Poetry Intro

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This lesson contains 19 slides, with text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

Slide 1 - Slide

What is poetry
  • Popular definition: a song without a melody
  • Two essentials: form and content

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Different forms of Poetry
  • Haiku
  • Free Verse
  • Sonnet
  • Acrostic
  • Limerick
  • Ballad 

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Tools for analysing poetry
  • Form:
    Metre and scansion
    Rhyme scheme
    Stanza division
  • Content:

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Rhyme Scheme

Using the letters of the alphabet to show the rhyme scheme. 
For example: AABB CCDD. 

What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? 
Autumn -Joan Mitchell

The rusty leaves crunch and crackle,
Blue haze hangs from the dimmed sky,
The fields are matted with sun-tanned stalks —
Wind rushes by.

The last red berries hang from the thorn-tree,
The last red leaves fall to the ground.
Bleakness, through the trees and bushes,
Comes without sound.

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Stanza Division

  • A stanza is a group of lines followed by a space.
  • Are the stanzas related to one another? 

Im in the botom streme
Which meens Im not brigth
Don't like reedin
Cant hardly ryt

But all these divishns
Arnt reely fair
Look at the cemetery
No streemin there

Roger McGough

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  • A poem always describes a situation: what is going on?
  • Ask the ‘wh-questions’!
  • Once a reader knows the situation, he tries to discover the deeper meaning.
  • You need to read between the lines. 

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  • Like short stories, poems have themes.
  • It is important to find evidence for the theme.
  • This evidence must come from the poem itself.

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Turn/Volta (twist)

Sometimes the poet gives his poem a twist, where the first stanza is about the shining sun and the second stanza is about the darkness. We call this a turn or a volta. Not all poem have this twist. 
Dusk - Rae Armentrout

Spider on the cold expanse
of glass, three stories high
rests intently
and so purely alone.
I’m not like that!

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  • Poems can have a symbolic meaning: a deeper, bigger, universal meaning. 

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans,
  and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

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  • A metaphor is a different name for something, often in nice poetic language.
    Example: the golden eye => the sun
    Example: eternal sleep => death
  • Poets may use the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ in a metaphor, to compare.
    Example: He was so pale, he looked like a dead man.

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Simile -Comparison using like or as
Both are Similes

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3. Simile      4. Metaphor

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imagery makes use of particular words that create visual representation of ideas in our minds. The word “imagery” is associated with mental pictures. However, this idea is but partially correct.

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  • A figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes.

  • For example, when we say, “The sky weeps” we are giving the sky the ability to cry, which is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the sky has been personified in the given sentence.

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verbal irony
  • when someone says something totally different from what they mean
situational irony
  • when a the result of a situation is totally different from what you expect it to be.
dramatic irony
  • audience knows something important that the character doesn't know
  • makes you scream 'don't go in there!' at a horror movie

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What is the irony here?

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What is the irony here?

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What is the Irony here? 

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