Definition of Poetry
• Poetry - A type of writing that uses
language to express imaginative
and emotional qualities instead of
or in addition to meaning.
• Poetry may be written as individual
poems or included in other written
forms as in dramatic poetry,
hymns, or song lyrics.
Simile is a figure of speech that
makes a comparison between two
unlike things, using words such as
like, as, than, or resembles.
My love is like a red, red rose.
- Robert Burns
Onomatopeia is the use of a
word or words whose sound
imitates its meaning.
crackle, pop, fizz, click, chirp
Personification is a special kind of
metaphor in which a nonhuman
thing is talked about as if it was
human (given human
This poetry gets bored of being alone,
It wants to go outdoors to chew on
To fill its commas with the keels of
-Hugo Margenat, from”Living Poetry”
Symbolism is when a person, place,
thing or idea stands for itself and
for something else.
Use of the bald eagle to represent the
From Beowulf, his removal of his
shield represented his lack of fear.
Alliteration is the use of
similar sounds at the
beginning of a word.
Assonance is the use of
similar vowel sounds
within a word.
An iambic foot is an
followed by a stressed
We could write the rhythm like
Meter is the pattern of
rhythm established for a
Rhythm is the actual
sound that results from a
line of poetry.
Iambic Pentameter is a
line of poetry with five
iambic feet in a row This
is the most common
meter in English poetry.
We could write the rhythm like this:
da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM
We can notate this with a ˘ mark
representing an unstressed syllable
and a '/' mark representing a stressed
The following line from John Keats' Ode to
Autumn is a straightforward example:
To swell the gourd, and plump the ha - zel
Rhyme is the placement
of identical or similar
sounds at the ends of
lines or at predictable
locations within lines.
Poetry is separated into lines
on a page. Lines may be
based on the number of
metrical feet, or may stress
a rhyme pattern at the ends
Stanzas are groups of lines in a poem
which are named by the number of
• Two lines is a couplet.
• Three lines is a triplet or tercet.
• Four lines is a quatrain.
• Five lines is a quintain or cinquain.
• Six lines is a sestet.
• Eight lines is an octet.
Couplet is two lines of a poem that are
related by either rhyme or structure.
Rhyme Scheme is the use
rhyme in a pattern as a
structural element in a
Rhyme schemes are described
using letters that correspond
to sets of rhymes.
Example: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, A
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; A
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, B
Couldn’t put Humpty together again. B
The rhyme scheme for this poem is:
A A B B
A told B, A
B told C, A
“I’ll meet you at the top B
of the coconut tree.” A
“Whee!” said D A
To E F G A
“I’ll beat you to the top B
of the coconut tree.” A
Chicka chicka boom boom! C
Will there be enough room? C
Here comes H D
Up the coconut tree A
and I and J E
and tagalong K, E
All on their way E
up the coconut tree. A
-from Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martian Jr., and
A A B A
A A B A
C C D A
E E E A
Blank Verse is poetry
written in unrhymed
To be, or not to be: that is
Whether 'tis nobler in the
mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of
Or to take arms against a
sea of troubles,
And by opposing end
To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep
to say we end
The heart-ache and the
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a
Devoutly to be wish'd.
Free Verse is poetry that
does not have a regular
meter or rhyme scheme.
excerpt from Song of Myself
by Walt Whitman:
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good
belongs to you.
I loaf and invite my soul,
I lean and loaf at my ease observing a
spear of summer grass.
A sonnet is a fourteen line
poem that is usually
written in iambic
See the following video to
learn more about sonnets.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)
by William Shakespeare
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 dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
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.