Poetry terms needed for this essay

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Poetry terms needed for this essay

  1. 1. Essential poetry terms • In the English language multi-syllable words will have emphasis put on one of the sounds more than the other – this syllable is stressed. • Think about your name or your surname: Is one syllable stressed more than the other? • A lot of traditional poetry followed a particular rhythm: The copying of the human heartbeat – da DUM, with the first syllable being unstressed and the second syllable being stressed • Try and come with a 10 syllable sentence that follows this da-DUM pattern
  2. 2. Essential poetry terms • Iambic pentameter – A line with 5 “heart beats” (da-DUM) or 10 syllables • Iambic tetrameter – A line with four “heart beats” (da-DUM) or 8 syllables • Metre – The rhythm of a line of poetry • End-stopped – A line of poetry that finishes at the end of the line, with some punctuation to give it closure • Enjambment – A sentence or phrase running over from one line to the next. • This is often used to draw attention to a word that is placed at the start of the next line • “and I choose // Never to stoop.”  The word never is emphasised as if the word is stressed by the speaker (The un-compromising Duke) • Caesura – A stop or pause in the middle of the line, marked by punctuation. This breaks up the natural rhythm of the line, fragmenting the poem. Often used to highlight a premature ending – so these are often used in war poetry – could this be relevant to My Last Duchess?
  3. 3. Iambic Pentameter (“Da DUM” x 5) • Examples of iambic pentameter – try and hear the stresses? Which syllable does the stress fall on? • “But soft what light through yonder window breaks” • “If music be the food of love, play on” • “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
  4. 4. Structure in My Last Duchess • My last Duchess is written in rhymed iambic pentameter (10 syllables in a line) with every other syllable being stressed in a “da DUM” pattern eg. “There’s MY last DUCHess HANGing ON the WALL” • This gives a natural and conversational feel to the poem – to show us that the Duke is having a calm and relaxed conversation: All the more chilling considering what he is talking about!!
  5. 5. Structure in My Last Duchess • The rhymed couplets keep tying the Duke’s speech into tidy packages, even though his thoughts and sentences are untidy. • Why might it be more appropriate for the control-freak Duke to speak in harsh, structured, rhymed lines than in unrhymed ones?
  6. 6. Structure in Porphyria’s Lover • The meter in Porphyria’s Lover is fairly regular iambic tetrameter. • Tetra=four – four iambs per line (8 syllables) • da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM • First four lines – the stresses are even. • The rain set ear-ly in to-night, The sul-len wind was soon a-wake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did bits worst to vex the lake:
  7. 7. Structure in Porphyria’s Lover • But the evenness goes out of the window with the next line • I list-ened with heart fit to break. • This line stands out: It has two unstressed syllables in a row, followed by two stressed ones in a row. This is intentional – The regularity of the meter breaks, just like the speaker’s heart!
  8. 8. Structure in Porphyria’s Lover • Figuring out the rhyme in PL • ABABB CDCDD EFEFF – The rhyme is regular but it is asymmetrical – the second rhyming sound always occurs more often. • Some critics argue that the unbalanced rhyme scheme reflects the speaker’s unbalanced mind!

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