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Poetry notes – English II

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1 Poetry notes – English II

2 Did you know…? Early in the twentieth century some American and English poets decided that they would “rid” poetry of its prettiness, sentimentality and artificiality by concentrating on a new kind of poetry?

3 Imagists These poets called themselves imagists and declared that imagery alone, without any elaborate metrics or stanza pattern, could carry the full emotional message of a poem. This type of poetry is often called free verse because it is free from the old metric rules.

4 Poetry can best be defined as a type of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery to appeal to the reader’s emotions and imagination.

5 Types of Poetry The major forms of poetry are lyric and narrative, with the two main types of narrative poems being epics and ballads. Ballads are something you often see in poetry – song or song-like poems that tell a story that often has a tragic ending. Epics are long narrative poems about “larger than life” heroes.

6 Rhyme Rhyme is the repetition of the accented vowel sound and all subsequent sounds in a word (time/dime, history/mystery).

7 Rhymes continued Also found in poetry are rhymes that occur at the ends of the lines-- end rhyme, or within a line, internal rhyme. A perfect rhyme, like cat/mat, is called an exact rhyme. When sounds are similar but not exact, as in fellow/follow, this is called an approximate rhyme.

8 Essential to poetry is the concept of meter, which is a generally regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. There is also rhyme scheme which is the pattern of rhymes at the end of each line of a poem or song. Stanzas are a group of consecutive lines that form a single unit in a poem – the paragraphs of poetry.

9 There’s more to poetry! For example, alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in words that appear close together. Similarly, an assonance is the repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds, with the vowel sounds being close together.

10 There’s also onomatopoeia, which is the use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning (think “buzz”, “pop”).

11 Ballads Ballads are something you often see in poetry – song or song-like poems that tell a story that often has a tragic ending.

12 Couplets Couplets are when two consecutive lines of poetry form a unit, usually with rhyme (think “Green Eggs and Ham”).

13 Simile You will also see a number of literary devices in poetry. For example, you will see a great deal of similes used, which is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things and uses a connective word (like, as, than).


15 Metaphor Similar to similes are metaphors, which also compare two unlike things without the connective words (e.g., her heart was stone).


17 Personification Don’t forget personification which is when a non-human thing is given human like qualities (e.g., the wind screamed throughout the night).

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