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Poetry, like other literature, has certain elements that help the lector understand the meaning. Unlike stories, novels, and plays, poems may not have a plot. Poems may set a mood, or express the thoughts, feelings, or emotions of the poet. Five elements of poetry that help the poet achieve his or her goal are character, figures of speech, imagery form, theme, and symbolism. Authors such as Gabriela Mistral, pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, Julia de Burgos, and Edgar Allan Poe were highly accomplished writers of poems. Mistral, a Chilean educator, cultural minister, diplomat, and poet said that she is the direct voice of the poets of her race. Julia de Burgos, a Puerto Rican poet, manifests her discomfort with social ills, her love for Puerto Rico, and her preoccupation with justice and death through her poetry. Edgar Allan Poe, an American poet, was one of the first critics to focus primarily on the effect of the style and of the structure in a literary work. All of these poets, write their poems in their own style but with the same purpose of expressing their feelings and thoughts. In this special work, I'm going to present and describe three poems written by each one. Also, I pretend to demonstrate that life experiences are one of the main sources of inspiration of poets.
To Gabriela Mistral, the poverty and problems of the Indian children made a deep impression on her. The poems she wrote reveal her deep love of children. Much of her poetry is effortless and straight in language, but full of affection and emotion. Central themes in Mistral poems are love, mother's love, sterility, nature, sorrow, and recovery. In the poem, "To Noel", she narrates a Christmas tradition in Chile in which the character Noel leaves gifts to the children. Gabriela Mistral comments that:
"Old Noel, Noel of big hands,
Overflowing with gifts,
Noel of twinkling blue eyes
And beard of streaming fleece" (21-24)
Children leave their shoes by the window, and there Noel leaves their gifts. In this poem, Mistral is the speaker, talking directly about an experience and feeling she has had. In "To Noel", Mistral comments that:
"This night I leave you my shoes,
Set out in the window silk,
Please don't empty your sack
Before you pass my house" (5-8)
Julia de Burgos most well-known poem "Rio Grande de Loíza" links her childhood river saying "My wellspring, my river/ since the maternal petal lifted me to the world" (Burgos). To the squares of her art she also states "and my childhood was all a poem in the river/ and a river in the poem of my first dreams" (Burgos), and the grief of her native island. The spirit of freedom and independence flashes through the Burgos' work. She was destined to build something that cannot be ruined, something of her own that lasts. Julia de Burgos grew up on the banks of a branch of the Río Grande de Loíza, a great nature resource in Puerto Rico, and in her poem "Río Grande de Loíza" she expressed, using her native language, her love and the importance that this river has in her life. In this poem, one of her most anthologized works, for example, she begs the river to absorb her both body and soul "Most sovereign river mine. Man river. The only man/ who has kissed my soul upon kissing my body" (Burgos).
In "Annabel Lee", Edgar Allan Poe speaks of the death of his young bride, and of his misery at losing her. Poe's wife and cousin Virginia Clemms, died at twenty-four, after eleven years of marriage, and he refers to her in the poem as Annabel Lee. He tells that she died before she should have; that the angels were jealous of their happiness and took her from him. "Her highborn kinsmen buried her in a tomb by the sea" (Poe) and their love survived her death. Poe claims that every night he dreamed of her, that he saw her eyes in the stars, and that he slept at night by her tomb. His obsessive love is shown in the lines, "And so, all the night tide, I lay down by the side/ of my darling - My darling - My life and my bride/ In her sepulcher there by the sea - in her tomb by the surrounding sea" (Poe). Poe uses rhythm and rhyme to set the mood of the poem. The overall poem is soothing and calm. The content of the poem is gloomy and almost menacing. Poe displays his resentment for the world by blaming his misery on envious angels and his devotion to his wife by saying that "the moon never beams without bringing me dreams/ of the beautiful Annabel Lee" (Poe). The writer uses repetition and rhyme to drive his point into the reader's mind. For example, one line reads "a wind blew out of a cloud, chilling/ my beautiful Annabel Lee" (Poe), and the concluding lines of the next stanza say "that the wind came out of the clouds by night/ chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. The phrase "Beautiful Annabel Lee" (Poe) can be found four times and her name appears seven times: once in every stanza and twice in the last, Poe uses his knowledge of poetry and human psychology to show the reader his falsely calm remorse at the early death of his beloved Virginia Clemms, his Annabel Lee.
In these three stories personals life experiences played a considerable role. The three poets define their work in their own style but in all existed a combination of creative, personal expression, and artistic expression. Personals situations that really occurred during the authors' life are presented in the poems like culture, traditions, wishes, contact with nature resources, national identity, love to the country, depression, and suffering. The authors through their skills, abilities, and knowledge or poetry expressed their positives and negatives personal experiences in a calm, smooth, and fine way achieved his or her goals. Definitely, life personals experiences, is one of the main sources of inspiration of poets. Poetry is a piece of writing with meaning and can be set out in many different formats. Poetry is whatever the author wants it to be and whatever it means to their personalities. More than just a few rhyming words, poetry is an art, a masterpiece, an expression of the human experiences, mind and feelings.