Poetry 411

A closer look at poetic devices and types of poems.

Poetic Devices

Repetetition

The repeating of certain words to draw the reader's attention.


Example 1:

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there’s a pair of us-don’t tell!
They’d banish us you know.


Example 2:

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn…

Rhyme

The repetition of similar sounds at the end of lines in a poem.
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Alliteration

The repetition of beginning consonant sounds. Used to get the reader's attention by adding rhythm to a poem.

Rhyme Scheme

The consistent rhyming pattern at the end of lines in a poem using the alphabet.

Types of Poems

Sonnet

A 14 lined poem with a fixed rhyme scheme.

Haiku

A short poem that consists of three unrhymed lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables.

Narrative

A poem that tells a story with a plot, characters, setting, etc. It can but doesn't have to rhyme.
The Lady of Shalott (for children)

Ballad

A poem that tells a story but is written like a song with simple stanzas. It can rhyme but doesn't have to.

Limerick

A humorous poem that has 5 lines and a fixed rhyme scheme of A A B B A. Lines 1, 2, and 5 have 8 syllables each. Lines 3 and 4 have 6 syllables each.
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Cinquain

Free Verse

Poems that are free from limitations of rhythms and rhyme schemes.
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Concrete

Poem where the meaning is shown by a visual picture using patterns of words or letters.

Acrostic

A poem in which certain letters in each line form a word or words.

Ekphrasis

A poem that is written about a work of art.