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Table of Contents
Poetry is language that is written following specific patterns, rhythms, structures, and/or rhymes to express ideas and emotions. Poetry is usually used to express deep, dramatic, exaggerated, and intense feelings, emotions, or ideas. Oftentimes, poetry is used to explore ideas or feelings that may be more complex than simple language can explain.
Poetry generally follows a set of rules that tell us how many syllables can exist in each line and the arrangement of these syllables. The rules for the syllables is called meter. Meter is the part of poetry that helps with flow, and it helps with cadence. Meter is the reason we think poetry sounds good to the ear, and meter is the reason why it so easy to read poetry. In general, meter gives poetry rhythm. Just like music has a beat, so does poetry. For instance, one poem might allow for six syllables in each line. A group of lines in poetry is called a stanza. Look at the following example:
Water is beautiful
It provides life for all
If we count the syllables or the segments that constitute a whole word, in each line, the total equals six syllables per line. We can break “water” into two syllables, while “beautiful” has three syllables. The word “is” has only one syllable. This means the total amount of syllables in the first line is six, which stays true to our set meter of six syllables per line. We can see the breakdown in this way:
Wa/ter is beau/ti/ful
It pro/vides life for all
Poetry may also have rhyme, which is when the endings of words sound the same, or when words overall sound similar. We hear rhyming often in nursery rhymes. In fact, many nursery rhymes are actually poems that have set meter and rhymes. Let’s look at a very common nursery rhyme, “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.”
Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
This nursery rhyme is a great example to look at when thinking about poetry. First, let’s look at the meter, or the syllables. Each line is made up of seven syllables. Then, we can look at how this piece of poetry rhymes. The word “star” and “are” rhyme when you read them aloud. The word “high” and “sky,” found at the end of last two lines, rhyme with each other. Poetry does not have to rhyme. When there is no rhyme, the poem is considered blank verse, meaning no rhyme.
This nursery rhyme also helps us understand an important point about poetry: Poetry is meant to be read aloud. The rhythm and rhyme make poetry easy to read aloud, and it makes poetry pleasant to the ear. More importantly, reading poetry aloud helps you hear the flow and beauty of the language, and you may find rhymes you may not have noticed by just reading poetry silently.
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use Poetry worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of Poetry which is language that is written following specific patterns, rhythms, structures, and/or rhymes to express ideas and emotions.
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