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Intro to poetry. English I Unit 9.7. What is Poetry?. Poetry has been described as “the best words in their best order.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge “Poetry is like making a joke. If you get one word wrong at the end of a joke, you’ve lost the whole thing .” ~ W.S. Merwin

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intro to poetry
Intro to poetry

English I

Unit 9.7

what is poetry
What is Poetry?
  • Poetry has been described as “the best words in their best order.”

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • “Poetry is like making a joke. If you get one word wrong at the end of a joke, you’ve lost the whole thing.”

~ W.S. Merwin

  • “Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.”

~ Joseph Roux

  • “Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.”

~ Thomas Gray

how is poetry organized
How is Poetry Organized?

Poetry is as much about form as it is about language and sound.

  • Form – refers to a poem’s structure, or the way the words are arranged on the page.
  • Lines – all poems are made of a series of lines.
  • Stanzas – lines are grouped into stanzas, like sentences are in a paragraph.
                  • Each stanza plays an important part in communicating the overall message of a poem.
how do poems rhyme
How do Poems Rhyme?

Like music, language has a rhythm. In poetry, the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in each line is what creates the rhythm.

  • Rhyme – enhances the musical quality of poetry.
  • End Rhyme – when the rhyme occurs at the ends of lines
  • Internal Rhyme – when the rhyme occurs within the same line
examples of internal rhyme
Examples of Internal Rhyme:
  • “The Witch” by Jack Prelutsky:

She comes by night, in fearsome flight,

In garments black as pitch,

The queen of doom upon her broom,

The wild and wicked witch,

  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

  • “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,The furrow followed free;We were the first that ever burstInto that silent sea.

examples of end rhyme
Examples of End Rhyme:
  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

  • “The Sower” by Victor Hugo:

Peaceful and cool, the twilight grey

Draws a dim curtain o’er the day,

While in my cottage-porch I lurk

And watch the last lone hour of work.

does all poetry have to rhyme no
Does all poetry have to rhyme? -- NO.
  • Free Verse Poetry – does NOT follow the guidelines of regular pattern, rhythm, or rhyme.
    • “Luxury” by Nikki Giovanni:

i suppose living

in a materialistic society


to some would be having

more than what you need

poetic sound devices
Poetic Sound Devices:

“There are only three things . . . that a poem must reach: the eye, the ear, and the heart or the mind. It is the most important of all to reach the heart of the reader. And the surest way to reach the heart is through the ear.” ~ Robert Frost

  • Sound Devices are used to:
        • communicate meaning
        • add emphasis
        • aid memory
        • create a musical quality and pattern
  • Sound Devices Include:
    • Repetition
    • Alliteration
    • Assonance
    • Consonance
poetic sound devices repetition
Poetic Sound Devices: REPETITION
  • Repetition – repeating a sound, word, phrase, or line for emphasis or unity
  • “We Never Change” by Chris Martin:

I wanna live life, never be cruel,I wanna live life, be good to you.I wanna fly, never come down,And live my life, And have friends around.

  • “Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill:

Everything is everythingWhat is meant to be, will beAfter winter, must come springChange, it comes eventually

poetic sound devices alliteration
Poetic Sound Devices: ALLITERATION
  • Alliteration – is when several words very near each other begin with the same consonant sound
  • “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost:

Nature’s first green is gold,Her hardest hue to hold.Her early leaf’s a flower;But only so an hour.

  • Or you may remember:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppersHow many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

poetic sound devices assonance consonance
Poetic Sound Devices: Assonance & Consonance
  • Assonance – is the repetition of VOWEL sounds in words that don’t end with the same consonant.
  • “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the sideOf my darling, my darling, my life and my bride.

  • “I made my way to the lake.”
  • Consonance – is the repetition of CONSONANT sounds in the middle or at the ends of words.

I don’t like English class,

I like the people in here though,

I go with the flow; so Ms. Finch

Won’t throw me out for being a grinch.

why is diction so important
Why is Diction So Important?
  • Diction – means the choice of words a poet uses
  • Diction is especially important to poetry.
  • Poetry is known for its concise and exactuseoflanguage
  • “Oranges” by Gary Soto

The first time I walkedWith a girl, I was twelve,Cold, and weighted downWith two oranges in my jacket.December. Frost crackingBeneath my steps, my breathBefore me, then gone,As I walked towardHer house,

how important is imagery to a poem
How Important is Imagery to a Poem?
  • Imagery is the MOST important element of any poem.
  • Imagery is the words and phrases that appeal to one or more of the five senses.

Her house, the one whosePorch light burned yellowNight and day, in any weather.A dog barked at me, untilShe came out pullingAt her gloves, face brightWith rouge. I smiled,Touched her shoulder, and ledHer down the street,

figurative language
Figurative Language
  • Figurative language is
      • language that communicates meanings beyond the literal meanings of words
      • words are often used to:
            • symbolize or emphasize ideas
            • create effects
            • evoke emotions
  • Some common types of figurative language are:
    • Simile
    • Metaphor
    • Personification
    • Hyperbole
    • Onomatopoeia
figurative language simile
Figurative Language: Simile
  • A similecompares two unlike things using the words “like” or “as.”
  • The witches eyes were as black ascoal.
  • During the storm, the wind tore through branches likea power saw.
  • My life is like an open book.
  • Life is likea box of chocolates.
  • When I walked out of school on the last day, I felt free asa bird.
figurative language metaphor
Figurative Language: Metaphor
  • A metaphor makes a comparison by saying that one thing IS another different thing.
  • A metaphor:
      • does not use “like” or “as”
      • allows us to use fewer words
      • forces the reader to find the similarity
  • The simplest form of a simile is:
      • “The [first thing] is a [second thing].”
  • Ex: “Her house is a prison.”
metaphor examples
Metaphor Examples:
  • Her eyes were sparkly beacons of bright light, expressing her hope for their futures.
  • The tree trunks were matchsticks as they snapped in the hurricane-force winds.
  • Life is a journey.
  • The assignment was a breeze.
figurative language personification
Figurative Language: Personification
  • Personification gives human qualities to an object, animal, or idea.
  • Personification makes an object or idea do something that usually is only done by people.
  • Examples: 
  • The flames of the fire danced in the wind.
  • The brown grass was begging for water.
  • Any trust I had for him walked right out the door.
  • The angry storm brought heavy rain and lightning.
  • The party died as soon as she left.
who is the speaker
Who is the Speaker?
  • The speaker is the voice that describes the character and/or the action in the poem.
  • In a story we say “the narrator”; in poetry, we say “the speaker.”