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Intro to Poetry


Intro to Poetry po et ry noun \ p - -tr What is it? writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Intro to Poetry

Intro to Poetry
poetry noun \'po-?-tre What is it?
  • writing that formulates a concentrated
    imaginative awareness of experience in language
    chosen and arranged to create a specific
    emotional response through meaning, sound, and
  • In other wordsit is writing that uses devices to
    focus on experiences or life.

Poetic Devices to Know
  • Simile
  • Metaphor
  • Personification
  • Hyperbole
  • Alliteration
  • Allusion
  • Apostrophe
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Synecdoche
  • Narrative poetry
  • Lyric poetry
  • Sonnet
  • Hyperbole
  • Consonance
  • Metonymy

Why Write Poetry?
  • One argument goes back to Aristotle, to his
    famous distinction between history and poetry.
  • History reports what happened, and is therefore
    subject to all the constraints and imperfections
    of actual life. No general is a perfect
    embodiment of courage in battle, steadfastness in
    adversity, far-sightedness in decision-making,
    etc. But poetry uses words in their fuller
    potential, and creates representations that are
    more complete and meaningful than nature can give
    us in the raw.

Why Write Poetry? II
  • A second argument borrows the approach of the
    Postmodernists, who claim that what we experience
    of the world is with and through language. 
  • The claim is greatly exaggerated, since we all
    have experiences not readily conveyed in words
    riding a bike, listening to music, etc. and
    meaning is not finally anchored in mere words but
    in bodily physiology and social usage. But
    language undoubtedly does colour our perceptions
    and modify responses, which politicians and the
    media understand very well.
  • Words are not therefore neutral entities, but
    have intentions, associations, histories of usage

Why write Poetry? III
  • the ordinary language of everyday speech is a
    stunted, stripped down and abbreviated shadow of
    what poetry should achieve.
  • In other wordspoetry is using words to their

Why Poetry? IV
  • Because it sounds nicer than prose, poetry is
    appreciated. (often uses rhymes, has a set rhythm
    or pattern, uses devices like alliteration)
  • Because it is harder to write than prose, it is
    appreciated. (often has set rules to follow
    such as rhyme scheme, syllables per line)

Recognizing Good Poetry
  • Watch good poets and read good poems.
  • Shayne Koyczan
  • http//
  • Saul Williams
  • http//

Narrative vs. Lyric Poetry
Narrative Poetry
  • Narrative Poetry tells a story with a discernible
    plot involving characters and events. There are
    different types of narrative poems
  • 1. Epic ex. Beowolf
  • A long narrative on a serious subject
  • Told in a formal and elevated style
  • Centred on a heroic or quasi-divine figure whose
    actions control the fate of a nation or the human

Narrative Poetry continued
  • 2. Metrical Romance ex. The Faerie Queen
    (Edmund Spencer)
  • Represents a courtly and chivalric age where
    civility and manners were stressed.
  • Has a standard plot of a quest taken by a knight
    to win a ladys favour.
  • Focuses on chivalric ideals of courage, loyalty
    and honour.

Yet More Narrative Poetry
  • Ballad ex. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel
  • A traditional ballad is a song that tells a
  • A literary ballad is written with deliberate form
    and language.
  • Has stanzas (quatrains) that follow the rhyme
    scheme of ABCB.

Lyric Poetry
  • Lyric Poetry expresses a state of mind or a
    process of perception, thought or feeling. These
    poems often represent emotional expression.
  • 1. Ode ex. Ode to a Grecian Urn (Keats)
  • Written in praise or in memory of a person, or
    the arts of music or poetry.
  • Serious and elevated in style.

Lyric Poetry continued
  • 2. Elegy ex. In Memorium (Tennyson)
  • A lament for the death of a person.

Still More Lyric Poetry
  • Sonnet (See Shakespeare and Petrarch)
  • A love poem of 14 lines written in iambic
    pentameter, and with a set rhyme scheme.
  • See the handout!

Focus on rhythm, meter, and form
Why use rhythm in your poetry?
  • Sounds are naturally broken down into some sort
    of pattern, in poetry you can put specific
    thought into the pattern to create effect.
  • Use rhythm to
  • Create flow, a musical quality
  • A change in rhythm can be used for emphasis.
  • Ex. When you want to change the topic in a poem
    or shift gears, you may wish to change the
    rhythm as a way to emphasize this.

Rhythm and meter
  • Rhythm refers to the pattern of sounds made
  • Meter is the regular or patterned alternation
    between accented and unaccented syllables in a
    line of poetry.
  • There are 5 basic rhythms that make up meter
  • Iambic (one unstressed syllable and one stressed)
  • When I....con
  • Trochaic (stressed/unstressed)
  • TY ger....TY ger....BURN ning....BRIGHT
  • Spondaic (unstressed/unstressed)
  • Well-loved, make mild
  • Anapestic (unstressed/unstressed/stressed)
  • And the SHEEN....of their SPEARS....was like
    STARS....on the SEA
  • Dactylic (stressed/unstressed/unstressed)
  • This is the / forest prim- / eval. The /
    murmuring / pines and the

  • Each of the units (an iamb, a troch, an anapest)
    is called a foot.
  • feet come in groups of
  • Mono, di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepta, octa...
  • For example, one iambic foot is 2 syllables. If
    a line has 10 syllables and they are all arranged
    in iambic units, then the line has 5 feet. This
    would be an example of IAMBIC PENTAMETER.
  • If you have 9 syllables of dactylic feet (3
    syllables per foot), you would have dactylic
  • What meter would you have if you had
  • 8 syllables of spondaic?
  • Spondaic tetrameter
  • 16 syllables of trochaic?
  • Trochaic octameter

Form in poetry
  • Form, in poetry, can be understood as the
    physical structure of the poem the length of the
    lines, their rhythms, their system of rhymes and
  • In this sense, it is normally reserved for the
    type of poem where these features have been
    shaped into a familiar pattern.
  • The familiar patterns (forms) include RHYME
  • Not so obvious patterns (form) in poetry include
  • acrostic poems- use the first letters of each
    line to spell out a word or phrase
  • Cento- A poem consisting only of lines from other
  • Sight poems- where the poem literally creates an

Form continued
  • Examples of poems that rely on form
  • Sonnet (14 lines of iambic pentameter with a set
    rhyme scheme)
  • Sestina (39 lines, with a set of lines per
    stanza, and rhyme scheme)
  • Villanelle (19 lines, 5 tercets and one quatrain)
  • blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter)

  • Rhyme Scheme- the pattern of rhyme between lines
    of a poem or song.
  • The following stanza has a rhyme scheme of ABAB.
  • Bid me to weep, and I will weep (A)
  • While I have eyes to see (B)
  • And having none, and yet I will keep (A)
  • A heart to weep for thee. (B)

Focus on Allusion and hyperbole
  • Allusion a figure of speech that makes a
    reference to, or representation of, people,
    places, events, literary work, myths, or works of
    art, either directly or by implication.
  • Examples
  • Barack Obama "I was not born in a manger. I was
    actually born on Krypton and sent here by my
    father, Jor-el, to save the Planet Earth.
  • The girl's love of sweets was her Achilles heel
  • I thought the software would be useful, but it
    was a Trojan Horse.

  • is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device
    or figure of speech
  • It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to
    create a strong impression, but is not meant to
    be taken literally.
  • Examples
  • "Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired
    the shot heard round the world." Ralph Waldo
    Emerson, The Concord Hymn
  • "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this
    blood Clean from my hand? No. This my hand will
    rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making
    the green one red." William Shakespeare, Act II,
    Scene II of Macbeth

  • Watch for examples of allusion and hyperbole!
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Focus on Simile, Metaphor, and Alliteration
  • What a series of words in proximity have the
    same first consonant sound
  • Why adds an interesting aesthetic touch, can
    speed up the pace of a poem, and retrieves
    similar sounding words and phrases from a
    person's memory, making it a useful tool for
    poetry comprehension and memorization.
  • Examples Tim took tons of tools to make toys
    for tots.

  • What a figure of speech that directly compares
    two different things, usually by employing the
    words like or as
  • Unlike a metaphor, a simile can be as precise as
    the user needs it to be, to explicitly predicate
    a single feature of a target or to vaguely
    predicate an under-determined and open-ended body
    of features
  • Why to explain, to express emotion, to make
    writing more vivid and entertaining
  • Example
  • My passion is as mustard strong I sit all sober
    sad Drunk as a piper all day long, Or like a
    March-hare mad.

  • What a word or phrase literally denoting one
    kind of object or idea is used in place of
    another to suggest a likeness
  • Why used to encourage the reader to draw a
    comparison between two seemingly unrelated
    things, and find similarities between them
  • Examples
  • Drowning in money
  • One Direction is chicken soup for my soul.

Im Bad
  • In the song Im Bad LLCool J uses poetic
    devices to add impact and effect.
  • Find examples of
  • Allusion
  • Hyperbole
  • Alliteration
  • Simile/metaphor
  • http//

  • Personification- an inanimate object or
    abstraction is given human qualities or
  • Examples
  • The wind stood up and gave a shout
  • Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly
    slipping the lead into the boxing gloves
  • Fear knocked on the door. Faith answered.

  • Onomatopoeia- is a word that imitates or suggests
    the source of the sound that it describes
  • Examples
  • Oink, squeek, ding, snap, crack