Poetic Elements, Figurative Language, and Sound Devices A Study in Poetic Forms What is Poetry? Poetry is defined as a patterned form of verbal or written expression of ideas in concentrated, imaginative, and rhythmical terms. Poetry is one of the three major types of literature. Most poems use highly concise, musical, and emotionally charged language. Poems are often divided into lines and stanzas and often employ regular rhythmical patterns, or meters. Figurative Language/Figures of Speech Figurative language is defined as an expression in which the words are used in a non-literal sense to present a figure, picture, or image. Writers use figurative language to express ideas in vivid and imaginative ways. Figures of Speech/ Figurative Language Kinds of Figures of Speech Simile Hyperbole Metaphor Litotes Personification Antithesis Synecdoche Apostrophe Metonymy Symbol Simile A simile is defined as a figure of speech that makes a direct comparison between two subjects, using either like or as. The comparison is usually between two unrelated things indicating likeness or similarity between some attribute found in both things. Simile Examples John swims like a fish. He is sleeping like a log. The ball was thrown like a bullet. Marie eats like a bird. Her hair was as red as a robin’s breast. She runs as fast as a fox. Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Metaphor A metaphor is defined as an implied comparison between two usually unrelated things indicating a likeness or analogy between attributes found in both things. A metaphor, unlike the simile, does not use like or as to indicate comparison. Something is/was something else. Metaphor Examples All the world’s a stage. She was peaches and cream. Fred is a pig at the table. Life is a short summer, man a flower. Death is a long sleep. Jack is a tiger on the football field. Personification Personification is defined as giving human characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, or animals. Effective personification of things or ideas makes them seem vital and alive, as if they were human. Personification Examples Let the rain sing you a lullaby. The wind whistled. Her heart cried out. The screams of cut trees… The waves behind them dance. The dog smiled as I gave him a treat. The laughing brook runs through the forest. Synecdoche A synecdoche is the technique of mentioning a part of something to represent the whole. Synecdoche Examples All hands on deck! (hands = sailors) Give us this day our daily bread. (bread = food) A sail! A sail! (sail = ship) Metonymy A metonymy is defined as the substitution of a word naming an object for another word closely associated with it. Metonymy Examples Pay tribute to the crown. (crown = king) The White House has decided. (White House = President) The pen is mightier than the sword. (pen = reason sword = brawn) He had to sweat for his bread. (sweat – hard work) Hyperbole A hyperbole is defined as a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement, often used for comic effect. It is not meant to be taken literally. Hyperbole Examples Sweat to death Rivers of blood As old as time Million times a day Litotes A litotes is defined as an understatement and is achieved by saying the opposite of what one means or by making an affirmation by stating the facts in the negative. It is the opposite of a hyperbole. Litotes Examples Calling a fat man Slim Calling a slow person Speedy Antithesis An antithesis is defined as a balancing or contrasting one term against another. Antithesis Examples Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way… Apostrophe An apostrophe is defined as the direct addressing of an absent person or personified quality, object, or idea as if they were there. Apostrophe Examples O Capitan! My Capitan! Our fearful trip is done. Death, be not proud, though some have called thee/Mighty and dreadful,… Break, break, break/On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! Symbol A symbol is defined as a word or image that signifies something other than what is literally represented. A conventional symbol is one that is widely known and accepted. A personal symbol is one developed for a particular work by a particular author. Symbol Examples The cross as a symbol for Christianity. The donkey and elephant are symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties. Hawthorne’s black veil Melville’s white whale Sound Devices Sound Devices Rhyme Assonance Rhyme Consonance Scheme Refrain Alliteration Repetition Onomatopoeia Rhyme Rhyme is defined as the similarity or likeness of sound existing between two words. Rhyme usually comes at the end of words. A true rhyme should consist of identical sounding syllables that are stressed and the letters preceding the vowel are different. run/fun willow/pillow fog/bog End Rhyme End rhyme occurs when rhyming words are repeated at the ends of lines. I Wish I wish that my room had a floor; a I don’t so much care for a door, a But this walking around b Without touching the ground b Is getting to be quite a bore! a Gelett Burgess Internal Rhyme Internal Rhyme occurs when rhyming words fall within a line. from The Raven Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore – While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door- Slant Rhyme Approximate or slant rhyme occurs when the rhyming sounds are similar, but not exact. The Stillness in the Room / Was like the Stillness in the Air / Between the Heaves of Storm Rhyme Scheme Rhyme scheme is defined as a regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem. To describe a rhyme scheme, one uses a letter of the alphabet to represent each rhyming sound in a poem stanza. The first sound is designated as a, the second sound is designated as b, and so on. When the first sound is repeated, it is designated as a also. Rhyme Scheme Example With innocent wide penguin eyes, three a large fledgling mocking-birds below b the pussywillow tree, a stand in a row. b Alliteration Alliteration is defined as the repetition of constant sounds at the beginning of two or more words or accented syllables. Alliteration Examples How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Sally sells sea shells down by the sea shore. A Tutor who tooted the flute Tried to teach two tooters to toot; Said the two the Tutor, “Is it harder to toot, or To tutor two tooters to toot?” Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is defined as the use of words that imitate sounds. buzz, hiss, murmur, rustle, crash, crunch, sizzle, gurgle Assonance Assonance is defined as the repetition of vowel sounds in conjunction with dissimilar consonant sounds. It can be partial or near rhyme. Lake, fate base, fade The bad man ran to the stand. Consonance Consonance is defined as the repetition of similar final consonant sounds at the ends of words or accented syllables. Consonance is similar to alliteration except that consonance doesn’t limit the repeated sound to the initial letter of the word. Consonance Examples But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, (alliteration) Oh yet we trust that somehow good Will be the final goal of ill To pangs of nature, sins of will, Defects of doubt, and taints of blood; Refrain A refrain is defined as a repeated line or group of lines in a poem or song. A refrain usually comes at the end of the stanza. The refrain often takes the form of a chorus. Although some refrains are nonsense lines, many increase suspense or emphasize character and theme. “And the tide rises, the tide falls…” Repetition Repetition is defined as the reiterating (repeating) of a word or phrase within a poem. From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore - For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore - But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, Meter & Foot Meter Meter is defined as a poems rhythmical pattern. The pattern is determined by the number and types of stresses, or beats in each line. The stressed syllable is also called the accented or long syllable. The unstressed syllable is also called the unaccented or short syllable. Foot A poetic foot is defined as a unit of meter. A metrical foot can have two or three syllables. A foot consists generally of one stressed and one or more unstressed syllables. Poetic lines are classified according to the number and feet in a line. There are six types of metrical feet. Types of Metrical Feet The basic types of metrical feet determined by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables are: a. Iambic foot d. Dactylic foot b. Trochaic Foot e. Spondaic foot c. Anapestic foot f. Pyrrhic foot Iamb The iambic foot is a two syllable foot with the stress on the second syllable. The iambic foot is the most common foot in English ` ` ` be low de light a muse Trochee The trochee foot consists of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. ` ` ` ne ver ga ther hap py Anapest The anapestic foot consists of three syllables – two unstressed followed by one stressed syllable. ` ` ` cav a lier in ter twine in a flash Dactyl The dactylic foot contains three syllables – one stressed followed by two unstressed syllables. ` ` ` hap pi ness mer ri ly mur mur ing Spondee The spondaic foot consists of two stressed syllables. Compound words are examples of spondees. ` ` ` ` ` ` heartbreak childhood football Pyrrhic The pyrrhic foot consists of two unstressed syllables. This type of foot is rarely used and is found interspersed with other feet. Kinds of Metrical Lines The basic kinds of metrical lines are: a. monometer – one foot per line b. dimeter – two feet per line c. trimeter – three feet per line d. tetrameter – four feet per line e. pentameter – five feet per line f. hexameter – six feet per line g. heptameter – seven feet per line h. octometer – eight feet per line Verse & Stanza Forms There are three kinds of verse forms: Rhymed Verse Consists of verse with end rhyme and usually with regular meter. Blank Verse Consists of lines of iambic pentameter without end rhyme. Free Verse Consists of lines that do not have a regular meter and do not contain rhyme. There are 8 stanza forms: The basic stanza forms are: a. couplet – two line stanza b. triplet – three line stanza c. quatrain – four line stanza d. cinquain/quintet – five line stanza e. sestet – six line stanza f. septet – seven line stanza g. octave – eight line stanza h. other are indentifed as nine, ten, or eleven line stanzas.