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  • 1. Elements of Poetry
  • 2. The Speaker and The Poet
    • Poets will often assumes a role or imitate the speech of a person in a particular situation.
    • This “role” is referred to as the speaker , voice , mask , or persona .
    • The voice speaking a poem may sound like it is the poet’s own, and it may be difficult to separate the two, but there is usually a distinction.
  • 3. Diction and Tone
    • Diction refers to the words and grammatical constructions that the poet uses in the creation of their persona.
    • These choices may occur on a subconscious level.
    • These choices give the reader insight into the persona of the poet.
  • 4. Diction and Tone
    • Speakers have attitudes toward themselves, their subjects, and their audiences.
    • They choose their words, pitch, and modulation based on these attitudes.
    • These choices add up to the tone of the poem.
    • To find the tone, it is a good idea to read the poem aloud.
      • The reader must try to catch “the speaking tone of voice somehow entangled in the words and fastened to the page for the ear of the imagination.” (Frost)
  • 5. Figurative Language
    • Words have their literal meanings, but they can also be used so that something other than the literal meaning is implied.
    • Common types of figurative language:
      • Simile: items from different classes are compared by a connective such as “like,” “as,” “appears,” or “seems.”
  • 6. Figurative Langaage
      • Metaphor: Assert the identity, without a connective, of terms that are literally incompatible.
      • Personification: The attribution of human feelings or characteristics or abstractions to inanimate objects.
      • Apostrophe: Addressing a person or thing that is not literally listening.
  • 7. Usage of Figurative Language
    • Figurative language forces the reader to confront the connotations rather than the denotations of written language.
      • Connotations: suggestions, associations
      • Denotations: dictionary definitions
    • It is said to be different than ordinary language, but many of these expressions, due to repetition have become literal.
  • 8. Usage of Figurative Language
    • Good figurative language is usually concrete, condensed, and interesting.
    • It is not limited to literary writers. It is used by most anyone who is concerned with effective expression.
  • 9.
    • Imagery refers to any element of setting or character that takes on a figurative significance.
    • Much of literary imagery is based on the patterned use of diction, such as word choice.
      • The types of figurative language discussed previously are examples of these patterns.
    Imagery and Symbolism
  • 10. Imagery and Symbolism
    • Symbols: Images that are so loaded with significance that it is not simply literal, and it does not simply stand for something else; it is both itself and the something else that it suggests.
      • “ The Infinite is made to blend with the Finite, to stand visible, and as it were, attainable there.” – Thomas Carlyle
  • 11. Imagery and Symbolism
    • Conventional Symbols: people have agreed to accept them as standing for something other than their literal meanings.
      • Cross = Christianity
      • Rose = Love, Romance
  • 12. Verbal Irony and Paradox
    • Verbal Irony: The speaker’s words mean more or less the opposite of what they say.
      • Overstatement (hyperbole)
      • Understatement
    • Paradox: the assertion of an apparent contradiction
  • 13. Poetic Structure
    • Rhythm: Stresses at regular intervals
      • Poets vary their rhythm according to their purpose. These choices often contribute to the meaning of the poem.
      • “ Rhythm must have meaning. It cannot be merely a careless dash off, with no grip and on real hold on the words and sense, a tumty tum tumty tum tum ta.” – Ezra Pound
  • 14.
    • Meter: the pattern of stressed sounds
      • Foot: basic unit of measurement
      • End-stopped line concludes with a distinct pause
      • Run-on line has its sense carried over into the next line with a pause
      • Meter produces rhythm – a poem with end-stopped lines will have a different meter than one with run-on lines.
    Poetic Structure
  • 15.
    • Rhyme: the repetition of identical or similar stressed sounds or sounds
      • While rhythm is a basic element of poetry, rhyme is not.
      • Rhyme suggests order and may be related to meaning. It brings two words together, implying a relationship that the reader may not have been aware of.
    Poetic Structure
  • 16. Poetic Structure
    • Blank Verse and Free Verse
      • Blank verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter
      • Free verse: rhythmical lines, varying in length, adhering to no fixed metrical pattern, and usually unrhymed. The pattern is often based on repetition and parallel grammatical structure.