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The rusty spigot

a sputter,
spatters a smattering of drops,
gashes wider;
finally stops sputtering
and plash!
gushes rushes splashes
clear water dashes.

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
Id wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, hed call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of loves austere and lonely offices?
Robert Hayden

Rhythm is the beat of a poem. It is the pattern
of stressed and unstressed syllables. There
are several rhythm patterns in poetry

Meter is the set pattern of stressed and
unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. The
main meter patterns are
Iambic -- U/ (one foot)
Trochee - /U
Anapest -- UU/
Dactyl -- //U

Exact rhyme are words that have the exact
same-sounding ending, like cat and hat
Slant rhyme words sound similar, but arent
exact, like one and down.
A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyming
Look at the following poem and identify the
rhyme scheme.

Imagery is the senses the poem evokes in
the reader. Imagery puts the reader in the
poem. It helps the reader to see the poem.
The tools of imagery are
Senses : sound, sight, touch, smell, taste, and
Figurative language : metaphor, simile,
personification, hyperbole, etc.

Sensory details
Sensory details touch the five senses.
They make the poem vivid to the

Figurative Language
Figurative language is words not meant to be
taken literally. The words are symbolic. We know
these images as metaphor, simile, personification,
hyperbole, and others. Because the poet is
comparing a less familiar object to a common one,
the comparison makes the familiar image stronger.
The next slides will give examples of each type of

Metaphors and similes compare something in
the poem to something familiar outside the
poem. Making the connection requires
background knowledge for the
metaphor/simile to be meaningful to the
Look at the metaphors in the poem, frost.

When an author uses personification, he gives
human characteristics to a non-human object.
Look at the human characteristics used by Howard
Nemerov in his poem The Vacuum. Also notice
how personification reveals the speakers attitude
toward housekeeping.

Hyperbole/ Exaggeration
The poet uses hyperbole to overstate
something to reveal the truth.
In a poem called Sow Sylvia Plath describes
how much the sow eats. She writes, Of
kitchen slops and, stomaching no
constraint,/ Proceeded to swill/ The seven
seas and every earthquaking continent.
How much did the sow eat?

In Those Winter Sundays Hayden has caused us to experience

several senses. [B]lueblack cold certainly makes us feel how
cold it was. When the fathers hands are described as cracked hands
that ached we can feel the roughness. He describes the cold
splintering and breaking. We can hear the trees and ice crack. And
then the rooms were warm when the boy got up. We know how
that feels on a cold day. When the boy fears the chronic angers of
that house and when he speaks indifferently to him we know
what emotions the boy is feeling.
Hayden has caused us to feel cold, cracked hands and warm rooms.
We hear splintering and breaking and feel anger and indifference.
These sensory details make the poem come alive to us and help us to
feel what the boy felt on those winter Sundays.

How does
The plain
Of water
Sprout these
Lacy fronds
And plumes
And tendrils?
And where,
Before windowPanes, did
They root
Their lush forests,
Their cold
Silver jungles?

The author of this poem compared the frost on a

window to the lacy fronds, plumes, and tendrils of
a fern. In the last stanza she has expanded the
comparison to crystal forests and silver
jungles. Let us picture that in our minds. Can we
see the frost on the window?

The Vacuum
The house is quiet now
The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet,
Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth
Grinning into the floor, maybe at my
Slovenly life, my dog-dead youth.
Ive lived this way long enough,
But when my old woman died her soul
Went into that vacuum cleaner, and I cant bear
To see the bag swell like a belly, eating the dust
And the woolen mice, and begin to howl
Because there is old filth everywhere
She used to crawl, in corner and under the stair.
I know now how life is cheap as dirt,
And still the hungry, angry heart
Hangs on and howls, biting at air.

Poets use contrast to further show images. Antithesis
strengthens the differences of the image.
In the next poem Ms. Piercy describes the
ambivalence of the speakers love relationship by
writing these contrasting images: cold and hot
winds of our breath,/ as we make and unmake in
passionate/ diastole and systole the rhythm/ of our
unbound bonding

Counting-Out Rhyme
Silver bark of beech , and sallow
Bark of yellow birch and yellow
Twig of willow.
Stripe of green in moosewood maple,
Colour seen in leaf of apples,
Bark of popple.
Wood of popple pale as moonbeam,
Wood of oak for yoke and bran-beam,
Wood of hornbeam.
Silver bark of beech, and hollow
Stem of elder, tall and yellow
Twig of willow.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Jean Toomer
Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes. I see them place the hones
In their hip-pockets as a thing thats done,
And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds,
His belly close to ground, I see the blade,
Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.

Repetitive initial consonant sounds in a poem are
called alliteration.
Repetition of other consonant sounds is called
Repetitive vowel sounds are called assonance.
The following poem has many examples of each.
See how many you can find. Also notice what
other element of poetry you can find.

Fueled by Marcie Hans

by a million
wings of fire
the rocket tore a tunnel
through the sky
and everybody cheered,
only by a thought from God
the seedling
urged its way
through the thickness of black
and as it pierced
the ceiling of the soil
and launched itself
up into outer space

Poems also create music through the
repetition of words and lines.
Look at the poem One Perfect Rose by
Dorothy Parker. One line is repeated three
times. Notice how the meaning of the line
changes by the third repetition.

One Perfect Rose

by Dorothy Parker
A single flowr he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure with scented dew still wet
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the flowerlet;
My fragile leaves, it said, his heart enclose.
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, its always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

When we read poetry, we must be careful to read it
with the punctuation the author provided. Our
tendency is to pause at the end of each line when
we should pause at the punctuation marks.
When pauses come in the middle of the line, we call
it a caesura. When the line continues to the next
line we call it enjambment.
The next slides show examples of each.

We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June.
We die soon.

Notice that the enjambment forces you to pause before

the end of the line. The word we is emphasized and
gives the poem a syncopated rhythm, similar to the
rhythm in jazz. This is appropriate since the poem is
about the period of the 30s when Prohibition was in
effect and jazz was king.

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea sands damp and brown
The traveler hastens toward the town.
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
This is only the first stanza of the poem, but you can see how effective the caesura is in creating
the sound of the waves.

Form is the structure of the poem. Any type
of writing must have something to hold it
The structure can be created through many
means: meter, stanza, rhyme scheme, or set
patterns of poetry like sonnet, haiku ,
concrete, and others.

Meter is the set pattern of stressed and
unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. The
main meter patterns are
Iambic -- U/ (one foot)
Trochee - /U
Anapest -- UU/
Dactyl -- //U

Iambic is the most common pattern of meter since it is the way we
generally talk . It is the unstressed/stressed syllable pattern.
Here is an example of iambic lines:
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, (/U|U/|U/|U/)
The bridal of the earth and sky; (U/|U/|U/|U/)
The dew shall weep thy fall to night, (U/|U/|U/|U/)
For thou must die.(U/|U/|) (from Virtue by George Herbert)

Trochee is the reverse of an iamb. It is a stressed/unstressed
pattern like in this line:
Piping down the valleys wild, (/U|/U|/U|/)
Piping songs of pleasant glee, (/U|/U|/U|/)
On a cloud I saw a child, (/U|/U|/U|/)
From Songs of Innocence by William Blake

Anapest is a meter pattern that sounds like
hoof-beats. UU/|UU/
A tutor who tooted the flute (/|UU/|UU/|/)
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.

A stanza in poetry is like a paragraph in
prose. The author divides the poem by
grouping words into stanzas. We can often
see the structure of the poem by the authors
use of stanza.

Rhyme Scheme
Having a certain rhyme scheme also is a
way to give structure to poetry.
Look at the rhyme scheme in the poem
Cross by Langston Hughes. See how it
holds the poem together. Also notice the
use of stanzas. Why did Hughes put these
words in the stanza?

Langston Hughes
My old mans a white old man
And my old mothers black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
Im sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well.
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where Im gonna die
Being neither white or black?

Some poems are written in a set form like
sonnets, haikus, pantoums, limericks,
concrete, etc.
These patterns sometimes require a regular
rhyme scheme or meter; or number of
syllables or lines.
Look at the following examples:

The sonnet is the requirement of every
experienced poet. You must write one!
It is fourteen lines of rhymed iambic
The first 12 lines pose a problem, ask a
question, or set up a situation.
The couplet at the end solves the problem,
answers the question or settles the situation.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers

Day? William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summers day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summers lease hath all too short a date:
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed:
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or natures changing course untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderst in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growst:
So long as men can breathe, or eye can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.



The previous sonnet is a famous one by

William Shakespeare. It follows exactly the
sonnet pattern. Iambic pentameter means that
it has five feet of iamb meter (U/). The rhyme
scheme is called Shakespearen because
Shakespeare used it in all his sonnets.
Look back at the poem and notice the rhyme
and meter. Then see what the first four lines
are talking about and how the couplet at the
end completes it.

Haiku is an ancient Japanese pattern. It is
three lines of seventeen syllables separated
into 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables
in the second, and 5 in the last. But a haiku
is much more than that. Look at the
following haiku written by Mike Reiss.

Any moron can
Write haikus. Just stop at the
Seventeenth syllab

I think he was trying to be funny. Did you laugh?

Real haiku also have other characteristics besides
1. Haiku depend on imagery.
2. Haiku are condensed; the poet leaves out all
unnecessary words.
3. Haiku are concerned with emotions; nature reflects
these emotions.
4. Haiku rely heavily on the power of suggestion or

Here is a real Japanese haiku written by Japanese writer

Kobayashi Issa.
A gentle spring rain
Look, a rat is lapping
Sumida River.

Here is one by American author Richard Wright.

Over spring mountains
A star ends the paragraph
Of a thunderstorm.

Finally, one by a former student, Jonathan Martin.

Praying like a priest
Then snapping with Gods power,
The mantis chews love.

A pantoum is an old Malaysian form of
poetry that repeats certain lines. You start
off with 8 original lines and repeat certain
ones to complete 16 lines. Look at the
pattern in the next poem.

Deserted House
Robert King
Questions linger in the tall grass.

Over the long abandoned house

The clouds pile up, filling the skythe night birds veer and dart away
without an answer to the grass

reflected in broken windows

or the last sunlight slanting low.

and we are alone by the house.

The clouds pile up, filling the skyThe night birds veer and dart away.
over the long abandoned house

Questions linger in the grass

with the last sunlight slanting low

and we are alone by the house

reflected broken windows.

without an answer to the grass.

The limerick has a strict pattern of five lines
in an anapestic meter with a rhyme scheme
of aa, bb, a. The limerick is almost always
a light, humorous poem. Here is an

I sat next the Duchess at tea.

It was just as I feared it would be:
Her rumblings abdominal
Were simply abominable
And everyone thought they were me!

Concrete poetry
Some poetry takes the shape of what the poem is about. Here is
one called Poem by Philip G. Tannenbaum:

Can you figure out what this is about?

Putting it all Together

or how to analyze a poem
Now that we have discussed the poetic
tools, lets apply them in the discussion of a
poem. The main tools the poet uses are
imagery, music and form. Look for these
elements in the last poem of the
presentation. Discuss how the poet creates
and effect by the use of these tools.

Sara Teasdale
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,

Spend all you have for loveliness,

Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,

And childrens faces looking up

And for a breath of ecstasy

Holding wonder like a cup.

Give all you have been, or could be.

Life has loveliness to sell,

Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirits still delight,
Holy thought that star the night.