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Poetry: Elements


Poetry: Elements & Key Terminology The words needed to articulately discuss a poem. * 25. meter Meter is a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Poetry: Elements

Poetry Elements Key Terminology
  • The words needed to articulately discuss a poem.

1. alliteration
  • Alliteration is the repetition of the same or
    very similar consonant sounds usually at the
    beginnings of words that are close together in a
  • What is repetition?
  • What is a consonant sound?
  • Here is an example of alliteration from the
    famous poem The Raven by E. A. Poe
  • Open here I flung the shutter, when with many a
    flirt and flutter,
  • In there stepped a stately Raven of the
    saintly days of yore.

2. allusion
  • An allusion is a reference to a statement, a
    person, a place, or an event from literature,
    history, religion, mythology, politics, sports,
    science, or pop culture.
  • Here is an example of an allusion used in
  • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry uses the term
  • What does Magi refer to?
  • It is a religious reference to the wise men from
    the East who presented the infant Jesus with the
    first Christmas gifts.

3. assonance
  • Assonance is repetition of similar vowel sounds
    that are followed by different consonant sounds,
    especially in words that are close together in a
  • What are vowel sounds?
  • Here is an example of assonance fade and base.
  • Here is an example of assonance from the poem
    Boy at the Window by Richard Wilbur
  • Seeing the snowman stand all alone/In dusk and
    cold is more than he can bear/

4. author
  • An author is the writer of a literary work.
  • What is literary?
  • An example of an author is Robert Frost, who
    wrote The Road Not Taken.

5. ballad
  • A ballad is a song that tells a story.
  • Ballads usually tell sensational stories of
    tragedy or adventure.
  • Ballads use simple language.
  • Ballads use a great deal of repetition.
  • Ballads have a regular rhythm and rhyme scheme,
    which makes them easy to memorize.

5. ballad
  • The Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall on
    page 464 is an example of a ballad.

6. Blank verse
  • Blank verse is poetry written in unrhymed iambic
  • What is unrhymed?
  • Unrhymed means there is no rhyme.
  • What is iambic pentameter?
  • Iambic pentameter is when there are five iambs in
    a line of poetry.
  • An iamb is when an unstressed syllable is
    followed by a stressed syllable, as in the word
  • Pre is an unstressed syllable.
  • fer is a stressed syllable because there is
    more emphasis placed on that syllable during

6. Blank verse
  • Blank verse is the most important poetic form in
    English epic and dramatic poetry.
  • Blank verse is the major verse form used in
    Shakespeares plays.
  • Here is a famous example from Romeo and Juliet by
    William Shakespeare
  • But soft! What light through the yonder window

8. contradiction
  • A contradiction is when two feelings, two events,
    or two statements are opposite of each other.
  • An example of a contradiction is in the poem The
    Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
  • Line 7 suggests one road might have the better
    claim, yet in line 10 the roads are being
    described as being wornabout the same.

(No Transcript)
7. connotation
  • The connotation of a word is all the meanings,
    associations, or emotions that have come to be
    attached to some words, in addition to the
    literal dictionary definition (denotation).
  • For example, skinny and slender have the same
    literal definition (thin).
  • But their connotations are very different.
  • Skinny has a negative connotation because you are
    saying something unflattering when you use this
  • Slender has a more positive connotation because
    you are giving a compliment.
  • What are the connotations of the highlighted
    words in this quote from Bertrand Russell?
  • I am firm. You are obstinate. He is a
    pigheaded fool.

9. couplet
  • A couplet is two consecutive lines of poetry that
  • What is consecutive?
  • Here is an example of a couplet by Alexander
  • I am his Highness dog at Kew/ Pray tell me,
    Sir, whose dog are you?

10. dialect
  • Dialect is a way of speaking that is
    characteristic of a particular region or a
    particular group of people.
  • Dialects may have a distinct vocabulary.
  • yous/ yall
  • Dialects may have a distinct pronunciation
  • crick/ creek
  • Dialects may have a distinct grammar system.
  • Nows Is a told yous/ Now, I have told you.
  • We all have a dialect because we live in
    different regions and belong to different groups.
  • However, one dialect usually becomes dominant in
    a country or culture and becomes accepted as the
    standard way of speaking.
  • In the United States, the language known as
    standard English is the accepted dialect and is
    what you usually hear spoken by TV newscasters on
    the national channels.

11. diction
  • Diction is a writers choice of words.
  • When analyzing the writing style of an author,
    diction, or word choice, is an important element
    to consider.
  • Connotations of words are also an important
    aspect of diction.
  • A writers diction could be described as simple
    and down-to-earth house, home, digs.
  • A writers diction could be described as ornate,
    or flowery domicile, residence, abode.

12. epic
  • An epic is a long story which relates the great
    deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the
    values of a particular society.
  • Most epics include elements of myth, legend, folk
    tale, and history.
  • The tone is serious and language is grand.
  • Examples of great epics are the Iliad and the
    Odyssey, written by Homer.

13. Figure of speech
  • A figure of speech is a word or phrase that
    describes one thing in terms of another.
  • A figure of speech is not meant to be understood
    on a literal level.
  • Most figures of speech involve some sort of
    imaginative comparison between seemingly unlike

13. Figure of speech
  • There are some 250 different types of figures of
  • The three most common are the simile, the
    metaphor, and personification.
  • An example of a simile I wondered lonely as a
  • An example of a metaphor Fame is a bee.
  • An example of personification The wind stood
    up and gave a shout.

14. Free verse
  • Free verse is poetry that does not have a regular
    meter or rhyme scheme.
  • Poets writing in free verse try to capture the
    natural rhythms of ordinary speech.
  • Free verse may use rhyme, alliteration,
    onomatopoeia, refrain, and parallel structure to
    help create its music.
  • An example of a poem written in free verse is
    Daily on page 410.

14. Free verse
  • Daily
  • These shriveled seeds we plant,corn kernel,
    dried bean,poke into loosened soil,cover over
    with measured fingertips
  • These T-shirts we fold intoperfect white squares
  • These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp
    stripsThis rich egg scrambled in a gray clay
  • This bed whose covers I straightensmoothing
    edges till blue quilt fits brown blanketand
    nothing hangs out
  • This envelope I addressso the name balances like
    a cloudin the center of sky
  • This page I type and retypeThis table I dust
    till the scarred wood shinesThis bundle of
    clothes I wash and hang and wash againlike flags
    we share, a country so closeno one needs to name
  • The days are nouns  touch themThe hands are
    churches that worship the world
  •   Naomi Shihab Nye

15. genre
  • A genre is simply a category that a work of
    literature is classified under.
  • There are five major genres in literature
    nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, and myth.
  • What genre are we currently studying in depth?
  • The Odyssey, which is our next unit of study, is
    in the epic genre.

16. haiku
  • Haiku is a Japanese verse form consisting of
    three lines and, usually, seventeen syllables.
  • There are five syllables in the first line, seven
    syllables in the second line, and five in the
    third line.
  • The writer of a haiku tries to describe a
    particular moment of discovery or enlightenment.
  • A haiku often presents an image of daily life
    that relates to a particular season.
  • An example of a haiku is on page 419 in your
    literature book.

16. haiku
  • Get out of my road
  • And allow me to plant these
  • Bamboos, Mr. Toad.
  • -Miura Chora
  • A morning glory
  • Twined round the bucket
  • I will ask my neighbor for water.
  • -Chiyo
  • The old pond
  • a frog jumps in
  • Sound of water.
  • -Matsuo Basho
  • A dragonfly!
  • The distant hills
  • Reflected in his eyes.
  • -Kobayashi Issa

17. Hyperbole
  • Is a figure of speech
  • Uses exaggeration to express strong emotion or to
    create a comic effect
  • What is exaggeration?
  • Sometimes hyperbole is called overstatement.
  • Writers will use hyperbole to intensify a
    description or to emphasize the essential nature
    of something.
  • Ex That limousine is as long as an ocean liner.

18. Iambic pentameter
  • Iambic pentameter is a line of poetry that
    contains five iambs.
  • An iamb is a metrical foot, or unit of measure,
    consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by
    a stressed syllable.
  • Pentameter comes from the Greek word penta,
    which means five and meter, which means
  • Ex arise
  • Here is an example from W. Shakespeares R J.
  • But soft! What light through the yonder window

19. idiom
  • An idiom is an expression peculiar to a
    particular language that means something
    different from the literal meaning of each word.
  • Ex Its raining cats and dogs.
  • Ex We heard it through the grapevine.
  • Idioms make it difficult to translate a piece of
    writing from one language to another.

20. imagery
  • Imagery is language that appeals to the senses.
  • Most images are visual, but imagery can also
    appeal to the senses of sound, touch, taste, and
    smell, or even to several senses at once.
  • Imagery is an element in all types of writing,
    but it is especially important in poetry.
  • Here is an example from Meeting at Night by
    Robert Browning.
  • Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach
  • Three fields to cross till a farm appears
  • A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
  • And blue spurt of a lighted match

21. Implied metaphor
  • An implied metaphor is a type of metaphor where
    the comparison is implied and not directly
  • An implied metaphor does not tell us directly
    that one thing is something else.
  • An implied metaphor uses words that suggest the
    nature of the comparison.
  • Ex O my love bursts into bloom
  • This phrase implies that the feeling of love is
    like a budding flower.

22. irony
  • Contrast between expectation and reality
  • That is between what is said and what is really
    meant. (verbal irony)
  • Example calling LeBron James a clumsy
    basketball player
  • That is between what is expected to happen and
    what really does happen. (situational irony)

22. irony
  • Example In The Gift of the Magi, the female
    character sells her hair to buy her husband a
    chain for his pocket watch the husband has sold
    his pocket watch to buy jeweled combs for his
    wifes hair.
  • That is between what appears to be true and what
    is really true. (dramatic irony)
  • Example In Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, the
    audience knows that Juliet is only faking death,
    but her lover Romeo doesnt.

23. Lyric poetry
  • Lyric poetry is poetry that does NOT tell a story
    but is aimed only at expressing a speakers
    emotions or thoughts.
  • Most lyric poetry is short and implies a single,
    strong emotion.
  • The term lyric is Greek.
  • In ancient Greece, lyric poems were recited to
    the accompaniment of a stringed instrument called
    a lyre.
  • Today, poets still try to make their lyrics
    sing, but they rely on the musical effects
    created with rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia, etc.
    instead of instruments.
  • There is an example of a lyric poem on page 425.

23. Lyric poetry
  • Country Scene by Ho Xuan Huong
  • Translated by John Balaban
  • The waterfall plunges in mist.
  • Who can describe this desolate scene
  • the long white river sliding through
  • the emerald shadows of the ancient canopy
  • a shepherds horn echoing in the valley,
  • fishnets stretched to dry on sandy flats.
  • A bell is tolling, fading, fading
  • just like love. Only poetry lasts.

24. metaphor
  • A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a
    comparison between two unlike things, in which
    one thing becomes another thing without the use
    of the word like, as, than, or resembles.
  • Examples
  • O my love is a red, red rose
  • Fame is a bee.

25. meter
  • Meter is a regular pattern of stressed and
    unstressed syllables in poetry.
  • When we mark the meter of a poem, we use ? for
    a stressed syllable and ? for an unstressed
  • Example
  • Slowly, silently, now the moon
  • -Walker de la Mare, from the Silver

26. mood
  • Mood is a storys atmosphere or the feeling it
  • What is atmosphere?
  • What is evokes?
  • What are feelings?
  • Mood is often created by a storys setting.
  • If a story is set in a wild forest at night, with
    wolves howling in the distance, what type of mood
    is created?
  • The mood conveyed might be one of terror,
    tension, or uneasiness.
  • If a story is set in a cozy cottage or garden
    full of sunlight with birds chirping, what type
    of mood is created?
  • The mood conveyed might be one of peace or

27. narrator
  • The narrator is the voice telling the story.
  • The narrator can be someone involved in the story
    or someone who is not involved.
  • If the character is involved in the story, there
    is probably a first person point of view.
  • If the character is not one of the characters in
    the story, and thus, is not involved directly in
    the story, there is probably a third person point
    of view.
  • When we consider the narrator of a piece of
    literature, we must ask ourselves Is this
    narrator reliable?
  • What does it mean to be reliable?
  • The choice of a narrator in literature is very
    important because of the reliability factor.

28. onomatopoeia
  • Onomatopoeia is the use of a word whose sound
    imitates or suggests its meaning.
  • Onomatopoeia is very natural to us and we have
    probably been using it since our childhood.
  • Examples crackle, pop, fizz, click, zoom,
  • Onomatopoeia adds to the musical quality of

28. onomatopoeia
  • And in the hush of waters was the sound
  • Of pebbles, rolling round
  • Forever rolling, with a hollow sound
  • And bubbling seaweeds, as the waters go,
  • Swish to and fro
  • Their long cold tentacles of slimy gray
  • _James Stephens, from The Shell

29. parallelism
  • Parallelism is the repetition of words, phrases,
    or sentences that have the same grammatical
    structure or that state a similar idea.
  • Parallelism is also called parallel structure.
  • Parallelism helps make lines rhythmic and
  • Parallelism also helps heighten the emotional
    effect of words on the reader.

29. parallelism
  • Turn to page 1027
  • It was the best of times, it was the worst of
    times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age
    of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it
    was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season
    of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was
    the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
    we had everything before us, we had nothing
    before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we
    were all going direct the other way
  • Charles Dickens, from A Tale of Two Cities

30. personification
  • Personification is a kind of metaphor in which a
    nonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if
    it were human.
  • Example The wind stood up and gave a shout.

30. personification
  • This poetry gets bored of being alone,
  • it wants to go outdoors to chew on the winds,
  • to fill its commas with the keels of rowboats
  • -Hugo Margenat, from Living Poetry

31. poetry
  • Poetry is defined as a type of rhythmic,
    compressed language that uses figures of speech
    and imagery to appeal to the readers emotions
    and imagination.
  • What is rhythmic?
  • What is compressed?
  • What are figures of speech?
  • What is an appeal?
  • The major forms of poetry are the lyric poem and
    the narrative poem.
  • What is a lyric poem?
  • What is a narrative poem?
  • Two types of narrative poems are the epic and the
  • What is an epic?
  • What is a ballad?
  • Poetry has been described as a search for the
  • What is inexplicable?

Point of view
Omniscient point of view
First-person point of view
Third-person point limited point of view
End rhyme
Internal rhyme
Approximate rhymes
Rhyme scheme
  • Example I wondered lonely as a cloud.

Verbal irony
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