• A type of literature that expresses ideas, feelings, or tells a story  in a specific form (usually using lines and stanzas)


  • The poet is the author of the poem.


  • The speaker of the poem is the “narrator” of the poem.


  • FORM – the appearance of the words on the page
  • LINE –  a group of words together on one line of the poem
  • STANZA – a group of lines arranged together


  • Couplet                    =              a two line stanza
  • Triplet (Tercet)        =              a three line stanza
  • Quatrain                   =              a four line stanza
  • Quintet                     =              a five line stanza
  • Sestet (Sextet)          =              a six line stanza
  • Septet                       =              a seven line stanza
  • Octave                     =              an eight line stanza


  • The beat created by the sounds of the words in a poem
  • Rhythm can be created by meter, rhyme, alliteration and refrain.


  • A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.
  • Meter occurs when the stressed and unstressed syllables of the words in a poem are arranged in a repeating pattern.
  • When poets write in meter, they count out the number of stressed (strong) syllables and unstressed (weak) syllables for each line.  They they repeat the pattern throughout the poem.
  • FOOT – unit of meter.
  • A foot can have two or three syllables.
  • Usually consists of one stressed and one or more unstressed syllables.


  • The types of feet are determined by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables.
  • Iambic  – unstressed, stressed
  • Trochaic – stressed, unstressed
  • Anapestic – unstressed, unstressed, stressed
  • Dactylic – stressed, unstressed, unstressed
    • METER cont.
    • Kinds of Metrical Lines
      • monometer              =              one foot on a line
      • dimeter                    =              two feet on a line
      • trimeter                    =              three feet on a line
      • tetrameter                 =              four feet on a line
      • pentameter               =              five feet on a line
      • hexameter                                =              six feet on a line
      • heptameter               =              seven feet on a line
      • octometer                 =              eight feet on a line


  • Unlike metered poetry, free verse poetry does NOT have any repeating patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables.
  • Does NOT have rhyme.
  • Free verse poetry is very conversational – sounds like someone talking with you.
  • A more modern type of poetry


  • Written in lines of iambic pentameter, but does NOT use end rhyme.
  • from Julius Ceasar
  • Cowards die many times before their deaths;
  • The valiant never taste of death but once.
  • Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
  • It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
  • Seeing that death, a necessary end,
  • Will come when it will come.


  • Words sound alike because they share the same ending vowel and consonant sounds.
  • (A word always rhymes with itself.)


  • A word at the end of one line rhymes with a word at the end of another line
  • Hector the Collector
  • Collected bits of string.
  • Collected dolls with broken heads
  • And rusty bells that would not ring.


  • A rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyme (usually end rhyme, but not always)
  • Use the letters of the alphabet to represent sounds to be able to visually “see” the pattern.  (See next slide for an example.)


  • Words that imitate the sound they are naming


  • OR sounds that imitate another sound


  • Consonant sounds repeated at the beginnings of words


  • Similar to alliteration EXCEPT . . .
  • The repeated consonant sounds can be anywhere in the words
  • silken, sad, uncertain, rustling . . “


  • Repeated VOWEL sounds in a line or lines of poetry.


  • A sound, word, phrase or line repeated regularly in a poem.
  • “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’”


  • A short poem
  • Usually written in first person point of view
  • Expresses an emotion or an idea or describes a scene
  • Do not tell a story and are often musical
  • (Many of the poems we read will be lyrics.)


  • A Japanese poem written in three lines
  • Five Syllables
  • Seven Syllables
  • Five Syllables
  • An old silent pond . . .
  • A frog jumps into the pond.
  • Splash!  Silence again.
    • A five line poem containing 22 syllables
    • Two Syllables
    • Four Syllables
    • Six Syllables
    • Eight Syllables
    • Two Syllables
    • How frail
    • Above the bulk
    • Of crashing water hangs
    • Autumnal, evanescent, wan
    • The moon.
      • A fourteen line poem with a specific rhyme scheme.
      • The poem is written in three quatrains and ends with a couplet.
      • The rhyme scheme is
      • abab   cdcd   efef   gg
      • 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.
      • Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
      • And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
      • And every fair from fair sometimes 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 wanderest 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.


  • A poem that tells a story.
  • Generally longer than the lyric styles of poetry b/c the poet needs to establish characters and a plot.
  • Examples of Narrative Poems
  • “The Raven”
  • “The Highwayman”
  • “Casey at the Bat”
  • “The Walrus and the Carpenter”
    • In concrete poems, the words are arranged to create a picture that relates to the content of the poem.
    • Poetry
    • Is like
    • Flames,
    • Which are
    • Swift and elusive
    • Dodging realization
    • Sparks, like words on the
    • Paper, leap and dance in the
    • Flickering firelight.  The fiery
    • Tongues, formless and shifting
    • Shapes, tease the imiagination.
    • Yet for those who see,
    • Through their mind’s
    • Eye, they burn
    • Up the page.


  • A comparison of two things using “like, as than,” or “resembles.”
  • “She is as beautiful as a sunrise.”


  • A direct comparison of two unlike things
  • “All the world’s a stage, and we are merely players.”

–          William Shakespeare


  • A metaphor that goes several lines or possible the entire length of a work.


  • The comparison is hinted at but not clearly stated.
  • “The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the pressure of it.”
  • from The Pearl
  • by John Steinbeck
  • Hyperbole
  • Exaggeration often used for emphasis.
  • Litotes
  • Understatement – basically the opposite of hyperbole.  Often it is ironic.
  • Ex. Calling a slow moving person “Speedy”
  • Idiom
  • An expression where the literal meaning of the words is not the meaning of the expression.  It means something other than what it actually says.
  • Ex.  It’s raining cats and dogs.


  • When a person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself also represents, or stands for, something else.


  • An animal given human-like qualities or an object given life-like qualities.
  • from “Ninki”
  • by Shirley Jackson
  • “Ninki was by this time irritated beyond belief by the general air of incompetence exhibited in the kitchen, and she went into the living room and got Shax, who is extraordinarily lazy and never catches his own chipmunks, but who is, at least, a cat, and preferable, Ninki saw clearly, to a man with a gun.


  • Allusion comes from the verb “allude” which means “to refer to”
  • An allusion is a reference to something famous.
  • A tunnel walled and overlaid
  • With dazzling crystal:  we had read
  • Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
  • And to our own his name we gave.
  • From “Snowbound”
  • John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Language that appeals to the senses.
    • Most images are visual, but they can also appeal to the senses of sound, touch, taste, or smell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment