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EPriano- Questions About Poetry
[author: Elisa Priano - postdate: 2007-10-16]


  • 1) What is a poem?

A poem is a text which makes sense as it stands. It makes a particular use of language which employs the meaning of words and also their sound and visual aspect. It differs from prose because it is written in lines. Its use of language is rather removed from everyday speech.


  • 2) In which way is it different from ordinary speech?

It is different from ordinary speech because the language of a poem is essentially figurative. Sometimes it is rich in figures of speech. It is often made of stanzas and lines which may rhyme or not  


•3)    How are words selected and arranged into a poem?

The choice of words is not casual. If a single word is changed, the poem doesn't have the same meaning. The connotative meaning of  words is very important. In a poem words are arranged into lines in different visual forms (layouts) and they are selected to produce several sound patterns.


  • 4) What is rhyme and what does it depend on?

Rhyme is the repetition of the final syllable sound at the end of two or more lines or in the same lines (internal rhyme). Rhyme is based on pronunciation. Words with the same final sound rhyme. Perfect rhyme: green/ seen 


  • 5) What is rhythm and what does it depend on?

      Rhythm is a sound movement created by the sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables.             

      It depends on the repetition of a stress pattern which is produced by the number and order of stressed and unstressed syllables.


  • 6) What is an internal rhyme?

An internal rhyme is when the rhyme occurs within the line. Internal rhyme:..  and a han, four lanks wren

  • 7) What do we mean by rhyme scheme?

Rhyme scheme is the pattern of sounds the rhyming words create in a poem.


  • 8) What is alliteration?

Alliteration is the repetition of the initial consonant sound in two or more words in a line or consecutive lines. Alliteration: "Dove ...dreams"


  • 9) What is assonance?

Assonance is the repetition of the same vowel sound within a line or at the end of a line. Assonance: "White/ nine

  • 10) What is consonance?

Consonance is the repetition of the same consonant sound within a line or at the end of a line.Consonance: head/bird


  • 11) Which is the basic unit of rhythm?

The basic unit of rhythm is the foot.


  • 12) What does a metric foot consists of?

A metric foot consists of stressed and unstressed syllables alternating in several combinations described by different names.


  • 13) Which is the pattern of a iambic foot?

A Iambic foot is when an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed one. Iambic foot: in lands

  • 14) Which is the pattern of trochaic foot?

A Trochaic foot is when a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed one. Trochaic foot: portrait.


  • 15) Why is the layout important?

The layout is the visual form of a poem. Its functions are: giving prominence to words in isolation; slowing down the pace of reading; drawing a visual representation of the message itself; amusing the reader.


  • 16) What does it add to meaning?

 It reinforces the meaning creating its visual images.


  • 17) What is an onomatopoeia?

       Onomatopoeic words sound like the noise they refer to. Their sound suggests meaning. Onomatopoeia:gutter...gurgled .


  • 18) What is a stanza?

       The arrangement of a poem into single lines or groups of lines is called a stanza.


  • 19) What is free verse?

       A poem in free verse doesn't follow a traditional pattern: there is no precise sound pattern and its rhythm is very close to the sound of natural speech.


  • 20) What is denotation?

Denotation is the explanation in one's own words of what the text of the poem says line by line. For example the denotation of a word is its literal meaning.


  • 21) What is connotation?

The connotation of a word is what the word suggests and all the associations the word urges in the reader.


  • 22) What is a lyrical form of poetry?

A lyric poem expresses the personal thoughts, emotions and moods of a single speaker.


  • 23) What are figures of speech and what is their role?

Figures of speech are any form of expression which deviates from the literal expression of meaning to create a particular linguistic effect. In this way words are used to create images in the reader's mind which are not to be read literally, but in a figurative way. Figures of speech can make the meaning clearer; they suggest associations which arouse emotions and feelings and they make the text more memorable. Figures of speech are metaphor,s personifications, simile, symbols, litotes, hyperboles ..