elements of poetry in english

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  • The Amazing World of Poetry


  • What is

  • Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response.Poetry is the chiseled marble of language; it's a paint-spattered canvas - but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is you.

  • Elements ofPoetry

  • Elements of poetry can be defined as a set of instruments used to create a poem. Many of these were created thousands of years ago and have been linked to ancient story tellings. They help bring imagery and emotion to poetry, stories, and dramas.

  • Stanza /Poetic LineA unit of lines grouped together

    Similar to a paragraph in prose

  • A Stanza consists of two or more lines of poetry that together form one of the divisions of a poem. The stanzas of a poem are usually of the same length and follow the same pattern of meter and rhyme and are used like paragraphs in a story. Some different types of stanzas are as follows:Couplets - Couplets are stanzas of only two lines which usually rhyme

  • Tercets - Tercets are stanzas of three lines. The three lines may or may not have the same end rhyme. If all three lines rhyme, this type of tercet is called a triplet.Quatrains - Quatrains are stanzas of four lines which can be written in any rhyme scheme.

  • FromSecond SatireSir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42)

    My mothers maids, when they did sew and spin,They sang sometimes a song of the field mouse,That for because their livelihood was but so thin Would needs go seek her townish sisters house.She thought herself endured to much pain:The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse...

  • CoupletA stanza consisting of two lines that rhyme

    Whether or not we find what we are seekingis idle, biologically speaking. Edna St. Vincent Millay (at the end of a sonnet)

  • Quatrain A stanza consisting of four lines

    Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of SpringYour Winter garment of Repentance fling: The Bird of Time has but a little wayTo flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing.

  • Alternating Quatrain- a four line stanza rhyming "abab." From W.H. Auden's "Leap Before You Look"

    The sense of danger must not disappear: aThe way is certainly both short and steep, bHowever gradual it looks from here; aLook if you like, but you will have to leap. b

  • Envelope Stanza- a quatrain with the rhyme scheme "abba", such that lines 2 and 3 are enclosed between the rhymes of lines 1 and 4. Two of these stanzas make up the Italian Octave used in the Italian sonnet. This is from Auden's "Look Before You Leap"

    The worried efforts of the busy heap, aThe dirt, the imprecision, and the beer b Produce a few smart wisecracks every year; bLaugh if you can, but you will have to leap. a

  • Tone

    The attitude a poet takes toward his/her subject*refers to the writer's attitude towards the subject of a literary work as indicated in the work itself. One way to think about tone in poetry is to consider the speaker's literal "tone of voice": just as with tone of voice, a poem's tone may indicate an attitude of joy, sadness, solemnity, silliness, frustration, anger, puzzlement, etc.

  • Mood

    The attitude a reader takes toward his/her subject.*is one element in the narrative structure of a piece of literature. It can also be referred to as atmosphere because it creates an emotional setting enveloping the reader. Mood is established in order to affect the reader emotionally and psychologically and to provide a feeling for the narrative. It is a complex reading strategy.

  • Imagery

    Representation of the five senses: sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell Creates mental images about a poems subject

  • Visual imagery: visual descriptions so vivid they seem to come to life in the reader's mind's when they are read, as in the description of a very old fish in Elizabeth Bishop's poem titled "The Fish":Here and therehis brown skin hung in stripslike ancient wall-paper,and its pattern of darker brownwas like wall-paper: shapes like full-blown roses strained and lost through age

  • Auditory imagery: descriptions of sound so vivid the reader seems almost to hear them while reading the poem. For example, Alexander Pope contrasts the gentle sounds of a whispering wind and a soft-running stream with the harsher sound of waves crashing on the shore in "Sound and Sense":The sound must seem an echo to the sense:Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently bows,And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flow;But when the loud surges lash the sounding shore,The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar. (365-69)

  • Images of smell (olfactory imagery): descriptions of smells so vivid they seem almost to stimulate the reader's own sense of smell while reading, as in the poem, "Root Cellar," by Theodore Roethke:And what a congress of stinks!Roots ripe as old bait,Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.Nothing would give up life:Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath. (5-11)

  • Tactile or "physical" imagery: descriptions conveying a strong, vivid sense of touch or physical sensation that the reader can almost feel himself or herself while reading, as in Robert Frost's description of standing on a ladder in "After Apple Picking": "My instep arch not only keeps the ache, / It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. / I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend" (21-23). Or in the sensation of touch (and possibly taste) in the fourth stanza of Helen Chasin's poem, "The Word Plum":

  • The word plum is delicious

    pout and push, luxury ofself-love, and savoring murmur

    full in the mouth and fallinglike fruit

    taut skinpierced, bitten, provoked into juice, and tart flesh. (1-8).

  • Diction The Choice of words.Connotative:figurative/metaphorical meaning.Denotative: literal /dictionary-based

  • Persona/Voice The speaker of the poem.It is the way you present yourself to the world, the character traits that you let show and the way that people will see you. If you are true to yourself, then your persona should reflect who you actually are.

  • RefrainThe repetition of one or more phrases or lines at certain intervals, usually at the end of each stanza Similar to the chorus in a song

  • *The word 'Refrain' derives from the Old French word refraindre meaning to repeat. *Refrain Poetry Term is a phrase, line, or group of lines that is repeated throughout a poem, usually after each stanza. *A famous example of a refrain are the words " Nothing More" and Nevermore which are repeated in The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

  • The RavenbyEdgar Allan PoeAnd the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted nevermore.

  • RepetitionA word or phrase repeated within a line or stanza

    Example: gazed and gazedSometimes, repetition reinforces or even substitutes for meter (the beat), the other chief controlling factor of poetry.

  • Humpty DumptyHumpty Dumpty sat on a wall,Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;All the King's horses and all the King's menCouldn't put Humpty together again The repetition of a phrase in poetry may have an incantatory effect as in the opening lines of T. S. Eliot's "Ash-Wednesday":Because I do not hope to turn againBecause I do not hopeBecause I do not hope to turn....

  • Sometimes the effect of a repeated phrase in a poem will be to emphasize a development or change by means of the contrast in the words following the identical phrases. For example, the shift from the distant to the near, from the less personal to the more personal is emphasized in Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by such a repetition of phrases:

    I looked upon the rotting sea, And drew my eyes away;I looked upon the rotting deck,And there the dead men lay.

  • Rhyme SchemeThe pattern in which end rhyme occurs Rhymes are types of poems which have the the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the end of two or more words most often at the ends of lines. This technique makes the poem easy to remember and is therefore often used in Nursery Rhymes. There are several derivatives of the term rhyme which include Double rhyme, Triple rhyme, Rising rhyme, Falling rhyme, Perfect and Imperfect rhymes.

  • Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.All the King's horses, And all the King's menCouldn't put Humpty together again!

  • ThemeThe theme of the poem talks about the central idea, the thought behind what the poet wants to convey. A theme can be anything from a description about a person or thing, a thought or even a story. In short a theme stands for whatever the poem is about.

  • SymbolismA poem often conveys feelings, thoughts and ideas using symbols, this technique is known as symbolism. A symbol in poetry can stand for anything and makes the reader take a systematic approach which helps him/her look at things in a different light. A symbol is a poetry style that is usually thought of in the beginning.

  • When the Author of a poem writes something, but doesnt really mean it literally.Metaphor Simile Analogy ImageryPersonification

  • A comparisonNOT using like or as.It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!

    The worldis a stage!