Elements of Poetry
When you read a poem, pay attention to some basic ideas:
Voice (Who is speaking? How are they speaking?)
Stanzas (how lines are grouped)
Sound (includes rhyme, but also many other patterns)
Rhythm (what kind of "beat" or meter does the poem have?)
Figures of speech (many poems are full of metaphors and other figurative language) Form (there are standard types of poem)
Voice is a word people use to talk about the way poems "talk" to the reader. Lyric poems and narrative poems are the ones you will see most. Lyric poems express the feelings of the writer. A narrative poem tells a story. Some other types of voice are mask, apostrophe, and conversation. A mask puts on the identity of someone or something else, and speaks for it. Apostrophe talks to something that can't answer (a bee, the moon, a tree) and is good for wondering, asking, or offering advice. Conversation is a dialogue between two voices and often asks us to guess who the voices are. Stanza
A stanza is a group within a poem which may have two or many lines. They are like paragraphs. Some poems are made of REALLY short stanzas, called couplets--two lines that rhyme, one after the other, usually equal in length. Sound
One of the most important things poems do is play with sound. That doesn't just mean rhyme. It means many other things. The earliest poems were memorized and recited, not written down, so sound is very important in poetry. Rhyme - Rhyme means sounds agree. "Rhyme" usually means end rhymes (words at the end of a line). They give balance and please the ear. Sometimes rhymes are exact. Other times they are just similar. Both are okay. You mark rhyme in a poem with the letters of the alphabet. For instance, in this stanza: Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
the rhyme scheme is aaba (because "know," "though," and "snow" rhyme, they are marked "a,"...
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