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GBianchin - Questions About Poetry.
[author: Giulia Bianchin - postdate: 2007-10-17]




  1. What is a poem?

    The poem is a self -contained text that makes of a particular use of language, which does not only  exploit  the meaning of words but also their sound and visual aspect.

    In a  poem the message that the writer, or rather the poet, wants to tell us is condensed.

    It differs  from prose because it is written in lines the  length of which is decided by the poet.


  2. In which way is it different from ordinary speech?

    It is different because poetry doesn't use every day speech, but the language is condensed.


    How are  words selected and arranged into a poem?

    The words used in a  poem are accurately selected. The poet chooses words according to:

    - Meaning
    - The sound aspect
    - The figures of speech that the poet wants to use in his poem.

    1. What is rhyme and what does it depend on?

      Rhyme is the exact repetition of the final syllable sound at the end of two or more lines.

      Rhyme depends on word that the poet chooses.


    2. What is rhythm and what does it depend on?

      Rhythm in poetry is the sound created by the sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables; it depends on tha alternation of syllables.


    3. What is an internal rhyme?

      Internal rhyme is the repetition of a final syllables sound inside the same line.


    4. What do we mean by  rhyme scheme?

      We mean the pattern of sounds  rhyming  words created in the poem.


    5. What is alliteration?

      It is the repetition of the same consonant sound, especially at the beginning of nearby words or in stressed syllables.


    6. What is assonance?

      It is the repetition of the same or the similar vowel sound within a line or at the end of one or more lines.


    7. What is consonance?

      It is the repetition of a sequence of consonants within a line or at the end of one or more lines.


    8. Which is the basic unit of rhythm?

      They are the syllables, so the metric foot.


    9. What does a metric foot consist?

      It consist in a unit based on stressed and unstressed syllables.

      A line is a sequence of feet, and if it contains five feet it is a pentameter.


    10. Which is the pattern of a Iambic foot?

      It is the sequence of unstressed and stressed sounds, it is the English common metre.
      ∩=unstressed syllable                    /=stressed syllable

    11. ∩/∩/∩/∩/∩              Iambic Pentameter


    12. Which is the pattern of a Trochaic foot?

      It is the sequence of stressed and unstressed sounds.

      ∩/∩/∩/∩/∩                      Trochaic  Pentameter


    13. Why is the layout important?

      It is important because considering the layout we can immediately understand if it is a poem, a fiction or a play.


    14. What does it add to meaning?

      Giving prominence  to words in isolation It underlines key-words for example. It is also important for meaning because it may also add a visual representation of the message.


    15. What is an onomatopoeia? Provide an example.

      It is a word whose sound is like the noise it refers to or It suggest the sound itself.
      EXAMPLE: knock, means "bussare", and it reminds the sound of the hand to the door (knock - knock...)


    16. What is a stanza?

      It Is the arrangement  of the poem into single lines and/or group of sound; It is the structure of the poem.


    17. What is verse?

      It is a verse different from traditional pattern because It has irregular line lengths and because  rhyme isn't used. It is particularly frequent in the 20th Century poetry.


    18. What is denotation?

      It's what the poet objectively says in the poem.


    19. What is connotation?

      It is what the word suggest, the associations the words introduce in the reader.


    20. What is a lyrical form?

      It is a poem which  directly expresses the personal thoughts, emotions and moods of a single speaker. Its features are subjectivity, emotions, imagination, descriptions and melodious quality.


    21. What are figures of speech and what is their role? Give example.

      They are peculiar uses of the language created on purpose to gain certain effects

      They are important because:
      • They can make the meaning clear;
      • They pack a lot of meaning into one or few words;
      • They intensify  the emotional impact as the suggest associations which arouse emotions and feelings;
      • They make the text easier to memorize.

    EXAMPLES OF FIGURES OF SPEECH: metaphor, metonymy, anastrophe, hyperbaton, hypallage, pleonasm, chiasmus, antithesis...