Elements of Poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a genre of
literature that uses the
way words look and
sound to transmit
meaning to the reader.
Poetry entertains the reader in sight and
sound.
Anthology
A collection of
poems included in
one book is called
an anthology. It can
be poems from
one author, based a
central theme or
includes the same
types of poetry.
Poetry Parts
Stanza – A stanza is a
group of lines in a
poem. They can be
compared to a
paragraph in a story.
A candy bar.
A piece of cake.
A lollipop.
A chocolate shake.
A jelly donut.
Chocolate chips.
Some gummi worms
and licorice whips.
A candy cane.
A lemon drop.
Some bubblegum
and soda pop.
Vanilla wafers.
Cherry punch.
(My mom slept in
while I made lunch.)
Text © Kenn Nesbitt, reprinted from Revenge of the Lunch Ladies, published by
Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Mike & Carl Gordon.
A stanza in a poem is like a paragraph in an
essay.
Each stanza is usually separated by some blank
space.
Common stanza lengths are two, three, four,
six or eight lines.
How many stanzas are in the poem My Lunch?
What is the length of the poem?
My Lunch
A candy bar.
A piece of cake.
A lollipop.
A chocolate shake.
A jelly donut.
Chocolate chips.
Some gummi worms
and licorice whips.
A candy cane.
A lemon drop.
Some bubblegum
and soda pop.
Vanilla wafers.
Cherry punch.
(My mom slept in
while I made lunch.)
Rhyme
Repetition of end sounds is
called rhyme.
My dog chewed up my homework.
He slobbered on it, too.
So now my homework’s ripped to shreds,
And full of slimy goo. (~Bruce Lansky)
Free Verse or Unrhymed Verse
Free verse or unrhymed poems do not rhyme or
have regular rhythm.
American Walt Whitman was one of
the first poets to publish free verse
poems.
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and
strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work…
~(From I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman)
Rhythm
Rhythm is a regular, patterned repetition of
sounds in a poem (the beat).
Rhythm and rhyme can give poetry a musical
quality.
Listen to the Poem, Jake the Snake. See if
you can identify the rhythm and rhyme.
Poets and other writers often use
figurative language and other poetic
devices to make their writing more
interesting and expressive.
Figurative Language
Examples of Figurative Language
Alliteration
Onomatopoeia
Simile
Metaphor
Idiom
Alliteration
Alliteration is the repetition of
a consonant sound at the
beginning of words.
Down the slippery slide they slid
Sitting slightly sideways;
Slipping swiftly see them skid
On holidays and Fridays.
~by Michael Rosen
Onomatopoeia
Words using onomatopoeia are words which imitate
the sounds that it makes.
The rusty spigot
sputters,
utters
a splutter,
spatters a smattering of drops,
gashes wider;
slash,
splatters,
scatters,
spurts,
finally stops sputtering
and plash!
gushes rushes splashes
clear water dashes.
~by Eve Merriam
Combination
Sometimes a poet will combine two or
more literary devices. Can you tell
what two devices are used in the verse
below?
“ice cubes clinking clatter clink,
crazily inside my drink”
~from Ice Cubes by Joan Graham
Simile
A simile is a comparison of two
unlike things using _____ or _____.
Can you fill in the blanks?
“Arithmetic is where
numbers fly like pigeons in
and out of your head.”
~from Arithmetic by Carl Sandburg
Metaphor
A metaphor is the comparison of two things
but doesn't use the word "like" or “as in the
sentence or phrase ?
Full Circle
A little girl clops in mommy's heels,
her dress, a floppy hat.
The borrowed pearls she's chosen
dangle halfway down her back.
Her face a shining rainbow,
ruby lips, cheeks tinted pink,
blue splashes on both eyelids,
powder snowflakes in the sink.
- From CJ Heck
Idiom
An idiom is a phrase whose words have a
different meaning other than its
original meaning.
You can't cry over spilled milk! '
my mother always said.
'Life's not a piece of cake! '
she hammered in my head.
'That's the way it goes,
' that's the way the cookie crumbles'
My mother saved her idioms
for all my idiotic troubles.
Jon Randal
Personification
Personification gives human characteristics
and qualities to nonhuman things like
animals and objects.
Games
Chipmunks chatter and scurry,
Blue jays scream and scold.
Robins talk and gossip
demanding their story to be told.
Squirrels skip and box one another
and rabbits play hop scotch.
The games they play, the sounds they make
Really are top notch.
BrainPOP
Enjoy Poetry!
Poetry opens up a whole new world that is
different from prose. Try these things:
Check out a poetry book from the library.
Start a collection of poetry by copying your
favorites into a poetry journal.
Try your hand at writing some of your own poetry.
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All About Poetry