Poetry and Structure

Poetry and Structure
Form Follows Function
What do you think this saying
Can you think of examples in
life where the form of something
is closely tied to its function?
Guggenheim Museum
Martha Graham
Toilet Paper
Narrative Poetry
 Narrative poetry is determined by content and to a
degree form.
 It must tell a story.
 So, it must contain narrative elements like
These elements follow the structure of a story.
There are different types of narrative poems…
Epic Poetry is an extended
narrative poem recounting
actions, travels, adventures, and
heroic episodes and is written in
high style.
Epic Poems
 Protagonist is heroically larger than life
 Deeds of the hero are presented without favoritism,
revealing flaws as well as virtues
 Action, often in battle, reveals the more-than-human
strength of heroes
 Setting covers several nations, the whole world, or
even the universe
 All of the adventures form a whole, where each event
relates to the central theme
Narrative Poetry
 Ballad is a type of poetry which was basically used in
dance songs in ancient France.
 Distinguishing Features include
 Simple, easy-to-understand language
 Stories about hardships, tragedies, love, and
 Recurrence of certain lines at regular intervals
 Seldom offers a direct message about an event,
character, or situation (the audience must deduce
the moral)
Lyric Poetry
• Lyric poetry consists of poems that express the
thoughts and feelings of the poet.
• Lyric poetry does NOT tell a story which portrays
characters and actions.
• The lyric poet addresses the reader directly,
portraying his/her own feeling, state of mind, and
Types of Lyric Poetry
 Ode- comes from the Greek aeidein, meaning to sing
or chant.
 It can be generalized as a formal address to an event,
a person, or a thing not present.
 Different types of odes have different structures
associated with them.
 You show two related but differing things to the
reader in order to communicate something about
 Each of the three major types of sonnets
accomplishes this in a somewhat different way.
 There are, of course, other types of sonnets, as well,
but the basic three are Italian, Spenserian, English.
All Sonnets
Have fourteen lines
Follow a strict rhyme scheme