Genres of Poetry
Narrative Poetry- a narrative poem is one that tells a
story. Types of narrative poetry include ballads and
epics. (Think of Homer… not the guy from The
Lyric Poetry- a highly musical verse that expresses
the emotions of the speaker. Common types are
sonnets, odes, free verse and elegies.
Dramatic poetry- a dramatic poem is a verse that
relies heavily on dramatic elements such as
monologue, or dialogue. Two types of dramatic
poetry are dramatic monologue and soliloquy.
• Set patterns of rhythm and rhyme
– i.e. Beowolf
• Based on scansion (the counting of stresses
and syllables) and set verse pattern.
• Sometimes, a rhyme scheme matters, but not
• The rhythmical patter of a piece
• English verse is made of rhythmical units
called feet. A foot is made up of weakly
stressed (˘) and strongly stressed (/) syllables.
• Meter is based on the number of feet in each
Poetry has feet?
Type of Foot
Iamb, or iambic foot
afraid, the sky
Trochee, or trochaic foot
Anapest, or anapestic foot
in a flash, to the
Dactyl, or dactylic foot
feverish, go and ask
Spondee, or spondaic foot
Pyrrhee or pyrrhic foot
aa bb cc dd, etc.
aaa bbb ccc ddd, etc.
abab cdcd efef, etc.
aba bcb cdc ded, etc.
• This sonnet has the simplest and most flexible
pattern of all sonnets, consisting of 3
quatrains of alternating rhyme and a couplet:
In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But ’tis my heart that loves what they despise,
Who in despite of view is pleased to dote.
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue’s tune delighted,
Nor tender feeling to base touches prone,
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
To any sensual feast with thee alone.
But my five wits, nor my five senses, can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man,
Thy proud heart’s slave and vassal wretch to be.
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.
• Write a sonnet with your group (of 3 or 4) by
• Unrhymed iambic pentameter
• Shakespeare’s language (from the plays)
• Twentieth Century
• Likened to the transition from ballet to
• Started with Emily Dickinson & Walt Whitman
• Loosened forms
Rhymes set askew
Took on the rhythms of ordinary speech
Practiced by poets who first taught
themselves the rigors of earlier periods, of
Concrete poem is written in a shape that adds meaning to the
• …that you begin to play with sound and
• …that you imitate what you like; imitation,
which has been called the sincerest form of
flattery, is also the most teaching form of play.
• …that you begin by writing poems about the
subjects that matter to you.
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