Poetry: Understanding Speaker, Tone, Setting, Context, Structure, Form, Figurative Language, Sight, and Sound

person who narrates a poem

The way the writer uses language to reflect his or her unique personality and attitude toward a topic.

The difference between appearance and reality.

The poet’s choice of words and how those word choices express ideas and emotions.

dramatic irony
Something is known by the reader or audience but is unknown to the characters.

verbal irony
A character says one thing but means another

irony of situation
An event occurs that violates the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience.

methods to discover tone
You can read aloud, notice and identify the words that stand out and think about the connotation of words, consider the speaker of the poem, and compare and contrast the poem’s themes or subjects with those of others

time, place, and the details used to create a particular sense of place and time

sensory details
words or phrases that describe how something looks, sounds, feels, tastes, or smells

Why might a poet use sensory details?
to help establish setting

What is context?
Conditions in which the poem occurs. It is related tosetting but focuses more on the environment of the time and place.

historical context
the time period in which the poem was written or of the events it describes

cultural context
the culture of the poet, speaker, or subject of the poem

a formal poem lamenting a death

a traditional Japanese poem of five lines and thirty-one syllables

a poem intended to honor or praise someone or something

a 14-line poem typically written in iambic pentameter

poem made up of four line rhyming stanzas that tells a story

narrative poem
a poem that tells a story

dramatic poem
special type of narrative poetry that relies on elements of drama, such as monologue or dialogue, to tell the story

lyric poem
expresses the emotions of the speaker and tends to be musical in style

prose poem
a passage of prose that is so poetic in nature that the line between poetry and prose is blurred

free verse
a type of lyric poetry that is free from regular rhyme, meter, or stanza division

blank verse
unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter

a comparison between two dissimilar objects using the word like or as

a comparison between two dissimilar objects without usingthe word like or as

a comparison of two things that are alike in some ways butmostly very different

a figure of speech in which an animal, idea, or thing is givenhuman characteristics

an example of something standing for both itself andsomething else

literary overstatement or exaggeration

a work in which all the characters, events, or setting symbolize something else

the language used in literature that creates mental pictures inside the mind of the reader

rhyme scheme
a pattern of rhymes at the end of lines

the repetition of vowel sounds

a similarity in consonant sounds in non-rhyming words

the same sound repeated at the beginning of several words

the use of words or phrases that sound like the things that they refer to

repeating a word or phrase