The Etymology of a Poem

6 Feb

Being in my senior seminar, the topic of which is sonnets, has got me thinking about (and apparently writing) poetry.  Poems aren’t the usual posting format for this blog, but the poem post makes more sense when accompanied by this one.

In my sonnet class we go over the meter and form of poems, and how that aspect is related in conveying the meaning of the poem.  With this in mind, I felt compelled to write my own short little poem, and keep in mind while writing it all the aspects of form that go along with the meaning, as well as tracking every step of revision.  And what better place (more like where else) to post it than right here.

Here’s all the slight revisions which eventually resulted in the poem posted.

Round 1

The snow makes my apartment feel smaller.
Makes the walls all feel closer,
Not quite closing in,
But keeping everything penned.

Round 2

Snow makes my apartment feel smaller.
Makes the walls all feel closer,
Not quite closing in,
But keeping everything penned.

First revision I just took out the junk word: The.  No big change here, just being neat.

Round 3

Snow makes my apartment feel small.
Makes the walls all feel closer,
Not quite closing in,
But keeps everything penned.

Changed smaller to small, (subtly contributing to the meaning by making the actual word and line smaller) and changed keeping to keeps making it kind of echo the word makes from the first line but more so, to make each line contain only one polysyllabic word accompanied by other, single syllable words.  Significant in a poem about tiny pieces of snow making a room feel smaller?

Round 4

Snow makes my apartment feel small.
The walls all feel closer,
Not quite closing in,
But keeps everything penned.

More being neat by taking out “makes” from the second line.  The only other semi-technical aspect to consider is the word “penned.” It can mean Keeps everything penned meaning closed in, or penned meaning written down with a pen.  I hate ruining the a-ha moment of reading when you discover a word has a double meaning, and wondering if the author intended it, but such is the nature of this poem break-down post.
Anything else you can interpret or notice, please feel free to comment.
Also, a breakdown of a sonnet may eventually follow, depending how much more they get drilled into my head.

-Presto

p.s.

I take back the next post being about a sonnet.  I’ll probably make it something more entertaining for those non-litt, non-bookwork readers!

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