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Poetry and the Basic Poetry Elements

Grade 5
Aug 4, 2023

Poetry – It is a literary form that includes rhyme, rhythm, figurative language, and/or sound devices.

The poet expresses his thoughts and feelings in a poem. Poetry elements help to comprehend the poet’s message.

The Basic Elements of Poetry

  • Line/Verse – Single row of words 
  • Stanza – Group of lines  
  • Rhyme – Words that have the same ending sounds  
  • Rhyme scheme – The pattern of rhyming lines. Named using letters of the alphabet usually A-D   
  • Theme –The core message of the poem. Poet’s central thought that he/she conveys to the reader 
  • Mood – The feeling readers get while reading the poem, the impression created by the poet. Cheerful, gloomy, melancholy, whimsical, etc.  
  • Meter – Pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables in each line. The beat or the rhythmic pattern of the poem.

Some of the Common Meter Feet

Lamb: one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Example delete

Trochee: one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. Example Show-er

Dactyl: A stressed syllable is followed by two unstressed syllables. Example fa-mi-liar

  • Rhythm – Sound created by a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables  
  • Figurative Language – Words used to evoke ideas/thoughts not restricted to their literal meaning. Also known as poetic devices. A few poetic devices are stated below:
  • Simile –Explicit comparison between two unlike things. Words used ‘like’ or ‘as’

O my Love is like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June.

O my Love is like the melody

That’s sweetly played in tune.

  • Metaphor – Implicit comparison between two things without the words ‘like’ or ‘as’

Hold fast to dreams


For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

  • Repetition – Reuse of words or phrases in stanzas

The woods are lovely dark and deep

But I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

  • Hyperbole – when one statement is exaggerated to create an impact
  • Symbolism – A symbol is used to suggest something else or something that stands for. Example – Gold for a new life
  • Alliteration – Repetition in two or more nearby words of initial consonant sounds. Example – Dawn/down /day
  • Consonance –Repetition of the same consonant sounds in a line. Example – ‘What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore’ –’g’ sound
  • Onomatopoeia –Word that imitates the natural sound of a thing. Example –’ the hissing of the snake’
poetry elements


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