Intro to poetry types and terms

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Transcript of Intro to poetry types and terms

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  • Poetry- A type of writing that uses language to express imaginative and emotional qualities instead of or in addition to meaning.
  • Poetry may be written as individual poems or included in other written forms as in dramatic poetry, hymns, or song lyrics.


  • Length
  • Visual impressions
  • Concentrated, intense language that makes deliberate sound effects which can involve rhythm, rhyme, or other sounds
  • Written in lines and stanzas rather than sentences or paragraphs
  • (Deeper) Meaning is gleaned from understanding the use of metaphor, symbol, imagery, etc.


  • Fixed or free form
    • Fixed formis a poem that may be categorized by the pattern of its lines, meter, rhythm, or stanzas; a style of poetry that has set rules. Ex: sonnet, villanelle, limerick
    • Free Formis a poem that has neitherregularrhyme norregularmeter. Free verse often usescadencesrather than uniform metrical feet.
  • Subject matter can cover the intellectually safe or the profane; the marginal or society


  • Love Poem, Political Poem,Metaphysical Poem, Confessional Poem
  • Elegy (poem that reflects on death or solemn themes)
  • Epithalamion (poem that praises a wedding)
  • Proverb (a poem that imparts wisdom, learning, and aid memory)
  • Found poem (poems that are discovered in everyday life)
  • Pun (word play, humor, or cleverness--Pasteurize: Too far to see.)
  • Epigram (short, witty, concise sayingcan be sarcastic or parodic, about a person or an idea Swans sing before they die--'twere no bad thing / should certain people die before they sing!)



8. Any Suggestions?? 9.

  • Look for punctuation in the poem telling you where sentences being and end.
  • Do not make a full stop at the end of a line if there is no period, comma, colon, semicolon, or dash there.
  • If a passage of a poem is difficult to understand, look for the subject, verb, and complement of each sentence.
  • Be alert for comparisonsfor figures of speech.
  • Read the poem slowly and out loud to help hear the musicality of the poem.
  • Be patient, for poems can be ambiguous or confusing. Talk about it with others who have read it when possible.
  • Read the poem several times!! Do outside research.


  • **Hearing the Words
    • Rhyme (end, internal, approximate)
    • Rhyme scheme (Roses are red. . .abcb)
    • Neologism (a new word or expression)
    • Oxymoron


    • Lines - a single line of poetry.
    • Stanzas - a group of lines set off from the other lines in a poem; the poetic equivalent of a paragraph in prose. In traditional poems, the stanza usually contains a unit of thought, much like a paragraph.
      • Tercet
        • The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
    • Punctuation used for emphasis
    • Structure of images / symbols within the poem
      • Watch for colors, patterns, figurative language
      • **DICTION


  • ConnotationDenotation
  • Snake

evil or dangerany of numerous scaly, legless, sometimes venomous reptiles; having a long, tapering, cylindrical body and found in most tropical and temperate regions 13. 14. 15.

  • Sonnet
    • 14-line poem with specific rhyme scheme
      • English (a.k.a. Shakespearean)
        • ababcdcdefefgg (three quartrains and a couplet)
      • Italian (a.k.a. Petrarchan)
        • abbaabbacdecde (octet, sestet, volta is between lines 8 and 9)


  • Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)
  • by William Shakespeare
  • Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


  • Haiku Japanese poem with 17 syllables -- first line has 5, second has 7, last line has 5.
    • It combinesform ,content , andlanguagein a meaningful, yet compact form
    • Haiku doesn't rhyme. A Haiku must "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind.

A Rainbow by Donna Brock Curving up, then down. Meeting blue sky and green earth Melding sun and rain. 18.

  • Cinquain:a poem with five lines
      • Line 1 is one word (the title) Line 2 is two words that describe the title. Line 3 is three words that tell the action Line 4 is four words that express the feeling Line 5 is one word that recalls the title

Tree Strong, Tall Swaying, swinging, sighing Memories of summer Oak 19.

  • Villanelle- 19 lines long, but only uses two rhymes, while alsorepeatingtwo lines throughout the poem. The first five stanzas are triplets, and the last stanza is a quatrain such that the rhyme scheme is as follows: "aba aba aba aba aba abaa." The tricky part is that the 1st and 3rd lines from the first stanza are alternately repeated such that the 1st line becomes the last line in the second stanza, and the 3rd line becomes the last line in the third stanza. The last two lines of the poem are lines 1 and 3 respectively, making a rhymed couplet. Confused? A villanelle needs no particular meter or line length. It is terribly obsessive and can bring out the emotions of any neurotic writer.


  • Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night,
  • Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,Do not go gentle into that good night,
  • Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night By Dylan Thomas 21. 22.

  • Dramatic Monologue:a poem in which a single speaker who is not the poet utters the entire poem at a critical moment. The speaker has a listener within the poem, but we too are his/her listener, and we learn about the speaker's character from what the speaker says. In fact, the speaker may reveal unintentionally certain aspects of his/her character.


  • Ode:usually a lyric poem of moderate length, with a serious subject, an elevated style, and an elaborate stanza pattern. There are various kinds of odes. The ode often praises people, the arts of music and poetry, natural scenes, or abstract concepts.


  • Elegy: a sad and thoughtful poem lamenting the death of a person.
  • Limerick: short sometimes bawdy, humorous poems consisting of five anapestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 of a limerick have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.


  • There was an Old Person whose habits, Induced him to feed upon rabbits; When he'd eaten eighteen, He turned perfectly green, Upon which he relinquished those habits. 26.

  • Concrete Poetry usesword arrangement, typeface, color or othervisual effects to complement or dramatize the meaningo