2 What is poetry?Poetry is the most compact form of literature. A poem packs all kinds of ideas, feelings, and sounds into a few carefully chosen words. The look, sound, and language of poetry all work together to create a total effect.
3 Understanding poetryFORM: the way a poem looks or its form on the page. Poetry is written in lines that may or may not be sentences. The form of a poem can add to its meaning.STANZAS—groupings of lines in a poem.SOUND—Poems are meant to be read aloud. There are many techniques that poets can use to achieve different sounds they want the listener to hear.RHYME—when words end with the same sounds.RHYTHM—sometimes called the beat of the poem. It is a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. Stressed syllables are read with more emphasis.
4 Understanding poetryFREE VERSE—poems that do not have a regular rhythm and sounds more like conversation.REPETITION—poets may repeat sounds, words, phrases, or whole lines in a poem. It can help create a certain feeling.
5 Imagery & figurative language IMAGERY—involves words and phrases that appeal to the 5 senses. Poets use imagery to create a picture in the reader’s mind or to remind the reader of a familiar sensation.FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE—used to help readers picture ordinary in new ways. These descriptions are called figures of speech.
6 Three (of many) figures of speech 1. SIMILE—A comparison that uses like or as.“Marley was as dead as a doornail.”“Mama could sing like an angel.”2. METAPHOR—A comparison that does not use the words like or as.“A blank page is a playground for imagination.”3. PERSONIFICATION—when an animal or object is described as if it were human or had human qualities.“The trees danced back and forth in the wind.”
7 themeTHEME—the message about life the poem discusses
8 Strategies for reading poetry 1. Preview the poem—Notice the poem’s form, shape, length, and length of lines. Does it have stanzas?2. Read the poem aloud—Pause at the end of a complete thought. Use punctuation to help you find the end of a complete thought. Listen for the rhythm and overall sound of the poem.3. Visualize the images—Picture the images and comparisons the poem makes. Do they remind you of feelings and experiences you have had?4. Think about the words and phrases—Allow yourself to wonder about the phrases or words that stand out. What do they add to the poem?
9 Strategies for reading poetry 5. Try to figure out the theme—What is the point of the poem? What is the message the poet is trying to create.6. Let your understanding grow—After reading through the first time you have your first impression. Your understanding will grow over time based on the poem, class discussions, and other poetry that you read.7. Allow yourself to enjoy poetry!—Poetry is all about feelings. You may connect to a poem based on your experiences and feelings.