Poetry - Midland Independent School District 5 tercets with aba rhyme scheme a concluding quatrain...

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  • Poetry Genres

  • Epic Poem  A long narrative poem on a serious subject presented

    in an elevated or formal style. An epic traces the adventures of a hero whose actions consist of courageous, even superhuman, deeds, which often represent the ideals and values of a nation or race. Epics typically address universal issues, such as good and evil, life and death, and sin and redemption

     Beowulf, the Illiad, The Odyssey

  • Lyric Poems  A short poem in which a single speaker expresses

    personal thoughts and feelings. Most poems other than dramatic and narrative poems are lyrics.

  • Narrative Poem  A poem that tells a story using elements of character,

    setting, and plot to develop a theme.

     Beowulf, the Illiad, and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

  • Prose  All forms of written or spoken expression that are not

    in verse

    Short stories and essays, for example

  • Structure

  • Stanzas  A grouping of lines, set off by a space, that usually has

    a set pattern of meter and rhyme

     Usually share common rhyme scheme (pattern of end rhymes)

    Couplet: Two lines that usually rhyme and have the same meter

    Tercet: Three-line stanza; triplet: three-lines rhyming

    Quatrain: four-line stanza, various rhyme schemes

  • Couplet  Any 2 lines that work as a unit, whether they make a

    single stanza or are part of a larger stanza, most rhyme.


    “Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.”

    "Good nature and good sense must ever join; To err is human, to forgive, divine.“

    "’Tis education forms the common mind,/Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined."

  • Quatrain  a stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four

    lines of verse.

    The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

  • Rhyme Scheme  the pattern of rhyme between lines of a poem

    Bid me to weep, and I will weep A

    While I have eyes to see; B

    And having none, and yet I will keep A

    A heart to weep for thee. B

    A shift in rhyme scheme indicates a shift in tone, events, etc.

  • Graphical Elements What to notice . . .

     Number and Length of Lines  Word Position: Centered? Left? Right? Spacing?  Stanzas  Verses  “Shape” of a poem and its visual presentation

     How does the poem’s appearance on the page affect its interpretation?

  • Forms of Poems

  • Fixed Form  Poems that follow a prescribed model

     Follows a pattern of lines, meter, rhyme, and stanza

     Fixed form poems do not always fit models precisely; writers sometimes work variations on traditional forms to create innovative effects.

     A variance from the fixed form indicates a variance in tone, events, etc.

  • English/Shakespearean Sonnet • Usually written in iambic pentameter with 14 lines

    Sonnet 18 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 dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

    --William Shakespeare

  • Italian/Petrarchan Sonnet 14 lines, divided into 2 parts • first 8 lines (octave) usually rhyme abbaabba • last 6 lines (sestet) rhyme will vary: cdecde, cdcdcd, and

    cdccdc Very often, the octave presents a situation that the sestet resolves.

    “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” by John Keats

    Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been

    Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told

    That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet did I never breathe its pure serene

    Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

    When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes

    He star'd at the Pacific--and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--

    Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

  • Spenserian Sonnet  A variation of the Shakespearean sonnet which has the same structure but uses

    the interlocking rhyme scheme abab bcbc cdcd ee

    “Fire and Ice” -- by Edmund Spenser

    My love is like to ice, and I to fire: how comes it then that this her cold so great is not dissolv'd through my so hot desire, but harder grows, the more I her entreat?

    Or how comes it that my exceeding heat is not delayed by her heart frozen cold, but that I burn much more in boiling sweat, and feel my flames augmented manifold?

    What more miraculous thing may be told that fire, which all thing melts, should harden ice: and ice which is congealed with senseless cold, should kindle fire by wonderful device?

    Such is the pow'r of love in gentle mind that it can alter all the course of kind.

  • Villanelle  19 lines of any length divided into 6


     5 tercets with aba rhyme scheme

     a concluding quatrain with abaa rhyme scheme

     Line I repeats as lines 6, 12, and 18

     Line 3 repeats as lines 9, 15, and 19

    “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” By Dylan Thomas

    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 that 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.

  • Sestina  39 lines of any length

    divided into 6 six-line stanzas

     3-line concluding stanza called an envoy

     Repeated 6 words at the ends of the first stanza’s lines at the ends of the lines in the other five 6-line stanzas

     Those words must also appear in the final three lines, where they resonate important themes.

    Sestina by Algernon Charles Swinburne I saw my soul at rest upon a day As a bird sleeping in the nest of night, Among soft leaves that give the starlight way To touch its wings but not its eyes with light; So that it knew as one in visions may, And knew not as men waking, of delight.

    This was the measure of my soul’s delight; It had no power of joy to fly by day, Nor part in the large lordship of the light; But in a secret moon-beholden way Had all its will of dreams and pleasant night, And all the love and life that sleepers may.

    But such life’s triumph as men waking may It might not have to feed its faint delight Between the stars by night and sun by day, Shut up with green leaves and a little light; Because its way was as a lost star’s way, A world’s not wholly known of day or night.

    All loves and dreams and sounds and gleams of night Made it all music that such minstrels may, And all they had they gave it of delight; But in the full face of the fire of day What place shall be for any starry light, What part of heaven in all the wide sun’s way?

    Yet the soul woke not, sleeping by the way, Watched as a nursling of the large-eyed night, And sought no strength nor knowledge of the day, Nor closer touch conclusive of delight, Nor mightier joy nor truer than dreamers may, Nor more of song than they, nor more of light.

    For who sleeps once and sees the secret light Whereby sleep shows the soul a fairer way Between the rise and rest of day and night, Shall care no more to fare as all men may, But be his place of pain or of delight, There shall he dwell, beholding night as day.

    Song, have thy day and take thy fill of light Before the night be fallen across thy way; Sing while he may, man hath no long delight.

  • Epigram  Brief, pointed, and witty poem.

     Most rhyme and often are written in couplets

     No prescribed form

     Typically polished bits of compressed irony, satire, or paradox

    “Coward” by A. R. Ammons

    Bravery runs in my family

    “Epitaph on a Waiter” by David McCord

    By and by

    God caught his eye.

  • Limerick Short five-lined humorous poems

    Usually anapestic lines rhyming aabb