Poetic Elements and Figurative Language

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					Poetic Elements, Figurative
  Language, and Sound
     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
   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
   Figurative language is defined as an
    expression in which the words are used in a
    non-literal sense to present a figure, picture, or
   Writers use figurative language to express
    ideas in vivid and imaginative ways.
Figures of
    Kinds of Figures of Speech
 Simile             Hyperbole
 Metaphor           Litotes

 Personification    Antithesis

 Synecdoche         Apostrophe

 Metonymy           Symbol
   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.
   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 is defined as giving human
    characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, or
   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.
   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 =
   A sail! A sail! (sail = ship)
    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 =
   The pen is mightier than the sword. (pen = reason
    sword = brawn)
   He had to sweat for his bread. (sweat – hard work)
   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
   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
   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…
   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
   Break, break, break/On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
   A symbol is defined as a word or image that
    signifies something other than what is literally
   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 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
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber
               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 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 is defined as the use
    of words that imitate sounds.

   buzz, hiss, murmur, rustle, crash,
    crunch, sizzle, gurgle
   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 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;
   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
   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 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 is defined as a poems rhythmical
   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.
   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
 The iambic foot is a two syllable foot with the
  stress on the second syllable.
 The iambic foot is the most common foot in


      be low      de light a muse
 The trochee foot consists of a stressed syllable
  followed by an unstressed syllable.


      ne ver      ga ther    hap py
 The anapestic foot consists of three syllables
 – two unstressed followed by one stressed


     cav a lier       in ter twine     in a flash
 The dactylic foot contains three syllables – one
 stressed followed by two unstressed syllables.


  hap pi ness   mer ri ly   mur mur ing
  The spondaic foot consists of two stressed
  syllables. Compound words are examples of




     heartbreak        childhood         football

  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
& Stanza
    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
   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.