Poetry What is it?
Poetry is . . . • Very difficult to define. • In poetry, someone is always ‘breaking the rules’ • Here is what some famous poets have said about the definition of poetry . . .
Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary. ~Kahlil Gibran
Imaginary gardens with real toads in them. ~Marianne Moore's definition of poetry, "Poetry," Collected Poems, 1951
Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821
Didn’t help, did it? • Well, for our purposes we need a common definition of what poetry is, so write this down: • Poetry is any type of writing constructed into lines and/or STANZAS. Poetry is different than PROSE (paragraphs and sentences) • A STANZA is a group of lines separated by a gap. Take a look at the following poem by Gwendolyn Brooks -
How many stanzas are in this poem? • We Real Cool THE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.We real cool. WeLeft school. WeLurk late. WeStrike straight. WeSing sin. WeThin gin. WeJazz June. WeDie soon. Gwendolyn Brooks What else do you notice about this poem that makes it memorable?
There is a musical quality to Brooks’ poem because of two commonly used poetic devices called: Alliteration & Assonance Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning or words Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds within a group of words
Other Sound Devices . . . • Repetition: the repeating of a certain word or phrase within a poem that helps to convey theme, emphasize meaning and add rhythm • (The repetition of ‘We’ at the end of every line in Brooks’ poem not only lends musicality to the verse but helps emphasize that the characters in the poem are concerned only for themselves and immediate gratification)
Internal rhyme: rhyme sounds in the same line of poetry (ex: “this ballad of caesar salad”) • End (external) rhyme: rhyme sounds at the end of two lines of poetry (the other day I was a-okay) • Slant rhyme: also called ‘imperfect’ or ‘half’ rhyme, when the final consonant sounds are the same, but the vowels are different: (ex: green and gone, that and hit)
Poetry Homework: • 1: Go to SharePoint and click on the link “How to Write a Metaphor” – Read the link • 2. Choose one of the following opening phrases: • This is common: • So much depends upon: • As long as there is: • Using that first line as a starting point, write a poem consisting of 4 couplets. • You must have one example of end rhyme, internal rhyme, alliteration and one metaphor