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Submitted on
August 25
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Galleries Month

Hi! ShadowedAcolyte here for projecteducate, and today we're going to talk about the categories and options in the Poetry Gallery. Well, mostly I'm going to be the one talking, but there will be discussion questions at the end!

Getting Started

So you're uploading a poem, and you've successfully navigated to Literature, and then to Poetry. What now? (I'm assuming your poem isn't in someone else's canon setting; if it is, it belongs under Literature > Fan Fiction instead.) Your first options are the "genre" categories (and yes, we're using the term loosely): Children's, Emotional, Family Life, General Poetry, Horror, Human Nature, Humor, Narrative, Nature, Romantic, Sociopolitical, Spiritual, and Transgressive.

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but it's easily possible that your poem could fit properly in multiple categories (a poem about romance could easily explore human nature or even spiritual themes). In these situations, pick the best fit, but don't agonize over the decision. You can use keywords in these cases to make sure someone searching for certain topics can find your poem. If none of the categories seem particularly correct for your poem, or it touches on so many topics that you can't decide which is best, your poem can always find a home in the General Poetry category.

Moving On

First, a note about Romance: it has four genre "subcategories": Erotic, General, Post-Teen (Mature), and Teen. Remember that deviantART prohibits pornographic literature even in the Erotic category; see FAQ #251: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic literature'; what do you consider this to be? for more details. As above, if none of the categories seems correct, or multiple categories seem equally correct, choose General.

For all the other "genre" categories, and the Romance subcategories, the final organizational layer for the Poetry gallery is the set of "form" categories. Just like before, we're using the term loosely. The options are (depending on which "genre" category you chose) Concrete Poetry, Free Verse, Haiku & Eastern, Songs & Lyrics, Traditional Fixed Forms, Urban & Spoken Word, and Visual & Found Poetry.

Concrete Poetry

This gallery is for poems whose shape on the page portrays an object or objects (usually the subject of the poem). Poetry with unusual typographical arrangement that does not depict an object should be placed under Visual & Found Poetry instead.
At World's End        LITTLE BOY
                k    s
                y    k
                s    y
                c    s
                r    c
                a    r
                p    a
                e    p
      boy girl  r    e
    c o n c r e t e  r

Free Verse

This gallery is for poems that do not fit into one of the other "form" categories. In this way it is similar to the General categories above: if none of the options seems appropriate, select Free Verse. Free Verse poems may be rhymed or have internal structure without being an established fixed form; that's perfectly fine.
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat –
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight –
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp

Haiku & Eastern

This gallery is for haiku, tanka, senryu, renga, or similar East Asian forms. These forms typically emphasize minimalism among other constraints. If you are writing in one of these forms, I'd advise identifying it in your Artist's Comments.
One Last Star   no moon to be found
in the predawn twilight,
   but one last star —
somewhere in the distance
a robin's lilting call

Songs & Lyrics

This gallery is for poems intended to be set to music. In general, these poems use rhyming and metrical patterns without falling into an established fixed form, and they are likely to have refrains. If you have a link to the music the song should accompany, or even of the song being sung, share it in the Artist's Comments!
Picnicking BluesI took my baby for a picnic, we went out in the snow.
Yes, I took her for a picnic, we went out in the snow.
She said, "Slim, it's kind of cold here" - but where else could we go?
I played guitar for my baby and my fingers got numb.
When I played guitar for my baby, my fingers got numb.
She said, "You better put your gloves on - but I like the way you strum."
I poured some wine for my baby, it was a red from oh-three.
I poured a fine wine for my baby, it was a red from oh-three.
She said, "I think a red should be warmer, but it's all right with me."
I lit a fire for my baby, I turned a tree into a torch.
Well, I lit a fire for my baby, I turned a tree into a torch.
She said, "Slim, I like the heat but our blanket will scorch."
Then it snowed for five minutes, six or eight inches fell.
Oh, it snowed for five minutes, six or eight inches fell.
My baby looked like a snowman and I looked like one myself.
My baby led me back indoors and being warm was nice.
She led me back indoors and being

Traditional Fixed Forms

This gallery is for poems that fit into an established, recognized form (excepting minimalist East Asian forms; for that, see Haiku & Eastern, above), like sonnets, ghazals, blank verse, pantoums, sestinas, or villanelles. As with Haiku & Eastern, it is a good idea to identify the form in your Artist's Comments. These forms usually have restrictions on rhyme, meter, length, and/or repetition of key elements. If a poem has restrictions that you invented yourself, it belongs under Free Verse, not here (although if you are proud of your invented form, share the details in the Artist's Comments!). A good rule of thumb for whether something counts as a Traditional Fixed Form or not would be to search for it online; if there is a Wikipedia page describing the form, it's probably "Traditional" enough to count.
Late Night CerealShe texted me to ask for milk,
A query so surreal,
For she was of the hungry ilk
Who craved for cereal.
Alas, I had no milk but soy,
Which she was wary to deploy
Within her bowl,
Within her bowl,
Her face showed she did not taste joy.
Oh Special K! 'Twas not the day
She meant for you to swim
With Mister Two-Percent, and play
Your tasty games with him.
The box was done, your final breath
Could only end in runny death.
No creaminess,
No creaminess,
A soggy grave was all she left.
All times, both good and bad, must end
In peacefulness or pain.
One moment, by your side a friend,
The next, gone and estranged.
While we still live, let's take control,
Together, let's live to the full
Like milk and flakes,
Like milk and flakes,
Creamy, crunchy in the bowl.

Urban & Spoken Word

This gallery is for poems intended to be performed aloud without significant musical accompaniment. Spoken word and slam poetry should be placed here. Since performance is such a significant part of these pieces, you might want to record yourself reading your poem, if you are able, and place a link to the recording in your Artist's Comments.
Growing Pains ManagementWhen I was four years old,
my mother told me that the sky was the limit,
so I ran face first into the
pine tree in my front yard
to get the ground knocked out of me.
When I was thirteen,
I busted my head open in band class.
In the clinic, I wiped the blood
that flooded down my face with my forearm
and made the Vice Principal vomit.
Since then, I’ve made a habit out of making
everything dangerous.
When I was seventeen, Kevin put a copy
of HOWL face down on my desk and told me
not to tell anyone. I didn’t.
He still lost his job.
Now, I’m twenty two and I don’t know
what I want to be when I grow up.
My hair is thinning faster than my
patience is thinning faster than my
blood is thinning faster than my
wallet. I buy time at the ATM
and gamble it away.
It’s all maintenance now, like so many
car parts creaking. I haven’t put on
that many miles but when you floor it
for twenty two years straight
there’s going to be some damage.
Damnit— there

Visual & Found Poetry

This gallery is for poems whose visual presentation is an unusually important aspect of the piece, but which do not fit into Concrete Poetry, above. It is also for poems using words from other sources, like blackout and found poetry. These two areas of poetry are together not because they are the same, but because the latter are often presented in a dramatic, visual style, so a given poem can easily be both.
Dazzling and Untempered by carriezona

Wrapping Up

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you had about the Poetry Gallery. As you might have noticed, I recommend using keywords and explanations in the Artist's Comments to share information useful to the reader that can't be divined from the "genre" and "form" categories alone. Also, the Poetry Gallery organization may change in the future; current plans and discussion about these changes is focused on this journal, which welcomes your input. If there are categories you feel are missing or unnecessary, that's the place to share your thoughts.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you have any questions about the above?
  • What is your experience using keywords on your own deviations, and/or using keywords while searching on deviantART for the work of others?
  • Do you appreciate it when a deviant shares more information about a work in the Artist's Comments (links to spoken word performances, details about a form, that sort of thing)? Do you share that information on your own work?

Add a Comment:
IHaveNoPseudonym Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is a great piece. I'm a poet and I think it's fantastic that someone took the time to ensure that others knew what they were looking at and submitting their work to the right categories. Speaking of which, one of mine might be sorted incorrectly.

I like it when an author gives additional information that he/she feels is necessary to the understanding of the poem. I try to include a little information or a lot, usually dependent on the subject matter. I've gone so far as to photograph the paper that I'm writing on and taking notes on to help people understand the process behind being a poet.
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
Thanks for your reply! I agree, I really like detailed Artist's Comments.
Just-To-Look1 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 3, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I do have a question. Can we even share parodies of our favorite songs, as in, the lyrics of the parody? :B
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014
Yes, parodies are okay.
Just-To-Look1 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
ArrogantReality Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
I also REALLY don't like empty Artist's Comments. Hell, my AC have many times been what's helped my work get some attention. :nod:
ArrogantReality Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
I use a great many keywords on every piece I submit, and I choose them with great care. Time and evidence have shown me that they work really, really well at helping me reach the exact people I'm trying reach with my work.
SpriteBlayde Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful guide! Thank you for writing this. I think I may have put some in the wrong gallery. I will have to fix those!

And also, I hadn't realized how much I've been missing out on by not using keywords. That shall be fixed as well.
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014   Writer
Thanks for the category summaries. I can remember having some difficulty with them back when I first joined dA - they didn't seem self explanatory at the time.

I always use keywords on my submissions, though I have never tested their efficacy as they relate to search parameters. 
ArrogantReality Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
I have, and they work really, really well. :nod:
Add a Comment: