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The Poetic Elements

Definitions, explanations, and examples of the poetic elements
by

Claire Roth

on 7 March 2012

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Transcript of The Poetic Elements

The Poetic Elements
Figurative Language
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
Hyperbole
Sound Devices
Alliteration
Rhythm
Rhyme
Assonance
Imagery
Consonance
Traditional
Organic
Characteristics:
follows fixed rules, such as a specified number of lines
has a regular pattern of rhythm and rhyme
includes the following forms: sonnet, haiku, limerick, ballad, epic, luc bat
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost
Characteristics:
does not have a regular pattern of rhythm and may not rhyme
may use unconventional spelling, punctuaion, and grammar
includes the following forms: free verse, concrete poetry
Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings

III

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.
SONNET 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
There was an Old Man with a Beard

by Edward Lear
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared—
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.
THE SLOTH

In moving-slow he has no Peer.
You ask him something in his Ear,
He thinks about it for a Year;

And, then, before he says a Word
There, upside down (unlike a Bird),
He will assume that you have Heard -

A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug.
But should you call his manner Smug,
Hell sigh and give his Branch a Hug;

Then off again to Sleep he goes,
Still swaying gently by his Toes,
And you just know he knows he knows.


Theodore Roethke 1908-1963
From "Blackberrying"

by Sylvia Plath

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.
This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
A comparison of two unlike things using the words like or as
Example: "Her lips are as red as a rose."
A comparison of two unlike things that does not use the words like or as
Example: Her lips are a red rose.
Giving human traits to nonhuman beings or objects
example: The lilies show off thier regal clothes.
An exaggeration for emphasis or humor
Example: My sister uses so much makeup she has to use a sandblaster to get it off at night.
Descriptive language that appeals to one of the fives senses
Examples: sandpapery rough, the aroma of fresh chocolate chip cookies, tick tock,
Definition: the use of words that begin with the same consonant sound in close proximity
Ex: Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore.
Defintion: The use of words that contain the same consonant sound (but do not begin with the same sound) in close proximity
Example: I think its blank.
Water pattern
Definition: the use of similar vowel sounds in words in close proximity
Example: "The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots." - from Annie Dillard's Holy the Firm
Definition: Creating a pattern using the naturally stressed and unstressed syllables in the English Language
Example: See "Fire and Ice" by Traditional Poetry
How to determine rhyme scheme:
Look at the words at the end of each line.
Assign a letter to each word that represents a different rhyme sound
List the letters in the same order as the lines to notate rhyme scheme.
Repetition
Definition: repeating certain words or lines for emphasis
Ex: See "Blackberrying" by Sylvia Plath.
Ex: See Sonnet 118
Rhythm and Meter
u = unstressed or short
/ = stressed or long
iamb: u /
trochee: / u
dactyl: / u u
anapest: u u /
Lines and Stanzas
Line: the text on one line
Stanza: a group of lines
Form: the "shape" the poem takes

Traditional (Closed Form) or Organic (Open Form)
Tone and Mood: What feelings does
the poem invoke?
Speaker: the voice speaking in the poem
Addressee: the party being addressed in the poem
Narrator: story teller in narrative poetry
Allusion: a reference to another work of art, literature, historical figure, place, etc.
Connotation: the idea or feeling a word
inspires in addition to its literal meaning
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