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Maya Angelou 1928-
  • Angelou has been praised for the rich and
    insightful prose of her narratives and for
    offering what many observers feel is an
    indispensable record of black experience. Author
    James Baldwin wrote on the publication of I Know
    Why the Caged Bird Sings "This testimony from a
    Black sister marks the beginning of a new era in
    the minds and hearts and lives of all Black men
    and women."

"The Lesson - by Maya AngelouI keep on dying
again.Veins collapse, opening like theSmall
fists of sleepingChildren.Memory of old
tombs,Rotting flesh and worms doNot convince me
againstThe challenge. The yearsAnd cold defeat
live deep inLines along my face.They dull my
eyes, yetI keep on dying,Because I love to
W. H. Auden 1907-1973
  • Audens poetry centers on moral issues and
    evidences strong political, social, and
    psychological orientations. In his work, Auden
    applied conceptual and scientific knowledge to
    traditional verse forms and metrical patterns
    while assimilating the industrial countryside of
    his youth. Poet, playwright, and essayist W. H.
    Auden created in his works an allegorical
    landscape rife with machinery, abandoned mines,
    and technological references.

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W. H. Auden
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to
understand He knew human folly like the back of
his hand, And was greatly interested in armies
and fleets When he laughed, respectable
senators burst with laughter, And when he cried
the little children died in the streets.
Elizabeth Bishop 1911-1979
  • Bishop's reputation as an accomplished poet rests
    on a small but significant body of highly crafted
    poems that have been praised for their precise
    observations and understated, descriptive
    quality. With subtle wit and close attention to
    detail, Bishop explores such themes as isolation,
    personal loss, and dislocation.

Excerpt from The Fish- by Elizabeth Bishop
  • I caught a tremendous fish
  • and held him beside the boat
  • half out of water, with my hook
  • fast in the corner of his mouth.
  • He didnt fight.
  • He hadnt fought at all.
  • He hung a grunting weight,
  • battered and venerable
  • and homely. Here and there
  • His brown skin hung in strips
  • like ancient wallpaper
  • shapes like full-blown roses
  • strained and lost through age.
  • He was speckled with barnacles,
  • fine rosettes of lime,
  • and infested
  • with tiny white sea-lice,
  • and underneath two or three
  • rags of green weed hung down.

Anne Bradstreet c. 1612-1672
  • Anne Bradstreet ranks as the first true American
    poet. Bradstreet was praised in her own time for
    the formal, courtly aspect of her poetry. What
    was most noteworthy to her contemporaries,
    however, was that this sophisticated poetry was
    produced in the wilds of America by a woman.
    Considered but a relic of America's earliest
    literature, her poetry was seen as a slight
    exception to what the nineteenth-century reader
    perceived as the artless, repressive nature of

Upon Some Distemper of Body by Anne
BradstreetIn anguish of my heart replete with
woes, And wasting pains, which best my body
knows, In tossing slumbers on my wakeful
bed, Bedrenched with tears that flowed from
mournful head, Till nature had exhausted all her
store, Then eyes lay dry, disabled to weep
more And looking up unto his throne on
high, Who sendeth help to those in misery He
chased away those clouds and let me see My
anchor cast i' th' vale with safety. He eased my
soul of woe, my flesh of pain, and brought me to
the shore from troubled main.
Gwendolyn Brooks 1917-2000
  • Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American
    to win a Pulitzer Prize, in 1950. Brooks has been
    associated with the Black Arts movement of the
    late 1960s. Long a trailblazer, in 1985 she
    became the first African American woman to be
    appointed poetry consultant by the Library of

The Sonnet-ballad by Gwendolyn Brooks Oh
mother, mother, where is happiness? They took my
lover's tallness off to war, Left me lamenting.
Now I cannot guess What I can use an empty
heart-cup for. He won't be coming back here any
more. Some day the war will end, but, oh, I knew
When he went walking grandly out that door That
my sweet love would have to be untrue. Would
have to be untrue. Would have to court
Coquettish death, whose impudent and strange
Possessive arms and beauty (of a sort) Can make
a hard man hesitate--and change. And he will be
the one to stammer, "Yes." Oh mother, mother,
where is happiness?
William Cullen Bryant 1794-1878
  • Bryant's chief stylistic hallmark is his
    treatment of nature, especially his belief that
    it consoles as well as provides lessons about
    history and divine purpose. His poetry embodies
    an acceptance of the cycles of change in nature
    and in life and a belief that change is
    providential because it leads to an individual's
    spiritual progress and moral improvement.

Sonnet--to an American Painter Departing for
Europe by William Cullen BryantThine eyes
shall see the light of distant skies Yet, Cole!
thy heart shall bear to Europe's strand A living
image of thy native land, Such as on thy own
glorious canvass lies. Lone lakes--savannahs
where the bison roves-- Rocks rich with summer
garlands--solemn streams-- Skies, where the
desert eagle wheels and screams-- Spring bloom
and autumn blaze of boundless groves. Fair
scenes shall greet thee where thou goest--fair,
But different--every where the trace of men,
Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest
glen To where life shrinks from the fierce
Alpine air. Gaze on them, till the tears shall
dim thy sight, But keep that earlier, wilder
image bright.
Countee Cullen 1903-1946
  • Countee Cullen emerged in the 1920s as the most
    famous black writer in America. Inspired by
    European sonnet form, works of classical
    antiquity, and Biblical imagery, Cullen sought to
    create poetry that transcended the boundaries of
    race. "If I am going to be a poet at all," stated
    Cullen in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1924, "I am
    going to be Poet and not Negro Poet.

For a Poet - by Countee CullenI have wrapped
my dreams in a silken cloth,And laid them away
in a box of goldWhere long will cling the lips
of the moth,I have wrapped my dreams in a silken
clothI hide no hate I am not even wrothWho
found earth's breath so keen and coldI have
wrapped my dreams in a silken cloth,And laid
them away in a box of gold.
e. e. cummings 1894-1962
  • cummings's work celebrates the individual, as
    well as erotic and familial love. Conformity,
    mass psychology, and snobbery were frequent
    targets of his humorous and sometimes scathing
    satires. All of cummings's poetry attests to the
    author's neverending search for fresh metaphors
    and new means of expression through creative
    placement of words on the page, new word
    constructions, and unusual punctuation and

i carry your heart with me(i carry it inBy E.
E. Cummings 18941962 i carry your heart with
me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without
it(anywhere i go you go,my dearand whatever is
done by only me is your doing,my darling)
     i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my
sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my
world,my true) and its you are whatever a moon
has always meant and whatever a sun will always
sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody
knows (here is the root of the root and the bud
of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree
called lifewhich grows higher than soul can
hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder
that's keeping the stars apart i carry your
heart(i carry it in my heart)
Rita Dove 1952-
  • Dove's poetry is characterized by a tight control
    of words and structure, an innovative use of
    color imagery, and a tone that combines
    objectivity and personal concern. Although many
    of her poems incorporate black history and
    directly address racial themes, they present
    issues, such as prejudice and oppression, that
    transcend racial boundaries.

This Life- by Rita Dove
  • The green lamp flares on the table.
  • You tell me the same thing
  • as that one, 
  • asleep,
  • upstairs.
  • Now I see the possibilities 
  • are like golden dresses in a nutshell.   
  • As a child, I fell in love
  • with a Japanese woodcut
  • of a girl gazing at the moon.
  • I waited with her for her lover. 
  • He came in white breeches and sandals. 
  • He had a goateehe had 
  • your face, though I didn't know it. 
  • Our lives will be the same 
  • your lips, swollen from whistling 
  • at danger, 
  • and I a stranger 

Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906
  • Best known for his poems in dialect, Dunbar
    became a sought-after writer at the turn of the
    century, popular with black and white audiences
    alike. His poems and stories picture the hopeful,
    sensuous, and joyous side of working-class black
    life as well as its sorrows and disillusionments.
    He lifted the black oral tradition to the height
    of art and looked at his people objectively and
    with pride.

Choice by Paul Laurence DunbarTHEY please
me not--these solemn songsThat hint of sermons
covered up.'T is true the world should heed its
wrongs,           But in a poem let me sup,Not
simples brewed to cure or easeHumanity's
confessed disease,But the spirit-wine of a
singing line,           Or a dew-drop in a honey
T. S. Eliot 1888-1965
  • Eliots poetry and prose are frequently cited as
    having helped inaugurate the modern period in
    English and American letters. Eliot is best known
    for his distinctly erudite and innovative verse.
    Many of his poems combine classical references
    and concerns with elements drawn from
    contemporary culture.

Morning at the Window by T. S. EliotThey
are rattling breakfast plates in basement
kitchens, And along the trampled edges of the
street I am aware of the damp souls of
housemaidsSprouting despondently at area gates.
The brown waves of fog toss up to me Twisted
faces from the bottom of the street, And tear
from a passer-by with muddy skirts An aimless
smile that hovers in the air And vanishes along
the level of the roofs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803- 1882
  • Emerson sought to "create all things new" with a
    philosophy stressing the recognition of ongoing
    creation and revelation by a god apparent in all
    things and who exists within everyone.
    Traditional values of right and wrong, good and
    evil, appear in his work as necessary opposites.
    Emerson's works also emphasize individualism.

Eros by Ralph Waldo EmersonThe sense of the
world is short,Long and various the report,To
love and be belovedMen and gods have not
outlearned it,And how oft soe'er they've turned
it,'Tis not to be improved.
Allen Ginsberg 1926-1997
  • The American poet Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was
    one of the most celebrated figures in
    contemporary American literature. He was a
    leading member of the "Beat Movement" and helped
    lead the revolt against "academic poetry" and the
    cultural and political establishment of the
    mid-20th century.

Excerpt from Kaddish, Part I by Allen Ginsberg
  • Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets
    eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of
    Greenwich Village.
  • downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've
    been up all night, talking, talking, reading the
    Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
    shout blind on the phonograph
  • the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head
    three years after-- And read Adonais' last
    triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing how we

Nikki Giovanni 1943-
  • In much of her work, Giovanni focuses on the
    individual's search for love and acceptance,
    reflecting what she considers a general struggle
    in the African-American community. Concentrating
    on themes of family, blackness, womanhood, and
    sexuality, Giovanni's poetry is conversational
    and strongly influenced by contemporary rhythm
    and blues music.

Knoxville, Tennessee - by Nikki Giovanni
  • I always like summer best 
  • you can eat fresh corn from daddy's garden
  • and okra 
  • and greens 
  • and cabbage 
  • and lots of barbecue
  • and buttermilk
  • and homemade ice-cream at the church picnic
  • and listen to
  • gospel music
  • outside at the church homecoming 
  • and go to the mountains with your grandmother
  • and go barefooted 
  • and be warm all the time 
  • not only when you go to bed 
  • and sleep

Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809-1894
  • According to one of his students, when Dr. Oliver
    Wendell Holmes entered his classroom at Harvard
    College to lecture on anatomy, he was greeted "by
    a mighty shout and stamp of applause. Holmes's
    fame, however, went far beyond his medical
    lectures, for he also gained renown as a poet,
    novelist, biographer, and essayist. Furthermore,
    his writings exhibited an independent
    intellectual attitude, aversion to any restraint
    on free thought, and a scientific habit of mind.

Excerpt from The Old Man Dreams - by Oliver
Wendell Holmes OH for one hour of youthful joy!
Give back my twentieth spring! I'd rather
laugh, a bright-haired boy, Than reign, a
gray-beard king. Off with the spoils of
wrinkled age! Away with Learning's crown! Tear
out life's Wisdom-written page, And dash its
trophies down! One moment let my life-blood
stream From boyhood's fount of flame! Give me
one giddy, reeling dream Of life all love and
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882
  • He is credited with having been instrumental in
    introducing European culture to the American
    readers of his day. In addition, he
    simultaneously popularized American folk themes
    abroad, where his works enjoyed an immense
    readership. He is known for his narrative style
    of writing and his (and America's) most famous
    poems, "Paul Revere's Ride."

Autumn- by Henry Wadsworth LongfellowThou
comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain, With
banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand, And
stately oxen harnessed to thy wain! Thou
standest, like imperial Charlemagne, Upon thy
bridge of gold thy royal hand Outstretched
with benedictions o'er the land, Blessing the
farms through all thy vast domain! Thy shield is
the red harvest moon, suspended So long beneath
the heaven's o'er-hanging eaves Thy steps are
by the farmer's prayers attended Like flames
upon an altar shine the sheaves And, following
thee, in thy ovation splendid, Thine almoner,
the wind, scatters the golden leaves!
Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892- 1950
  • Millays verse captured the rebellious mood of
    post-World War I youth. She is primarily
    remembered for her early volumes of poetry, which
    boldly asserted an independent, nonconformist
    perspective toward contemporary life rarely
    expressed by women authors of her time. An
    advocate of individualism and romanticism in her
    verse, Millay commonly employed rhyme and
    traditional metrical patterns to convey her
    nontraditional ideas about the role of women in
    relationships and society.

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and
why (Sonnet XLIII) - by Edna St. Vincent Millay
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and
why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning but the rain Is
full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon
the glass and listen for reply, And in my heart
there stirs a quiet pain For unremembered lads
that not again Will turn to me at midnight with
a cry. Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before I
cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only
know that summer sang in me A little while, that
in me sings no more.
Marianne Moore 1887- 1972
  • Moore created poetry characterized by loose
    rhythms, carefully chosen words, close attention
    to descriptive detail, and acute observation of
    human character. Moore's poems often reflect her
    preoccupation with the relationships between the
    common and the uncommon, advocate discipline in
    both art and life, and espouse virtues of
    restraint, modesty, and humor. She frequently
    used animals as a central image to emphasize
    themes of independence, honesty, and the
    integration of art and nature.

He Made This Screen by Marianne Moorenot
of silver nor of coral, but of weatherbeaten
laurel. Here, he introduced a sea uniform like
tapestry here, a fig-tree there, a face
there, a dragon circling space -- designating
here, a bower there, a pointed passion-flower.
Sylvia Plath 1932-1963
  • Plath became widely known following her suicide
    in 1963 and the posthumous publication of Ariel
    (1965), a collection containing her most
    startling and acclaimed verse. Through bold
    metaphors and stark, often violent and unsettling
    imagery, Plath's works evoke some of the mythic
    qualities of nature and human experience. Her
    vivid, intense poems explore such topics as
    personal identity, individual suffering and
    oppression, and the inevitability of death.

A Better Resurrection by Sylvia PlathI have
no wit, I have no words, no tears My heart
within me like a stone Is numbed too much for
hopes or fears Look right, look left, I dwell
alone A lift mine eyes, but dimmed with grief
No everlasting hills I see My life is like the
falling leaf O Jesus, quicken me.
Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849
  • It is Poe's achievement in the short story for
    which he is best remembered by critics. Yet Poe
    retains a popular audience rare among so-called
    "classic" authors, for his tales of terror
    contain a fascination and a mystery that appeals
    to many readers. Whether they are published as
    comic books, released as movies, or read in their
    original versions, Poe's dark tales speak to the
    human desire to peer into the realm of the
    unknown and the unspeakable.

Sonnet To Science by Edgar Allan
PoeScience! true daughter of Old Time thou
art!Who alterest all things with thy peering
eyes.Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's
heart,Vulture, whose wings are dull
realities?How should he love thee? or how deem
thee wise?Who wouldst not leave him in his
wanderingTo seek for treasure in the jewelled
skies,Albeit he soared with an undaunted
wing?Hast thou not dragged Diana from her
car?And driven the Hamadryad from the woodTo
seek a shelter in some happier star?Hast thou
not torn the Naiad from her flood,The Elfin from
the green grass, and from meThe summer dream
beneath the tamarind tree?
Ezra Pound 1885-1972
  • Pound sought to employ le mot juste--the precise
    word--which often took the form of foreign
    phrases, archaic dialects, or technical diction,
    and he revived the end-stopped line to create
    self-contained measures of poetry that resonate
    with independent significance. In addition,
    Pound's experiments with rhythm are often
    considered the first substantial
    twentieth-century efforts to liberate poetry from
    iambic patterns.

A Girl - by Ezra Pound The tree has entered
my hands,The sap has ascended my arms,The tree
has grown in my breast-Downward,The branches
grow out of me, like arms.Tree you are,Moss
you are,You are violets with wind above them.A
child - so high - you are,And all this is folly
to the world.
Adrienne Rich 1929-
  • Rich is praised for lyrical and highly crafted
    poems in which she explores a variety of socially
    relevant subjects, including feminism, and
    criticizes patriarchal societies where women
    traditionally assume secondary status to men. An
    early proponent of societal changes that reflect
    the values and goals of women, Rich is credited
    with articulating one of the most profound poetic
    statements of the modern feminist movement.

For the Dead by Adrienne RichI dreamed I
called you on the telephoneto say Be kinder to
yourselfbut you were sick and would not
answerThe waste of my love goes on this
waytrying to save you from yourselfI have
always wondered about the left-overenergy, the
way water goes rushing down a hilllong after the
rains have stoppedor the fire you want to go to
bed frombut cannot leave, burning-down but not
burnt-downthe red coals more extreme, more
curiousin their flashing and dyingthan you wish
they weresitting long after midnight
Theodore Roethke 1908-1963
  • American poet and teacher Theodore Roethke
    (1908-1963) is considered a major poet of his
    generation. He demonstrated a wide range of
    styles and growing awareness of how to transform
    his love of nature into a vehicle for expressing
    his mystical visions. His work conveys through
    dynamic, descriptive imagery the physical essence
    of nature and the human body.

Wish for a Young Wife- by Theodore Roethke
  • My lizard, my lively writher,
  • May your limbs never wither,
  • May the eyes in your face
  • Survive the green ice
  • Of envys mean gaze
  • May you live out your life
  • Without hate, without grief,
  • And your hair ever blaze,
  • In the sun, in the sun,
  • When I am undone,
  • When I am no one.

Carl August Sandburg 1878-1967
  • Carl Sandburg developed a unique and
    controversial form of free verse that captured
    the rhythms and color of Midwestern American
    vernacular. While some critics have dismissed
    Sandburg for his sentimental depictions of urban
    and agrarian landscapes and for his simple style,
    others have lauded his rhapsodic and lyrical
    technique and his effective patterns of
    parallelism and repetition.

LOST by Carl SandburgDESOLATE and loneAll
night long on the lakeWhere fog trails and mist
creeps,The whistle of a boatCalls and cries
unendingly,Like some lost childIn tears and
troubleHunting the harbor's breastAnd the
harbor's eyes.
Anne Sexton 1928-1974
  • Sexton was among the best-known of the often
    controversial Confessional poets, a group
    composed primarily of New England writers who
    rose to prominence during the 1950s and early
    1960s. She wrote highly introspective verse that
    revealed intimate details of her emotional
    troubles, including the severe depression from
    which she suffered for most of her adult life and
    which led to her suicide.

Housewives by Anne SextonSome women marry
houses. It's another kind of skin it has a
heart, a mouth, a liver and bowel movements. The
walls are permanent and pink. See how she sits
on her knees all day, faithfully washing herself
down. Men enter by force, drawn back like Jonah
into their fleshy mothers. A woman is her
mother. That's the main thing.
Gary Soto 1952-
  • Soto is one of America's most honored writers of
    Chicano poetry. Soto writes only in English,
    choosing words that are Spartan, images that are
    harsh, and subject matter that is often
    autobiographicalcharacteristics which
    effectively help to present his major theme, the
    plight of the Chicano.

Looking Around, Believing- by Gary Soto
  • How strange that we can begin at any time.
  • With two feet we get down the street.
  • With a hand we undo the rose.
  • With an eye we lift up the peach tree
  • And hold it up to the wind white blossoms
  • At our feet. Like today. I started
  • In the yard with my daughter,
  • With my wife poking at a potted geranium,
  • And now I am walking down the street,
  • Amazed that the sun is only so high,
  • Just over the roof, and a child
  • Is singing through a rolled newspaper
  • And a terrier is leaping like a flea
  • And at the bakery I pass, a palm,
  • Like a suctioning starfish, is pressed
  • To the window. We're keeping busy
  • This way, that way, we're making shadows
  • Where sunlight was, making words
  • Where there was only noise in the trees.

Gertrude Stein 1874-1946
  • A controversial figure during her lifetime, Stein
    is now regarded as a major literary Modernist and
    one of the most influential writers of the
    twentieth century. Working against the
    naturalistic conventions of nineteenth-century
    fiction, she developed an abstract manner of

Tender Buttons (Apple) by Gertrude Stein
  • Apple plum, carpet steak, seed clam, colored
    wine, calm seen, cold cream, best shake, potato,
    potato and no no gold work with pet, a green seen
    is called bake and change sweet is bready, a
    little piece a little piece please.
  • A little piece please. Cane again to the
    presupposed and ready eucalyptus tree, count out
    sherry and ripe plates and little corners of a
    kind of ham. This is use.

Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862
  • Thoreau advocates a simple, self-sufficient way
    of life in order to free the individual from
    self-imposed social and financial obligations. He
    also pleads for a more intimate relationship
    between human beings and nature as an antidote to
    the deadening influence of an increasingly
    industrialized society.

Epitaph on the World by Henry David
ThoreauHere lies the body of this world,
Whose soul alas to hell is hurled. This golden
youth long since was past, Its silver manhood
went as fast, An iron age drew on at last 'Tis
vain its character to tell, The several fates
which it befell, What year it died, when 'twill
arise, We only know that here it lies.
Alice Walker 1944-
  • Alice Walker writes about the black woman's
    struggle for spiritual wholeness and sexual,
    political, and racial equality. Although most
    critics categorize her writings as feminist,
    Walker rebuffs the label, describing her work and
    herself as "womanist." Walker's central
    characters are almost always black women the
    themes of sexism and racism are predominant in
    her work, but her impact is felt across both
    racial and sexual boundaries.

The Old Men Used to Sing by Alice WalkerThe
old men used to singAnd lifted a
brotherCarefullyOut the doorI used to think
theyWere bornKnowing how toGently swingA
casketThey shuffled softlyEyes dryMore
awkwardWith the flowersThan with the
widowAfter they'd put theBody inAnd stood
around waitingIn theirBrown suits.
Walt Whitman 1819-1892
  • Walt Whitman spent three years during the Civil
    War tending wounded Union and Confederate
    soldiers. His poems, speeches, letters, and
    newspaper articles from that time recount the
    horrors of war and the struggles of a nation
    divided. Whitman's vision of humanity was
    radically egalitarian, democratic ideals and
    unveiled an ambitious poetic persona designed to
    serve as the embodiment of America. The poems of
    Leaves of Grass glorify America through
    evocations of its citizenry, landscape, and

O Living Always- Always Dying by Walt
WhitmanO LIVING alwaysalways dying! O the
burials of me, past and present! O me, while I
stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as
ever! O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I
lament notI am content) O to disengage myself
from those corpses of me, which I turn and look
at, where I cast them! To pass on, (O living!
always living!) and leave the corpses behind!
William Carlos Williams 1883-1963
  • Often praised for its vivid imagery, Williams's
    poetry focuses on objects rather than directly
    expressing sentiments or ideas. Williams was a
    leading force in Objectivism, which expanded upon
    the Imagist concern with sight and sound by also
    emphasizing thought and feeling. Many of
    Williams's poems celebrate life and are centered
    on the desirability of growth and change.

This Is Just To Say by William Carlos
Williams I have eatenthe plumsthat were
inthe iceboxand whichyou were
probablysavingfor breakfastForgive methey
were deliciousso sweetand so cold
  • An Exciting Language

OXYMORON joining contradictory terms to make a
point or emphasize a phrase... (the cold sun, the
kind killer, the small giant...)
  • example excerpt from "He Stands Upon His Tower
  • Together they are apart,
  • apart together opposed in flesh,
  • combined in spirit.
  • Apart is dependence but no freedom
  • together fleshly- one,
  • but feeling
  • separate.
  • - Richard C. Guches

  • a grouping of lines in a poem (like paragraphs in
    an essay)

  • repetition of a group of lines, similar to the
    chorus of a song

  • repetition of end sounds of words at the same
    places (usually end of each line)

  • the patterns of rhyme in a stanza (usually mapped
    out using A,B,C etc.)

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  • 1. sensory impressions and
  • 2. figurative language

1. Sensory impressions
  • writing which appeals to the senses (sight,
    taste, sound, touch, smell)
  • examples salty, smooth, rotten, jingle

2. Figurative language
  • similes (like or as), metaphors (is, are, am),
    and personification (human characteristics to
    inanimate objects or animals) to communicate a
    more symbolic meaning, rather than literal.

Example Moons There are moons like
continents Diminishing to a white stone Softly
smoking In a fog-bound ocean. Equinoctial moons,
Immense rain barrels spilling their yellow
water. Moons like eyes turned inward, Hard and
bulging On the blue cheek of eternity.
And moons half-broken, Eaten by eagle
shadows... But the moon of the poet Is soiled
and scratched, its seas Are flowing with
dust. And other moons are rising, Swollen like
boils- In their blood shot depths The warfare of
planets Silently drips and festers. -
John Highness
  • (or near rhyme) where stressed vowels in words
    agree but the consonants do not

Example Excerpt from 258 When it comes, the
Landscape listens Shadows-hold their breath- When
it goes, tis like the Distance On the look of
death- -Emily Dickinson
  • (Or head rhyme) the echo of the first sound of
    several words in a line
  • Example The supercilious snake suddenly and
    softly hissed his message.

  • Poetry that doesnt rhyme and doesnt have a
    constant syllable count or line.

  • Poetry that doesnt rhyme but follows syllable or
    stressed patterns.

  • From Romeo and Juiet
  • but soft! What light through yonder window
  • It is the east and Juliet is the sun!
  • Arise, fair sin, and kill the envious moon
  • Who is already sick and pale with grief
  • That thou her maid art far more fair than she.

  • Words which represent sounds (buzz, moo, meow,
    swish, whirr, hiss)

  • When conscious exaggeration is used, not taken
    literally but for emotional effect

  • When the literal sense of what is said falls
    short of the magnitude of what is being talked
    about also used for effect

  • The second self of the poet when a poet
    creates a character of his/herself who is writing
    the poem (narrator or speaker who is separate
    from the poet)

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And sometimes goin' in the dark Where there
ain't been no light. So boy, don't you turn
back. Don't you set down on those
steps 'Cause you find it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now-
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin', And life for me
ain't been no crystal stair.