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Elements of Poetry


Elements of Poetry Style and Structure ... rise but I see the bright eyes from Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe What sound device ... with gray head and gaunt ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Elements of Poetry

Elements of Poetry
  • Style and Structure

Todays Warm-up
  • How would you define poetry? Explain
  • What are some key elements in a poem?

Elements of Poetry
  • Poetry is not prose. Prose is the ordinary
    language people use in speaking or writing.
  • Poetry is a form of literary expression that
    captures intense experiences or creative
    perceptions of the world in a musical language.
  • Basically, if prose is like talking, poetry is
    like singing.
  • By looking at the set up of a poem, you can see
    the difference between prose and poetry.

Distinguishing Characteristics of Poetry
  • Unlike prose which has a narrator, poetry has a
  • A speaker, or voice, talks to the reader. The
    speaker is not necessarily the poet. It can also
    be a fictional person, an animal or even a thing

Example But believe me, son. I want to be what I
used to be when I was like you. from Once Upon a
Time by Gabriel Okara
Distinguishing Characteristics of Poetry
  • Poetry is also formatted differently from prose.
  • A line is a word or row of words that may or may
    not form a complete sentence.
  • A stanza is a group of lines forming a unit. The
    stanzas in a poem are separated by a space.

Example Open it. Go ahead, it wont
bite. Wellmaybe a little. from The First Book
by Rita Dove
Figures of Speech Literary Devices
  • A figure of speech is a word or expression that
    is not meant to be read literally. There are
    several different literary devices that authors
    use in poetry.
  • A simile is a figure of speech using a word such
    as like or as to compare seemingly unlike things.

Example Does it stink like rotten meat? from
Harlem by Langston Hughes
What is being compared?
Figures of Speech
  • A metaphor also compares seemingly unlike things,
    but does not use like or as.

Example the moon is a white sliver from I Am
Singing Now by Luci Tapahonso
What is being compared?
  • Personification attributes human like
    characteristics to an animal, object, or idea.

Example A Spider sewed at Night from A Spider
sewed at Night by Emily Dickinson
What is being personified?
Figures of Speech
  • Hyperbole a figure of speech in which great
    exaggeration is used for emphasis or humorous

What is being exaggerated?
Example Youve asked me a million times!
  • Imagery is descriptive language that applies to
    the senses sight, sound, touch, taste, or
    smell. Some images appeal to more than one sense.

Sound Devices
  • Alliteration is the repetition of consonant
    sounds at the beginning of words.
  • Example Sally sells sea-shells by the sea shore.
  • Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds
    within a line of poetry.
  • Example So long lives this, and this gives life
    to thee.
  • Do you like blue?
  • Onomatopoeia is the use of a word or phrase, such
    as hiss or buzz that imitates or suggests the
    sound of what it describes.

Example of Sound Devices
What sound device do you see here?
  • In the steamer is the trout
  • seasoned with slivers of ginger
  • from Eating Together by Li-Young Lee
  • And the stars never rise but I
  • see the bright eyes
  • from Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

What sound device do you see here?
  • The recurrence of sounds, words, phrases, lines
    or stanzas in a poem.
  • Writers use repetition to emphasize an important
    point, to expand on an idea, to create rhythm,
    and to increase the unity of the work.
  • Example The repeated chorus of a song emphasizes
    the message of that song.

  • Rhyme is the repetition of the same stressed
    vowel sound and any succeeding sounds in two or
    more words.
  • Internal rhyme occurs within a line of poetry.
  • End rhyme occurs at the end of lines.
  • Rhyme scheme is the pattern of end rhymes that
    may be designated by assigning a different letter
    of the alphabet to each new rhyme

  • All mine!" Yertle cried. "Oh, the things I now
  • I'm king of a cow! And I'm king of a mule!
  • I'm king of a house! And what's more, beyond
  • I'm king of a blueberry bush and cat!
  • I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
  • For I am the ruler of all that I see!
  • from Yertle the Turtle
  • by Dr. Seuss

Try this one on your own---mark the rhyme scheme
Penelope by Dorothy Parker
  • In the pathway of the sun,
  • In the footsteps of the breeze,
  • Where the world and sky are one,
  • He shall ride the silver seas,
  • He shall cut the glittering wave.
  • I shall sit at home, and rock
  • Rise, to heed a neighbors knock
  • Brew my tea, and snip my thread
  • Bleach the linen for my bed.
  • They will call him brave.

Rhythm and Meter
  • Rhythm is the pattern of sound created by the
    arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables
    in a line. Rhythm can be regular or irregular.
  • Meter is a regular pattern of stressed and
    unstressed syllables which sets the overall
    rhythm of certain poems. Typically, stressed
    syllables are marked with / and unstressed
    syllables are marked with ? .
  • In order to measure how many syllables are per
    line, they are measured in feet. A foot consists
    of a certain number of syllables forming part of
    a line of verse.

Iambic Pentameter
  • The most common type of meter is called iambic
  • An iamb is a foot consisting of an initial
    unstressed syllable followed by a stressed
    syllable. For example, return, displace, to
    love, my heart.
  • A pentameter is a line of verse containing 5
    metrical feet.

Significance of Iambic Pentameter
  • Iambic Pentameter is significant to the study of
    poetry because
  • 1. It is the closest to our everyday speech
  • 2. In addition, it mimics the sound of heart
    beat a sound common to all human beings.
  • 3. Finally, one of the most influential writers
    of our times uses iambic pentameter in all that
    he writes William Shakespeare.

Example 1 And death is better, as the millions
know, Than dandruff, night-starvation, or
B.O from Letter to Lord Byron by W.H. Auden
Example 2 When you are old and grey and full of
sleep And nodding by the fire, take down this
book. W.B. Yeats
Connotation and Denotation
  • Connotation - the emotional and imaginative
    association surrounding a word.
  • Denotation - the strict dictionary meaning of a
  • Example You may live in a house, but we live in
    a home.

Which of the following has a more favorable
  • thrifty penny-pinching
  • pushy aggressive
  • politician statesman
  • chef cook
  • slender skinny

Elements of Poetry
When we explore the connotation and denotation of
a poem, we are looking at the poets
diction. Diction the choice of words by an
author or poet. Many times, a poets diction can
help unlock the tone or mood of the poem.
Elements of Poetry Tone and Mood
Although many times we use the words mood and
tone interchangeably, they do not necessarily
mean the same thing. Mood the feeling or
atmosphere that a poet creates. Mood can suggest
an emotion (ex. excited) or the quality of a
setting (ex. calm, somber) In a poem, mood
can be established through word choice, line
length, rhythm, etc. Tone a reflection of the
poets attitude toward the subject of a poem.
Tone can be serious, sarcastic, humorous, etc.
Narrative Poetry
  • Narrative poetry is verse that tells a story.
  • Two of the major examples of narrative poetry
  • Ballads a song or poem that tells a story.
    Folk ballads, which typically tell of an exciting
    or dramatic event, were composed by an anonymous
    singer or author and passed on by word of mouth
    for generations before written down. Literary
    ballads are written in imitation of folk ballads,
    but usually given an author.
  • Epics a long narrative poem on a great and
    serious subject that is centered on the actions
    of a heroic figure

Dramatic Poetry
  • Dramatic poetry is poetry in which one or more
    characters speak.
  • Each speaker always addresses a specific
  • This listener may be silent (but identifiable),
    or the listener may be another character who
    speaks in reply.
  • Usually the conflict that the speaker is involved
    with is either an intense or emotional.

Lyric Poetry
  • Lyric poetry is poetry that expresses a speakers
    personal thoughts and feelings.
  • Lyric poems are usually short and musical.
  • This broad category covers many poetic types and
    styles, including haikus, sonnets, free verse and
    many others.

Free Verse
  • Free verse is poetry that has no fixed pattern of
    meter, rhyme, line length, or stanza arrangement.
  • When writing free verse, a poet is free to vary
    the poetic elements to emphasize an idea or
    create a tone.
  • In writing free verse, a poet may choose to use
    repetition or similar grammatical structures to
    emphasize and unify the ideas in the poem.

Free Verse
  • While the majority of popular poetry today is
    written as free verse, the style itself is not
    new. Walt Whitman, writing in the 1800s,
    created free verse poetry based on forms found in
    the King James Bible.
  • Modern free verse is concerned with the creation
    of a brief, ideal image, not the refined ordered
    (and artificial, according to some critics)
    patterns that other forms of poetry encompass.

Example of Free Verse
The lunatic is carried at last to the asylum a
confirmed case, He will never sleep any more as
he did it in the cot in his mothers bedroom The
dour printer with gray head and gaunt jaws works
at his case, He turns is quid of tobacco, his
eyes blurred with the manuscript The malformed
limbs are tied to the anatomists table, What is
removed drops horribly in the pail The quadroon
girl is sold at the stand.the drunkard nods by
the barroom stove Excerpt from Song of Myself
(section 15) Walt Whitman
  • Background of Sonnets
  • Form invented in Italy.
  • Most if not all of Shakespeares sonnets are
    about love or a theme related to love.
  • Sonnets are usually written in a series with each
    sonnet a continuous subject to the next. (Sequels
    in movies)

Sequence of Sonnets
  • Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and can be broken
    up by the characters they address.
  • The Fair Youth Sonnets 1 126 are devoted to a
    young man of extreme physical beauty. The first
    17 sonnets urge the young man to pass on his
    beauty to the next generation through children.
    From sonnet 18 on, Shakespeare shifts his
    viewpoint and writes how the poetry itself will
    immortalize the young man and allow his beauty to
    carry on.
  • The Dark Lady Sonnets 127 154 talk about an
    irresistible woman of questionable morals who
    captivates the young poet. These sonnets speak
    of an affair between the speaker and her, but her
    unfaithfulness has hurt the speaker.
  • The Rival Poet This character shows up during
    the fair youth series. The poet sees the rival
    poet as someone trying to take his own fame and
    the poems refer to his own anxiety and insecurity.

Structure of Sonnets
  • The traditional Elizabethan or Shakespearean
    sonnet consists of fourteen lines, made up of
    three quatrains (stanzas of 4 lines each) and a
    final couplet (two line stanza). Sonnets are
    usually written in iambic pentameter. The
    quatrains traditionally follow an abab rhyme
    scheme, followed by a rhyming couplet.

  • Sonnet 18
  • William Shakespeare
  • Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
  • Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
  • Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
  • And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
  • Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
  • And often is his gold complexion dimmed
  • And every fair from fair sometime declines,
  • By chance, or nature's changing course,
  • But thy eternal summer shall not fade
  • Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
  • Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
  • When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
  • So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
  • So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
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