Three elements of Hebrew Poetry – Poetry Creation

Looking at Old Testament poetry. It doesn’t use rhyme and meter but uses other poetic devices. There are three main types of ancient Hebrew poetry. These are discussed below –

Synonymous Poetry – two lines that say nearly the same thing but want to stress what is being said. For example this is common in the Psalms as in

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Antithetical poetry is the opposite – it uses successive lines to say two different things, each relative to the same theme. You’ll not only find this in Psalms, but all over the Book of Proverbs, such as –

Proverbs 17:22 –
A cheerful heart is good like medicine
But a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Synthetic Poetry uses successive lines to build to a point, systematically showing or convincing the reader. Here is an example from Psalm 139 verses 1-6 …

O Lord, you have searched me and know me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

You can use these techniques in your own personal poetry creation. And of course you can include rhyme and meter too.

Reference – more details can be found on this site …

Revolution (in the way we view creation)


James Ussher (1) calculated the starting point.
About 4004 years before the birth of Christ,
apparently at 9:00am on a Monday morning
in late October.

Thomas Guy (2) then annotated his holy bibles
enforcing this fact within the Church and for
years the populace believed his added words.
Then Darwin learnt that truth lies in geometry
and that a circle has no start or finish.

But if you believe in the ‘Big Bang’ theory
then everything is gradually losing energy.
Being in my latter years this is understandable,
my circulation not being what it once was.

However, we do have plenty of time up our sleeves
for our best scientists have predicted it will take
several billion years before the Sun expands and
drags the Earth within its heated arms.

So there may come a day when everything stops.
Perhaps at 11:15pm on a Saturday in September –
after the late night news.

T S Eliot plaque East Coker church

in my beginning is my end … in my end is my beginning
T. S. Eliot’s Memorial Plaque – East Coker Church, Somerset

1 James Ussher (4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was the Irish Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar and church leader, famous for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation.
2 Thomas Guy (1644–1724) was a British bookseller, speculator and official publisher of bibles and from his wealth became the de facto founder of Guys Hospital in London.

It is unbelievable that the populace believed in such things for so many years. I wonder if the same is true for something in life today!