Poetry
Definitions, Classes, Terms, and
“Casey at the Bat”
Definition

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Special kind of writing in which language,
pictures, and sounds combine, creating a
special emotional effect
Written in units called “stanzas”
More musical than prose writings (the effect
of the language used)
Subject matter is wide in range

Poems can be about ANYTHING
Classes of Poetry

Narrative – tells a story

Has a plot and characters, BUT only focus one
part of the story
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The selection and arrangement of these events
make the poem unique.
Has been popular for centuries beginning with
the English ballads
Lyrical – expresses personal thoughts,
feelings, and/or emotions

Short and musical
“Casey at the Bat”

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First Stanza – sets the scene of the poem.
Fifth Stanza – lines 17 – 19 use
exaggerated language

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The crowd’s cheering and its impact on the
surrounding countryside
Creates suspense and adds tone to the poem

Tone is the attitude or feeling of the poem
“Casey at the Bat” (cont.)

Fifth Stanza – lines 18-19 contains
parallelism to describe the sound and
resonance of the crowd’s cheering; also
builds suspense as Casey approaches the
plate.

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Parallelism – the repeating of phrases or
sentences so that the repeated parts are alike in
structure or meaning.
Can you identify the parallelism?
“Casey at the Bat” (cont.)

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Stanzas 6-8 – Casey’s pride is expressed through visual
images and tone of voice.
Stanza 9 – contains the use of simile to add an exaggerated
description of the scene (line 34).

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Simile – a figure of speech that directly compares two seemingly
unlike things using a comparison word such as “like” or “as”
Stanza 10 – lines 37-38 contain irony
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Irony – contrasts b/t reality and what seems to be real

Casey is described as if he is a saint soothing angry hordes of
people, which contrasts the previous descriptions of the larger than
life, prideful hero.
“Casey at the Bat” (cont.)

Stanza 10 – lines 37-38 contain irony

Irony – contrasts b/t reality and what seems to be real

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Casey is described as if he is a saint soothing angry hordes
of people, which contrasts the previous descriptions of the
larger than life, prideful hero.
Stanzas 14-15 – lines 49-52 use elevated,
philosophical language to heighten the drama of
the situation

The author’s change to the present tense in these stanzas
increases the immediacy of the poem’s climax.

Climax – the point of highest interest and greatest emotional
involvement in a narrative.
LYRIC POETRY
Lyric Poetry

Poetry in which the speaker reveals
personal thoughts and feelings.

Comes from the Greek word lyrikos, a short
poem sung to the music of the lyre, a small
harp-like instrument.
“I Wandered Lonely
as a Cloud”

Wordsworth describes his memory’s ability to
change his “vacant” or “pensive” mood to
pleasure (ll. 20-24).
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This is considered the main idea of the poem.
He feels the seemingly trivial moment brought him great
and unexpected “wealth” (l. 18).
What are some examples of personification in this poem?
IMAGERY
&
FIGURATIVE
LANGUAGE
“Dreams”

What are the two metaphors linked
together in this poem that describe
dreams?

What do these metaphors imply about the
necessity of dreams?

What warning does Hughes issue in his poem
about dreams?
“The Seven Ages of Man”

Speaker – Jaques (a character from
Shakespeare’s As You Like It)

The poem is an example of an extended
metaphor. What is the metaphor being
extended throughout this poem?
“The Seven Ages of Man”

Stages of man in the poem
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(1) Infancy – “mewling and puking”
(2) Child – “whining school boy”
(3) Youth of a Lover – “sighing like furnace”
(4) Later Youth of a Soldier – “bearded like the
pard”
(5) Maturity and Middle Age of a Judge – “in fair
round belly”
“The Seven Ages of Man”

Stages (cont.)
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(6) Old Age – “spectacles on nose”
(7) Senility – “second childishness

In As You Like It Jaques is a cynic, a man who
doubts the goodness and kindness of human
beings. Explain how your reaction to the poem
changes once you know Jaques’ personality.
The Total Effect


The title addresses the poet’s main concern.
The speaker is the person or thing that acts as the
voice in the poem.

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The choice of words should fit the speaker.
The sound of the poem – its use of rhyme,
rhythm, onomatopoeia, repetition, alliteration,
assonance, and parallelism – should suit its
mood.
The Total Effect (cont)


Imagery and figures of speech, such as
personification, simile, and metaphor, should
allow the poem to appeal directly to your senses
and to your own experience.
Remember that narrative poems tell stories and
lyric poems express an emotion.
“maggie and milly
and molly and may”

Maggie, Milly, Molly, and May go to the beach.
Each discovers a special part of herself in what
she sees on the shore.
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Maggie – troubled; sea comforts her
Milly – friendly, poetic
Molly – timid, not inquisitive
May – alone in a small world

What literary devices are used by Cummings?
“The Bells”
by Edgar Allan Poe

First Stanza

What type of bells are being described?

What effect of Poe’s use of alliteration and
assonance have on you as the reader?
“The Bells”
by Edgar Allan Poe

Second Stanza

Type of bells?

Effect of alliteration and assonance?

Notice the presence of parallelism and
personification?
“The Bells”
by Edgar Allan Poe

Third Stanza

Type of bells?

Alliteration/Assonance?

Onomatopoeia?
“The Bells”
by Edgar Allan Poe

Fourth Stanza

Type of bells?

Personification?
“The Bells”
by Edgar Allan Poe

Structure of the poem

Although each stanza begins and ends similarly,
each stanza’s middle section is progressively
larger and more developed.

This allows Poe to show how horror gradually
grows out of joy. Cheery, isn’t it?
Speaker and Word
Choice
In Poetry
Definitions

Speaker – the voice of the poem OR the
role that the poet plays in the poem

Word Choice – the selection of words in a
piece of literature to convey meaning,
suggest attitude, and create images
“Knoxville, Tennessee”

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Themes – the seasons and childhood
Speaker – The reference to “daddy” tells the
reader that the speaker is more than likely a child.
Tone – The use of the word “you” and the lack of
punctuation give the poem an informal tone.

The use of parallelism also gives the poem an informal
tone.

Can you see the parallelism?
“Child on Top of a Greenhouse”

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Theme – individualism and youth vs. age
Speaker – the use of the word “my,”
combined with the use of sophisticated
words, establishes the speaker as an adult
looking back on childhood.

Word choice – vivid participles (flashing, rushing,
plunging, tossing) denote a delight in the senses
for the crowd watching.

How does the child on the roof feel?
“The Base Stealer”


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Theme – taking risks
Speaker – At first, the speaker is unidentified, but
the reader later learns that the speaker is an
observer when the third person pronoun “he” is
used (line 7).
Word Choice – The poet interjects into his
descriptions of the base stealer the informal,
“under the breath” urgings of the excited fan:
“come on, come on,” “crowd him, crowd him,” and
“Delicate, delicate, delicate – now!” (ll. 5, 9, 10).
“The Base Stealer” (cont.)

The poet uses similes in lines
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2 – “like a tightrope walker,”
4 – “bouncing tiptoe like a dropped ball,”
5 – “. . . or a kid skipping rope,” and
8 – “hovers like an ecstatic bird”
Theme revisited – Francis suggests the exhilaration of taking
risks by the use of the word “ecstatic” and by the exclamatory
“now!” at the climax of the poem.

The base stealer’s urgency suggests the necessity of taking
risks.

As a reader, how does Robert Francis make you feel about this
small event?
Narrative Poetry
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”
and
“Lord Randal”
“The Charge of the Light Brigade


Theme: Courage and Honor, a soldier’s
duty on the battlefield
Throughout the poem, the author uses
repetition to show the rhythm of the
marching, well as to emphasize the lesser
numbers of the Light Brigade.

Repetition – the repeating of sounds, letters,
words, or lines, which helps give the poetry its
meaning, form, and sound.

“Rode the six hundred”
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”
(cont.)


Stanza 2 – ll. 13-15 refers to the soldier’s duty,
which is to follow orders without talking back or
questioning and carrying them out even if the
result is death.
Stanza 3 – in ll. 24-25 Tennyson makes use of
metaphors

He uses fiercely dramatic metaphors to describe the
challenges the British soldiers face in the battle with the
Russians.

Metaphor – A figure of speech that makes a comparison b/t
two seemingly unlike things
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”
(cont.)

Main idea in stanzas 3-6 portray the
brigade’s courage against overwhelming
odds through the graphic images of being
surrounded by cannons.

Constant loss of soldiers coupled with being
completely cut off from escape shows how strong
the Light Brigade’s courage was
“Lord Randal”
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

Theme – trust and betrayal
Ballad – a short, musical narrative poem
Each stanza opens with the mother asking
a question.


This suggests that the son is answering his
mother reluctantly. Why?
What literary effect is being used in the
questioning?
“Lord Randal” (cont.)

Main idea – In Stanza 4, the mother’s
question suggests that Lord Randal did not
realize he had been poisoned until he saw
his dogs die.


He put blind faith in this true-love.
Stanza 5 – In typical ballad form, the love
story reaches a tragic end through
dialogue, repetition, simplicity of detail, and
a limited number of characters.
IMAGERY
&
FIGURATIVE
LANGUAGE
Literary Terms

Literal language – the ordinary language of
everyday

Figurative language – use of devices such
as figures of speech (similes, metaphors,
hyperbole, etc.)
“Dreams”

What are the two metaphors linked
together in this poem that describe
dreams?

What do these metaphors imply about the
necessity of dreams?

What warning does Hughes issue in his poem
about dreams?
“The Seven Ages of Man”

Speaker – Jaques (a character from
Shakespeare’s As You Like It)

The poem is an example of an extended
metaphor. What is the metaphor being
extended throughout this poem?
“The Seven Ages of Man”

Stages of man in the poem





(1) Infancy – “mewling and puking”
(2) Child – “whining school boy”
(3) Youth of a Lover – “sighing like furnace”
(4) Later Youth of a Soldier – “bearded like the
pard”
(5) Maturity and Middle Age of a Judge – “in fair
round belly”
“The Seven Ages of Man”

Stages (cont.)


(6) Old Age – “spectacles on nose”
(7) Senility – “second childishness

In As You Like It Jaques is a cynic, a man who
doubts the goodness and kindness of human
beings. Explain how your reaction to the poem
changes once you know Jaques’ personality.
LYRIC POETRY
Lyric Poetry

Poetry in which the speaker reveals
personal thoughts and feelings.

Comes from the Greek word lyrikos, a short
poem sung to the music of the lyre, a small
harp-like instrument.
“The Courage That
My Mother Had”

Main Idea - Loss leads the speaker to turn to her
inheritance as a consolation, yet she yearns for a
less tangible inheritance.

What is the rhyme scheme of this poem?
Point out some literary devices used by the author
in this poem.

The Total Effect
Literary Terms

Literal language – the ordinary language of
everyday

Figurative language – use of devices such
as figures of speech (similes, metaphors,
hyperbole, etc.)
The Total Effect


The title addresses the poet’s main concern.
The speaker is the person or thing that acts as the
voice in the poem.


The choice of words should fit the speaker.
The sound of the poem – its use of rhyme,
rhythm, onomatopoeia, repetition, alliteration,
assonance, and parallelism – should suit its
mood.
The Total Effect (cont)


Imagery and figures of speech, such as
personification, simile, and metaphor, should
allow the poem to appeal directly to your senses
and to your own experience.
Remember that narrative poems tell stories and
lyric poems express an emotion.
“maggie and milly
and molly and may”

Maggie, Milly, Molly, and May go to the beach.
Each discovers a special part of herself in what
she sees on the shore.




Maggie – troubled; sea comforts her
Milly – friendly, poetic
Molly – timid, not inquisitive
May – alone in a small world

What literary devices are used by Cummings?
“Lost”

Loneliness is the strongest theme.


The poem’s strong visual images allow Sandburg to
compare a fogbound ship to a lost child (ll. 1-9)
There are some examples of assonance and
alliteration in this poem. Identify some of these
and discuss their effect on the poem.
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