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Why Do Poets Use Contractions


Jul 22, 2023 0 Comments

Poetry is a form of artistic expression that allows writers to convey their emotions, thoughts, and ideas in a concise and powerful manner. While poets often employ various literary devices like metaphors, similes, and imagery to create an impact, they also frequently use contractions to add a sense of authenticity and rhythm to their work. In this article, we will explore why poets often use contractions in their poetry.

Contractions are shortened versions of two words, formed by combining them and omitting some letters, usually vowels or consonants. For instance, “don`t” is a contraction of “do not,” “can`t” of “cannot” and “I`m” of “I am.” Contractions are a common part of everyday language, and we use them frequently in our conversations. They help to make our speech more informal and friendly, and also save time and effort.

Poetry is all about expressing emotions and feelings, and contractions are a natural way of conveying a sense of intimacy and familiarity. By using contractions, poets can create a more conversational tone and make their work more accessible to the reader. They bring a sense of immediacy, making readers feel like they are part of a conversation or an intimate dialogue. For example, the famous poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth contains several contractions like “I`ll” and “o`er,” which give the poem a more casual and conversational tone.

Contractions also help poets to create a rhythmic structure in their work. Poetry is all about sound and rhythm, and contractions can add a natural flow to a poem. For example, the contraction “ne`er” in the poem “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare fits perfectly in the iambic pentameter structure of the poem and adds to its musicality. Similarly, the contraction “don`t” in the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost adds a rhythmic emphasis to the word “take.”

In conclusion, contractions are an essential part of poetry as they add a sense of authenticity, intimacy, and rhythm to the work. By using contractions, poets can create a more conversational tone, make their work more accessible to the reader, and add to the musicality of their poetry. However, it`s worth noting that the use of contractions in poetry is a choice and not a strict rule. Some poets prefer not to use contractions in their work, and that`s perfectly acceptable too. Ultimately, it`s up to the poet to decide what works best for their poem and the emotions they wish to convey.