Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry is the chiseled marble of language; it's a paint-spattered canvas - but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is you.
Elements of Poetry
Elements of poetry can be defined as a set of instruments used to create a poem. Many of these were created thousands of years ago and have been linked to ancient story tellings. They help bring imagery and emotion to poetry, stories, and dramas.
A unit of lines grouped together
Similar to a paragraph in prose
A Stanza consists of two or more lines of poetry that together form one of the divisions of a poem. The stanzas of a poem are usually of the same length and follow the same pattern of meter and rhyme and are used like paragraphs in a story. Some different types of stanzas are as follows: Couplets - Couplets are stanzas of only two lines which usually rhyme
Tercets - Tercets are stanzas of three lines. The three lines may or may not have the same end rhyme. If all three lines rhyme, this type of tercet is called a triplet. Quatrains - Quatrains are stanzas of four lines which can be written in any rhyme scheme.
From Second Satire Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) My mother’s maids, when they did sew and spin, They sang sometimes a song of the field mouse, That for because their livelihood was but so thin Would needs go seek her townish sister’s house. She thought herself endured to much pain: The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse...
Couplet • A stanza consisting of two lines that rhyme
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
is idle, biologically speaking.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay (at the end of a sonnet)
Quatrain • A stanza consisting of four lines
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.
Alternating Quatrain- a four line stanza rhyming "abab." From W.H. Auden's "Leap Before You Look" The sense of danger must not disappear : a The way is certainly both short and steep , b However gradual it looks from here ; a Look if you like, but you will have to leap . b
Envelope Stanza - a quatrain with the rhyme scheme "abba", such that lines 2 and 3 are enclosed between the rhymes of lines 1 and 4. Two of these stanzas make up the Italian Octave used in the Italian sonnet. This is from Auden's "Look Before You Leap" The worried efforts of the busy heap , a The dirt, the imprecision, and the beer b Produce a few smart wisecracks every year ; b Laugh if you can, but you will have to leap . a
Tone/Mood The attitude a poet takes toward his/her subject * refers to the writer's attitude towards the subject of a literary work as indicated in the work itself. One way to think about tone in poetry is to consider the speaker's literal "tone of voice": just as with tone of voice, a poem's tone may indicate an attitude of joy, sadness, solemnity, silliness, frustration, anger, puzzlement, etc.
Imagery • Representation of the five senses: sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell •Creates mental images about a poem’s subject
Visual imagery: visual descriptions so vivid they seem to come to life in the reader's mind's when they are read, as in the description of a very old fish in Elizabeth Bishop's poem titled "The Fish": Here and there his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wall-paper, and its pattern of darker brown was like wall-paper: shapes like full-blown roses strained and lost through age
Auditory imagery: descriptions of sound so vivid the reader seems almost to hear them while reading the poem. For example, Alexander Pope contrasts the gentle sounds of a whispering wind and a soft-running stream with the harsher sound of waves crashing on the shore in "Sound and Sense": The sound must seem an echo to the sense: Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently bows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flow; But when the loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar. (365-69)
Images of smell (olfactory imagery): descriptions of smells so vivid they seem almost to stimulate the reader's own sense of smell while reading, as in the poem, "Root Cellar," by Theodore Roethke: And what a congress of stinks!— Roots ripe as old bait, Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich, Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks. Nothing would give up life: Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath. (5-11)
Tactile or "physical" imagery: descriptions conveying a strong, vivid sense of touch or physical sensation that the reader can almost feel himself or herself while reading, as in Robert Frost's description of standing on a ladder in "After Apple Picking": "My instep arch not only keeps the ache, / It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. / I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend" (21-23). Or in the sensation of touch (and possibly taste) in the fourth stanza of Helen Chasin's poem, "The Word Plum ":
The word plum is delicious pout and push, luxury of self-love, and savoring murmur full in the mouth and falling like fruit taut skin pierced, bitten, provoked into juice, and tart flesh. (1-8).
Refrain • The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at certain intervals, usually at the end of each stanza •Similar to the chorus in a song
*The word 'Refrain' derives from the Old French word refraindre meaning to repeat. *Refrain Poetry Term is a phrase, line, or group of lines that is repeated throughout a poem, usually after each stanza. *A famous example of a refrain are the words " Nothing More" and “Nevermore” which are repeated in “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted nevermore.
Repetition • A word or phrase repeated within a line or stanza Example: “gazed and gazed” Sometimes, repetition reinforces or even substitutes for meter (the beat), the other chief controlling factor of poetry.
Humpty Dumpty Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the King's horses and all the King's men Couldn't put Humpty together again The repetition of a phrase in poetry may have an incantatory effect as in the opening lines of T. S. Eliot's "Ash-Wednesday": Because I do not hope to turn again Because I do not hope Because I do not hope to turn....
Sometimes the effect of a repeated phrase in a poem will be to emphasize a development or change by means of the contrast in the words following the identical phrases. For example, the shift from the distant to the near, from the less personal to the more personal is emphasized in Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by such a repetition of phrases: I looked upon the rotting sea, And drew my eyes away; I looked upon the rotting deck, And there the dead men lay.
Rhyme Scheme The pattern in which end rhyme occurs Rhymes are types of poems which have the the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the end of two or more words most often at the ends of lines. This technique makes the poem easy to remember and is therefore often used in Nursery Rhymes. There are several derivatives of the term rhyme which include Double rhyme, Triple rhyme, Rising rhyme, Falling rhyme, Perfect and Imperfect rhymes.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King's horses, And all the King's men Couldn't put Humpty together again!
Theme The theme of the poem talks about the central idea, the thought behind what the poet wants to convey. A theme can be anything from a description about a person or thing, a thought or even a story. In short a theme stands for whatever the poem is about.
Symbolism A poem often conveys feelings, thoughts and ideas using symbols, this technique is known as symbolism. A symbol in poetry can stand for anything and makes the reader take a systematic approach which helps him/her look at things in a different light. A symbol is a poetry style that is usually thought of in the beginning.
*poetry has developed over hundreds of years, certain symbolic meanings have attached themselves to such things as colors, places, times, and animals. *A list of these common symbols and their meanings follows. The list does not exhaust the possible meanings and associations of a symbol or metaphor in any particular poem. You cannot merely plug these meanings into a poem and expect to understand the poem completely. Your own knowledge, associations, and experience are what will lead you to a deep and personal connection to any poem .
Sleep is often related to death. Dreams are linked to the future or fate. Seasons often represent ages: spring--youth, summer--prime of life, autumn--middle age, winter--old age or death. Water is sometimes linked to the idea of birth or purification. Colors are often linked to emotions: red--anger, blue--happiness, green--jealousy. They are also used to represent states of being: black--death or evil, white--purity or innocence, green--growth.
Snakes and guns are often phallic; caves and underwater images often womb-like; nature imagery , in general, is often associated with the mother or the female. The cycle of natural growth --birth, degeneration, death--often suggests the cycle of love. For example, a poem may trace a rose from bud to bloom to withered vine. Animals have various associations: horse--phallic sexuality; doves, lambs, sleeping animals--peace; felines, birds of prey--dissension, war, danger; snakes, serpents--evil, phallic sexuality, fall from virtue, magic. Forests are often places of testing or challenge. Light --as the sun, the moon, stars, candles--often symbolizes good, hope, freedom. Darkness is associated with evil, magic or the unknown. The moon has several associations. It is sometimes a feminine symbol, sometimes associated with madness, sometimes with resurrection.
Dramatic Poetry Dramatizes action though dialogue or monologue Narrative Poetry Poetry-Tells a story Lyrical Poetry Expresses Personal thoughts and emotions.
Dramatic Poetry A poem where the speaker is someone other then the poet themselves. A Dramatic poem often includes characters and dialogue. A Dramatic Monologue is often from a fictional character’s point of view. “Meeting At Night” By Robert Browning
*an emotional piece of literature which includes a story which is recited or sung. DREAM it was in which I found myself. And you that hail me now, then hailed me king, In a brave palace that was all my own, Within, and all without it, mine; until, Drunk with excess of majesty and pride,
“ Be Still my Beating Heart” - Sting “ Winter” -Shakespeare Expresses emotions, appeals to your senses, and often could be set to music.
*Lyric Poetry consists of a poem, such as a sonnet or an ode, that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. *The term lyric is now commonly referred to as the words to a song . *Lyric poetry does not tell a story which portrays characters and actions. *The lyric poet addresses the reader directly, portraying his or her own feeling, state of mind, and perceptions.
Many lyric poems are about love, but they can be about anything which stirs the emotions. The last of the examples of lyric poetry is a poem by Emily Dickinson named “I Felt a Funeral in my Brain”. It describes a person who is going insane, or thinks they are.
A Poem that tells a story, and has the elements of a story. Often Narrative poems have a rhyme scheme. “ The Raven” -Edgar Allen Poe
When the Author of a poem writes something, but doesn’t really mean it literally. Metaphor Simile Analogy Imagery Personification
A comparison NOT using like or as. “” It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” The world is a stage! Romeo, “Romeo and Juliet”, William Shakespeare
When you compare something using like or as.
The river is peaceful, like a new baby sleeping.
Assignment: Find the similes in “Be Still My Beating Heart”
When the author provides visual pictures as you read. In a poem, you can often see the images the author writes about The spring flowers, vibrant, electrified with the newness of spring
A COMPARISON BETWEEN TWO APPARRENTLY DISSIMILAR THINGS MADE TO CLARIFY A CERTAIN POINT ABOUT ONE OF THEM.
EXAMPLES: Glove is to hand as paint is to wall Citizens are to president as solar system is to galaxy Horses are to past societies as computers are to future societies
When human like qualities are given to an animal or object. Example: An overly gregarious puppy. A decrepit old car.
Who is the SPEAKER/ VOICE of the Poem? Is it the poet or a character in the poem? What is the tone of the poem? The Point of view can be the actual poet him/herself, but may also be an animal, an inanimate object, or a fictional character.
Connotation: The way a word makes us feel. Words can give us different feelings when we hear them…some positive, some negative, and everything in between! Denotation: The actual dictionary definition of the word. Word Choice/Diction Find some examples in the poem… “ Meeting at Night,”
Irony When something that wasn’t expected happens. Or when the opposite of what is expected happens. For example: In “Incident in a Rose Garden” The devil wasn’t coming for the gardene r, he was coming for the farmer!
RHYME – REPETITON OF SIMILAR SOUNDS.
RHYTHM – PATTERN OF STRESSED AND UNSTRESSED SYLLABLES IN EACH LINE. THE POEM HAS A REGULAR BEAT.
RHYME SCHEME – A PATTERN OF RHYMES IN A POEM.
VS. Refrain is when a poem repeats entire lines or more several times throughout. Like the chorus of a song Repetition is when a word or phrase is repeated just once or in one specific area of the poem.
When the same consonant sound is used throughout a piece of writing.
c andy c overed c oconuts .
When the same vowel sound is used in words throughout a piece of writing
That is the w ay we will pr ay tod ay , ok ay ?
Onomatopoeia word that expresses sound… Zip, zoom, bang, boom
Poetic FormS Some forms include: Acrostic, Cinquain , Concrete , Haiku , List, Limerick, Diamante FORM – THE WAY A POEM LOOKS ON A PAGE. LINES – POEMS ARE WRITTEN IN LINES, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE IN COMPLETE SENTENCES. STANZA – IN SOME FORMS OF POETRY, LINES ARE GROUPED INTO STANZAS. STRUCTURED FORM – POEMS WITH A REGULAR, REPEATED PATTERN. FREE VERSE – POEMS WITHOUT A REGULAR PATTERN.
AN ACROSTIC POEM IS ONE WHERE YOU CHOOSE A WORD OR NAME AND UE EACH LETTER IN THE NAME AS THE BEGINNING OF A WORD OR LINE THAT TELLS SOMETHING ABOUT THE PERSON OR TOPIC!
There is a classic example of acrostic poem in English written by Edgar Allan Poe is entitled simply "An Acrostic "
E lizabeth it is in vain you say " L ove not" — thou sayest it in so sweet a way: I n vain those words from thee or L.E.L. Z antippe's talents had enforced so well: A h! if that language from thy heart arise, B reath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes. E ndymion, recollect, when Luna tried T o cure his love — was cured of all beside — H is follie — pride — and passion — for he died.
HAIKU A poem where there are 5 syllables in the 1 st line; 7 in the second line; 5 in the 3 rd line. I Love you so much, I long to see your beauty, Love the way you shine, “ You” Pg 11
Tanka A form of Japanese poetry that depends on the number of lines and syllables instead of rhyme. The pattern is: (31 syllables) Line 1 = 5 syllables Line 2 = 7 syllables Line 3 = 5 syllables Line 4 = 7 syllables Line 5 = 7 syllables
Saying Goodbye Carefully I walk Trying so hard to be brave They all see my fear Dark glasses cover their eyes As mine flow over with tears
Cinquains Sister Smart, Outgoing Loving, playing, Laughing Always in for some fun Friend
A Cinquain is a poem that resembles a diamond.
It has 5 lines and begins with one word.
The 2 nd line has two adjectives that describe that word.
The 3 rd , three verbs.
The 4 th line is a phrase that goes deeper into the topic.
The 5 th line gives either a synonym for the first word, or a word that encompasses the whole poem.
The “Modern” Cinquain “ Tucson Rain” The smell Everyone moves To the window to look Work stops and people start talking Rain came “ Traditional” Cinquain Pg 10
The list poem is a very old form of poetry. It itemizes things or events. List poems can be of any length, rhymed, or unrhymed.
1) The writer is telling you something--pointing something out--saying, "Look at this," or, "Think about this." 2) There's a beginning and end to it, like in a story. 3) The list is arranged with stylistic consistency and the words are arranged to create a parallel structure.
If I Were a Pirate If I were a pirate I'd swagger and I'd wear a patch and I'd attack treasure boats. I'd be fearsome!
What Bugs Me When my teacher tells me to write a poem tonight. When my mother tells me to clean up my room. When my sister practices her violin while I'm watching TV. When my father tells me to turn off the TV and do my homework. When my brother picks a fight with me and I have to go to bed early. When my teacher asks me to get up in front of the class and read the poem I wrote on the school bus this morning .
Poetry in which authors use both words and physical shape to convey a message.
Another Concrete Poem
A SHORT, HUMOUROUS POEM COMPOSED OF FIVE LINES. IT USUALLY HAS THE RHYME SCHEME AABBA, CREATED BY TWO RHYMING COUPLETS FOLLOWED BY A FIFTH LINE THAT RHYMES WITH THE FIRST COUPLET. A LIMERICK TYPICALLY HAS A SING-SONG RHYTHM.
The form of poetry referred to as Limerick poems have received incredibly bad press and dismissed as not having a rightful place amongst what is seen as 'cultivated poetry'. The reason for this is three-fold: *The content of many limericks is often of a bawdy and humorous nature. *A Limerick as a poetry form is by nature simple and short - limericks only have five lines. *And finally the somewhat dubious history of limericks have contributed to the critics attitudes.
There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said, 'It is just as I feared! Two Owls and a Hen, Four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!'
Diamante is a seven-line, diamond-shaped poem which contrasts two opposites. It is more a visual poem than one to be read aloud It follows this format: First Line and seventh line - Name the opposites. Second and sixth lines - Two adjectives describing the opposite nearest it. Third and fifth lines - Three participles (ing words) describing the nearest opposite. Fourth line - two nouns (if possible) for each of the opposites. (This is the transition point where the poem changes from one of the opposites to the other.)
Peaks, Snowcapped, windswept, Reaching, waiting, challenging mountain ranges, ocean trenches, Obscuring, waiting, daunting Dark, black Depths. by Mrs. Sinclair
Ballads are poems that tell a story. They are considered to be a form of narrative poetry. They are often used in songs and have a very musical quality to them.
I'll tell a tale, a thrilling tale of love beyond compare I knew a lad not long ago more gorgeous than any I've seen. And in his eyes I found my self a 'falling in love with the swain. Oh, the glorious fellow I met by the ocean with eyes of deep-sea green! He was a rugged sailor man with eyes of deep-sea green, And I a maid, a tavern maid! Whose living was serving beer. So with a kiss and with a wave, off on his boat he sailed And left me on the dock, the thief! Without my heart, oh dear! And with a heart that's lost at sea, I go on living still. I still am now still serving beer in that tavern by the sea. And though the pay check's still the same, the money won't go as far For now I feed not just myself, but my little one and me! So let that be a lesson, dear, and keep your heart safely hid. I gave mine to a sailing thief with gorgeous eyes of green. Save yours for a sweeter lad who makes the land his home. Ah me! If only I'd never met that sailor by the sea! -- Lonnie Adrift
A sonnet is simply a poem written in a certain format. You can identify a sonnet if the poem has the following characteristics: 14 lines. All sonnets have 14 lines which can be broken down into four sections called quatrains.