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Elements of Poetry. The Basics of Understanding Poetry. Overall Learning Targets. I can define, identify and analyze the elements of poetry individually and as used in a poem. I can identify the defining characteristics of seven types of poetry. Metaphors & Similes.

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elements of poetry

Elements of Poetry

The Basics of Understanding Poetry

overall learning targets
Overall Learning Targets
  • I can define, identify and analyze the elements of poetry individually and as used in a poem.
  • I can identify the defining characteristics of seven types of poetry.
metaphors similes
Metaphors & Similes

Metaphor: A comparison NOT using like/as

Simile: A comparison using like/as


“I wandered lonely as a cloud / that floats on high o’er vales and hills” (Wordsworth 1-2)

“ ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul — / And sings the tune without the words — / And never stops — at all” (Dickinson 1-4)


Personification: An object, animal, or idea given human attributes

Example: “The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night” (Hughes 6)


Onomatopoeia: When a sound of a word imitates its natural sound


Onomatopoeia by Eve Merriam

The rusty spigotsputters,uttersa splutter,spatters a smattering of drops,gashes wider;slashsplattersscattersspurtsfinally stops sputteringand plash!gushes rushes splashesclear water dashes.


Alliteration: Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words

Example: “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, / Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before” (Poe 25-26)

assonance consonance
Assonance & Consonance

Assonance: Repetition of internal vowel sounds


“But he grew old —This knight so bold —And o'er his heart a shadowFell as he foundNo spot of groundThat looked like Eldorado.” (Poe )

Consonance: Repetition of internal or ending consonant sounds

Example: “Blue with all malice, like a madman's flash; / And thinly drawn with famishing for flesh.”


Synecdoche: A figure of speech in which a part represents the whole

Example:"I should have been a pair of ragged claws /Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.“ (Eliot 73-74)


Hyperbole: An exaggeration used for emphasis or effect


“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love youTill China and Africa meet,And the river jumps over the mountainAnd the salmon sing in the street,I’ll love you till the oceanIs folded and hung up to dry” (Auden)


Symbol: An object, person, place, or action that represents something else

Example: “Ah Sunflower, weary of time, / Who countest the steps of the sun; / Seeking after that sweet golden clime / Where the traveler’s journey is done;” (Blake)


Speaker: The created narrative voice for the poem.

Note: The speaker is not necessarily the poet. The poet often invents a character or persona to fulfill the role of the speaker.

tone mood
Tone & Mood

Tone: The poet’s attitude toward his/her subject

Mood: The emotional atmosphere of the poem

The difference: Tone comes from the author and is determined based on word choice. Mood describes how the reader might feel while reading the author’s words.

rhyme rhyth m
Rhyme & Rhythm

Rhyme Scheme: A pattern of rhyming words

Rhythm: Rhythm refers to the pattern of sounds made by varying the stressed and unstressed syllables in a


types of poems
Types of Poems

Sonnet: 14 lines, iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme: ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG

Narrative: A poem that tells a story

Free verse:Unrhymed poem that does not follow a regular rhythm

Blank verse: Unrhymed poems that follow the same rhythm

Concrete: A poem shaped like the object it describes.

Haiku: Three lines, 5-7-5 syllables

Lyric: A rhyming poem that expresses personal and emotional feelings