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Poetry. Poetry talks less and says more. Poetry: type of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery to appeal to the reader’s emotions and imagination. Speaker: voice of the poem

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Poetry talks less and says more.

Poetry: type of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery to appeal to the reader’s emotions and imagination.

Speaker: voice of the poem

Stanza:group of lines of verse, usually regular in pattern, forming a division of a poem or song

Diction a writer s choice of words
Diction: a writer’s choice of words

  • Denotation ~ literal meaning of a word, as listed in a dictionary

  • Connotation ~ suggested meaning of a word

    ~ the meanings and feelings that have become associated with a word


  • Language that relates to the senses

  • Sight imagery: Red flows of clouds across the horizon

  • Sound imagery: Wind whistling thinly through the crack

  • Taste imagery: Rich chocolate slowly melted on his tongue.

  • Smell imagery: The scent of freshly brewed coffee tickled my nose awake.

  • Touch imagery: Jill’s forehead slammed against the steering wheel as her head snapped forward.

Imagery poem
Imagery Poem

  • Following the prompts, write an eight line poem. Select words with strong connotations.

  • Begin each line with a capital letter

  • Lines should be words and phrases; not sentences

  • The title will be added when you have completed the eight lines.

Imagery poem1
Imagery Poem

  • Features of a disgusting animal without naming the animal

  • How you feel when you become very angry and lose your temper

  • Disgusting color: its name and why you hate it

  • The smell of garbage burning

  • The sights and smells after a horrible flood

  • Features of the type of music you dislike

  • Taste and texture of repulsive food

  • Scenes from a riot


  • Literal meaning – the meaning that is directly stated

  • Figurative meaning – the deeper, symbolic meaning which must be interpreted from a literary work

Figurative language figures of speech
Figurative Language (Figures of Speech)

  • Describes one thing in terms of another

  • Four types

    • Symbol: an object that stands for itself and represents another object

    • Personification: giving that which is not human, human qualities

    • Simile: a comparison of unlike things using words such as like or as

    • Metaphor: a direct comparison of unlike things

Symbol and personification
Symbol and Personification

Symbol ~ an object that stands for itself and represents another object


Miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep.

Personification~ giving that which is not human, human qualities


  • The wind sang her mournful song

  • Great waves looked over others

  • Daffodils nodded their yellow heads

Simile and metaphor
Simile and Metaphor

  • Simile ~ a comparison using words such as like, than, or as


  • I feel like a limp dishrag.

  • The baby was like an octopus, grabbing everything in sight.

  • Metaphor ~ a direct comparison


  • I am a limp dishrag.

  • Those girls are two peas in

    a pod.

Implied metaphor
Implied Metaphor

  • describes the things being compared instead of naming them

  • The reader must figure out the comparison.

  • O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done,

    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won.

    ~ Walt Whitman

Extended metaphor
Extended Metaphor

  • a comparison that continues throughout an entire work


    You hate me and I hate you,

    And we are so polite, we two!

    But whenever I see you, I burst apart

    And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.

    It spits and sparkles in stars and balls,

    Buds into roses – and flares and falls.

    Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,

    Silver spirals and asterisks,

    Shoot and tremble in a mist

    Peppered with mauve and amethyst. ~ Amy Lowell

Sound devices
Sound Devices

  • Alliteration: repetition of initial consonant sounds in words that are close together

    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,

    How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

    The long light shakes across the lakes.

  • Assonance: repetition of vowel sounds in words that are close together

    And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over

    And so all the night-tide,Ilie down by the side,

    Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride.

Sound devices1
Sound Devices

  • Onomatopoeia: use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning

    Drum on your drums, batter on your banjoes

    Sob on the long cool winding saxophones.


  • Repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words that are close together

    • Heart / Part / start

    • Plaster / faster

    • Know / though / snow

Types of rhyme
Types of rhyme

  • Exact rhyme: sounds ending words are identical

    • power / sour June / moon

  • Approximate rhyme: sounds ending words are nearly the same

    • begin / him blade / blood

      Also known as slant, half, or imperfect rhymes

Types of rhyme1
Types of Rhyme

  • End Rhyme: occurs at the ends of lines

    Hold fast to dreams

    For if dreams die

    Life is a broken-winged bird

    That cannot fly.

  • Internal Rhyme: occurs within a line

    The splendor falls from castle walls

  • Couplet: a pair of successive rhyming lines

    So call the field to rest, and let’s away

    To part the glories of this happy day.

Rhyme scheme
Rhyme Scheme

  • Pattern of rhymed lines

  • Indicate by giving each new end rhyme a new letter of the alphabet

  • Skip a space for stanza breaks

Rhyme scheme1
Rhyme Scheme

Once by the Pacific

Robert Frost

The shattered water made a misty din.

Great waves looked over others coming in,

And thought of doing something to the shore

That water never did to land before.

The clouds were low and hairy in the skies,

Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.

You could not tell, and yet it looked as if

The shore was lucky in being backed by cliff,

The cliff in being backed by continent;

It looked as if a night of dark intent

Was coming, and not only a night, an age.

Someone had better be prepared for rage.

There would be more than ocean-water broken

Before God’s last Put out the Light was spoken.

Rhyme scheme2
Rhyme Scheme


Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes


  • Rhythm: beat; arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables

  • Meter: Pattern of rhythm

    • iamb: unstressed / stressed syllables

    • penta: five times

  • Iambic Pentameter: five iambs in one line

  • Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter

Blank verse
Blank Verse

When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the line of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

from “Birches” by Robert Frost

It must be by his death; and for my part,

I know no personal cause to spurn at him,

But for the general. He would be crowned.

from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

Free verse
Free Verse

  • No fixed line length, stanza form, rhyme scheme or meter

    The Red Wheelbarrow

    so much depends


    a red wheel


    glazed with rain


    beside the white


    William Carlos Williams

Types of poetry
Types of Poetry

  • Narrative Poetry

  • Dramatic Poetry

  • Lyric Poetry

Narrative poetry
Narrative Poetry

  • tells a story

    • Epic: long poem with heroes and a stately, dignified language

      • The IliadThe OdysseyBeowulf

  • Ballad: shorter narrative poem

    originally meant to be sung

    • Folk / Popular Ballad: passed down orally through generations tragic mood, sensational plots

    • Literary Ballad: composed by a known poet

      more elaborate in language and form

Dramatic poetry
Dramatic Poetry

  • Presents a play

    • One or more characters speak

    • Setting

    • Dramatic situation

    • Emotional conflict

    • Vigorous speech

    • Natural language rhythms

      The Tragedy of Julius Caesar


Lyric poetry
Lyric Poetry

  • expresses emotions or thoughts of the speaker

    • usually brief

    • from Greek “lyrikos” meaning a poem sung to the music of a lyre

      Typical Themes

      personal thoughts emotions: grief to joy

      beauty of nature reminiscence of past

      Elegy: poem mourning someone who has died

      Sonnets: 14 line poems with a set rhyme scheme

Italian sonnet
Italian Sonnet

Octave = eight lines

  • two rhymes arranged as abbaabba

  • Presents a situation or a problem.

    Sestet = six lines

  • two or three rhymes arranged as cdcdcd or cdecde

  • Presents an outcome or solution.

Composed upon westminister bridge
Composed upon Westminister Bridge

Earth has not anything to show more fair:

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

A sight so touching in its majesty;

This city now doth, like a garment, wear

The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,

Ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples lie

Open unto the fields, and to the sky;

All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep

In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;

Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:

Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;

And all that mighty heart is lying still!

~ William Wordsworth

English shakesperean sonnet
English (Shakesperean) Sonnet

Three Quatrains = four lines each

  • rhymes arranged as abab cdcd efef

  • These often express related ideas or examples.

    Couplet = two lines

  • rhyme of gg

  • The couplet sums the poet’s conclusion or message.

That time of year
That Time of Year

That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day

As after sunset fadeth in the west,

Which by and by black night doth take away,

Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest,

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie

As the deathbed whereon it must expire,

Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong.

To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

William Shakespeare

Various terms
Various Terms

  • Allusion:a reference to a past writing or event from history

  • Refrain: a repeated line of word in a poem

  • Poetic License: freedom to break conventional rules in order to use language playfully and creatively