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Types of Poetry …and the poets who mastered them!

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  • Types of Poetry

    …and the poets who mastered them!

  • Dramatic Poetry

    � Presents the voice of an imaginary

    character (or characters) speaking directly,

    without any additional narration by the


    � T.S. Eliot said dramatic poetry does not

    consist of “what the poet would say in his

    own person, but only what he can say within

    the limits of one imaginary character

    addressing another imaginary character.”

  • Dramatic Monologue

    � A lyric poem written where the speaker addresses a silent listener, revealing himself in the context of a dramatic situation.

    � Usually addressed by the speaker to some other character who remains silent.

  • Ballads

    � A poem that recounts a story and has been composed to be sung.

    � The use of refrains / choruses are frequently used, just like in modern music.

  • Robert Browning

    � Liked to put words in the mouths of

    characters who were conspicuously nasty,

    weak, reckless, or crazy.

    � Had written his first book of poetry by age


    � Father had over 6,000 books in their library.

    � Married to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • Robert Browning

    � Victorian poet=

    � Poets during Queen Victoria’s era (1837-


    � Themes and topics included reclaiming

    the past, heroic, chivalrous stories of

    knights, and fantasy-like characters

    (larger-than-life, think Sherlock Holmes

    and Dracula)

  • Edwin A. Robinson

    � Won three Pulitzer Prizes for poetry.

    � In the fall of 1891, at the age of 21, Edwin entered Harvard University as a special student. He took classes on English, French, and Shakespeare, as well as one on Anglo-Saxon that he later dropped. His mission was not to get all A's, as he wrote his friend Harry Smith, "B, and in that vicinity, is a very comfortable and safe place to hang".

    � American poet

  • Lyric Poetry

    � A poem made for singing until the printing press came around in the fifteenth century

    � A short poem expressing the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker

    � Often written in first person

  • D. H. Lawrence

    � Overused poetic tropes (a play on words, such as metonymy, synecdoche, irony) and archaic language dominated his style

    � Rewrote many of his poems and novels to perfect them

    � Was concerned with man’s modern distance from nature

  • Modernist Poetry

    � 1890-1930

    � Wrote about the continuous excesses of

    Victorian society with its emphasis on

    traditional formalism and ornate diction

    � Modernists thought they looked back to the

    best of earlier poets

    � Deals more with the literal meaning of words

    � Dominated by free verse in the beginning

  • Modernist Poetry

    � Moved away from the Victorian idea of an unproblematic poetic self talking to an equally unproblematic audience

  • Narrative Poetry

    � Main purpose is to tell a story

    � Also known as ballads – storytelling songs

    � Draws on fictional elements such as� Drawing characters and settings

    � Engage attention

    � Shape a plot

  • Examples of Narrative Poetry

    � The Illiad and The Odyssey

    � Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

  • Anne Sexton

    � Feminist poet

    � Prominently known for her confessional poetry because she lived a most unhappy life.

    � “Cinderella” comes from her book Transformations where she satirized Grimm Brother’s fairy tales.

    � Her purpose in this book was to teach the world that “happily ever after” doesn’t exist.

  • Robert Frost

    � American Poet (1874-1963)

    � Won four Pulitzer Prizes

    � Spoke at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration

    � He mastered using conversational American language into metered lines.

  • William Wordsworth


    � English Romantic Poet

    � Took intuition over reason

    � Pastoral (dealing with shepherds) over

    the urban

    � Tried to use “real” language over


  • Confessional Poetry

    � Family of lyric

    � trafficks in intimate, and sometimes

    unflattering, information about details of the

    poet's personal life, such as in poems about

    illness, sexuality, and despondence.

    � Poets whose writing is classified as

    confessional (it has been argued) use

    writing as an outlet for their demons.

  • Sylvia Plath

    � Plath describes her poems by saying “I think my poems come immediately out of the sensuous and emotional experiences I have. I believe one should be able to control and manipulate experiences, even the most terrifying, and should be able to manipulate these experiences with an informed and intelligent mind”

  • Plath

    � 29th century feminist poet

    � Published her first poem when she was eight.

  • Theodore Roethke

    � “When I go mad,

    I call my friends by phone:

    I am afraid they might think

    they're alone.”

    � American poet

    � A college professor who married a student,

    Beatrice O’Connell.

    � He suffered from many bouts of depression.

  • Sonnets

    � 14 line lyric poems

    � What do lyric poems do again?

    � These poems can be about any topic.

    � Unlike which type of poetry?

    � Popular in the sixteenth century

    � Taken from the Italian sonnetto, meaning “little song.”

  • Italian sonnet

    � Developed by Petrarch, so also known as the Petrarchan sonnet

    � 14 lines; two units

    � Eight lines – a-b-b-a a-b-b-a

    � Six lines a sestet – c-d-c-d or c-d-e-c-d-e

  • Italian sonnet

    � The octave serves to present a problem, question, story or idea

    � The sestet resolves or contrasts with the octave.

  • English Sonnet

    � Also knows as the Shakespearean sonnet

    � Three quatrains + a couplet with a new rhyme

    � A-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g

    � As is Shakespeare’s nature, the rhythm is iambic pentameter

  • Shakespearean Sonnet

    � Shakespeare does not have to have written it!

    � The couplet usually indicates the theme.

    � Sonnets 1 through 126 address a young man with outstanding physical and intellectual attributes.

    � The first 17 urge the man to marry so that he can pass on his superior qualities to a child.

  • Spencerian Sonnet

    � Consists of three quatrains, followed by a couplet

    � Interlocking rhyme scheme

    � Abab bcbc cdcd ee

  • Fixed Form

    � Poems that can be categorized by the patterns of its lines, meter, rhymes, and stanzas.

  • Open Form / Free

    � Poems that do not conform to established patterns of meter, rhyme, and stanza

  • Richard Wilbur

    � American Poet

    � Published first poem at the age of 8

    � Born in 1921

    � Currently teaches at Amherst College

    � Poet Laureate after Robert Penn Warren

    � Won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry

  • Metaphyisical Poetry

    � Lyric poems of seventeenth-century men

    � John Donne

    � Andrew Marvell

    � George Herbert

  • Metaphysical Poets

    � Their writing was characterized by wit

    � Metaphysical conceits – extended

    metaphors that have a much more

    conceptual, thus tenuous, relationship with

    the thing being compared.

    � A comparison becomes a conceit when we

    are made to concede likeness while being

    strongly conscious of unlikeness – Helen


  • Metaphysical Poets

    � Their writings also include unusual metaphors and similes

    � Metaphysical concerns deal with a rational discussion of the world and its phenomena

    � They employed an energetic, uneven, and rigorous style

  • Romantic Poetry

    � Originated in medieval France and told stories of chivalrous knights undertaking perilous journeys to rescue damsels in distress.

    � This movement peaked in England in the nineteenth century

  • Romantic Poets

    � William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Blythe Shelley, and

    � They loved nature and saw God within nature.