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  1. Poetry Sound Devices

  2. Meter • poetry's rhythm, or its pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. • Meter is measured in units of feet ; the five basic kinds of metric feet are indicated below. • Accent marks indicate stressed ( / ) or unstressed ( u ) syllables.

  3. Type of Metric Feet • iamb ˘ ˉ ba-lloon • Troche ˉ ˘ so-da • Spondee ˉ ˉ man-made • Anapest˘ ˘ ˉ con-tra-dict • Dactylˉ ˘ ˘ ma-ni-ac • Amphribrach ˘ ˉ˘ chi-ca-go • Amphrimacerˉ ˘ ˉ att-it-ude

  4. Metrical units are the building blocks of lines of verse: lines are named according to the number of feet they contain: Number of Metric Feet Type of Line • one foot monometer • two fee t dimeter • three feet trimeter • four feet tetrameter • five feet pentameter • six feet hexameter • seven feet heptameter • eight feet octometer

  5. Stanzas are integral to the organizational structure of many poems equivalent to a paragraph in an essay, and also described by the number of lines they contain: Number of lines Name of stanza • Two lines couplet • Three lines tercet • Four lines quatrain • Five lines cinquain (or quintain) • Six lines sestet • Seven lines septet • Eight lines octave

  6. Scansion • is the analysis of these mechanical elements within a poem to determine meter. Feet are marked off with slashes ( / ) and accented appropriately ( ˉ -stressed, ˘ -unstressed).

  7. anacrusis • an extra unaccented syllable at the beginning of a line before the regular meter begins. Musically, a pickup note. What thou art we know not; What is most like thee? Fromrainbow clouds there flow not Drops so bright to see . . . Percy Bysshe Shelley

  8. catalexis • Incompleteness of the last foot of a line; truncation by omission of one or two final syllables • (opposite of anacrusis) One more unfortunate Weary of breath ___ ___ Rashly importunate Gone to her death ___ ___ Thomas Hood

  9. Feminine ending • Believe it or not, not every line of iambic pentameter contains ten syllables. Sometimes even Shakespeare himself will go to eleven or twelve. This is most commonly achieved by using an amphribrach for the last foot. Ending with an extra unstressed syllable like this is known as a feminine ending. u / u / u / u / u / u To be | or not | to be| that is | the question

  10. Triple ending • Then to really throw you off when you’re trying to scan and figure out meter, sometimes authors like Shakespeare will throw in a double feminine ending as in u / u u u / u / u / u u What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba

  11. Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me – The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality. We slowly drove – He knew no haste And I had put away My labor and my leisure too, For His Civility – We passed the School, where Children strove At Recess – in the Ring – We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain – We passed the Setting Sun –

  12. Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" Or rather – He passed Us – The Dews drew quivering and Chill – For only Gossamer, my Gown – My Tippet – only Tulle – We paused before a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground – The Roof was scarcely visible – The Cornice – in the Ground – Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet Feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses' Heads Were toward Eternity –

  13. Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" Because / I could / not stop / for Death He kind- / ly stopped / for me The car- / riage held / but just / our-selves And Im- / mor-tal- / ity. • The feet in these lines are iambic ( u / ). The first and third lines have four feet and can be identified as iambic tetrameter. The second and fourth lines, with three feet each, are examples of catalexis. Therefore, the basic meter is iambic tetrameter.

  14. What’s The Point? • Poets often manipulate meter to speed or slow the rate at which a reader reads the line. • Stressed syllables serve to slow the pace • Unstressed syllables do the opposite

  15. Similar Devices • Poets also manipulate vowels, consonants, and consonant blends to achieve a similar purpose • Vowels are open and can be spoken rapidly • Consonants (and particularly consonant blends) are more difficult to form, hence they slow the pace of the line

  16. caesura • :a pause in the meter or rhythm of a line. Flood-tide below me! || I see you face to face! Walt Whitman: "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"

  17. enjambment • a run-on line, one continuing into the text without a grammatical break. The opposite is referred to as an end-stopped line. Green rustlings, more-than-regal charities Drift coolly from that tower of whispered light. Hart Crane: "Royal Palm"

  18. Assonance • repetition of two or more vowel sounds within a line. Burnt the fire of thineeyes (William Blake, "The Tiger")

  19. Consonance • The repetition of consonant sounds in a line. Whose woods these are I think I know Robert Frost Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

  20. Alliteration • repetition of two or more initial sounds in words within a line. Bright black-eyed creature, brushed with brown. Robert Frost To a Moth Seen in Winter

  21. Onomatopoeia • the technique of using a word whose sound suggests its meaning. The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard Robert Frost Out, Out

  22. Euphony • the use of compatible, harmonious sounds to produce pleasing, melodious effect. I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them. Theodore Roethke I Knew a Woman

  23. Cacophony • the use of inharmonious sounds in close conjunction for effect; opposite of euphony. Or, my scrofulous French novel On grey paper with blunt type! Simply glance at it, you grovel Hand and foot in Belial's gripe: Robert Browning Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister

  24. RHYME

  25. End Rhyme: • rhyme occurring at end of verse line; most common rhyme form. I was angry with my friend, I told my wrath, my wrath did end. (William Blake, "A Poison Tree")

  26. Internal Rhyme: • rhyme contained within a line of verse. The splendor falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story: The long light shakes across the lakes And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Blow, Bugle, Blow

  27. Rhyme Scheme • pattern of rhymes within a unit of verse; in analysis, each end rhyme-sound is represented by a letter. Take, O take those lips away, a That so sweetly were forsworn; b And those eyes, the break of day, a Lights that do mislead the morn: b But my kisses bring again, bring again; c Seals of love, but seal'd in vain, seal'd in vain. c William Shakespeare Take, O Take Those Lips Away

  28. Masculine Rhyme: • rhyme in which only the last, accented syllable of the rhyming words correspond exactly in sound; most common kind of end rhyme. She walks in beauty like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. Lord Byron She Walks in Beauty

  29. Feminine Rhyme • rhyme in which two consecutive syllables of the rhyme-words correspond, the first syllable carrying the accent; double rhyme. Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying, O the pain, the bliss of dying! Alexander Pope Vital Spark of Heavenly Flame

  30. Half Rhyme (Slant Rhyme): • imperfect, approximate rhyme. In the mustardseed sun. By full tilt river and switchback sea Where the cormorants scud, In his house on stilts high among beaks Dylan Thomas Poem on His Birthday

  31. C’mon, do authors and musicians actually use this stuff? Dr. Seuss did: 4 iambs = Iambic tetrameter I will not take them soft or scrambled, fem Despite an argument well-rambled. endings No fan I am of the egg at hand. Destroy that egg! Today! Today! Today I say! Look! A pun on iamb! Without delay!

  32. Yeah, but what about today? . . . • Rappers, song writers, musicians, all kinds of writers use various strategies to control prosody, create rhythm, and build phonetic coherence. • Subtexts and reinforcement of subject matter can also happen through sound and meter, as we saw with “Because I could not stop for death,” Let’s look at another example:

  33. Yeah, but what about today? . . . Eminem: “The Way I am”Anapestic tetrameter + . . . assonance I sit back with this pack of Zig-Zags and this bag more assonance Of this weed it give me s--- needed to be Assonance form the previous line giving way to slant rhyme The most meanest MC on this, on this Earth Slant+alliteration to rhyme/repetition And since birth I’ve been cursed with this curse to just curse Slanting hard with both assonance and consonance And it sells and it helps in itself to relieve More slant/assonance/consonance All this tension dispensing these sentences And more still, with s and e sounds Getting this stress that’s been eating me recently off of this chest

  34. “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans 5 Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; 10 At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed 15 Still clinging to your shirt.

  35. “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke Waltz: a ballroom dance in 3⁄4 time with strong accent on the first beat and a basic pattern of step-step-close (Merriam- Webster) or one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, which Roethke recreates through the meter of this poem, although occasional lines contain an extra syllable or half foot, i.e. a missed step.