Poetry triggers interesting reactions from readers. Not only is it a jump from storytelling long-form, but it invites rhythm, a detail of creativity not seen elsewhere in the story. I always found poetry bits to be fascinating—or tedious if they were too long and poorly done—in a story.
My theory is the poetry activates different parts of the brain. It’s nothing short of refreshing and invigorating, particularly when changing back to the storytelling prose. Used right, poetry adds many things to a manuscript, such as:
- insights into the protagonists; their reactions, views, and inner struggles
- gives readers’ a “break” from long-form prose
- invites higher details of creativity
- perfect medium for foreshadowing, adding tension, among other plot devices
A fantasy without poetry feels dry and incomplete. If looking to spruce up a fantasy world, try incorporating some poems. This isn’t to say that sci-fi or contemporary fiction can’t have songs.
Stretch the mind and unite it with the heart, the soul. RhymeZone and Hemingway are great tools for poetry. Also read other forms of poetry to get inspired. Shakespeare is always a good choice, but try genres that reflect what type of poetry. Check out this post on Haiku, a form of East Asian poetry. Yes, there are myriad ways to express a poem, and the strength of poetry is only limited by one’s imagination.
Here’s some poetry from my WIP, Ethereal Seals. The poems are songs given by priests to the dead and dying to ease their passing. For more information on life and death on Atlas, view my post on Life and Death in a Fantasy Universe. Enjoy! 🙂
Deliverance Eulogy I
Rest easy, my brothers, my sisters
For many starturns, you endured the pain of Umbra’s blisters
May the Earthmother protect your spirits unto the Celestial Heavens
So that you too may meet the divine Seven
Oh, how we wail at the torment you received
And in our hearts, we are all so grieved
Rest easy, my brothers, my sisters,
For it will not be long, and you will be at peace
Deliverance Eulogy I I
My brothers, my sisters; we wail for your loss
Though the Shadow is gone, victory comes with its cost
Our tears shall forever water these sands
Hearken our words, the divine hymn we place unto your hands
Find your Deliverance unto the Celestial Heavens
So that you, too, shall unite with the Seven
Be blessed in the higher planes
Where, for eternity, you shall reign
Aspectä rey’lief, departed souls, departed knyghts
For we bless you with this song, an eulogy of the Aspects’ might
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Aspectä rey’lief, fair reader, thanks for reading.
—Ed R. White