Elements of Poetry

Effecting sound, meaning and emotion
Element 1:
•A single line in a
•Often organized into
stanzas (paragraphs)
•2 lines alone are a
“To a Snowflake”
1 Hello little snowflake
2 Where are all your friends?
3 Should I expect a lot of them
4 before the morning ends?
5 I love it when you come to me
6 and you all fall down together,
7and I get dressed to visit you,
8 toasty warm in cold, cold
Element 2: Rhyme and Rhyme
• Words Rhyme when they have the same sound
• Poems often use this at the end of lines
• Rhyme scheme is the pattern of the rhyme
• Rhyme adds a musical sound to the poem
“Ten Minutes Till the Bus”
Ten whole minutes
Till the bus,
Scads of time,
What’s the fuss?
Two to dress,
One to flush
Two to eat,
One to brush,
That leaves four
To catch the bus,
Scads of time,
What’s the fuss?
Element 3: Rhythm
 Pattern of beats, or
stressed/unstressed syllables in a
 Poets use words that some parts are
emphasized and others are not
The yellow parts are the stressed
“Windy Nights”
Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
/ = Unstressed U = Stressed
Element 4: Free Verse
 Not using regular rhythm or rhyme
 Sounds natural, like a conversation
“The Red Wheelbarrow”
so much depends
a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rain
beside the white
Element 5: Alliteration
 Repeating the same consonant sound at
the beginning of words, several times
 Makes poetry musical and more
Lillian Morrison
Waves Want
to be wheels,
They jump for it
and fail
fall flat
like pole vaulters
and sprawl
arms outstretched
foam fingers
Element 6: Imagery
 Words that appeal to the 5 senses
 Are “word pictures” Make you imagine
 Helps the reader experience things in a fresh
way. Helps reader identify/make a
“There is a Thing”
There is a thing
beneath the stair
with slimy face
and oily hair
that does not move
or speak or sing
or do another single thing
but sit and wait
beneath the stair
with slimy face
and oily hair
Element 7: Simile
 Comparing two things that are not very
similar using “like” or “as”
 This makes you think about things in a new
 Used to surprise the reader
Red = Simile
Blue = ??
“The World”
The trees are like the hair of the world.
The city is like the heart of the world.
The wind is a flute player
playing in the night.
The cars beeping horns are like buttons
beeping inside the earth.
Each bird is like a single piccolo
sing away
and the grass, just like me,
being buried under the snow.
Element 8: Metaphor
 A direct comparison between two unlike
things without using “Like” or “As”
 The poet describes the thing as if it really
were the comparison
“He is a rock”
“she was a snake”
“The earth was a marble, easily shaken”