Poetry ...

...is the most compressed form of literature.
...is composed of carefully chosen words expressing great depth of meaning or feeling.
...uses specific devices such as alliteration, sound, and rhythm to express the appropriate combination of meaning and emotion.
...can take many forms including song lyrics.
... can be serious, sad, funny and every emotion in between.
...is fun!


Traditional - follows standard rules of grammar and syntax with a regular rhythm and rhyme scheme.

Modern or Free Verse - avoids rhyme and standard grammatical organization and seeks new ways of expression.

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. Most poems have a structure in which each line contains a set amount of syllables; this is called meter. 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:

Couplet: a two line stanza
Triplet: a three line stanza
Quatrain: a four line stanza
Cinquain: a five line stanza

Rhyme is a word that ends with the same sound as another word like:

bold – cold; sea – tea; dear – tier

Rhyme schemes: The pattern of the last word sounds.
  • A-B-B-A
  • A-A-B-B-A
  • A-B-A-B

Internal Rhyme is the use of rhyming words within a line of poetry.
Example: Hang tight, then make a right.

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.

Repetition 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)

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.

Poetry Page courtesy of Ms. Sanders