Shelley’s Notes (from an episode of Focus on the Family)
December 28, 1999
Hebrew Poetry and Song/Psalms:
Hebrew poetry is different than western poetry. Rhyme is not the essential element.
Parallelism is the essential element.
The emphasis is on how the thoughts and ideas are arranged, how the lines are put together.
Construction as follows:
First is reflection, thinking of a situation/feelings.
Then you jot down thoughts on the subject of situation/feelings. Write from your life.
Line 1 is the subject.
Line 2 is either:
1) Similar- repeat the same thought as the first line stated differently, in another way. Or:
2) Dissimilar- contrast. Or:
3) Constructive-adds and builds on to the subject.
Continue repeating options 1-3, as in line 2, for each line and stanza throughout the poem/Psalm.
Can use questions or statements in any phase, as listed above in 1-3.
Think of an experience.
Scribble, write furiously, pages if necessary.
Then think about it and sort it out.
Choose what is useful to best express your thoughts and feelings.
Think about the words that are the most fitting to best express what you are trying to convey, the emotion of it, or the senses.
Add word pictures, as you are able.
It feels and reads like poetry. It has rhythm.