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Figurative Language (Poetic Devices for Senior Students)


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Exam prep. for English 11 and 12 students

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Figurative Language (Poetic Devices for Senior Students)

  1. 1. Not just for poetry
  2. 2. What kind of poem am I reading/hearing?
  3. 3. A kind of narrative poem A long poem that uses rhyme to tell a story, often a folktale or legend. A traditional ballad has a refrain (chorus)
  4. 4. • The structure of the poem is integral to the understanding of it and adds an unexpected visual element A poem written inside a shape that is reflective of the poem itself
  5. 5. • The elements of a traditional elegy mirror three stages of loss. First, there is a lament, where the speaker expresses grief and sorrow, then praise and admiration of the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace • Example: is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group. Though similar in function, the elegy is distinct from the epitaph, ode, and eulogy: the epitaph is very brief; the ode solely exalts; and the eulogy is most often written in formal prose.
  6. 6. A short, humorous, or nonsense poem with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA). The first two lines rhyme with the last line and the third and fourth line rhyme, and they are usually shorter.
  7. 7. A type of poetry of intense feeling and emotion • Often short • Elegy, Sonnet, Ode or Free Verse
  8. 8. A type of poetry where the poem tells a story Often has a repeating rhythm
  9. 9. A type of Lyric Poem • Serious in nature • In praise of something or someone
  10. 10. (Shakespearean) • Iambic pentameter • 14 Lines • Specific Rhyme Scheme
  11. 11. While some poems may not be a specific type, they can still have an internal structure
  12. 12. • Notice the lines are a similar length (clue 1) • Count the syllables in each line and note there are 10 in each unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter meant to mimic patterns of natural speech
  13. 13. A pair of successive lines of verse, especially a pair that rhyme and are of the same length (approx.)
  14. 14. the continuation of a sentence or clause over a line-break Pay close attention to enjambment when reading a poem so you read a complete thought Notice how the lines change meaning when you pay attention to the line stops and enjambment
  15. 15. End Stopped Lines Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying: The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting. That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer ; Then be not coy, but use your time, Run on or Enjambed Lines But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former. And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying. For having lost but once your prime You may for ever tarry. • Consider : • Why might a poet use one over the other? • How this impacts a reading • How this impacts your understanding
  16. 16. • “Fog” by Carl Sandburg The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. • Consider the effect of using structure verses not using any sort of structure on a poem and its intent. Free verse poems do not follow the rules, and have no rhyme or rhythm; but they are still an artistic expression
  17. 17. Free Verse “After the Sea-Ship” Walt Whitman After the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds; After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes, Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks, Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship: Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying, Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves, Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves, Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface; Rhyme Scheme “Shall I Compare thee to a Summer’s Day” Shaksepeare Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And Summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd, And every fair from fair some-time declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd: But thy eternal Summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
  18. 18. is a grouped set of lines within a poem, usually set off from other stanzas (a paragraph in poetry)
  19. 19. Internal Rhyme “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.” End Rhyme • “The Lady of Shalott” Lord Tennyson • Part One • On either side the river lie • Long fields of barley and of rye, • That clothe the wold and meet the sky; • And thro' the field the road runs by • To many-tower'd Camelot; • The yellow-leaved waterlily • The green-sheathed daffodilly • Tremble in the water chilly • Round about Shalott. • Willows whiten, aspens shiver. • The sunbeam showers break and quiver • In the stream that runneth ever • By the island in the river • Flowing down to Camelot. • Four gray walls, and four gray towers • Overlook a space of flowers, • And the silent isle imbowers • The Lady of Shalott. •
  20. 20. Ways that poets can add depth to their words to make readers/listeners understand their thoughts
  21. 21. The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses (think Google!)
  22. 22. a brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art. An allusion may be drawn from history, geography, literature, or religion.
  23. 23. Sound device Repetition of the front consonant sounds. Needs only two and they don’t need to be back to back. “her frolicking kitten favored the snow”
  24. 24. Sound Device Repeating vowel sounds in the middle of words. The sound must repeat not just the letter.
  25. 25. An address to a dead or absent person, or personification as if he or she were present
  26. 26. Sound Device Repeating consonant sounds in the middle of words
  27. 27. A phrase, line or expression that has been so over-used it has become common place and unoriginal • It was a dark and stormy night • Then they lived happily ever after • After everyone counted him out, he scored the winning goal • Can often be used like stereotype
  28. 28. The substituting of a mild, indirect, polite or vague term for one considered harsh or offensive Examples: • Saying that someone has recently ‘passed away’ (in place of died) • Saying that a car is ‘certified-pre owned’ instead of saying used.
  29. 29. an imperfect rhyme in which two words are spelled similarly but pronounced differently (such as move and love) Eye rhyme serves to make the poem look more cohesive and while the words do not actually rhyme, they look like they belong
  30. 30. A special kind of metaphor that uses extreme exaggeration for effect
  31. 31. Sayings or expressions we use in the English language that wouldn’t translate literally
  32. 32. Use of vivid and descriptive language to appeal to the reader’s senses thus forcing them to create a mental picture
  33. 33. Dramatic: When the audience knows something is coming, but the characters do not Verbal: opposite of what is said, is meant (sarcasm) Situational: When the opposite of what is expected to happen, happens.
  34. 34. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance
  35. 35. The name of one object is substituted for something closely associated with it (“Hollywood to mean the film industry)
  36. 36. Sound device Words that imitate sounds Be on the lookout for more subtle examples
  37. 37. A pair of single word opposites placed side by side for dramatic effect (must be in contradiction to each other)
  38. 38. • Statements such as Oscar Wilde’s “I can resist anything except temptation” and G.K Chesterton’s “spies do not look like spies” are examples of rhetorical paradox. • Polonius’ observation in Hamlet that “though this be madness, yet there is method in’t • G.W Bush “when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace” is a statement that apparently contradicts itself and yet might be true (similar to Oxymoron, but longer)
  39. 39. Giving human qualities to non-human objects or things (this includes animals)
  40. 40. A play on a word’s meaning versus how it sounds
  41. 41. Two unalike things are compared directly using the words “like” or “as” (and sometimes “than”)
  42. 42. the practice or art of using an object or a word to represent an abstract idea. An action, person, place, word, or object can all have a symbolic meaning and significance “In the spring, I asked the daisies If his words were true, And the clever, clear-eyed daisies Always knew. Now the fields are brown and barren, Bitter autumn blows, And of all the stupid asters Not one knows.” In the above lines, “spring” and “daisies” are symbols of youth. “Brown and barren” are symbols of transition from youth to old age. Moreover, “Bitter autumn” symbolizes death. “Wild Asters” Sara Teasdale
  43. 43. • “His eye met hers as she sat there paler and whiter than anyone in the vast ocean of faces about her” (The Lady or the Tiger) • Faces represent the people in the crowd and because a face is a part of a human, this is synecdoche • My parents bought me a new set of wheels • The wheels are a part of the car meant to represent the whole of the car (a special kind of metonymy) a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice- versa
  44. 44. The opposite of hyperbole Stating less than is necessary and deliberately downplaying something