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					Poetry                                                                       Mr. McMahon
Introduction to Poetry Unit                                                    English 10

Poetry is: the expression or embodiment of beautiful or elevated thought,
imagination, or feeling, in language and a form adapted to stir the imagination and
the emotions.
                                                     - Canadian Oxford Dictionary

STANZA – is a division in the formal pattern of a poem. A stanza is the equivalent
to a paragraph in prose.

COUPLET: Two lines. Rhyming couplet rhymes.
TERCET: three lines rhyming together or connected by rhyme with an adjacent
QUATRAIN: stanza of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes

BALLAD – a narrative poem that tells a story, usually meant to be sung. Refrains,
       repetition and elements of the supernatural are common. The usual
       stanza form is a quatrain.

Samuel Tayor Coleridge’s "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," the tale of a cursed sailor aboard a
storm-tossed ship, is one of the English language’s most revered ballads. It begins:

        It is an ancient mariner
        And he stoppeth one of three.
        --"By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
        Now wherefore stoppest thou me?

        The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
        And I am next of kin;
        The guests are met, the feast is set:
        Mayst hear the merry din."

        He holds him with his skinny hand,
        "There was a ship," quoth he.
        "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"
        Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

        He holds him with his glittering eye--
        The wedding-guest stood still,
        And listens like a three-years' child:
        The mariner hath his will.

Ballads have a long tradition as entertainment and the passing of folklore. The Illiad is around
3000 years old. Beowulf is from 800s and is about an extremely strong man who fights monsters.
A Gest of Robyn Hode is a tale of the famous Robin Hood, still a popular figure from folklore,
from the 1400s or 1500s.

Poetry                                                                   Mr. McMahon
Introduction to Poetry Unit                                                English 10

        Lythe and listin, gentilmen,                  Lythe=hearken
        That be of frebore blode;                     frebore=freeborn
        I shall you tel of a gode yeman,
        His name was Robyn Hode.

        Robyn was a prude outlaw                      prude=proud
        Whyles he walked on grounde;                  Whyles=while
        So curteyse an outlaw as he was one
        Was never non founde.

        Robyn stode in Bernesdale,                    Bernesdale=Barnsdale
        And lenyd hym to a tre’                       lenyd=leaned
        And bi hym stode Litell John,
        A gode yeman was he.

Read the following paragraphs. Is one different than the other? How are they the
same and/or different?

      Why does Mickey Mouse have four fingers?
      Conversations with many cartoonists, animators, and Disney
      employees confirm that Mickey Mouse has four fingers because it is
      convenient for the artists and animators who have drawn him. In the
      early cartoons, each frame was hand-drawn by an animator. No part of
      the human body is harder to draw than a hand, and it is difficult to
      draw distinct fingers without making the whole hand look too large.

      Conceptually, the Nyquist diagram is plotted by substituting the points
      of the contour. This process is equivalent to performing complex
      arithmetic using the vectors of G(s) drawn to the points of the contour.
      Each pole and zero term of G(s) is a vector. The resultant vector, R,
      found at any point along the contour is in general the product of the
      zero vectors divided by the product of the pole vectors. Thus, the
      magnitude of the resultant is the product of the zero lengths divided
      by the product of the pole lengths, and the angle of the resultant is the
      sum of the zero angles minus the sum of the pole angles.

What does this have to do with poetry? How do they fit in with the definition of
poetry that I gave you yesterday?

Poetry                                                               Mr. McMahon
Introduction to Poetry Unit                                            English 10

Like the textbook excerpts, poetry can be easier or harder to understand. Most
poems can be made easier by recognizing the theme that the poet is trying to
express through their poetry.

THEME – the central idea in a work of prose or poetry. It may be stated directly or
       indirectly (implied) and it is the work’s idea about life, implied or directly,
       stated through the voice of a character or through the narrator.
    - should not be confused with moral or plot.
    - originates in a single work, but can be applied in general terms to all people
      in all times.

                                 HOLY SONNET 10
                              (DEATH, BE NOT PROUD)
                                 by John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.

Thou'art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy'or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Poetry                                                                           Mr. McMahon
Introduction to Poetry Unit                                                        English 10

This assignment will allow you to both read and write poetry. You have to collect 20 works of
poetry to hand in at the end of the unit. Half of the poetry has to be written by you and the other
half has to come from poetry books in the library or our textbook.
Every poem must have illustrations to accompany it. The due date will be announced later this
week. However, we will also have a unit test on the last day of class. So, I recommend that you
start the assignment soon. Each poem will be marked out of 5, for a total of 100 marks. Please
see the marking rubric that is attached to this handout.

You must have a poem that gives an example of each of the following:
Ballad         Theme          Couplet       Tercet          Quatrain         Hyperbole
Oxymoron       Paradox        Allusion      Symbolism Assonance              Consonance
Identify Sense Imagery (distinguish between literal and figurative)

However, it is okay if one poem has more than one of these devices used in it.

Your Written Portion:
10 of the poems have to be written by you. Write about any theme you want. At least
two of the poems you write must be at least 14 lines and only two may be 4 lines or less.
As well, each poem should have some artwork that surrounds it on the page and adds to
the poem’s meaning. Finally, each poem that you write has to come with a small write-up
that describes the theme and any poetic devices that you have used in it. You may also write
anything else that you want me to know about the poem. Finally, don’t forget to give each poem
a title. Remember to have fun with the writing and you can be

The Collected Portion:
10 of the poems have to come from a poetry book. Please type out the poem and don’t photocopy
it. At least 8 of the poets have to be different and no more than 4 of the poems can come from
our class poetry text. Again, you should have artwork surrounding each poem that adds to the
poem’s meaning. Above each poem, please write the title, and underneath each poem, please
write the poet’s name and the name of the book you got the poem from. Also, write a short piece
on what you think the theme is and what poetic device you are using this poem to show. Please
let me know the line that you think contains that device. Again, have fun. There is some great
poetry out there.

Please put the poetry into a duo-tang and have a title page on the front. The title page should
have a title, your name, my name (Mr. McMahon), your block, and the due date.
Please use a computer to print out the poetry, but the artwork can be done by hand.


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