Narrative Poetry<br />Narrative Poems are poems that tell a story. Like a story, they have a setting, characters, plot, theme, and atmosphere. Like poetry, they have rhythm, symbolism, and sometimes a rhyme. <br />
The Ballad<br />Ballads are a popular form of narrative poetry. They are the folk literature of the common people and were often written and passed down from generation to generation in the form of a song.<br />
Characteristics of a Ballad...<br />·The ballad often deals with the Supernatural or great tales of heroics. (ie. "Jabberwocky" or "The Cremation of Sam McGee")<br />·The ballad is characterized by a Tragic outcome and sad atmosphere. <br />·It presents a single exciting and dramatic episode.<br />·There are often gaps in the narrative so that the listener must piece together what has actually happened to the characters.<br />·Dialogue is included to aid with characterization and plot.<br />·The stanzas are usually 4 - 6 lines long and there is often a clear rhyme scheme using couplets (AA BB CC...)<br />·There is a repetitive refrain (chorus, stanza serving as the introduction and the conclusion. The wording may be the exact same or it could be a repeated idea with similar phrasing.)<br />
Let's revisit a poem from last year and see how it follows the rules of a ballad:<br />
Here are a few more, only instead of being spoked, these ballads have been put to music. <br />Listen to this piece and see if you can determine how it fits with the rules of a ballad:<br />
Due to the rhyme scheme and rhythm involved, as well as the story line, and use of character, it is very popular for ballads to be put to music. <br />In fact, in the 1980's one of best ways to create a "hit-single" was to write a ballad. <br />
In case you are beginning to worry, not all ballads are songs. Nor do I expect you to sing me a ballad.<br />So with that in mind, let's read and analyze "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" together...<br />
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