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POETRY. A type of literature that expresses ideas, feelings, or tells a story in a specific form (usually using lines and stanzas). Types of Poetry. Dramatic Poetry builds action though dialogue or monologue (traditionally for theatrical performance).

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  • A type of literature that expresses ideas, feelings, or tells a story in a specific form (usually using lines and stanzas)

Types of poetry

Types of Poetry

  • Dramatic Poetry builds action though dialogue or monologue (traditionally for theatrical performance).

  • Narrative Poetry tells a story (ballads and epics).

  • Lyrical Poetry is the most common type of poetry. It expresses the personal thoughts, emotions (such as love or grief), mood of a single speaker.

Point of view in poetry


The poet is the authorof the poem.

The poet Langston Hughes describes the difficult life of a single mother in his poem “Mother to Son.”


The speaker of the poem is the “narrator” of the poem.

In Langston Hughes’s poem “Mother to Son,” the speaker begs her son to keep climbing the crystal stairs no matter how hard life gets.

Shall we listen to the poem?

Poetry form

  • FORM - the appearance of the words on the page

  • LINE - a group of words together on one line of the poem

  • STANZA - a group of lines arranged together

  • A word is dead

  • When it is said,

  • Some say.

  • I say it just

  • Begins to live

  • That day.

Kinds of stanzas

Couplet = a two line stanza

Tercet = a three line stanza

Quatrain = a four line stanza

Quintet = a five line stanza

Sestet = a six line stanza

Septet = a seven line stanza

Octave = an eight line stanza


  • Rhythm is the beat created by the pattern of sounds made by the words in a poem.

  • Rhythm can be created by meter and rhyme as well as alliteration and refrain.


  • A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.

    Stressed = strong or accented syllable

    Unstressed = weak or unaccented syllable

  • Meter occurs when the stressed and unstressed syllables of the words in a poem are arranged in a repeating pattern, which the poet repeats throughout the poem.

    Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day

    Thou art more lovely and more temperate

  • ´ x´ x ´ x ´ x ´ x


  • Words that sound alike because they share the same ending vowel and consonant sounds.

  • (A word always rhymes with itself.)


  • Share the short “a”vowel sound

  • Share the combined “mp” consonant sound

  • Hector the Collector

  • Collected bits of string.

  • Collected dolls with broken heads

  • And rusty bells that would not ring.

  • – from “Hector the Collector” by Shel Silverstein


A word at the end of one line rhymes with a word at the end of another line.

  • Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.

  • – from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe


A word inside a line rhymes with another word on the same line.

Yo it kind of make me think of way back when,

I was a portrait of the artist as a young man,

All those teenage dreams of rapping,

Writing rhymes on napkins,

Was really visualization, making this here actually happen,

  • – from “Memories Live” by Talib Kweli


The words share EITHER the same vowel or consonant sound BUT NOT BOTH.

Slant rhyme can also be called half or approximate rhyme

More: Rose/lose, how/show, south/both

The Germ

A mighty creature is the germ, a

Though smaller than the pachyderm. a

His customary dwelling place b

Is deep within the human race. b

His childish pride he often pleases c

By giving people strange diseases. c

Do you, my poppet, feel infirm? a

You probably contain a germ. a

– by Ogden Nash

RHYME SCHEMEA rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyme. Use the letters of the alphabet to represent sounds to be able to visually “see” the pattern.


  • Words that imitate the sound they are naming



  • A combination of words that gives the impression of echoing the sense of objects or actions.

    “The silken, sad, uncertain, rustling of

    each purple curtain . . .”


  • The repetition of the same sound – usually consonant sounds at the beginnings of words.

    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?


  • Similar to alliteration

    EXCEPT . . .

  • The repeated consonant sounds can be anywhere in the words

    “silken,sad, uncertain, rustling . . “


  • Repeated VOWEL sounds in a line or lines of poetry, which often creates slant rhyme.

  • Lake/Fate Base/Fade

  • (All share the long “a” sound.)

“Slow the low gradual moan came in the snowing.”

– John Masefield

“Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep.”

– William Shakespeare

Figurative language



  • An explicit comparison of two different things, actions or feelings using like, as, thanor resembles.

    I wandered lonely as a cloud.

    He laughs like a hyena.

    She is as beautiful as a sunrise.


  • An implied comparison between two basically different things, ideas or actions. Unlike a simile, it is not introduced with the words like or as.

    … if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird.

    – Langston Hughes

    All the world’s a stage, and we are merely players.

    – William Shakespeare

Extended metaphor sustains the comparison for several lines or for the entire length of the poem

A free bird leapson the back of the windand floats downstreamtill the current endsand dips his wingin the orange sun raysand dares to claim the sky…

The caged bird singswith a fearful trillof things unknownbut longed for stilland his tune is heardon the distant hillfor the caged birdsings of freedom.

– from “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou

EXTENDED METAPHORsustains the comparison for several lines or for the entire length of the poem.


  • Deliberate exaggeration or overstatement often used for emphasis or comic effect.

    Why does a boy who’s fast as a jetTake all day—and sometimes two—To get to school?

    — "Speed Adjustments” by John Ciardi

Personi fication

My idea walked right out my head.


A figure of speech in which an animal, idea or object are referred to as if they are human and given human-like qualities.


When a person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself also represents, or stands for, something else usually an idea or emotion.

Do not go gentle into that good night,Old age should burn and rave at close of day;Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

– from “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”by Dylan Thomas


  • A reference to a well-known place, event, literary work, or work of art.

  • Allusion comes from the verb “allude” which means to refer to.

A tunnel walled and overlaid

With dazzling crystal: we had read

Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,

And to our own his name we gave.

– from “Snowbound” by John Greenleaf Whittier


  • Language that appeals to the senses.

  • Most images are visual, but they can also appeal to the senses of sound, touch, taste, or smell.

Sundays too my father got up early

And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

– from “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before

But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token...

– from “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe


The overall atmosphere or prevailing emotional feeling of a work.