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  English 10: Sound and Structure in Poetry
 

 

PEARSON ADULT LEARNING CENTRE
English 10
Poetry: Sound and Structure
February 2, 2005

Today, we will look at some of the vocabulary of poetry. We will learn key terms, then look at a favourite poem of mine about love, “Bearhug,” by Michael Ondaatje, well-known Canadian poet and author of the novel, The English Patient.

What We Know Already:

Take 10 minutes to write down any special vocabulary you know about poetry. If, for example, you know what a metaphor is, define it simply. Do this for any vocabulary of poetry you may know.

Whole Class Discussion:

We will go over the information sheet on poetic terms. The teacher will review and explain and answer any questions you my have.

Reading the Poem:

Now, with your group, read the poem, “Bearhug.” Can you identify any examples of sound devices we discussed to today? What is your opinion of the poem’s meaning?

Writing Assignment (Due on Wednesday, February 9, 2005) NOTE: The test on Unit One Vocabulary for Language Exercises Level H will be on Wednesday, February 16.

Using Ondaatje’s poem, “Bearhug,” write a paragraph that uses examples from the poem to explain these terms: metaphor, alliteration, assonance and simile.

q   Write from 125 to 150 words. Quote the poem to explain your examples clearly.

q   Make at least five corrections to your first draft and make a new copy of your paragraph.

q   Hand in your original and your revised copy in class.

Special Poetic Structures

A line in a poem is all the words that occupy one line of text. NOTE: a line is not necessarily a sentence. Remember, when reading a poem, to read the sentence, just like in prose.

A group of lines in a poem is called a stanza. The lines are separated from other stanzas by a double space.

In a poem the person who speaks the words you hear is called the speaker. (in a story, the same person is “narrator”) Sometimes, this person is the same as the poet or writer and sometimes not.

A narrative poem tells a story; a lyric poem expresses a feeling. Many poems combine the two.

 

Sound Devices in Poetry

Rhyme is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line have the same vowel and consonant sound at the end of the word OR have the same vowel sound at the end.

“Way” rhymes with “say” and “mat” rhymes with “cat.”

 

Feminine rhyme is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line have two or more of the same vowel and consonant sounds at the end of the word.

“Boring” rhymes on two syllables with “soaring” and “pouring” OR “orange” can make a rhyme with “door hinge.” Another good pair would be “happening” and “dampening.”

 

Masculine rhyme is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line have one of the same vowel and consonant sounds at the end of the word.

Words that rhyme inside a line are “internal rhymes.”

“I drank the fine wine”

Assonance is when the middle vowel sound is the same (or very similar) in two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line AND the consonant sounds at the beginning and end are different. You can see that this is half rhyme, another term poets use for assonance.

Slot” and “frog” and “rock” have assonance on the “aw” sound in the middle of the word.

 

Consonance is when the ending consonant sound is the same (or very similar) in two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line AND the vowel sounds in the middle are different (and the consonant sound at the beginning is the same or different). You can see that this is half rhyme, another term poets use for consonance.

Flight” and “mat” have consonance on the “t” sound at the end of the word.

 

Alliteration is when two or more words on the same line or nearly the same line share the same consonant sound at the beginning of words. You can see that alliteration is the opposite of consonance.

Shoot” and “shoe” show alliteration on the “sh” sound at the beginning. “So” and “sing” also show alliteration. REMEMBER that “s” and “sh” are not the same sound.

 

A metaphor is a comparison between two different things in order to show a similarity.

To say “a man IS a tiger” is a metaphor to show the similarity of, perhaps, strength between the man and the tiger.

He is a real bear in the morning. (The man is compared to a bear just waking up in the springtime (grouchy and easily angry).

 

Simile is a special kind of metaphor, using “like” or “as.” The man is like a tiger. The man is as strong as a tiger.

Index of Winter 2005 Lessons

Index of Fall 2004 Lessons

Index of Spring 2004 Lessons

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