You should ALREADY know this
• Figurative language / figures of speech – language not
meant to be taken literally; it is expressive. Examples of
figurative language are things such as metaphor, simile,
• Metaphor – a direct comparison between two unlike
things without using the words “like” or “as”
• Simile – Compares two unlike things using the words
“like” or “as”
• Personification – gives human characteristics to nonliving things
• Onomatopoeia – words that imitate sounds
• Imagery – descriptive language that appeals to the five
senses. Creates images!
• Symbol – any object that represents something other than
Poetry is often phonetic. It has SOUND and mimics
music. Most poems used very specific diction and are
emotionally charged. They often use figurative
• Rhythm – pattern created by stressed and unstressed
syllables (you’ll see what this means in a bit)
• Rhyme – repetition of similar sounds
• Rhyme scheme – pattern of end rhymes
• Free verse – does not rhyme
• Alliteration – repetition of consonant sounds
Poetry Terms Cont.
• Blank verse – unrhymed iambic pentameter
• Connotation – ideas associated with a certain
• Denotation – dictionary definition of a word
• Couplet – pair of rhyming lines at the end of a
• Diction – author’s word choice
• Meter – the rhythmical pattern of a poem
Poetry Terms Cont.
• Tone – author’s attitude toward the subject (this
one is SUPER important—don’t forget it ever!)
• Mood – feeling created in the reader
• Syntax – how words are arranged in sentence
• Stanza - an arrangement of a certain number of
lines, usually four or more, sometimes having a
fixed length, meter, or rhyme scheme, forming a
division of a poem. In other words, a paragraph
in a poem.
What is a sonnet?
*A sonnet is a fourteenline poem in iambic
Oh dear, this is
going to be a
*When you see this bullet,
please fill out your notes.
• Iambic Pentameter is the rhythm and meter in
which poets and playwrights wrote in Elizabethan
England. (Queen Elizabeth was the ruler of
England during most of Shakespeare’s adult life.)
It is a meter that Shakespeare uses.
Quite simply, it sounds like
this: dee DUM, dee DUM,
dee DUM, dee DUM, dee
pentameter is a line of
poetry with five iambic
feet-- Ten syllables with
five unstressed and five
stressed syllables.* It is
the first and last sound we
ever hear, it is the
rhythm of the human
• *An ‘iamb’ is ‘dee Dum’ (or two syllables) – it
is the heart beat.
• Penta is from the Greek for five.
• Meter is really the pattern
• *So, there are five iambs per line! Ten syllables
(Iambic penta meter )
• It is percussive and
attractive to the ear and
has an effect on the
listener's central nervous
system. An Example of
Shakespeare: but SOFT
what LIGHT through
Syllables, in case you’ve forgotten
• What is a syllable?
• Well, there are three syllables (separate sounds) in
the word syllable!
• “But soft, what light through yonder window
• How many syllables are there in that quotation?
• “But soft, what light through yonder window
• Let’s break up this line into iambic pentameter
together on the board.
But, soft!/ What light/ through yon/der win/dow breaks?
Why is it important that we know
what iambic pentameter is?
Almost every single line in Romeo in Juliet is
in iambic pentameter. Impressive, right?
Why do you think Shakespeare wrote his plays
in iambic pentameter?
Back to sonnets.
• Well, it is a poetic form.
• But it has a certain structure as well as a rhyming
• *The Shakespearean sonnet has three quatrains
(or stanzas that contain four lines) followed by a
couplet. The rhyme scheme is: abab cdcd efef gg.
More head scratching?
• *Quatrains are four line stanzas of any kind
• *A couplet is a pair of rhyming lines In sonnets
they are found at the end of the poem.
• I have divided the following sonnet into the three
You will also see the rhyming pattern
marked out for you.
Shall I/ compare/ thee to /a sum/mer's day? (a)
Thou art/ more love/ly and more/ temperate: (b)
Rough winds /do shake/ the dar/ling buds /of May, (a)
And sum/mer's lease/ hath all/ too short/ a date: (b)
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, (c)
And often is his gold complexion dimmed, (d)
And every fair from fair sometime declines, (c)
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: (d)
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, (e)
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, (f)
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, (e)
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, (f)
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, (g)
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. (g)
What does it mean?
• I think I shall compare you to a summer day
But, you know, you're prettier and even better, even calm
Because sometimes it gets windy and the buds on the trees get
And sometimes summer doesn't last very long
Sometimes it's too hot
And everything gorgeous loses its looks
By getting hit by a truck Or just because everyone and everything
gets old and ugly and shabby
BUT (and here's the turn) you're going to keep your looks for ever
Your beauty will last for ever
I'm going to make sure that you never lose your good looks
And that nasty old Death can never brag about owning you
Because I shall write this poem about you
As long as men can breathe (are you breathing?)
As long as men can see (are you looking at this poem?)
Then this poem lives, and it gives life and memory to your beauty.
• When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon my self and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven's gate,
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
What does my favorite sonnet mean?
When I feel and unlucky and as if no one likes me
And I feel all alone and cry
And it's as if my prayers to heaven have no power at all because no one is listening
And I feel sorry for myself and think that 'm the unluckiest person alive
I wish that I had that persons opportunities
That I looked like that cute person and was as popular as the most popular person in my
Wishing that I had that man's talent, and that man's understanding of difficult concepts
Not at all happy with the things I usually enjoy.
Even then, almost hating myself for thinking this way
Perhaps my thoughts think about you, and then my soul,
Just like the lark that sings at the moment the light of day
Breaks over the cold earth, sings a song filled with joy and light
Because I remember the sweet love we share, and the richness that it brings
And, at that point, remembering what we have together, I wouldn't change
my present condition even with a king.
• William Shakespeare's sonnets are stories about a handsome
boy, or rival poet, and the mysterious and aloof "dark" lady
they both love.
• The sonnets fall into three clear groupings: Sonnets 1 to 126
are addressed to, or concern, a young man; Sonnets 127-152
are addressed to, or concern, a dark lady (dark in the sense of
her hair, her facial features, and her character), and Sonnets
153-154 are fairly free adaptations of two classical Greek
• The most popular of the William Shakespeare Sonnets are
Sonnets 018, 029, 116, 126 and 130.
Your first assignment with sonnets is to write your own!
You DO NOT have to write it in iambic pentameter, although you will get extra credit if you do.
It is very difficult, and you might appreciate Shakespeare’s work if you do.
You DO have to use the sonnet rhyme scheme though: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
If it makes it easier, you can begin with the opening of Sonnet 18.
“Shall I compare thee to….”
Compare someone in your life to something else. An animal, weather, something beautiful in
nature. It can be positive or negative.
Now it’s up to you to be creative.
50 points for creative decorating and subject
25 Points for correct rhyme scheme
15 For over all grammar
10 points for 10 syllables per line