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English 10: Elements of Poetry

Introduces terms and elements of poetry with examples

K Oleksewich

on 2 April 2015

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Transcript of English 10: Elements of Poetry

A poem is a piece of writing that presents vivid experiences, ideas, or emotions by appealing to the imagination of the reader.
Poems produce their effect through the use of images, sounds, and rhythm.
They frequently contain poetic devices (such as alliteration and onomatopoeia), and figures of speech (such as metaphor and simile). Poems may also make allusions, mention of things such as other literature, people, or history.
Reading Strategies
Unpacking a poem by examining the different levels of meaning
Practice reading strategy - Stars
Consider the poem below by Canadian poet, Marjorie Pickthall
Imagery is the creation of a mental image or picture through the use of vivid language and various literary devices
Effective imagery is a sensual experience: it appeals to more senses than just sight to create the picture
What does it taste, sound, feel like?
Technical Aspects
English 10: Elements of Poetry
Ms. Oleksewich
Meaning: 4 aspects to consider
1. Sense: what the poem is trying to communicate
2. Feeling: the attitude of the speaker or poet to the subject
3. Tone: attitude of the speaker or poet to the reader or audience
4. Intention: effect or purpose poem seems to be trying to achieve
Have same function as paragraph.
A group of 2 or more lines in a poem linked on the basis of length, metre, rhyme scheme or thought
Genre of Poetry
Lyric: a short poem expressing personal thoughts and feelings
Sonnet: a lyric poem of 14 lines, iambic pentameter
Petrarchan: divided into 2 parts (8 line octeave, 6 line sestet)
Shakespearean: 3, 4-line sections with individual rhyme scheme. Final couplet gives a concluding statement
Ode: a poem expressing lofty emotion. Often celebrate an event, or are addressed to nature or to some person, place, or thing (Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn")
Genre of Poetry
Epic: a long poem that is often about a heroic character. The style is elevated and the poetry often represents religious, or cultural ideas (for example, the Iliad and Odyssey)
Blank verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter
Free Verse: Poetic writing that follows no discernible structure. Contains rhythm although it is not regular.
Definite but irregular rhythm is called cadence
Ballad: a narrative poem that tells a story, have strong rhythm, repetition and a repeated refrain. Original folk songs. Often about universals like love, honour, and courage
At this point, the work of understanding a poem should be a matter of summarizing the main points of the analysis
Technical Aspects - 2
Literal and Figurative
Connotation: feelings and associations of a word
Denotation: literal or dictionary meaning
Literal: Exact meaning of a word or phrase without added exaggeration or imagination
Figurative: Play on emotions and imaginations to have sensory effects. Structure or meaning of words used to create strength and depth
Metre: the pattern of stressed syllables, which occurs at regular intervals and makes up rhythm
Speaker: person or persons who speak the words of the poem (may be the author)
Theme: central idea of a poem, as whole, the abstract concept which is made concrete through imagery and other features of the poem

Symbols, references, allusions
Poetic Techniques
Now in the West the slender moon lies low,
And now Orion glimmers through the trees,
Clearing the earth with even pace and slow,
And now the stately-moving Pleiades,
In that soft infinite darkness overhead
Hang jewel-wise upon a silver thread.

And all the lonelier stars that have their place,
Calm lamps within the distant southern sky,
And planet-dust upon the edge of space,
Look down upon the fretful world, and I
Look up to the outer vastness unafraid
And see the stars which sang when earth was made
Imagery - Practice
Consider the following poem:
How to Eat a Poem - Even Merriam

Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juices that
may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away
How to eat a poem
Why is the title important?
What is the primary literary device being used?
What is being compared?
What might the "core" be?
What is the poem's message?

Connotation and Denotation
Fun with Hyperboles and Metaphors
Lets look at some examples of hyperboles in pop culture.
1. Words - What words evoke emotion? Which words are literal (denotative) and figurative (connotative)? What effect does this have on the reader?
2. Imagery - Reread the poem, which phrases and words bring clear images to mind?
3. Symbols, references, and allusions - an allusion is a reference to something. What does this poem mention?
4. Poetic techniques - how is the poem divided?
What does the first stanza describe? What does the second stanza? What is the rhyme pattern? What style is the poem? How is this related to the subject of stars?

At this point, your analysis is a summary of the main points. What is the poem about?
Poem Practice
Look over our "how to read a poem" guide. It breaks down the process into manageable chunks.

Let's warm up by looking at two poems.

First go: is individual (no chatting with your partners!). We will share as a group after.
The Bird
Read the poem "The Bird" by Patrick Lane
How does the poem make you feel?
What images does it create in your mind?
Which words or lines strike you (cite them and say why)
What do you think is the setting?
What are the characteristics of the speaker/protagonist?
What is the theme or message?
What types of figurative language are used? (identify them)

Please write your notes and answers on the page of the poem (similar to notes for an explication / analysis)
High Flight
Read the poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee
It has been a mantra for pilots
Author was an American serving in the RCAF and was killed in WWII, died during an air collision
Only 19 when he was fighting German air bombers
Poem was written on the back of a letter to parents. He died only 3 months later

About the author
Some Vocabulary
Surly - anger or bad feelings
Mirth - great merriment
Sanctity - the quality of being holy
Questions To Consider
1. State the 3 effective action words that give the reader the feeling of flight
2. Give two examples of alliteration
3. What feeling does the poet express in the last few lines?
How is this feeling different from that of the first part of the poem?
Stopping By A Woods On A Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Next day:
"Woods on a snowy evening" worksheet due
Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley
Example of a Sonnet and imagery!
Imagine, three English men around a table at a drunken party. The men bet each other to come up with the best poem in 15 minutes on the topic of Egypt. The poem, "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley won the bet
Read your copy of the poem.
Write the rhyme scheme on the side.

Do you notice a beat?

It is an Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet. 14 line, iambic pentameter
Ozymandias is another name for Ramesses II.
Shelley wrote the poem after Ramesses' statue was discovered in 1817.
Look at the statue. What aspects are similar to the poem?
Re-read the poem again.
What do you think is the message of the poem? What is the poet telling us about leaders, empires, nature, and greatness?

Who (or what) is the "King of Kings" that stands the test of 'time'?
Complete the questions worksheet, due for next class
Poets are very selective about their word choices. In only a few words they can generate a feeling, this is through connotation - the emotions, expressions, memories, associated with the word
Denotation is the dictionary, literal definition of the word.
Consider which word has the more positive (warm, welcoming) association for real estate:
Building, House, Home

Lets practice word choice, connotation and denotation, a little more....
What does poetry involve?

We will brainstorm on board
That was pretty entertaining.
Lets experiment with metaphors.
Remember, a metaphor is an implied comparison between two unlike things which have one likeness in common
Now, create some of your own creative metaphors!
I will generate random nouns. Select one for your worksheet. What is the one thing they have in common? This is individual, we will share our creations with our group after.
I Like to See it Lap the Miles - Emily Dickenson
A brief about the poet
Begin at 3:10

I like to see it lap the Miles -
And lick the Valleys up -
And stop to feed itself at Tanks -
And then - prodigious step

Around a Pile of Mountains -
And supercilious peer
In Shanties - by the sides of Roads -
And then a Quarry pare
To fit it's sides
And crawl between
Complaining all the while
In horrid - hooting stanza -
Then chase itself down Hill -

And neigh like Boanerges -
Then - prompter than a Star
Stop - docile and omnipotent
At it's own stable door -
Synthesis Writing
Making insightful connections
One of the aspects of your provincial exam is to write a synthesis response.
This can be between two poems, a short story, or an informational text

The key idea for synthesis is to compare and contrast and consider what is essential between the two sources.
The theme between the two is a good place to start. It can also be your thesis statement!
Lets Practice
In your groups, take a white board for communal notes.
We will watch a short video which summarizes and compares two familiar movies.
You can use a t-chart, or a venn diagram.
Write an introduction, provide context, titles of two movies
Provide an assertion, (what makes them similar or different?)
Provide 3 pieces of evidence
And consider the following topics, how are they similar/different in regards to:
Parent involvement
How the child grows and matures by the end
How the family learns from their mistakes and becomes closer /stronger
How the family overcomes a fear

Think you've got the hang of it?
Now lets try with two poems, on our own (not in groups).
You will be given two poems. Read through carefully, then write a paragraph synthesis response of the two poems.
What about some other figurative language?
Most of these will be review for you
That was fun! Lets look at one more with examples from movies
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