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  • FormForms of Poetry ToneImageryFigurative LanguageYour TurnWhat Are Elements of Poetry?

    Feature Menu

  • A poet is like a sculptor.A sculptor uses tools to shape wood, stone, or metal.Form

    A poet uses words to shape a poem.

  • Form

    Read this poem aloud. How do the lengths of the lines influence the sound of the poem?The short lines give emphasis to words like worm and stone.

    Stay beautifulbut dont stay down underground too longDont turn into a moleor a wormor a rootor a stone from For Poets by Al Young Short lines may also cue readers to speed up.

  • 2. Should I group the lines into stanzas?Form

    To help shape their writing, poets ask:1. How long should the lines be?3. Should I follow established forms or experiment with new forms?The poets purpose is to give the words a pleasing shape on the page and to help convey meaning.

  • Form

    A stanza is a group of lines that forms a single unit in a poem.This poem has two stanzas. This is my letter to the world, That never wrote to me, -- The simple news that Nature told, With tender majesty.

    Her message is committed To hands I cannot see; For love of her, sweet countrymen, Judge tenderly of me! Letter to the Worldby Emily Dickinson(edited by Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

  • Form

    This pattern may determine the poems rhythm rhyme scheme number of lines number of stanzasEstablished forms follow a traditional pattern set by other poets who lived long ago.

  • Form

    [End of Section]Quick CheckHow does the shape of this experimental poem help you understand its meaning?One end wipes out mistakes.The other captures ideas, making sure that people get thepoint.My Favorite Pencil

  • Form

    Quick CheckOne end wipes out mistakes.The other captures ideas, making sure that people get thepoint.My Favorite PencilThe poem looks like a pencil;the shape of the poem imitatesits subject.

  • Could you write a poem by listing four or five things found in your classroom?Forms of Poetryfree verse that lists the poets thoughts or feelings on a subject.

    You could if you were writing a catalog poem

  • Forms of PoetryA catalog poem is a list:On the first day of school, I see shoes. My classmates wear big shoes, small shoes, smelly shoesshoes built for running and moving. I see desks. . . .Other kinds of poems tell stories express feelings honor someone or some event remember someone

  • Forms of PoetryExpress feelings formallyTell a storyYou will read many of these forms in this collection.Mourn the loss of someone or somethingExpress thoughts and feelings in free verse

  • Forms of Poetry

    Quick CheckWhat is the form of this poem? 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 delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, . . .[End of Section]from I Hear America Singingby Walt Whitman

  • Forms of Poetry

    Quick CheckWhat is the form of this poem? 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 delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, . . .from I Hear America Singingby Walt WhitmanThis is a catalog poem. The poet lists many different singers.

  • Tone reflects a poets attitude toward a subject.ToneSaddened by his loss?In awe of his courage?Inspired by his persistence?Amazed at medical technology?Imagine you are writing a poem about the man in this picture. What would be your tone, or attitude?

  • To determine a poems tone, ask:ToneA poet carefully chooses every word and detail to help you understand and share his or her attitude.How do the words images soundsmake you feel?

    cold?curious?spooked?adventurous?

  • ToneQuick CheckWhat is the tone of this passagefrom The Highwayman? And still of a winters night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,A highwayman comes ridingRidingridingA highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn door.by Alfred Noyes[End of Section]

  • ToneQuick CheckAnd still of a winters night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,A highwayman comes ridingRidingridingA highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn door.by Alfred NoyesThe spooky,mysterious, tone is created by words like ghostly and details like the dark, cold night.

  • You can think of a poet as an artist who uses words the way a painter uses paint.Imageryclouds like tufts of woolthe rocks wrinkled face . . . a carpet of red sand The poets words create images, or pictures, in the readers mind.

  • Imagery

    The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, The moon was a ghostly galleon, tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding. . . .by Alfred NoyesListen to this excerpt from The Highwayman. What images do you see?

  • Imagery

    Is this how you imagined the scene?

  • Images in poetry focus on all of the senses.Imagery

    He rode with a jeweled twinkle. . . .Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn yard.They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.He scarce could reach her hand. . . .. . . his hair like moldy hay. . . .

    sight sound taste touch smell

  • ImageryFind examples of images in this poem that appeal to different senses.[End of Section]Quick CheckBeclouded

    The sky is low, the clouds are mean,A traveling flake of snowAcross a barn or through a rutDebates if it will go.

    A narrow wind complains all dayHow some one treated him;Nature, like us, is sometimes caughtWithout her diadem.by Emily Dickinson(edited by Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

  • ImageryQuick CheckImages that appeal to the senses include Sight: hanging clouds, a blowing snowflake, a barn, a crown Sound: wind blowingBeclouded

    The sky is low, the clouds are mean,A traveling flake of snowAcross a barn or through a rutDebates if it will go.

    A narrow wind complains all dayHow some one treated him;Nature, like us, is sometimes caughtWithout her diadem.by Emily Dickinson(edited by Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

  • Poets also use figures of speechlanguage that helps make startling connections between dissimilar things.Figurative Language

    I like to see it lap the miles,And lick the valleys up,And stop to feed itself at tanks. . . .

    by Emily DickinsonWhat connections are made in the following lines from The Railway Train?

  • Figurative LanguageA train is compared to a horse.

  • A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using the word like, as, or resembles.Figurative Language

    There came a wind like a bugle. . . .How are these very different things alike? What meaning does the poet want us to make from this connection?

  • A metaphor compares two unlike things without using like, as, or resembles.Figurative Language

    Stars are great dropsOf golden dew from Harlem Night Song by Langston Hughes

  • An extended metaphor is a comparison that continues through many lines or the entire poem.Figurative Language

    All the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players;They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. by William Shakespeare

  • Figurative Language

    Quick CheckWhat figure(s) of speech are used in these lines from a poem about a young horse?[End of Section]

    And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and gray,Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes. from The Runawayby Robert Frost

  • Figurative Language

    Like a shadow is a simile. It uses like to compare the colt and a shadow.Curtain is a metaphor. It compares snow to a curtain, without using like, as, or resembles.

    And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and gray,Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes. from The Runawayby Robert Frost

    Quick CheckWhat figure(s) of speech are used in these lines from a poem about a young horse?

  • Your TurnAnalyze Elements of Poetry

    What makes poetry different from prose? Include different elements as examples.Identify an element of poetry that you would like to understand better, and explain why.[End of Section]

  • The End

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