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Poetry Study Guide

Page history last edited by Mrs. K. 8 years, 10 months ago

Poetry Study Guide


Poetry--a type of writing that "says more in less space" than prose

Key elements in poems:

     *word choice

     *line breaks


     *style or form

     *figurative language

     *sound devices


Poetic License--you can break the rules as long as you have a good reason


Literal--the usual or actual meaning 

Figurative--the meaning that is implied; not the actual meaning 

So, if Fred said he was so hungry he could eat a cow, FIGURATIVELY, we know he was really hungry. LITERALLY, he would be in for a long night (and he better hope it was a tiny cow).


Sound Devices--the use of a sound or musical quality to achieve a certain effect

1.  Alliteration--repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of words somewhat close together

2.  Assonance--repetition of vowel sounds in the middle of words somewhat close together

3.  Consonance--repetition of consonant sound in the middle of words (somewhat close together)

4.  Onomatopoeia--words that sound like the sounds they are describing

5.  Rhyme--words that have the same end sound

  • End--end of the line
  • Internal--within the line
  • True--exact
  • Approximate--pretty close

6.  Refrain--a word, phrase, or line repeated in a poem for a reason (not just accidentally)


Figurative Language--the opposite of literal, using one thing to describe another

1.  Simile--comparing two things using like or as

2.  Metaphor--comparing two things directly without using like or as

3.  Personification--giving human characteristics to a non-human thing

4.  Hyperbole--exaggeration for effect

5.  Symbol--something that stands for itself and something more too


Line Breaks--how you decide to divide up your poem; IMPORTANT!


Stanza--a paragraph in a poem

  • Couplet--a two line stanza
  • Triplet--a three line stanza
  • Quatrain--a four line stanza
  • Can you figure out what stanzas with more lines would be called?



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