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Read About the Different Elements of Poetry

Grade 10
Jul 25, 2023

Poetry is a piece of writing in which words are arranged in separate lines that often have a repeated rhythm and sometimes rhyme.  Poetry arouses strong emotions because of its beauty and expressions.

Elements of Poetry Include:

  1. Figurative speech
  2. Imagery
  3. Rhythm
  4. Alliteration
  5. Mood or the tone of the poet
  6. Stanza
  7. Density
  8. Rhyme

1. Figurative Speech

Figurative speech has specific elements that include metaphors, similes, and allusions.

A. Metaphor describes an object or an action in a way that is not literally true but makes it easy to draw a comparison and offer an explanation using a figure of speech.

E.g., He was a lion in the war.

B. In poetry, another common figure of speech is the use of similes when writing. Similes generally compare two things using “like” or “as” to explain an idea in any poem.


E.g., The soldiers fought like lions in the war.

an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

If I’m not home by midnight, my car might turn into a pumpkin.

She smiles like a Cheshire cat.

2. Imagery

Imagery is an element of poetry that makes any piece of poetry interesting and attractive.


This is how an entire poem is made to create images in the reader’s mind.

Here are five main types of imagery, they include:

  1. Visual imagery – This is commonly used in literature to make the reader visualize a scenario being described in the text.
  2. Auditory imagery – The meaning of auditory imagery is the use of words that relate to the hearing sense.
  3. Olfactory imagery – Olfactory imagery describes the scent of inanimate objects, a place, an animal, or a person.
  4. Gustatory imagery– This is when a poet uses words that relate to the sense of taste.
  5. Tactile imagery – Tactile imagery enables a poet to use specific words to grab the attention of the reader. This is by using the right words to describe the sense of touch.

3. Rhythm

Rhythm is an element of poetry that helps create a good and creative poem. It is the pace and beat of a poem.

Having rhythm in poetry contributes to the overall structure of a poem. Rhythm creates a pattern in which the whole poem flows. Another importance of having a rhythm is that it helps with the word choices of a poem.

4. Alliteration

Alliteration is an element of poetry that is also used when writing poems. This is the repetition of consonant sounds in a sequence of words at the beginning of a word or a stressed syllable. This poetic element mainly focuses on the sounds of letters and not the spelling of words.

When writing a poem and you use repetition of initial sounds in a series of words, it is referred to as general alliteration.

For example

“Once upon a midnight dreary,

While I pondered, weak and weary.”

(Source – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

5. Mood or the tone of the poet

Moods in poems include cheerful, reflective, gloomy, humorous, romantic, melancholy, and many others. You can set the mood of the poem by using of tone and theme of a poem.

Cheerful and happy moods can be seen or expressed using descriptions of laughs, bright colors, and nice smells.

A humorous mood in any poetic setting can be conveyed by making your character do funny things. This mood can be used to ridicule situations.

Melancholy is a sad mood. It is an emotional mood that creates an attachment to the character in the poem.

If you want to show a romantic mood you can do this by creating a beautiful and bright theme in your poem. Mostly shown by a picnic on the beach or a sunset on the horizon.

The mood in your poem helps you engage the reader, creating an emotional insight into what the character is feeling; it also helps them form an attachment to the poem and understand the poem on an emotional level. Without a mood in poetry, it is hard for the readers to understand the poem on a deeper level

6. stanza

A stanza is the main building block of a poem. It is a set of lines that relate to one another or convey a similar thought. When writing a poem, every stanza has its own aim to the poem. Stanzas are arranged according to the patterns of a poem.

Stanzas are categorized according to the number of lines they have.

A stanza that is made up of two lines is called a couplet.

Three-line stanza is called a tercet.

A quatrain is a stanza with four lines.

A Quintain is a stanza that is made of five lines.

Sestet is a stanza that is made up of six lines.

A stanza that is made up of seven lines is called a septet.

A stanza with eight lines is called an octave.

Stanzas are very important in poetry because they help you know what type of poem you are writing or reading. They also help to divide a poem. Words and ideas can also be uniquely organized according to your own intent or message that you are trying to convey. Even with this, the poem you write doesn’t have to have the same number of lines in each stanza.

7. Density

Density makes up another poetic element that is important to take into consideration when one plans to write a poem. Density is how much is said and in how much space it is said. The density of a poem is what differentiates poetry from prose. The incorporation of metaphors, sounds, rhythms, and different grammar styles makes up the density of a poem

8. Rhyme

Rhyme occurs when two or more words in a poem have similar sounds. An internal rhyme occurs when words in the same line of a poem rhyme. An end rhyme occurs when the last words of lines in a poem rhyme.

The overall rhyme structure of a poem is called a rhyme scheme. Rhyme scheme is indicated by a letter pattern, when a different letter pattern is introduced, it means the rhyme scheme of the poem has changed.

Repetition and variation of rhyme helps improves the effectiveness of the rhyme scheme. When analyzing a poem, repetition, and variation are often linked as literary poetic devices.

Let’s Practice

Read the poem, One Rotation. Listen and analyze carefully the words and the images it creates.

After reading, look for the examples of figurative language in the poem namely metaphor, simile, and personification.

Example of Identifying the Elements of Poetry:

One Rotation

(By Stephanie Mulrooney)


It dances across the sky

Illuminating the landscape with light, like a warming campfire

A beacon of hope, filled with fresh possibilities

Welcoming the day.


It stretches across the sky

Filling the landscape with life, like a blossoming flower

A jigsaw puzzle of nature, perfect in every way

Preceding dusk.


It creeps across the sky   

Decorating the landscape with color, like paint on a canvas

A brilliant kaleidoscope of purples, pinks, and reds

Welcoming the night.

Here Are The Answers!!!


Like a warming campfire

Like a blossoming flower


A beacon of hope

A jigsaw puzzle of nature


Dances across the sky

Stretches across the sky

Elements of Poetry


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