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Poetic Elements “Poetry is thoughts that breath and words that burn” Thomas Gray Poetry is about interpretation It is not meant to be taken literally.

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Presentation on theme: "Poetic Elements “Poetry is thoughts that breath and words that burn” Thomas Gray Poetry is about interpretation It is not meant to be taken literally."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poetic Elements “Poetry is thoughts that breath and words that burn” Thomas Gray Poetry is about interpretation It is not meant to be taken literally

2 Imagery Imagery: the senses the poem evokes in the reader, puts the reader in the poem, and helps reader to “see” the poem. The tools of imagery are –Senses : sound, sight, touch, smell, taste, and emotion. –Figurative language : metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, etc.

3 Those Winter Sundays Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices? Robert Hayden

4 Figurative Language Figurative language is words not meant to be taken literally. The words are symbolic. We know these images as metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, and others. What are some reasons why a poet would use figurative language. Look at example from an Arthurian Legend. What do they mean?? –“a cold knife of loneliness pressed against his heart” –“their bodies locked together as though a trap had sprung”

5 Personification When an author uses personification, he gives human characteristics to a non-human object. Look at the human characteristics used by Howard Nemerov in his poem “The Vacuum.” Also notice how personification reveals the speaker’s attitude toward housekeeping.

6 The Vacuum The house is quiet now The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet, Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth Grinning into the floor, maybe at my Slovenly life, my dog-dead youth. I’ve lived this way long enough, But when my old woman died her soul Went into that vacuum cleaner, and I can’t bear To see the bag swell like a belly, eating the dust And the woolen mice, and begin to howl Because there is old filth everywhere She used to crawl, in corner and under the stair. I know now how life is cheap as dirt, And still the hungry, angry heart Hangs on and howls, biting at air.

7 Hyperbole/ Exaggeration The poet uses hyperbole to overstate something to reveal the truth. In a poem called “Sow” Sylvia Plath describes how much the sow eats. She writes, “Of kitchen slops and, stomaching no constraint,/ Proceeded to swill/ The seven seas and every earthquaking continent.” How much did the sow eat?

8 Music The poet uses musical devices to make the poem song-like. In fact, some poems are/were songs. The musical devices we will discuss, and be responsible for, are onomatopoeia, rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance, repetition, and enjambment.

9 We are familiar with onomatopoeia even if we don’t understand the word. When two cars collide, what sound do they make? Crash! That is onomatopoeia – words that make the sound they are imitating. Here is a poem by Eve Merriam appropriately titled “Onomatopoeia.” See how many sounds are heard. Onomatopoeia

10 The rusty spigot sputter, utters a sputter, spatters a smattering of drops, gashes wider; slash, splatters, scatters, spurts, finally stops sputtering and plash! gushes rushes splashes clear water dashes.

11 Rhythm Rhythm is the beat of a poem. It is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. There are several rhythm patterns in poetry which we will not go into in this presentation which will be shown later. Let’s look at the following poem and see if we can identify the pattern of stressed and unstressed beats.

12 Counting-Out Rhyme Silver bark of beech, and sallow Bark of yellow birch and yellow Twig of willow. Stripe of green in moosewood maple, Colour seen in leaf of apples, Bark of popple. Wood of popple pale as moonbeam, Wood of oak for yoke and bran-beam, Wood of hornbeam. Silver bark of beech, and hollow Stem of elder, tall and yellow Twig of willow. -Edna St. Vincent Millay

13 Exact rhyme are words that have the exact same-sounding ending, like cat and hat Slant rhyme words sound similar, but aren’t exact, like one and down. A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyming words. Look at the following poem and identify the rhyme scheme.

14 Jean Toomer

15 Letters Repetitive initial consonant sounds in a poem are called alliteration. Repetition of other consonant sounds is called consonance. Repetitive vowel sounds are called assonance. The following poem has many examples of each. See how many you can find. Also notice what other element of poetry you can find.

16 Fueled by Marcie Hans Fueled by a million man-made wings of fire – the rocket tore a tunnel through the sky – and everybody cheered, Fueled only by a thought from God – the seedling urged its way through the thickness of black – and as it pierced the ceiling of the soil – and launched itself up into outer space – no one even clapped.

17 Poems also create music through the repetition of words and lines. Look at the poem “One Perfect Rose” by Dorothy Parker. One line is repeated three times. Notice how the meaning of the line changes by the third repetition.

18 A single flow’r he sent me, since we met. All tenderly his messenger he chose; Deep-hearted, pure with scented dew still wet – One perfect rose. I knew the language of the flowerlet; “My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.” Love long has taken for his amulet One perfect rose. Why is it no one ever sent me yet One perfect limousine, do you suppose? Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get One perfect rose.

19 Enjambment-Punctuation within the lines Meaning flows as the lines progress, and the reader’s eye is forced to go on to the next sentence. It can also make the reader feel uncomfortable or the poem feel like “flow- of-thought” with a sensation of urgency or disorder. We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We die soon. We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

20 Notice that the enjambment forces you to pause before the end of the line. The word we is emphasized and gives the poem a syncopated rhythm, similar to the rhythm in jazz. This is appropriate since the poem is about the period of the 30’s when Prohibition was in effect and jazz was king.

21 FormForm Form is the structure of the poem. Any type of writing must have something to hold it together. The structure can be created through many means: meter, stanza, rhyme scheme, or set patterns of poetry like sonnet, haiku, concrete, and others.

22 Meter is the set pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. The main meter patterns are Iambic -- U/ (one foot) Trochee - /U Anapest -- UU/ Dactyl -- //U MeterMeter

23 Iambic Iambic is the most common pattern of meter since it is the way we generally talk. It is the unstressed/stressed syllable pattern. Here is an example of iambic lines: Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, (U/|U/|U/|U/) The bridal of the earth and sky; (U/|U/|U/|U/) The dew shall weep thy fall to night, (U/|U/|U/|U/) For thou must die.(U/|U/|) (from “Virtue” by George Herbert)

24 Trochee Trochee is the reverse of an iamb. It is a stressed/unstressed pattern like in this line: Piping down the valleys wild, (/U|/U|/U|/) Piping songs of pleasant glee, (/U|/U|/U|/) On a cloud I saw a child, (/U|/U|/U|/) From “Songs of Innocence” by William Blake

25 Stanza A stanza in poetry is like a paragraph in prose. The author divides the poem by grouping words into stanzas. We can often see the structure of the poem by the author’s use of stanza.

26 Rhyme Scheme Having a certain rhyme scheme also is a way to give structure to poetry. Look at the rhyme scheme in the poem “Cross” by Langston Hughes. See how it holds the poem together. Also notice the use of stanzas. Why did Hughes put these words in the stanza?

27 Cross Langston Hughes My old man’s a white old man And my old mother’s black. If ever I cursed my white old man I take my curses back. If ever I cursed my black old mother And wished she were in hell, I’m sorry for that evil wish And now I wish her well. My old man died in a fine big house. My ma died in a shack. I wonder where I’m gonna die Being neither white or black?


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