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Terminology: The Language of Poetry

In this worksheet, students study the terminology often associated with analysing poetry and poetic conventions.

'Terminology: The Language of Poetry ' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   English

Curriculum subtopic:   Grammar: Imagery (Metaphors, Similes & Personification)

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Are there any words for talking about poetry that you find confusing? Here is a brief guide to help you understand some of them:

accent: The prominence or emphasis given to a syllable or word. In the word poetry, the accent (or stress) falls on the first syllable.

alliteration: The repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginning of words, e.g. "fluffy flakes of falling snow".

assonance: The repetition or a pattern of similar sounds, within a word, especially vowel sounds, e.g. "fleet feet sweep by sleeping geeks"

figure of speech: A verbal expression in which words or sounds are arranged in a particular way to achieve a particular effect.

lyric: A poem, such as a sonnet or an ode, that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. A lyric poem may resemble a song in form or style.

meter: The arrangement of a line of poetry by the number of syllables and the rhythm of accented (or stressed) syllables.

metaphor: A figure of speech in which two things are compared, by saying one thing is another, e.g. The sea is an angry dog.

onomatopoeia: A figure of speech in which words are used to imitate sounds, e.g. buzz, hiss, zing, clippety-clop, and tick-tock.

personification: A figure of speech in which things or abstract ideas are described like people, e.g. The autumn wind's a pirate.

quotation: Exact words taken from a poem, maybe when writing about it. refrain (or chorus): A line or group of lines that is repeated throughout a poem, usually after every stanza.

rhyme: When the same or similar sounds are at the end of two or more words.

rhyming couplet: In a poem, a pair of lines that rhyme, are the same length and form a complete thought.

rhythm: The beat of the poem, how the words are arranged in a pattern.

simile: A figure of speech in which two things are compared using the word "like" or "as", e.g. as hot as mustard.

stanza: A verse of a poem.

sonnet: A lyric poem that is 14 lines long

stress: see 'accent'. The emphasis given to particular syllables. Stressed syllables usually stand out because they have long, rather than short, vowels,

theme: What the poem is about, or the message it is giving.

Sometimes in poetry the accent of a chosen word is important.  The 'accent' of a word is the way we say it.

Here is an example:  

avoided

this word has 3 syllables - a-voi-ded.  The accent (the answer to the question) falls on the 'voi' part of the word.

Firstly, say each of these words out loud. Then, count the number of syllables in each word.  Finally, write which syllable the accent falls on in each of these words. 

elephant    because    preferred    butter    computer    turnip

What type of verse is this?

There was a young lady of Ryde,

Who ate some green apples and died.

The apples fermented inside the lamented

And made cider inside 'er inside.

What type of verse is this?

Glass balls and glowing lights.

Dead tree in living room.

Killed to honor birth.

Who was the Poet Laureate in January 2012?

What is a poem of fourteen lines usually called?

What term would be used to describe this line?

The road was a ribbon of moonlight.

What term would be used to describe this line?

My love is like a red, red rose.

What terms would be used to describe these lines?

The autumn wind was a pirate.

Three of these words are onomatopoiec. Which ones?

hissing   walking   pavement   slushy   traffic  swishing

Hissing

Walking

Pavement

Slushy

Traffic

Swishing

Read this line and name the poetic device that adds to its effect.

When deathly darkness dims the light of day.

  • Question 1

Sometimes in poetry the accent of a chosen word is important.  The 'accent' of a word is the way we say it.

Here is an example:  

avoided

this word has 3 syllables - a-voi-ded.  The accent (the answer to the question) falls on the 'voi' part of the word.

Firstly, say each of these words out loud. Then, count the number of syllables in each word.  Finally, write which syllable the accent falls on in each of these words. 

elephant    because    preferred    butter    computer    turnip

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
el, cause, ferred, but, pu, tur
  • Question 2

What type of verse is this?

There was a young lady of Ryde,

Who ate some green apples and died.

The apples fermented inside the lamented

And made cider inside 'er inside.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A Limerick is a witty and humorous type of poem that is typically 4-5 lines.
  • Question 3

What type of verse is this?

Glass balls and glowing lights.

Dead tree in living room.

Killed to honor birth.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Haiku is a type of Japanese verse characterised by images that are not normally associated together being used.
  • Question 4

Who was the Poet Laureate in January 2012?

CORRECT ANSWER
  • Question 5

What is a poem of fourteen lines usually called?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A sonnet is a fourteen line poem, with each line containing 10 syllables.
  • Question 6

What term would be used to describe this line?

The road was a ribbon of moonlight.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A metaphor describes a subject by defining it as similar to an otherwise unrelated object.
  • Question 7

What term would be used to describe this line?

My love is like a red, red rose.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A simile directly compares two objects or ideas by using the word \'like\' or \'as\'.
  • Question 8

What terms would be used to describe these lines?

The autumn wind was a pirate.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Personification involves linking human characteristics to non-human things. This can include objects and animals.
  • Question 9

Three of these words are onomatopoiec. Which ones?

hissing   walking   pavement   slushy   traffic  swishing

CORRECT ANSWER
  • Question 10

Read this line and name the poetic device that adds to its effect.

When deathly darkness dims the light of day.

CORRECT ANSWER
Try it ---- OR ----

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