types of poem will surely help up coming poem writers to give a variety. Thank you.

Good work Sean and Jordan Dean. Phil Fitzpatrick has raised an interesting topic about rules with poetry.

I don’t recollect any time during my school times anyone teaching me to write poetry, composition yes but poetry maybe the few times trying to string a few lines here and there and that would have been in an informal way.

I once sat through a long winded poem that was read as an eulogy that made me think that even the international schools here must not be teaching poetry right. That poem was rather a composition more than a poetic verse.

My recollection of time trying to be taught how to be an English teacher at Goroka Teachers College never equipped me to teach poetry. I was hoping this had changed but it looks like this has not changed at UOG.

The types of poetry we have traditionally are traditional songs. I am slowly transcribing some of my old man's traditional songs (the first one Ghulo Sipaki was included in Antics of Alonaa Volume 1). Traditional songs are written in a poetic way and they have rules too.

After transcribing 4 songs I realised there are patterns that he applied. I just don't know the names of these rules but I can tell you my observations.

One of the first observations are the songs are always sung in the neighbouring dialects (Alekano or Tokanevo or Danno) and never in our own Tokano language.

The other is that there is always a play on words where in the part of the song the singer or dancer is supposed to look over his shoulders to his back or sides on both sides.

The words around this part of the song make fun of the words as though jeering at the dialect used. Is there a purpose to this? I don’t know. I will have to seek advice from the old man and those other composers.

Do traditional songs and ballads pass as poems and poetry? We have to transcribe them first to see if they conform to any rules. Would they be the same rules used by westerners or Japanese poets?

Earlier I alluded to learning institutions like UOG and it is a belief that DWU and UPNG don’t teach poetry. It may well be that poets will have to teach themselves the rules by going online and where time permits have been reading up on them. Some of the sites that I have visited for a glance only are listed for anyone to consult.

7 Fundamental Rules of Poetry | Grammarly Blog
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/7-fundamental-rules-of-poetry

10 Essential Rules of Poetry | WritersDigest.com
www.writersdigest.com/.../poetry/10-essential-rules-of-poetry
Basic Rules to Writing Poetry - Writing.Com
https://www.writing.com/.../1537612-Basic-Rules-to-Writing-Poetry

What are the basic 'rules' or 'guidelines' to writing poetry?
https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-basic-rules-or-guidelines-to...

Tips on Writing Poems - Dictionary definitions you can ...
grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar-rules.../tips-on-writing-poems.html

Rules for Writing Poetry | LoveToKnow
freelance-writing.lovetoknow.com/Rules_for_Writing_Poetry
5 Tips for Writing a Free Verse Poem | Power Poetry
www.powerpoetry.org/actions/5-tips-writing-free-verse-poem

Rules for Writing Haiku - YourDictionary
grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/rules-for-writing-haiku...

Well done Sean and thanks Phil for the encouraging review. With proper guidance, I am sure Sean will contribute greatly to PNG literature.

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