Poetry Form and Structure

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1 Poetry Form and Structure

2 1. Stanza A grouped set of lines within a poem, usually set off from other stanzas by a blank line. Basically a Poem Paragraph

3 Stanza Example Spring Pool by Robert Frost These pools that, though in forests, still reflect The total sky almost without defect, And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver, Will like the flowers beside them, soon be gone, And yet not out by any brook or river, But up by roots to bring dark foliage on. The trees that have it in their pent-up buds To darken nature and be summer woods Let them think twice before they use their powers To blot out and drink up and sweep away These flowery waters and these watery flowers From snow that melted only yesterday.

4 2. Rhyme Scheme The pattern of rhyme between lines of a poem or song. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme; lines designated with the same letter all rhyme with each other. And therefore, it is the pattern of end rhymes or lines.

5 Rhyme Scheme Example Bid me to weep, and I will weep, While I have eyes to see; And having none, yet I will keep A heart to weep for thee. A B A B

6 Rhyme Scheme Example Tired out we are, my heart and I. Suppose the world brought diadems To tempt us, crusted with loose gems Of powers and pleasures? Let it try. We scarcely care to look at even A pretty child, or God's blue heaven, We feel so tired, my heart and I. A B B A C C A

7 3. Quatrain A quatrain is a type of stanza (or a complete poem) consisting of four lines. O, my luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June: O, my luve's like the melodie That's sweetly played in tune.

8 Quatrain Example Early Bird by Shel Silverstein Oh, if you re a bird, be an early bird And catch the worm for your breakfast plate. If you re a bird, be an early bird But if you re a worm, sleep late.

9 Quatrain Example 2 Complainin Jack by Shel Silverstein This morning my old jack-in-the-box Popped out and wouldn t get back-in-the-box. He cried, Hey, there s a tack-in-the-box, And it s cutting me through and through. There also is a crack-in-the-box, And I never find a smack-in-the-box, And sometimes I hear a quack-in-the-box, Cause a duck lives in here, too. Complain, complain is all he did I finally had to close the lid.

10 4. Beat A beat is a rhythmic stress in poetry containing two syllables But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? -William Shakespeare If we were to clap along to the beats of this line, here s how it would go: But soft! What light Through yon- -der win- -dow breaks

11 5. Meter The basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines of a verse. Monometer Diameter Trimeter Tetrameter Pentameter Hexameter Heptameter Octameter

12 6. Couplet A pair of lines of meter in poetry. Couplets usually consist of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter. A B A B C C

13 Couplet Example I cannot go to school today, A Said little Peggy Ann McKay. A I have the measles and the mumps, B A gash, a rash and purple bumps. B My mouth is wet, my throat is dry, C I'm going blind in my right eye C -Shel Silverstein

14 7. Volta Other texts might call it the turn or the shift. As a general rule, the shift introduces a change in the speaker s understanding of what he/she is narrating, signaling to readers that he/she has reached an insight. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes Well, son, I ll tell you: Life for me ain t been no crystal stair. It s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor Bare. But all the time I se been a-climbin on, And reachin landin s, And turnin corners, And sometimes goin in the dark Where there ain t been no light. So boy, don t you turn back. Don t you set down on the steps Cause you finds it s kinder hard. Don t you fall now For I se still goin, honey, I se still climbin, And life for me ain t been no crystal stair.

15 8. Free Verse Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.

16 Free Verse Example The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.

17 There is a place where the sidewalk ends and before the street begins, and there the grass grows soft and white, and there the sun burns crimson bright, and there the moon-bird rests from his flight to cool in the peppermint wind. Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black and the dark street winds and bends. Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow we shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow and watch where the chalk-white arrows go to the place where the sidewalk ends. Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow, and we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go, for the children, they mark, and the children, they know, the place where the sidewalk ends.

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