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Telling Tales

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.


Some people
need piercing.
Some people
need branding.
Some people
ink their skins
to tell their tales.

Some people
use words.
Some people
use voices.
Some people
paint immaculate pictures
to tell their tales.

We all have
a story to tell.

It's our life.
It's our thoughts.
Told in verses.
Told in prose.

And so it will be told
by ink
by music
by action.

How it's told doesn't matter,
for in the end,
it's the story of us.
And everything is just used
to tell our tales.

There's a million stories waiting to be told

There's a million stories waiting to be told

Creating Rhythms, beats without rhymes

Not all poems have to rely on rhymes to create rhythms. Parallelism is a popular tool used to create this affect. By definition, parallelism in poetry is the repetition of phrases similar in meaning or structure. In many cases, words are repeated with a few slight variations.

This device is as ancient as poetry itself. Epic poems such as Gilgamesh or origin stories by ancient Mesopotamian cultures were told (or sung) by using this device. It was commonly used in ancient Hebrew poetry (such as "Psalm 96"), as well as in other cultures. Native American tribes and ancient Finnish folktales and poems used this device as well.

The device is still being used by noted Native American writers such as Joy Harjo. Other famous poets have used this device. Walt Whitman relied heavily on it. Ezra Pound toyed with the concept in “Night Litany”, in which he repeats the phrase “O God”. Other poets include William Blake and T.S. Elliot.

Parallelism has a particular effect on a poem. The repetition, when done right, can give the impression of drum beats done at a steady pace. Also, the poems tend to sound like chants for a ritual (which may explain why religious poems from various groups around the world use this device).

Variations of words, phrases, and structure are essential in these poems. However, the changes are subtle – and at times, can be tricky. Often, if a poet uses this device, he or she may consider matching syllable counts with each line or altering the parallelism every fourth or fifth line. In other cases, a line can be repeated at the beginning, middle or end of the poem or stanza of a long poem. Either way, this device gives a poem a musical quality as well as a ritualistic effect.

Interesting Fact: In some circles, the name of these poems are tribal poems. The reason is that this device replicates oral tradition and folk poems and songs used by various tribes in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Dean Traylor


His princesz on September 07, 2012:

Awesome. I love tales, long and short. I love reading and listening to them. I love poem and I love the way you write Dean Taylor :)

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 19, 2012:

Thank you for this inight

Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on August 19, 2012:

Very interesting poem giving a name to a way of writing we see a lot of in poetry. I am a Harjo fan too.

Valleypoet on August 19, 2012:

Enjoyed the poem. Your hub is also very informative and interesting. Voted up

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