DEFINITIONS RELATED TO SOUND ONOMATOPOEIA – a word capturing or approximating the sound of what it describes: quack, buzz, bang, squeak, choo-choo ALLITERATION – the repetition of initial consonant sounds through a sequence of words: “while I nodded, nearly napping” ASSONANCE – the repetition of vowel sounds in a sequence of words with different endings “The death of the poet was kept from his poems”; “time and tide” RHYME – two or more words that have the same sounds: snappy and happy, vein and reign. Rhyme can emphasize words, direct a reader’s attention to relations between words and provide an overall structure for a poem RHYME SCHEME: the pattern of end rhymes in a poem, often noted by small letters, such as abab or abba. END RHYME – the rhyming words come at the end of the lines INTERNAL RHYME – rhyming words come within the same line NEAR RHYME (also called off rhyme, slant rhyme or approximate rhyme) the sounds are almost but not exactly alike: “easy” and “dizzy” FREE VERSE – poetry that does not rhyme or use regular meter EYE RHYME – the words look like they should rhyme but they do not, such as bear and ear or Yeats and Keats RHYTHM - the modulation of weak and strong (or stressed and unstressed) elements in the flow of speech. In most poetry written before the twentieth century, rhythm was often expressed in meter; in prose and in free verse, rhythm is present but in a much less predictable and regular manner. DEFINITIONS CONTINUED RHYTHM - the modulation of weak and strong (or stressed and unstressed) elements in the flow of speech. In most poetry written before the twentieth century, rhythm was often expressed in meter; in prose and in free verse, rhythm is present but in a much less predictable and regular manner. METER - the more or less regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. This is determined by the kind of foot (iambic or dactylic, for example) and by the number of feet per line (e.g., five feet = pentameter, six feet = hexameter). FOOT – the basic unit of poetic meter, consisting of any of various fixed patterns of one to three stressed and unstressed syllables. A foot may contain more than one word or just one syllable of a multisyllabic word. In scansion, breaks between feet are usually indicated with a vertical line or slash mark, as in the following example (which contains five feet): "One com- | mon note | on ei- | ther lyre | did strike" (Dryden, "To the Memory of Mr. Oldham"). . IAMBIC - referring to a metrical form in which each foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one; this type of foot is an iamb. IAMBIC PENTAMETER - a metrical form in which most lines consist of five iambs; the most common poetic meter in English COUPLET - two consecutive lines of verse linked by rhyme and meter; the meter of a heroic couplet is iambic pentameter. QUATRAIN - a four-line unit of verse, whether an entire poem, a stanza, or a group of four lines linked by a pattern of rhyme (as in an English or Shakespearean sonnet). (We will talk more about this on Thursday) “THE RAVEN” BY EDGAR ALLEN POE In small groups, discuss the use of literary devices in “The Raven.” Identify where Poe uses the specific literary device that your group has been assigned. Discuss the affect that this literary device has on the poem. Be prepared to share your ideas with the text. Group 1: alliteration Group 2: assonance Group 3: internal rhyme Group 4: onomatopoeia Group 5: repetition “THE RAVEN” DISCUSSION QUESTIONS All eighteen stanzas of “The Raven” contain four lines ending with an “-ore” sound. Which “-ore” words are repeated most frequently in the poem? What is the effect of the steady, unvarying repetition of this sound? Notice that the final seven-syllable line of each stanza ends either in the phrase “nothing more” or the word “nevermore” (with the exception of stanza 2, which ends with the word “evermore”). What does the speaker mean when he says “nothing more”? Does the phrase contain different meanings in different contexts? What about the raven’s repetition of “nevermore”? Does the shift from “nothing more” to “nevermore” signal a change in the speaker’s mindset and feelings? Who do you think constitutes the “we” the speaker refers to in line 51? The first seventeen stanzas are written in the past tense. How long ago do you think the events the speaker recounts occurred? What clues does the poem provide about how much time has passed between the occurrence of those events and their narration? What is the effect of the shift to the present tense in the final stanza?