Poetry derives its name from a Greek verb which means ‘to create’. It is the oldest form of literature, and it originated as an oral art accompanied by dancing and music.
Its three most important elements are:
o Its sound
o Its visual layout
o The special way it uses language
Rhyme and Layout
Poems are said to rhyme when the last word of two or more lines has the same ending sound. When rhyme is used within the line, it’s called internal rhyme. The pattern they create is called rhyme scheme.
Basic structural units
The structural units of poetry are:
o The line(verso)
o The stanza(strofa)
o Canto or book
A line of English poetry is usually 8 or 12 syllables long and normally the stanzas are 12 or 2 lines long.
Common type of stanza
The types of stanza are:
o The tercets(3 lines)
o The quatrain(4 lines)
o The sestet(7 lines)
o The octave(8 lines)
Run-on line - Enjambement
If a line ends in the middle of a phrase and the meaning break comes in the next line we call this enjambment or run-on line.
Assonance is the repetition of the same vowel sound.
The repetition of the same initial consonant sound in consecutive words.
Repetition and refrain
The repetition is when a phrases or lines are repeated in the course of a poem to create a musical effect. Refrain often comes in ballads as in the question repeated at the beginning of every stanza.
The formation and use of word whose sound illustrates their meaning is called onomatopea.
Rhythm is a natural feature of language; it is most apparent in poetry, and it gives it a distinct musical quality. Unlike Italian language, English is stress-timed. A regular arrangement of stress and unstressed syllables is meter.
Stressed and unstressed syllables can be combined into different patterns:
o The iambic is the most common foot in English poetry and is formed by unstressed-stress pattern (X/)
o The trochee is formed by stress-unstressed pattern(/X)
o The iambic pentameter is a common pattern of beets in English poetry in which line consists of five iambs.
Rhythm and subject matter
The type of rhythm (regular or irregular, slow of fast, flowing or quick, smooth or hammering) is usually defined by the subject matter and the emotional content of a poem.
A simile is a comparison between two things, which is made by specific words of comparison. The functions of a simile are to convey a more vivid idea of scene or object, to make the meaning easier to understand, to introduce an element of surprise and to create an emotional response.
Unlike similes, metaphors are a means of comparison between two thing that are basically dissimilar without the use of connective words such as 'like' or 'as'. The metaphor’s elements are the tenor, the subject of the metaphor, the vehicle, what the subject is compared to, and the common ground, the analogy between them.