Poetry
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A kind of rhythmic, compressed language that
uses figures of speech and imagery designed to
appeal to emotion and imagination
One of the oldest forms of communication
Often sung
Passed down from generation to generation
Meant to be read aloud
– Read a poem several times to get the feel of it
Poetry v. Prose
 Prose
= anything that is not poetry
 Poetry is a language which says more
and says it more intensely than prose
 Poets say the same thing as prose
writers. . . They just say it with fewer
words
The Implied
 Poets

often write with implied ideas.
That is. . .
– Reader must make an educated guess to the
idea that is suggested
– Make inferences
Numbering Lines in Poetry

5’s only
Battle in the Sky by Shel Silverstein
It wasn't quite day and it wasn't quite night,
'Cause the sun and the moon were both in sight,
A situation quite all right
With everyone else but them.
5
10
So they both made remarks about who gave more light
And who was the brightest and prettiest sight,
And the sun gave a bump and the moon gave a bite,
And the terrible sky fight began.
With a scorch and a sizzle, a screech and a shout,
Across the great heavens they tumbled about,
And the moon had a piece of the sun in its mouth,
While the sun burned the face of the moon.
And when it was over the moon was rubbed red,
And the sun had a very bad lump on its head,
15 And all the next night the moon stayed home in bed,
And the sun didn't come out 'til noon.
An Introduction to Literary
Devices in Poetry
 Some
of these will be familiar to you,
while others will be new
– Alliteration
– Couplet
– Image
– Metaphor
– Onomatopoeia
- Personification
- Refrain
- Rhyme scheme
- Simile
- Stanza
Literary Devices in Poetry
A
nonhuman thing or quality is
given human-like qualities
Personification

A nonhuman thing or quality is given human-like
qualities
The soft gray hands of sleep
Toiled all night long
To spin a beautiful garment
Of dreams
- Edward Silvera, from “Forgotten Dreams”
Literary Devices in Poetry
A
group of words repeated at
intervals in a poem, song, or
speech.
Refrain
A
group of words repeated at
intervals in a poem, song, or
speech.
–Often used to build rhythm
–Can also emphasize the main
theme of the work
Refrain

A group of words repeated at intervals in a
poem, song, or speech. (Same as a chorus in a
song.)
All God’s critters got a place in the choir,
Some sing low, some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire,
And some just clap their hands,
Or paws,
Or anything they got now.
-Bill Staines, from “A Place in the Choir”(page 178)
“I have a dream. . .”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I’ve got a feeling. . .”
-Black Eyed Peas
Rhyme Scheme
A
pattern of rhymes in a poem
–End rhymes
–Internal rhymes
–Near rhymes
End Rhymes

Rhymes at the end of lines of poetry
Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from
“TheTide Rises, the Tide Falls”
What else is here?

Rhymes at the end of lines of poetry
Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from
“TheTide Rises, the Tide Falls”
Internal Rhymes

Rhymes within lines of poetry
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon there came again a tapping somewhat louder than before
- Edgar Allan Poe, from “The Raven”
Near Rhymes

Rhymes involving sounds that are similar
but not exactly the same
– Also called slant rhymes
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were
- E.E. Cummings,
from “maggie and milly and molly and may”
(page 522)
Rhyme Scheme
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Rhymes at the end of lines of poetry
To indicate the rhyme scheme of a poem, use a
separate letter of the alphabet for each rhyme
The rhyme scheme of Longfellow’s stanza of
“The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” is a-a-b-b-a
Rhyme Scheme
Darkness settles on roofs and walls, a_
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls; a_
The little waves, with their soft, white hands, b_
Efface the footprints in the sands, b_
And the tide rises, the tide falls. a_
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from
“TheTide Rises, the Tide Falls”
Stanza

A group of consecutive lines that forms a
single unit
– Something like a paragraph in prose
– Often expresses a unit of thought
– May consist of any number of lines
– In some poems, each stanza has the same
rhyme scheme
I’m Nobody!
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you Nobody too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d banish us, you know!
How dreary to be Somebody!
How public - like a Frog To tell your name the livelong June
To an admiring Bog!
- Emily Dickinson
If I Can Stop One Heart from
Breaking
(page 72)
If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.
- Emily Dickinson
Meter

A regular pattern of stressed and
unstressed syllables
– Free verse does not have a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed
syllables
– Sounds like ordinary speech
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When poets write in meter, they count out the number of stressed
syllables (or strong beats) and unstressed syllables (weaker beats)
in each line
They then repeat the pattern throughout
To avoid singsong effect, poets usually vary the basic pattern
Hello, iambs!

Each line has four unstressed syllables
alternating with four stressed syllables
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
- Lewis Carroll,
from “Jabberwocky”
Literary Devices in Poetry
A
comparison between two
unlike things, using a word
such as like, as, than, or
resembles.
Your old friend, the Simile!
A
comparison between two unlike
things, using a word such as like, as,
than, or resembles.
When the last bus leaves, moths stream
toward lights like litter in the wind.
- Roberta Hill, from “Depot in Rapid City”
Literary Devices in Poetry
 An
imaginative comparison
between two unlike things in
which one thing is said to be
another thing.
You’ve been waiting for,
the mighty Metaphor!

An imaginative comparison between two unlike things in which one
thing is said to be another thing.
When she comes slip-footing through the door,
she kindles us
like lump coal lighted
and we wake up glowing.
She puts a spark even in Papa’s eyes
and turns out all our darkness.
When she comes sweet-talking in the room,
she warms us
like grits and gravy,
and we rise up shining.
Even at nighttime Mama is a sunrise
that promises tomorrow and tomorrow.
- Evelyn Tooley Hunt, from “Mama Is a Sunrise”
Metaphor

An imaginative comparison between two unlike things in which one thing is
said to be another thing. (More on Langston Hughes on page 67.)
Dreams
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
Image from http://goinglocoinyokohama.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/hughes.jpg
Madam and the Rent Man
The rent man knocked.
He said, Howdy-do?
I said, What
Can I do for you?
He said, You know
Your rent is due.
I said, Listen,
Before I'd pay
I'd go to Hades
And rot away!
The sink is broke,
The water don't run,
And you ain't done a thing
You promised to've done.
Back window's cracked,
Kitchen floor squeaks,
There's rats in the cellar,
And the attic leaks.
He said, Madam,
It's not up to me.
I'm just the agent,
Don't you see?
I said, Naturally,
You pass the buck.
If it's money you want
You're out of luck.
He said, Madam,
I ain't pleased!
I said, Neither am I.
So we agrees!
- Langston Hughes
Literary Devices in Poetry
 The
repetition of the same or
very similar consonant sounds
in words that are close
together.
Alliteration
 The
repetition of the same or
very similar consonant sounds in
words that are close together.
– Usually occurs at the beginning of words
– Can also occur within or at the end of words
– Can help establish a mood, emphasize words, or
serve as a memory aid
Alliteration

The repetition of the same or very similar
consonant sounds in words that are close
together.
– Example: s sound repeated at beginning of silken
and sad and within the words uncertain and rustling. . .
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple
curtain,
Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt
before;
- Edgar Allan Poe, from “The Raven”
Poetic Sleuth
 Using
this same example from “The
Raven”, what other poetic device(s)
can you find?
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each
purple curtain,
Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic terrors never
felt before;
- Edgar Allan Poe, from “The Raven”
Couplet
A pair of lines of verse
 Usually consists of two lines that rhyme
and have the same meter
 While traditionally couplets rhyme, not all
do
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Couplet
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A pair of lines of verse
Because the rhyme comes so quickly in
rhyming couplets, it tends to call attention to
itself
Good rhyming couplets tend to "snap" as both
the rhyme and the idea come to a quick close
in two lines
An example of a rhyming couplet:
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
is idle, biologically speaking.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay (at the end of a
sonnet*)
A Minor Bird
I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
5
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.
` Robert Frost*
Literary Device in Poetry

A single word or phrase that appeals to
one or more of our senses
Imagery
A single word or phrase that appeals to
one or more of our senses
 Imagery refers to the "pictures" which we
perceive with our mind's eyes, ears, nose,
tongue, and skin

Imagery

A single word or phrase that appeals to one or
more of our senses
Night Watch
(Ode to the Gargoyle)
Frozen jaws snap at timeless air
And concrete eyes stare at passers-by
Claws deeply imbedded, sadly not in flesh
As you crouch forever ready to pounce
- Mary O. Fumento, 1989
Imagery
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A single word or phrase that appeals to one or
more of our senses
Read also “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would Not Take the Garbage Out” by Shel
Silverstein (page 608)
“A Boy Named Sue”, sung by Johnny Cash,
was written by Shel Silverstein.
Literary Devices in Poetry
 The
use of a word whose
sound suggests or imitates its
meaning
Onomatopoeia
 The
use of a word whose
sound suggests or imitates its
meaning
 Important element in creating
the music of poetry
Onomatopoeia

In “The Bells”, by Edgar Allan Poe, he creates a frenzied mood
by choosing words that imitate the sounds of alarm bells
5
10
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows
By the twanging
And the clanging
How the danger ebbs and flows.
E. A. Poe

In “The Bells”, Poe uses onomatopoeia, it’s true, but he is also
utilizing the recurring use of a sound, word, a phrase, or a line. What
is this called?
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows
By the twanging
And the clanging
How the danger ebbs and flows.
Repetition
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
The recurring use of a sound, a word, a phrase,
or a line
Can also be used to create music, to appeal to
our emotions, and to emphasize important ideas
Poe used this quite a bit (page 575)
Annabel Lee (page 579)
Note how the lines are numbered!
Some More Poetic Perusal
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“Gold” by Pat Mora (page 571)
“maggie and milly and molly and may” by e.e.
cummings (page 522)
Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence
Thayer (page 132)
“The Names” by Billy Collins (page 561)
Last but certainly not least, “Jabberwocky” by
Lewis Carroll (page 339)
– Let’s read this one together, then break it down,
shall we?
Now it’s YOUR turn!
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I am Poem
BioPoem
Diamante
Cinquain
I am Poem
Format
I am (two special characteristics you have)
I wonder (something you are actually curious about)
I hear (an imaginary sound)
I see (an imaginary sight)
I want (an actual desire)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)
Example
I am a carefree girl who loves horses.
I wonder if there ever was a horse that could fly.
I hear the stomping of a hundred mustangs on the desert in Arabia.
I see a horse with golden wings soaring into the sunset.
I want to ride swiftly over a green meadow.
I am a carefree girl who loves horses.
I pretend (someting you pretend to do)
I feel (a feeling about something imaginary)
I touch (an imaginary touch)
I worry ( something that really bothers you)
I cry (something that makes you sad)
I am (the first line of the poem)
I pretend to be an Olympic jumper.
I feel the sky pressing down on me as I ride along a sandy shore.
I touch the clouds on a winged horse.
I worry that I'll fall off and become paralyzed.
I cry when a colt dies.
I am a carefree girl who loves horses.
I understand (something you know is true)
I say (something you believe in)
I dream (somethng you actually hope for)
I try (something you make an effort about)
I hope (something you actually hope for)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)
adapted from various teacher resources
I understand that I will not be able to ride every day of my life.
I say, let all horses roam free.
I dream about the day when I have a horse of my own.
I try to be the best rider in the world.
I hope to ride all my life.
I am a carefree girl who loves horses.
Elly Tatum
From: http://cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/web/2000/kochan/formatspoem2.html
BioPoem

Be sure to follow the directions indicating how many
items you must share.
Format
Sample
(first name)
(four words that describe you--character traits)
Relative of (list close family members)
Resident of (place where you live)
Who reads (four books, magazines, and or newspapers)
Who likes (three things you like)
Who loves (three things you love)
Who fears (three things)
Who wishes (three things)
Who admires (three)
Who needs (three things you need)
Who aspires to (at least two aspirations)
(last name)
Adam
Precocious, enthusiastic, mischievous, energetic.
Relative of Mom, Daddy, and Eric.
Resident of St. Joseph, Michigan.
Who reads Captain Underpants, Star Wars, Knuffle Bunny, and Super Hero Books
Who likes to go the museum, fight bad guys, and pillow fights.
Who loves Snickers ice cream, my brother, and my army guys.
Who fears The Princess and the Frog bite, people taking me, and falling into our ravine
Who wishes for money coming out of the sky, a snake for a pet, and a trip to Disney.
Who admires Papa Dixon, Papa Walsworth, and the President.
Who needs to play, run, and learn.
Who aspires to become a police officer and a king.
Walsworth
Cinquain
Highly structured form of poetry
 Requires a fluent and flexible writer
 Format commands attention to word
choice, word meaning, syllabication, and
parts of speech, while at the same time
expressing a meaningful message

Cinquain

Line 1:
1 word title (noun)
2 syllables

Line 2:
2 descriptive words (adjectives)
4 syllables

Line 3:
3 words that express action
6 syllables

Line 4:
Line 5:

4 words that express feeling
1 word (synonyms or reference to title in line 1)
8 syllables
2 syllables
Friend/ship
Pre/cious, awe/some
Bright/ens gloom/y mo/ments
Rain/bow's treas/ure trove dis/cov/ered
Al/ways
Diamante
Seven line poem, shaped like a diamond
 The result is a pattern of contrast shown
in poetry form
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
LINE 1 - one word subject (noun) contrasting with line 7
LINE 2 - two adjectives describing LINE 1 noun
LINE 3 - three action verbs ending in -ing or -ed to describe LINE I
noun
LINE 4 - four words: first 2 words relate to line 1, last 2 words relate to
line 7
LINE 5 - three participles ending in -ing or -ed to describe LINE 7 noun
LINE 6 - two adjectives describing LINE 7 noun
LINE 7 - one word subject (noun) contrasting with line 1
Diamante
Square
Symmetrical, Conventional
Shaping, Measuring, Balancing
Boxes, Rooms, Clocks, Halos
Encircling, Circumnavigating, Enclosing
Round, Continuous
Circle
From: http://teams.lacoe.edu/documentation/classrooms/amy/algebra/56/activities/poetry/diamante.html
Diamante
Fireball
Brilliant, Beautiful
Flashing, Shining, Dashing
Bright, Wondrous, Black, Nothing,
Staring, Hoping, Missing
Deep, Quiet
Darkness
From http://www.docstoc.com/docs/17715586/Diamante-Poem
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