2Understanding the Content of Poetry Check the TitleFor key words, suggestions, or imagesForeshadow ideasPresent background informationIndicate an intended audience
3Understanding the Content Define Unfamiliar WordsLook up words in the dictionary(500 most commonly used English words have over14, 000 meanings)Primary and secondary definitions may not be the ones the poet intended
4Understanding the Content Paraphrasing Difficult LinesParaphrase: to put the poet’s language into your own wordsParaphrasing gives insight into the literal and figurative meaningNote: - uncommon sentence structuresGain emphasisOrganize ideasDevelop a poet’s style
5Understanding the Content 4. Read with Punctuationdo not read the line onlypunctuation determines where and when the idea ends
6Understanding the Poet’s Purpose CONTEXT: information that surrounds the passageask the question: What is the…background?the plot?the situation?
7Understanding the Poet’s Purpose TONE: the poet’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject or audiencedetermined by…wordsphrasespoet’s feelings on the subject
8Understanding the Poet’s Purpose MOOD: State of mind or feeling created in the reader by the poemcreated by…words and phrasessituationsubject matter
9Understanding the Poet’s Purpose THEME: the central idea or message of poemThematic statement is the general point about some aspect of life or human condition expressed by the poet.
10Figurative LanguageHeightened, imaginative language (all of the terms)
11Alliterationthe repetition of the same first sound in a group of wordsEx:Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
12AllusionMaking an indirect reference to something known to society
13ApostropheWords that are spoken to an absent or imaginary person or to an object or abstract idea.ie. "Oh, Death, be not proud."--John Donne
14Assonancethe repetition of similar vowel sounds in words close by each otherEx:“cat” and “laugh”“fight” and “try”
21Hyperbole an extreme exaggeration Ex: “He was so hungry he could have eaten a horse.”
22Imagerya technique that poets use to describe and appeal to the senses, words that create pictures in the mindEx:“Yellow matted custard dripping from a dead dog’s eye” (John Lennon)
23IronyWhen the outcome is different from what was expected. I.e. “Richard Cory”“Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him;He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean favored, and imperially slim.And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked;But still he fluttered pulses when he said, “Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.And he was rich—yes, richer than a king— And admirably schooled in every grace:In fine, we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place.So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head.”
24Metaphora comparison between two things, saying something is something elseEx:“My love is a red rose.”
25MeterThe measured arrangement of words in poetry
26MetonymyOne word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated.i.e. “Washington” for “the United States government”Ori.e. “pigskin” for “a football”
27Onomatopoeia sound effect words Ex: “clip, clop…” (for the sound of a horses’ hooves)
28Personificationwhen non-human things (animals, objects or ideas) are described as if they were humanEx:“The leaves danced in the courtyard.”
29Rhymethe repetition of sound in different words, especially at the end of lines.A main technique used in poetryEx. ………………………….…cat - a……………………………fire -b ……………………………. bat -a ……………………………. liar- b
30Rhyme Scheme the pattern of end rhymes used in a poem Ex: “a/b/a/b” or “a/a/b/b”, etc.“Bid me to weep, and I will weep, While I have eyes to see; And having none, yet I will keep A heart to weep for thee.”
31Rhythm the arrangement of beats in a line of poetry Ex: “The Highwayman came riding,riding, riding,…The Highwayman came ridingUp to the old inn door.” (“TheHighwayman”)
32Simile a comparison using like or as i.e. “Her teeth were like kernels of corn.”
33Stanza the groups of lines in poetry, the ‘paragraphs’ in poetry EX: Hate You Because by Kristina AllisonI hate you because you hate me just because I'm not you you think I am a burden but its not true I'm stuck in this world on my own with no emotions shown no one to love me and people that pretend My heart is in no condition to even mend I'm tired of all the lies you have no consideration for me and my tries Nobodies perfect and neiter are you beleive it or not this statement is true I am who I am your approval is not needed I love me, I guess I'm conceited I would never change especially for a person like you, if I had a chance to changes live with someone it most definatly wouldnt be you. Like it or not I live my life the way I can I'm going to try... I'm going to try the best I can to prove you wrong It wont take very long All I have to do is take your blows, your insults, whatever you dish out and be strong...
34SymbolUsing something to represent an idea (symbolism = using symbols)i.e.maple leaf = CanadaHeart = loveDove = peaceCross = God, church, religion
35Synecdoche A part is used for the whole (as “hand” for “sailor”), the whole for a part(as “the law” for “police officer”),the specific for the general(as “cutthroat” for “assassin”),the general for the specific(as “thief” for “pickpocket”),or the material for the thing made from it(as “steel” for “sword”).
36ToneThe general atmosphere in a piece of writing