Second Semester: Poetry Tutorials

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Second Semester: Poetry Tutorials Empty Second Semester: Poetry Tutorials

Post by Rachid Amri on Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:28 pm

University of Kairouan
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Department of English
First Year Key Concepts in Literature
Academic Year 2007-2008
Coordinator: Rachid AMRI

Second Semester
Poetry Tutorials

Weekly Calendar

Week One:
Tutorial One: Students will develop an appreciation of poetic language.
Poem will be read aloud in class with particular emphasis on the sound of words.
• Euphony
• Cacophony
• onomatopoeia
Suggested poems: “Who Goes With Fergus?” by W. B. Yeats
“Recital” by John Updike
“A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” by William Wordsworth
Tutorial Two: Students will develop an appreciation of poetic language.
Poem will be read aloud in class with particular emphasis on the sound of words.
• Alliteration
• Initial alliteration
• Internal alliteration or hidden alliteration
• Assonance

Suggested Poems: “Eight O’Clock” by A.E. Housman
“Upon Julia’s Voice” by Robert Herrick
“The Splendor Falls On Castle Walls” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Tutorial Three: Literary composition

Week Two:

Tutorial One: Students will develop an appreciation of poetic language.
Poem will be read aloud in class with particular emphasis on the sound of words.
• Rime
• Slant rime
• Consonance
Suggested Poems: "God's Grandeur" by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Tutorial Two: Students will develop an appreciation of poetic language.
Poem will be read aloud in class with particular emphasis on the sound of words.
• Masculine rime
• Feminine rime
• Eye rime
Suggested Poems: “The Hippopotamus” by Hilaire Bellock
“God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Tutorial Three: Literary Composition

Week Three:

Tutorial One: Students will develop an appreciation of poetic language.
Poem will be read aloud in class with particular emphasis on the sound of words.
• Rhythm
• Meter
• scanning a poem (Iambic, Anapestic, Trochaic, Dactylic).
Suggested Poems: “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks
“Break, Break, Break” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Tutorial Two: Students will develop an appreciation of poetic language.
Poem will be read aloud in class with particular emphasis on the sound of words.
• The commonly used names for line lengths (monometer, dimeter, trimester, tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter, heptameter, octameter).
Suggested Poems: “Hell & Toe To The End” by W. Carlos. Williams
“When I was One-And-Twenty” by A.A. Housman
Tutorial Three: Literary Composition

Last edited by Rachid Amri on Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:04 am; edited 2 times in total

Rachid Amri

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Post by olfa.saidani on Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:05 pm


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Post by rahma beji on Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:14 am

Types of Poems

1. Lyric: subjective, reflective poetry with regular rhyme scheme and meter which reveals the poet’s thoughts and feelings to create a single, unique impression.
Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach”
William Blake, “The Lamb,” “The Tiger”
Emily Dickinson, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”
Langston Hughes, “Dream Deferred”
Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”
Walt Whitman, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”

2. Narrative: nondramatic, objective verse with regular rhyme scheme and meter which relates a story or narrative.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan”
T. S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi”
Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”

3. Sonnet: a rigid 14-line verse form, with variable structure and rhyme scheme according to type:
a. Shakespearean (English)—three quatrains and concluding couplet i iambic pentameter, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg or abba cddc effe gg. The Spenserian sonnet is a specialized form with linking rhyme abab bcbc cdcd ee.
Robert Lowell, “Salem”
William Shakespeare, “Shall I Compare Thee?”
b. Italian (Petrarchan)—an octave and sestet, between which a break in thought occurs. The traditional rhyme scheme is abba abba cde cde (or, the sestet, any variation of c, d, e).
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee?”
John Milton, “On His Blindness”
John Donne, “Death, Be Not Proud”

4. Ode: elaborate lyric verse which deals seriously with a dignified theme.
John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode, to the West Wind”
William Wordsworth, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”

5. Blank Verse: unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter.
Robert Frost, “Birches”
John Milton, “Paradise Lost”
Theodore Roethke, “I Knew a Woman”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”

6. Free Verse: unrhymed lines without regular rhythm.
Walt Whitman, “The Last Invocation”
William Carlos Williams, “Rain,” “The Dance”
Richard Wilbur, “Juggler”

7. Epic: a long, dignified narrative poem which gives the account of a hero important to his nation or race.
Lord Byron, “Don Juan”
John Milton, “Paradise Lost”
Homer, “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey”

8. Dramatic Monologue: a lyric poem in which the speaker tells an audience about a dramatic moment in his/her life and, in doing so, reveals his/her character.
Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”
T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

9. Elegy: a poem of lament, meditating on the death of an individual.
W. H. Auden, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”
John Milton, “Lycidas”
Theodore Roethke, “Elegy for Jane”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam.A. H. H.”

10. Ballad: simple, narrative verse which tells a story to be sung or recited; the folk ballad is anonymously handed down, while the literary ballad has a single author.
John Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci”
Edward Arlington Robinson, “Richard Cory”
William Butler Yeats, “The Fiddler of Dooney”

11. Idyll: lyric poetry describing the life of the shepherd in pastoral, bucolic, idealistic terms.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Idylls of the King”
William Wordsworth, “The Solitary Reaper”

12. Villanelle: a French verse form, strictly calculated to appear simple and spontaneous; five tercets and a final quatrain, rhyming aba aba aba aba aba abaa. Lines 1, 6, 12, 18 and 3, 9, 15, 19 are refrain.
Theodore Roethke, “The Walking”
Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”

13. Light Verse: a general category of poetry written to entertain, such as lyric poetry, epigrams, and limericks. It can also have a serious side, as in parody or satire.
Vachel Lindsay, “The Congo”
Lewis Carroll, “ wocky”

14. Haiku: Japanese verse in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, often depicting a delicate image.
Matsuo Basko, The lightning flashes!
And slashing through the darkness,
A night-heron’s screech.
15. Limerick: humorous nonsense-verse in five anapestic lines rhyming aabba, a-lines being trimeter and b-lines dimeter.
Edward Lear, There was an old man at the Cape
Who made himself garments of crape
When asked “Will they tear?”
He replied “Here and there,
But they keep such a beautiful shape!”

Meter is poetry’s rhythm, or its pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, Meter is measured in units of feet; the five basic kinds of metric feet are indicated below. Bold marks indicate stressed or unstressed syllables.
Type of Metric Foot Accent/Stress Example
Iambic unstressed-stressed bal-loon
Trochaic stressed-unstressed so-da
Anapestic unstressed-unstressed-stressed con-tra-dict
Dactyllic stressed-unstressed-unstressed ma-ni-ac
Spondaic stressed-stressed man-made

Metrical units are the building blocks of lines of verse; lines are named according to the number of feet they contain:
Number of Metric Feet Type of Line
one foot monometer
two feet dimeter
three feet trimeter
four feet tetrameter
five feet pentameter
six feet hexameter
seven feet heptameter
eight feet octometer (rare)
Scansion is the analysis of these mechanical elements within a poem to determine meter. Feet are marked off with slashes (/) and accented appropriately (stress, unstress). Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is scanned here:

Be-cause / I could / not stop / for Death
He kind- / ly stopped / for me
The Car- / riage held / but just / our-selves
And Im- / mor-tal- / i-ty.
The feet in these lines are iambic. The first and third lines have four feet and can be identified as iambic tetrameter. The second and fourth lines, with three feet each, are iambic trimeter. Therefore, the basic meter is iambic tetrameter.

Metric feet make up lines, which make up stanzas. A stanza is to a poem what a paragraph is to a narrative or essay. Stanzas are identified by the number of lines they contain:

Number of Lines Type of Stanza
2 couplet
3 tercet
4 quatrain
5 cinquain
6 sestet
7 septet
8 octet (octave)
9 x-lined stanza
(or more)
Other Metric Terms

amphibrach: a foot with unstressed-stressed-unstressed syllables: Chi-ca-go
anacrusis: an extra unaccented syllable at the beginning of a line before the regular meter begins.
“Mine / by the right / of the white / e-lec-tion” (Emily Dickinson)
amphimacer: a foot with stressed-unstressed-stressed syllables: at-ti-tude
catalexis: an extra unaccented syllable at the ending of a line after the regular meter ends (opposite of anacrusis).
“I’ll tell / you how / the sun / rose” (Emily Dickinson)
caesura: a pause in the meter or rhythm of a line.
Flood-tide below me! || I see you face to face!
(Walt Whitman: “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”)
a run-on line, continuing into the next without a grammatical break.
Green rustlings, more-than-regal charities
Drift coolly from that tower of whispered light.
(Hart Crane: “Royal Palm”)


1. Rime: old spelling of rhyme, which is the repetition of like sounds at regular intervals, employed in versification, the writing of verse.

2. End Rhyme: rhyme occurring at the ends of verse lines; most common rhyme form.
I was angry with my friend,
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
(William Blake, “A Poison Tree”)

3. Internal Rhyme: rhyme contained within a line of verse.
The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Blow, Bugle, Blow”)

4. Rhyme Scheme: pattern of rhymes with a unit of verse; in analysis, each end rhyme-sound is represented by a letter.
Take, O take those lips away,—a
That so sweetly were forsworn;—b
And those eyes, the break of day,a
Lights that do mislead the morn:—b
But my kisses bring again, bring again;—c
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain, seal’d in vain.—c
(William Shakespeare, “Take, 0 Take Those Lips Away”)

5. Masculine Rhyme: rhyme in which only the last, accented syllable of the rhyming words correspond exactly in sound; most common kind of end rhyme.
She walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
(Lord Byron, “She Walks in Beauty”)

6. Feminine Rhyme: rhyme in which two consecutive syllables of the rhyming words correspond, the first syllable carrying the accent; double rhyme.
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
(Alexander Pope, “Vital Spark of Heavenly Flame”)

rahma beji

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Post by rahma beji on Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:18 am

7. Half Rhyme (Slant Rhyme): imperfect, approximate rhyme.
In the mustardseed sun,
By full tilt river and switchback sea
Where the cormorants scud,
In his house on stilts high among beaks
(Dylan Thomas, “Poem on His Birthday”)

8. Assonance: repetition of two or more vowel sounds within a line.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes
(William Blake, “The Tiger”)

And I do smile, such cordial light
(Emily Dickinson, “My Life Had Stood, A Loaded Gun”)

9. Consonance: repetition of two or more consonant sounds within a line.
And all is seared with trade; bleared smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares men’s smell: the soil
(Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur”)

Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
(John Donne, “The Sun Rising”)

10. Alliteration: the repetition of one or more initial sounds, usually consonants, in words within a line.
Bright black-eyed creature, brushed with brown.
(Robert Frost, “To a Moth Seen in Winter”)

He clasps the crag with crooked hands
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Eagle”)

11. Onomatopoeia: the use of a word whose sound suggests its meaning.
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard
(Robert Frost, “Out, Out”)

Veering and wheeling free in the open
(Carl Sandburg, “The Harbor”)

12. Euphony: the use of compatible, harmonious sounds to produce a pleasing, melodious effect.
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them.
(Theodore Roethke, “I Knew a Woman”)

And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows
(Alexander Pope, “Sound and Sense”)

13. Cacophony: the use of inharmonious sounds in close conjunction effect; opposite of euphony.
Or, my scrofulous French novel
On grey paper with blunt type!
Simply glance at it, you grovel
Hand and foot in Belial’s gripe;
(Robert Browning, “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”)

But when loud surges lash the sounding shore
(Alexander Pope, “Sound and Sense”)

Poetic Devices and Figurative Language

1. Metaphor: a figure of speech which makes a direct comparison of unlike objects by identification or substitution.
All the world’s a stage
(William Shakespeare, As You Like It)

Death is the broom
I take in my hands
To sweep the world clean.
(Langston Hughes, “War”)

2. Simile: a direct comparison of two unlike objects, using like or as.
The holy time is quiet as a nun
(William Wordsworth, “On the Beach at Calais”)

And like a thunderbolt he falls
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Eagle”)

3. Conceit: an extended metaphor comparing two unlike objects with powerful effect. (It owes its roots to elaborate analogies in Petrarch and to the Metaphysical poets, particularly Donne.)
If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.
(John Donne, “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”) 4. Personification: a figure of speech in which objects and animals have human qualities.
When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath. (Emily Dickinson, “A Certain Slant of Light”)

Into the jaws of Death.
Into the mouth of Hell.
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”)

5. Apostrophe: an address to a person or personified object not present.
Little Lamb, who made thee?
(William Blake, “The Lamb”)

O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
(John Milton, “Samson Agonistes”)

6. Metonymy: the substitution of a word which relates to the object or person to be named, in place of the name itself.
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life.
Now wears his crown.
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet)

A spotted shaft is seen (snake).
(Emily Dickinson, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”)

7. Synecdoche: a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole object or idea.
Not a hair perished (person).
(William Shakespeare, The Tempest)

And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fire (homes).
(Thomas Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush”)

8. Hyperbole: gross exaggeration for effect: overstatement.
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
(Andrew Marvell, “To his Coy Mistress”)

Our hands were firmly cemented.
(John Donne, “The Ecstasy”)

9. Litotes: a form of understatement in which the negative of an antonym is used to achieve emphasis and intensity.
He accused himself, at bottom and not unveraciously, of a fantastic, a demoralized sympathy with her.
(Henry James, “The Pupil”) 10. Irony: the contrast between actual meaning and the suggestion of another meaning.
a. Verbal—meaning one thing and saying another.
next to of course god america i love you (e.e. cummings)
b. Dramatic—two levels of meaning—what the speaker says and what he/ she means, and what the speaker says and the author means.
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
Running, leaping,
And carousing in sin.
One looked up grinning,
And said, “Comrade! Brother!
(Stephen Crane, “I Stood Upon a High Place”)
c. Situational—when the reality of a situation differs from the anticipated or intended effect; when something unexpected occurs.
What rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?
(William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”)
(The second coming of Christ is intended, but a rough beast will come instead.)

11. Symbolism: the use of one object to suggest another, hidden object or idea.
In Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” the fork in the road represents a major decision in life, each road a separate way of life.
In Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock,” “Cupid’s flames” symbolizes love.
In Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “The Caged Skylark,” “a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage” symbolizes the human spirit contained within the domains of society.

12. Imagery: the use of words to represent things, actions, or ideas by sensory description.
Night after Night
Her purple traffic
Strews the land with Opal Bales—
Merchantmen—poise upon Horizons—
Dip—and vanish like Orioles!
(Emily Dickinson, “This Is the Land Where Sunset Washes”)

And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings
(Thomas Hardy, “Afterwards”)

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Eagle”) 13. Paradox: a statement which appears self-contradictory, but underline basis of truth.
Elected silence, sing to me.
(Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Habit of Perfection”)

Were her first years the Golden Age; that’s true,
But now she’s gold oft-tried and ever-new.
(John Donne, “The Autumnal”)

14. Oxymoron: contradictory terms brought together to express a paradox for strong effect.
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feathered raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
(William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
(Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Pied Beauty”)

15. Allusion: a reference to an outside fact, event, or other source.
World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras
Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings
What a star sang and careless Muses heard
(Pythagoras—Greek mathematician; Muses—mythological goddesses of beauty and music)
(William Butler Yeats, “Among School Children”)

In Breughel’s great painting, The Kermess,
the dancers go round, they go round and around
(William Carlos Williams, “The Dance”)

rahma beji

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Second Semester: Poetry Tutorials Empty The voice of poems

Post by eyat allah dammak on Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:12 pm

The voice of poems:

There is no one way of coming to terms with a poem. With experience you will find your own individual way of making sense of poetry. here, however, are a few simple guidelines. when you are asked to write about a poem it will be worth consulting them, at least until you feel confident about your own method of reading poetry.
Basic method:
First of all, pay attention to the title of the poem. Does it give you any clues as to what the poem may be about or as to how it should be read?
Secondly, read the poem straight through without worrying about difficulties or about words you do not understand. Try and get a very rough and immediate sense of the poem as a whole and try also to catch its lone of voice.
Thirdly, read it through more carefully, a second and third time, pausing at the end of each sentence to see if you have understand its meaning and feeling. You may need a dictionary; you may also want to discuss points with the person sitting next to you or in small groups.
Finally, read the poem through again. (you may want to read it out loud and record it on cassette). Now see if you can make all the parts connect so that the poem has a convincing unity.
As part of this experience of making sense of poetry you will generally find it helpful to ask the following questions:

Questions about voice:
-who is the speaking in the poem?
-out of what situation?
-out of what kind of feeling?
-in what tone of voice?

Questions about diction:
-what kind of language is the poem written in?
-is it written in dialect?
-does it use a conversational style?
-or does it use a high and serious language,
-or a variety of styles?
-does it use imagery? if so, in what way?

Questions about form:
-what kind of pattern does the poem make?
-what kind of rhythm do the words have?
-how are the lines broken up?
-how many stanzas are there?
-are rhymes used? if so, in what way?

Questions about meaning:
-what is the theme of the poem?
-how is it developed?
-how valuable is the undertanding expressed in the poem?
-is it profound or trivial? perceptive or commonplace?
-how does it relate to your own understanding of the world?
-does the poem encourage you to understand things in a better or different way?

Questions involving comparisons:
-do you know or can you find other poems that are similar in form? similar in theme?
-if so, how does he poem stand up in relationship to them?
-is it more or less powerful in its use of language?
-is it more or less sensitive in its understanding?
-does it alter the theme in any way?

You answers to these questions and to other questions that you will bring to the poem, should form material from which you can them write up your own critical interpretation of any poem.
eyat allah dammak
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Post by eyat allah dammak on Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:50 pm

Understanding the meaning of poetry

eyat allah dammak
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