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POETRY WORKSHEET Name ____________________________

 Poetry requires creativity

 Poetry requires emotion
 Poetry requires an artistic quality
 Poetry requires logic
 The basic unit of poetry is the line. It serves the same function as the sentence in prose, although most
poetry maintains the use of grammar within the structure of the poem.

 Lines are also often grouped into stanzas. The stanza in poetry is equivalent or equal to the paragraph
in prose. Often the lines in a stanza will have a specific rhyme scheme. Some of the more common
stanzas are:

Rhyme is when the endings of the words sound the ______________.

Rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyming words at the end of each line. Not all poetry has a rhyme scheme.
They are not hard to identify, but you must look carefully at which words rhyme and which do not.

Dust of Snow
by Robert Frost

The way a crow

Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And save some part
Of a day I had rued.

There are two types of rhyme in poetry: ______________________________ rhyme and ________________________ rhyme.

My Beard
by Shel Silverstein

My beard grows to my toes,

I never wears no clothes,
I wraps my hair
Around my bare,
And down the road I goes.

When reading a poem out loud, you may notice a sort of “sing-song” quality to it, just like in nursery rhymes.
This is accomplished by the use of rhythm.

Iambic da DUM da DUM

The sea was wet as wet could be,

The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.
From “The Walrus and the Carpenter

Anapestic da da DUM

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

Most poems have a structure in which each line contains a set amount of syllables; this is called meter. Meter
is the measured arrangement of words in poetry, the rhythmic pattern of a stanza, determined by the kind
and number of lines. Meter is an organized way to arrange stressed/accented syllables and
unstressed/unaccented syllables. Observe the meter in these iambic patterns.

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.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

Alliteration is the repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line.
Identify the alliteration in the following poem:

Silvery snowflakes fall silently

Until sunrise slowly shows
Snow softening swiftly

Onomatopoeia uses words to spell out sounds; words that sound like what they mean.

Examples: ____________________________________________________________

Identify onomatopoeia in the following poems:

Noise Day
by Shel Silverstein

Let’s have one day for girls and boyses

When you can make the grandest noises.
Screech, scream, holler, and yell –
Buzz a buzzer, clang a bell,
Sneeze – hiccup – whistle – shout,
Laugh until your lungs wear out,
Toot a whistle, kick a can,
Bang a spoon against a pan,
Sing, yodel, bellow, hum,
Blow a horn, beat a drum,
Rattle a window, slam a door,
Scrape a rake across the floor .

by Marie Josephine Smith

Ticking, tocking
Head is rocking.
Tippy toeing.
Snap, crack.
Crushing branch.
Helter, skelter.
Run for shelter.
Pitter, patter.
Rain starts to fall.
Gathering momentum.
Becomes a roar.
Thunder booms.

Repetition is using the same key word or phrase throughout a poem, is the repeating of a sound, word, or
phrase for emphasis.

Inside the house
(I get ready)
Inside the car
(I go to school)
Inside the school
(I wait for the bell to ring)

The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at the end of a stanza. It can also be an entire stanza that is
repeated periodically throughout a poem, kind of like a chorus of a song. Identify the refrain in the following

Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Figurative Language
Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language.
Figurative language is any language that goes beyond the literal meaning of words in order to furnish new
effects or fresh insights into an idea or a subject. The most common figures of speech are:

SIMILE A comparison between two usually unrelated things using the word “like” or “as”, and a simile is a
figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as.
Identify the similes in this poem.

Ars Poetica
By Archibald MacLeish
A poem should be palpable and
mute as a globed fruit,
Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—
A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that
actually have something important in common. It is an implied comparison between two usually unrelated

Time slides
a gentle ocean
waves upon waves,
washing the shore,
loving the shore.

Hyperbole Is an exaggeration not to lie, but for the sake of emphasis.

Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement used to heighten effect is a hyperbole. It is not used to mislead the
reader, but to emphasize a point.

Examples: _______________________________________________________________________________

Ralph Waldo Emerson "The Concord Hymn," which read:

Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

There was an old woman tossed up in a blanket,

Seventeen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I could not but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
"Old woman, old woman, old woman," quoth I;
"O whither, O whither, O whither so high?"
"To sweep the cobwebs from the sky,
And I'll be with you by-and-by!"
Walter Crane

Personification gives human characteristics to inanimate objects.

A figure of speech, which gives the qualities of a person to an animal, an object, or an idea is called
personification. It is a comparison, which the author uses to show something in an entirely new light, to
communicate a certain feeling or attitude towards it and to control the way a reader perceives it.


Carl Sandburg
THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on animals.

An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary
definitions of the individual words. This can make idioms hard to understand.

Cat got your tongue? Don’t make a pig of yourself Pie in the sky
Drop in the Bucket He’s a bully I’m being sheepish Go fly a kite!

Examples _______________________________________________________________________________
SymbolA word or image that signifies A
A word or image that signifies something other than what is literally represented

Colors: Colors often play a role in stories. Usually they represent emotions like love, anger, or sadness. Red is a
passionate color that can symbolize love, anger, or passion. Blue can mean tranquility, peace, sadness, and in some
cases fear. White stands for purity. Green represents youth.
Fire: Another overused element in Literature. Fire can represent anger, passion, love, pain or death. It is a symbol
used in some cases for rebirth or new life.
Night: Night can be used in connection to darkness and acts as a cover over the world and can be used to represent
an ‘end of the road.’ It can represent peace or tranquility or it can be as simple as death and darkness concerning the
usage of shadows.
Day: Literally the opposite of night in both nature and Literature. With day comes the rising of the sun, representing
new life and light. It can be the new beginning for characters or an opportunity for starting over.
Light: Light is used for truth, enlightenment, safety, or it can be used as a holy image. Light can stand for the side of
‘good’ in a novel or ‘power.’

Examples _________________________________________________________________________

Imagery is using words to create a picture in the reader’s mind. Imagery is an appeal to the senses. The poet
describes something to help you to see, hear, touch, taste, or smell the topic of the poem. Describe the
imagery in this poem.

Chasm and canyon

Carved into the land

Epic face of time

A space of creation

And slow change

Formation of rock

Rivers cutting through

Swelling of earth

Gentle, rolling slopes

Gaping, edged depression

Opening new worlds
 - Mary O. Fumento,

Free Verse is just what it says it is - poetry that is written without proper rules about form, rhyme, rhythm,
and meter. In free verse the writer makes his/her own rules. The writer decides how the poem should look,
feel, and sound.

Winter Poem

By Nikki Giovanni of snow engulfed me then

once a snowflake fell i reached to love them all
on my brow and i loved and i squeezed them and they became
it so much and i kissed a spring rain and i stood perfectly
it and it was happy and called its cousins still and was a flower
and brothers and a we
Haiku is one of the most important forms of traditional Japanese poetry.
Haiku is, today, a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metered lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.

On the mountain top
The fog fell down thick and fast
It was like pea soup.

Tip-tap goes the rain.
As it hits the window pane
I can hear the rain.

They fell in showers.
Like diamonds upon the ground
Big hailstones were found.

The simplicity of the limerick quite possibly accounts for its extreme longevity. It consists of five lines with the
rhyme scheme a a b b a.
 The first, second, and fifth lines are trimeter, a verse with three measures, while
 the third and fourth lines are dimeter, a verse with two measures.
 Often the third and fourth lines are printed as a single line with internal rhyme.

Mark the rhyme scheme in this limerick.

Old Man with a Beard

Edward Lear
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, 'It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!'

There once was an ape in a zoo

Who looked out through the bars and saw YOU!
Do you think it's fair

To give poor apes a scare?

I think it's a mean thing to do.

There once was a Martian named Zed

With antennae all over his head.

He sent out a lot

Of di-di-dash-dot

But nobody knows what he said.
A narrative poem, or ballad is often of folk origin and is intended to be sung. It consists of simple
stanzas and usually has a repeated refrain.

See how many poetic qualities you can find in the following ballad.

Listen, children, to a story

That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.
On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.
Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.
So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.
Came an answer from the kingdom,
"With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there."

Now the valley cried with anger,

"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.
Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it...
"Peace on Earth" was all it said.
Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

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