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Elements of Poetry Notes Alliteration • The repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginnings of several words of a line of poetry as a sentence. • The tool in which poets use to create music in poetry. There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground, And swallows calling with their shimmering sound. (Sara Teasdale) Allusion • A reference to something with which the reader is likely to be familiar, such as a person, place, or event from history or literature. • Allusions add extra layers of meaning and make poems richer. She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME And up she grew so tall, She ate from a plate called TASTE ME And down she shrank so small. (Shel Silverstein) Exaggeration or Hyperbole • The obvious stretching of the truth. • Poets Sometimes have to stretch the truth to get their point across or to make people laugh. Red, black or orange, Yellow or white, We all look the same When we turn off the light. So maybe the way To make everything right Is for God to just reach out And turn off the light. (Shel Silverstein) Free Verse • Poetry written without a regular rhyme scheme, meter, or form. • Poets use free verse to create lines as short as a breath, to make a reader stop and pause, and to create musical sounds and phrases. Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. And I love the rain. (Langston Hughes) Idiom • Common phrases made up of words that can’t be understood by their literal, or ordinary, meanings. – Raining cats and dogs -- raining very hard – Lay it on thick -- exaggerate – Pass the buck – give someone else the blame • Poets use idioms to reflect the way people talk in everyday life. Please swallow your pride if I have things things you need to borrow, For no one can fill those of your needs that you won’t let show. (Bill WHilhere) Imagery • Language that appeals to the five senses, touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. • Poets use imagery to present objects, express ideas, or describe feelings and scenes. Imagery creates pictures in your mind that will stir your emotions. I’m the sailor and the sail; I’m the driver and the wheel; I’m the one and only engine human auto mobile. (Lillian Morrison) Lyric Poems • A short poem that directly expresses the poet’s thoughts and emotions in a musical way. O my luve is like a red, red, rose, That’s newly sprung in June. O. My luve is like the melodie, That’s sweetly play’d in tune. (Robert Brune) Metaphor • A direct comparison between two unlike things, without using like or as. The fog comes on little cat feet It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. (Carl Sandburg) Mood • The feeling created in the reader by a poem or story. Words, phrases, repetition, rhyme, and exaggeration all work together to create mood. • It may be dark and mysterious for a scary poem or cheerful and peaceful for a poem about a Spring day. Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping. Narrative Poems • A poem that tells a story. They will have all the elements of a short story: character, setting, conflict, and plot. Onomatopoeia • The use of words that sound like the noises they describe. Words like hiss, bang, and buss are powerful. • Writers use onomatopoeia to add a little fun and power to the words they use. Susie’s galoshes Make splishes and sploshes And slooshes and sloshes As Susie steps slowly Along in the slush (Rhoda Bacmister) Personification • Type of figurative language in which writers give an animal, object, or idea human qualities, such as the ability to hear, feel, talk, and make decisions. • Writers use personification to emphasize something in a new way or to make it stand out. Summer grass aches and whispers It wants something; it calls and sings; it pours out wishes to the overhead stars. The rain hears; the rain answers; the rain is slow coming; the rain wets the face of the grass. Repetition • Means to repeat something. It is the use of any element of language -- a sound, word, phrase or sentence – used more than once. • Helps add a sense of rhythm to poem • Creates suspense or adds humor or music • Emphasizes meaning Rhyme • The repetition of similar sounds. End rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds at the end of the lines of poetry. • Rhyme adds a musical quality to poetry. • There are three common schemes. • Couplets – two-line poems that match in rhyme and • • length Triplets – three-line poems that often rhyme Quantrains – four line poems that rhyme. Rhyme Scheme • The rhyming sounds at the end of each line of poetry. The first one is represented by a lower case “a,” the next by “b,” the third by “c,” and so on. Some people wish their lives away And some people say, “If only I would…” b Some endlessly, ceaselessly play And some people never do what they could. a a b Simile • A comparison between two unlike things using the words like and as. • Writers can create a strong memorable image and uncover similarities between things that may otherwise go unnoticed. The willow is like and etching Fine-lines against the sky. The ginkgo is like a crude sketch, Hardly worthy to be signed. Form, Lines, & Stanzas • Form – The way a poem is arranged on a page • Lines - Poems are made up of lines which may or may not be sentences. • Stanza - A group of lines in a poem set off by blank lines. It usually develops one idea. Something like a paragraph in a prose. A man of words and not of deeds Is like a garden full of weeds Rain , rain, go away Come again another day Symbol • Something that stands for something else. • A symbol is always itself, but it also suggests another means. This is my rock, And here I run To steal the secret of the sun This is my rock, And here come I Before the night has swept the sky Rock represents something solid, safe and strong. Night represents darkness, even our fears. Tone and Voice • Tone – The attitude the writer takes toward the audience, the subject, or a character. • Voice – or speaker is the character or perspective that is taken on by a writer or poet.