Rhythm and Line Breaks | Tools of the Trade

Rhythm and Line Breaks

There are even more ways that Tom Slack can improve on his word "painting." Michael Carey teaches that rhythm and line breaks are basic tools that add meaning to poems.

Like a drum beat, a line of poetry has a rhythm that is set by the author's choice of words, and the spaces between them. Think of words as a set of drumsticks. The beat of words can be fast or slow, or even crazy, serious, silly, or sad.

Line breaks are where lines of poetry end. A pause between lines can also change the meaning and tone of the poem.


After turning over the idea of using rhythm and line breaks, our lazy poet worked a little more on his poem.

A bunch of munching cows in my path,
chewing their cuds
as green gloppy paste
drips from 
How long will they stare at our cars
knowing that they have won?


Now Tom's new poem was closer to resembling his morning's frustration.

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Periscope / National Poetry Month: A World of Poetry | Periscope / E. Tools of the Trade | Periscope