Unit 5: Poetry Sound Devices Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. —Percy Bysshe Shelley <skip intro> What is poetry? • The language of poetry is musical and the word choices are exact. • Poetry is often best experienced when read aloud. How are poetry and prose similar? • Both use imagery and figurative language to paint a picture for readers. • Both use precise language to communicate a tone, viewpoint, or perception of an object or experience. How are poetry and prose different? • Poetry reduces meaning into fewer words. • Poetry often uses meter, rhyme, lines, and stanzas. • Poetry allows more freedom in the ordering of words and use of punctuation. Who are your favorite poets? • • • • • • • • Maya Angelou Lewis Carroll Langston Hughes Emily Dickinson Robert Frost Walt Whitman Shel Silverstein Naomi Shihab Nye What are your favorite types of poems? • • • • Lyric poems Narrative poems Epics Sonnets • • • • Haiku Concrete poems Blank verse Free verse Lyric Poetry • The two main kinds of poetry are lyric and narrative. • A lyric poem expresses the emotions of the poem’s speaker. • The speaker is the poem’s narrator. • Lyric poetry often focuses on a single moment, image, or idea. Narrative Poetry • A narrative poem tells a story. • Narrative poems include many of the same literary elements as fiction. • Long narrative poems that describe the deeds of heroes, gods, or goddesses are called epics. • Many epic poems offer insights into the culture from which they originate. Other Poetic Forms • A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem that explores the theme of romantic love. – Sonnets use rhyme and a regular rhythm. • A haiku is a short, three-line poem that describes a single image or scene, usually from nature. – The first and third lines of a haiku have five syllables, while the second line has seven. Other Poetic Forms • A concrete poem is a poem that is shaped like the object it describes. • A blank verse poem does not rhyme, but each line has five stressed syllables, or beats. • A free verse poem does not use consistent rhythm or rhyme. – Free verse poems can take any shape and address any subject. Elements of Poetry • Two major elements of poetry that can be seen in most poems are the line and the stanza. • A line of poetry is a single row of words. • A stanza is made up of lines of poetry. – Each stanza is separated from the next by a space. – The number of lines in a stanza helps to determine the kind of stanza it is. • For example, a two-line stanza is a couplet, and a threeline stanza is a tercet. What are the purposes of poetry? • To entertain readers • To help readers learn about the human experience • To help readers gain insight into themselves and others • To help readers experience joy, inspiration, comfort, gratitude, redemption, or strength • To unite readers in a common understanding The Art of Poetry • Poetry is one of the world’s oldest art forms. • Poetry has survived the centuries because of its ability to communicate emotions and images. The Rising Popularity of Poetry • Poetry – is a powerful and expressive art form that is popular among young people – can be viewed on social networking sites, blogs, and other websites – can be heard in classrooms, transit stations, bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, films, TV shows, and other public areas Meaning in Poetry • Poems frequently challenge readers to imagine something in a unique or unexpected way. • Poets use the following elements to help readers understand the meaning in their works: – – – – – figurative language sound devices imagery speaker symbolism Speaker • The speaker of a poem is the voice that narrates the poem. • In other words, the speaker is the voice assumed by the writer. • The speaker and the writer of the poem are not necessarily the same person. Speaker • To identify the speaker of a poem, ask yourself the following questions: – – – – – – – Who is speaking? How do I know? How would I describe the speaker? To whom is he or she speaking? What is the speaker’s perspective in the poem? What bias, or prejudice, might the speaker have? What attitude does the speaker express? Speaker and Theme • Most of the time, the reader has to figure out the theme, or central idea, of a poem. • However, sometimes The moral of my ode is this: a poem’s speaker will beauty is twice explicitly state its theme, beauty what is good is doubly like in the poem “Ode to and good when it is a matter of two socks My Socks.” made of wool in winter. —from “Ode to My Socks,” by Pablo Neruda •What do you think makes a poem’s speaker distinctive and memorable? How can a poem’s speaker affect the way readers understand the poem’s content? Symbolism • A symbol is something that stands for, or represents, both itself and something else. • In this excerpt from “Southern Mansion,” the chains represent both themselves and the institution of slavery. There is a sound of music echoing Through the open door And in the field there is Another sound tinkling in the cotton Chains of bondmen dragging on the ground. —from “Southern Mansion,” by Arna Bontemps Types of Symbols • Writers use two types of symbols: traditional and unique. • A traditional symbol has widely recognized associations. – For example, red roses symbolize love. • A unique symbol is created especially for a particular piece of literature. – What might the toads in the poem “Birdfoot’s Grampa” (on the next slide) symbolize? Types of Symbols The old man must have stopped our car two dozen times to climb out and gather into his hands the small toads blinded by our lights and leaping, live drops of rain. The rain was falling, a mist about his white hair and I kept saying you can’t save them all, accept it, go back in we’ve got places to go. But, leathery hands full of wet brown life, knee deep in the summer roadside grass, he just smiled and said they have places to go to too. —“Birdfoot’s Grampa,” by Joseph Bruchac Symbolism and Theme • It is not always clear how an author wants you to interpret his or her use of a symbol. • As you read a poem, try to identify its theme. • Consider how the poet’s use of the following elements might relate to or develop this theme: – – – – description detail figures of speech symbols Symbolism and Theme • What symbols can you find in the excerpt from “Southern Mansion” below? What is the poem’s theme? The years go back with an iron clank, A hand is on the gate, A dry leaf trembles on the wall. Ghosts are walking. They have broken roses down And poplars stand there still as death. —from “Southern Mansion,” by Arna Bontemps SUMMARY: Meaning in Poetry • To understand meaning in poetry, – pay close attention to the figurative language, sound devices, and imagery in a poem – determine who the poem’s speaker is and examine his or her perspective – try to figure out the poem’s theme – think about how the poet’s use of description, detail, figures of speech, and symbols might relate to or develop this theme Sound Devices • Sound is one of elements that distinguishes poetry from prose. • Poetry is often musical, consisting of rhythms, rhymes, and other sound devices. • Sound devices are elements that writers use to appeal to the ears of listeners or readers. Rhyme • One common sound technique that readers immediately associate with poetry is rhyme. • Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the ends of words. • End rhyme is when the rhyming words in a poem appear at the ends of the lines. • When a poem has a consistent pattern of end rhymes, it is said to have a rhyme scheme. Rhyme Scheme • You can identify the rhyme scheme of a poem by assigning a new letter to each rhyme. • For example: The Naming of cats is a difficult matter, a It isn’t just one of your holiday games; b You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter a When I tell you a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. b —from “The Naming of Cats,” by T. S. Eliot Rhyme • Other types of rhyme that poets use include – internal rhyme, where rhyming words appear within the lines, His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscutable singular Name. —from “The Naming of Cats,” by T. S. Eliot and – slant rhyme, or half rhyme, where rhyming sounds are similar but not identical. Rhythm • The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry is its rhythm. • Stressed syllables are referred to as beats. • A regular and predictable pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables is called meter. Rhythm • Can you hear the rhythm in this excerpt? • Scanning can help you hear the rhythm. • Scanning is the process of marking / over stressed syllables and ˘ over unstressed syllables. ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / I lift my lamp beside the golden door! • The pattern in this —from “The New Colossus,” excerpt is regular— by Emma Lazarus these lines are metered. Rhythm • Every meter is made up of feet. • A foot is a group of two or more stressed or unstressed syllables. • An iamb is a type of foot that contains a single unstressed syllable followed by a single stressed syllable. Other Sound Devices • Aside from rhyme, poets often use the sounds of letters in other parts of words to achieve a musical effect. • These sound techniques include – alliteration – consonance – assonance Alliteration • Alliteration occurs when a consonant sound is repeated at the beginnings of words that are found near each other. • What consonant sounds are repeated in the following excerpt? Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds, Come to my hand, and playful if I wish, Or purring softly at a silver dish, Blue Persian kittens, fed on cream and curds. —from “Pretty Words,” by Elinor Wylie Consonance • Consonance occurs when a consonant sound is repeated at the ends or the middles of words. • What consonant sounds are repeated in the following excerpt? But I love to hear it sung; how the waterlilies fill with rain until they overturn, spilling water into water, then rock back, and fill with more. —from “I Ask My Mother to Sing” by Li-Young Lee Assonance • Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds. • What vowel sounds are repeated in the following excerpt? If my father were alive, he would play his accordion and sway like a boat. —from “I Ask My Mother to Sing,” by Li-Young Lee Onomatopoeia • Another common sound device used in poetry is onomatopoeia. • Onomatopoeia is the use of words or phrases that sound like the things to which they refer. squeak CHIRP SUMMARY: Sound Devices • To analyze the sound techniques that poets use, consider the following strategies: – Read a poem aloud, or listen as someone else reads aloud. • Hearing a poem captures the musicality of the poet’s words. – Take notes or use a graphic organizer to record the literary elements of a poem. Imagery • An image is language that creates a concrete representation of an object or experience. • It is the vivid mental picture created in the reader’s mind. • The term imagery refers to all of the images in a literary work. Imagery • What picture does the imagery in the excerpt below create in your mind? The white mares of the moon rush along the sky Beating their golden hooves upon the glass Heavens The white mares of the moon are all standing on their hind legs Pawing at the green porcelain doors of the remote Heavens. —from “Night Clouds,” by Amy Lowell Figurative Language • Figurative language is anything written or spoken that is not mean to be taken literally. • This type of language is commonly used in poetry. • Figurative language often requires readers to see or experience something in a new way. Purpose of Imagery and Figurative Language • A poet uses imagery and figurative language to – – – – paint a picture in readers’ minds set an emotional tone for a poem reinforce the theme or central message of a poem create connections with readers’ own experiences and observations Types of Figurative Language • Poets frequently use the following four types of figurative language: – – – – metaphor simile personification hyperbole Metaphor • A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken or written about as if it were another. • Metaphors invite readers to make a comparison between two things. • A metaphor works because the things being compared have one or more qualities in common. Metaphor • Look at the following excerpt from the poem “Dreams.” What is being compared? Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow —from “Dreams,” by Langston Hughes Simile • A simile is a comparison of two seemingly unlike things, using the word like or as. • What two things are being compared in the following excerpt from “Pretty Words”? Poets make pets of pretty, docile words: I love smooth words, like gold-enameled fish Which circle slowly with a silken swish, —from “Pretty Words,” by Elinor Wylie Personification • Personification is a figure of speech in which something that is not human is described as if it were. • What is being personified in this excerpt from “Pretty Words”? I love bright words, words up and singing early; Words that are luminous in the dark and sing; —from “Pretty Words,” by Elinor Wylie Hyperbole • Another type of figurative language is hyperbole. • Hyperbole is an exaggeration used for effect or to make a point. • Many poets use hyperbole to strengthen the imagery in their poems. Hyperbole • In the poem “Legacies,” a grandmother wants to teach her granddaughter how to make rolls. • Where does the poet use hyperbole in this excerpt? she said “i don’t want to learn how to make no rolls” with her lip poked out and the old woman wiped her hands on her apron saying “lord these children” and neither of them ever said what they meant and I guess nobody ever does —from “Legacies,” by Nikki Giovanni Figurative Language Chart • Use a Figurative Language Chart to better understand the use of figurative language in poetry. • See the next slide for an example of a partially completed chart for the poem “The New Colossus.” SUMMARY: Figurative Language • To understand imagery and figurative language in poetry, ask yourself the following questions: – What is the main thing or idea being described? – What images are used to describe it? – What feelings or ideas do I associate with those images? – How might the concepts in the poem relate to a familiar aspect of life?