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Types of Poetry
…and the poets who mastered them!
� 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.”
� 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.
� 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.
� 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
� 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
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
� 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
� 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
� Moved away from the Victorian idea of an unproblematic poetic self talking to an equally unproblematic audience
� 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
� 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.
� American Poet (1874-1963)
� Won four Pulitzer Prizes
� Spoke at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration
� He mastered using conversational American language into metered lines.
� English Romantic Poet
� Took intuition over reason
� Pastoral (dealing with shepherds) over
� Tried to use “real” language over
� 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.
� 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”
� 29th century feminist poet
� Published her first poem when she was eight.
� “When I go mad,
I call my friends by phone:
I am afraid they might think
� American poet
� A college professor who married a student,
� He suffered from many bouts of depression.
� 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.”
� 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
� The octave serves to present a problem, question, story or idea
� The sestet resolves or contrasts with the octave.
� Also knows as the Shakespearean sonnet
� Three quatrains + a couplet with a new rhyme
� As is Shakespeare’s nature, the rhythm is iambic pentameter
� 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.
� Consists of three quatrains, followed by a couplet
� Interlocking rhyme scheme
� Abab bcbc cdcd ee
� 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
� 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
� Lyric poems of seventeenth-century men
� John Donne
� Andrew Marvell
� George Herbert
� 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
� 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
� 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
� William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Blythe Shelley, and
� They loved nature and saw God within nature.