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Poetry Study Guide BasicsWA

Poetry Study Guide
The basic concepts you can look for in each poem. Remember! Figurative
language does not just appear in poetry!
Speaker – main character/voice in a poem
Setting – time and place of a poem
Mood – the atmosphere the author creates using word choice
Tone – how the poet feels about the subject
Plot – sequence of events in a poem
Topic- sometimes there isn’t a storyline/plot but a concept
Stanza – “chunk” of a poem – equivalent to a paragraph in an essay
Figurative Language
Poets use figurative language to create fresh and original descriptions.
Figurative expressions, while not literally true, helps readers picture
ordinary things in a new way. (Word choice)
1) Simile – comparison between two things using like or as example: “Fog
hanging like old coats between the trees”
2) Metaphor – comparison between two things without using like or as
example: “She is a summer’s day”
3) Personification – attributing human characteristics to non-human
things example: “the watchful night wind – as it went, creeping along
from tent to tent”
4) Imagery/Sensory Details – language that appeals to the five senses
taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight example: “the only other sound’s
the sweep of easy wind and downy flake”
5) Analogy – comparison of two or more things which share similar traits
6) Idiom – a phrase which means something different from its original
meaning example: It’s raining cats and dogs!
Sound Elements
Arranging words to create sounds that appeal to the listener/reader
1) Alliteration – repetition of beginning consonant sounds example:
“watch his woods”
2) Onomatopoeia – sound words “buzz” “zip”
3) Rhyme (internal/end) –
internal = words within the line that rhyme
external = ending words of each line rhyme
4) Rhyme Scheme – pattern of end rhyme in a poem –
marked with abab/abba etc.
5) Repetition – using specific words or phrases over and over
Types of Poems
 Narrative – poem that tells a story and can be plotted on a plot diagram
 Example: “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 Lyric – short poem that expresses personal feeling
 Example: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” Robert
 Sonnet – 14 lines, rhymes
 Couplet – 2 rhyming lines at the end of the sonnet
 Example: Sonnet 18, Shakespeare
 Free Verse – no rhyme, no rhythm
 Example: “Oranges” Gary Soto
 Elegy – a sad poem which shows grief for the dead
 Example: “Annabel Lee,” Edgar Allan Poe