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What is poetry?
How is poetry different from prose?
How do authors use stylistic devices to affect the emotions of their readers?
How does the performance of poetry affect its meaning?
How can poetry be used as a tool for social justice?
Webster’s Dictionary: “Imaginative language or composition, whether expressed rhythmically or in prose.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.”
AudreLorde: “The difference between poetry and rhetoric / is being / ready to kill / yourself / instead of your children.”
Prose is a starting pitcher with a game plan. He pitches to each batter differently each time up. His game is full of little dramas: impending catastrophe, escape, tension building, subsiding, building again
Poetry is a one-inning reliever-- a fireballer, a screwballer, a pitcher with a slider that batters flick their bats at as it breaks a foot outside in the dirt
Prose is a boxer: jabbing, moving, slipping, stinging, wearing his opponent down. Poetry is a knockout punch; the big left hook that is carried on all the highlight films
Prose is a song; poetry is a guitar lick every kid can yow-yow with his mouth
Prose is the Mona Lisa; poetry is the smile.
Alliteration: the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginning of words
Allusion: a reference to a famous person, thing, or work
Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds
Ballad: a poem that tells a story (such a folk tale or legend), often with a refrain
Caesura: a natural pause or break in a line of poetry
Conceit: a poetic image or metaphor that compares one thing to another that seems unlikely
Couplet: a pair of lines of the same length and that usually rhyme
Elegy: a poem written for the death of a person
Enjambment: the continuation of a sentence or idea across more than one line of poetry
Epic: a long, serious poem that tells the story of a heroic figure
Foot: two or more syllables that together make up the smallest unit of rhyme in a poem
Hyperbole: deliberate exaggeration used for emphasis
Idyll: a short poem depicting a peaceful, idealized country scene
Imagery: the use of language appealing to the five senses
Lyric: a poem that expresses the thoughts or feelings of the poet
Metaphor: a comparison of two things when one is said to be the other
Meter: the arrangement of lines according to the number of syllables and rhythm
Metonymy: the substitution of one word for another closely associated word
Onomatopoeia: words used to imitate sounds
Pastoral: a poem that depicts rural life
Personification: giving human traits to non-human objects or things
Refrain: a line or phrase repeated throughout the poem
Simile: comparison of two things using “like” or “as”
Sonnet: a 14-line lyric poem
Stanza: two or more lines organized to form the divisions of a poem
Stress: prominence or emphasis given to certain syllables
Synecdoche: a part used to substitute for the whole, or the whole is used to mean the part
Verse: a single metrical line of poetry, or poetry in general (as opposed to prose)
Free Verse: poetry with unrhymed lines or rhymed lines with no set meter
Blank Verse: poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter