Poetry Intro

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EngelsMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 21 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

Slide 1 - Slide


Slide 2 - Mind map

Are you interested in (Dutch) poetry? Have you ever done something with rhyme/poetry?

Slide 3 - Open question

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

Slide 4 - Slide

Different forms of Poetry (1)
  • Haiku
      Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and
      five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.
      The most popular haiku ever written is likely Matsuo Basho's
      "An old silent pond / A frog jumps into the pond— / Splash! Silence
  • Free Verse
     Poetry without rules

Slide 5 - Slide

Different forms of Poetry (2)
  • Sonnet

      Poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes,
      in English typically having ten syllables per line.
  • Limerick
      Short, funny poem with five lines that follows a specific rhyming pattern
      and often has a playful or humorous tone.

Slide 6 - Slide

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

Slide 7 - Slide

Rhyme Scheme

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

What is the rhyme scheme of the poem My Papa's Waltz?
The sky is very sunny. (A)

The children are funny. (A)

Under the tree we sit, (B)

But just for a bit. (B)

Slide 8 - Slide

Stanza Division

  • A stanza is a group of lines followed by a space.
  • Are the stanzas related to one another? 
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Slide 9 - Slide

  • 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. 

Slide 10 - Slide

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

Slide 11 - Slide

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!

Slide 12 - Slide


  • 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.

Slide 13 - Slide

  • 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.

Slide 14 - Slide

Simile = comparison using like or as
Both are Similes

Slide 15 - Slide

3. Simile      4. Metaphor

Slide 16 - Slide

imagery makes use of particular words that create visual representation of ideas in our minds. The word “imagery” is associated with mental pictures. 

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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.

Slide 18 - Slide

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

Slide 19 - Slide

What is the irony here?

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What is the irony here?

Slide 21 - Slide