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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 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Poetic Convention Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

When we look at poetry there are lots of keywords to remember!  You need to use these keywords in your explanations in order to get the best marks, but this is tricky if you are not sure what they all mean. 

 

Which words do you find difficult to remember, or struggle to understand their meaning?

 

Take a look at the list of words below and see if you are familiar with them all?

 

 

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 is 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.

 

 

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a great place to start!  We recommend you make a note of any words that you find a challenge.

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 falls on the 'voi' part of the word.

 

Typically syllables that possess the accent have 5 key features.  Have a look at the list below:

 

1 - it sounds like a longer syllable

2 - It usually requires more of your mouth to move

3 - you may say this syllable louder than others

4 - your pitch may change

5 - you may say this syllable with more clarity than others

 

Can you work out where the accent is in the words below, is it on syllable 1 or 2?

 Syllable 1Syllable 2
Tur-nip
But-ter
Pre-ferred
Be-cause

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.

 

 

Limerick

Sonnet

Free verse

Haiku

What type of verse is this?

JANUARY


Delightful display
Snowdrops bow their pure white heads
To the sun's glory

Limerick

Sonnet

Free verse

Haiku

What syllabic pattern does a Haiku follow?

Limerick

Sonnet

Free verse

Haiku

A Sonnet is another type pf poem, how many lines does a sonnet usually have?

What poetic term or device could be used to describe this line?

 

The path was a ribbon of moonlight.

 

What poetic term or device could be used to describe this line?

 

My love is like a red, red rose.

What poetic term or device could be used to describe this line?

 

The autumn wind, how he howled through the woods

Choose the words in the list below that are examples of onomatopoeia. Three of the words use this device. 

Sizzling

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 falls on the 'voi' part of the word.

 

Typically syllables that possess the accent have 5 key features.  Have a look at the list below:

 

1 - it sounds like a longer syllable

2 - It usually requires more of your mouth to move

3 - you may say this syllable louder than others

4 - your pitch may change

5 - you may say this syllable with more clarity than others

 

Can you work out where the accent is in the words below, is it on syllable 1 or 2?

CORRECT ANSWER
 Syllable 1Syllable 2
Tur-nip
But-ter
Pre-ferred
Be-cause
EDDIE SAYS
When you say these words aloud, you can spot the accent by considering where you have placed the stress in the word.
Remember to go through the 5 key points for where to place emphasis.
  • 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
Limerick
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot this was a limerick? Limericks have the same syllabic pattern, they are always 5 lines and the lines, 1, 2, and 5 rhyme. A limerick is a witty and humorous type of poem that originates from Ireland.
  • Question 3

What type of verse is this?

JANUARY


Delightful display
Snowdrops bow their pure white heads
To the sun's glory

CORRECT ANSWER
Haiku
EDDIE SAYS
A haiku is a type of Japanese verse characterised by images that are not normally associated with each other, which best describes the example poem. A Haiku follows the syllabic pattern 5-7-5.
  • Question 4

What syllabic pattern does a Haiku follow?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
There are some structures in English you just have to learn! If you learn these 'rules' then you will find it easier to identify the types of verse you have in front of you. If you read the teacher explanations on each question, you may have found this helped you with this answer. Always good to read!
  • Question 5

A Sonnet is another type pf poem, how many lines does a sonnet usually have?

CORRECT ANSWER
14
fourteen
EDDIE SAYS
A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem with each line containing 10 syllables.
  • Question 6

What poetic term or device could be used to describe this line?

 

The path was a ribbon of moonlight.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Metaphor
EDDIE SAYS
This line is an example of a metaphor.
A metaphor describes a subject by defining it as similar to an otherwise unrelated object.
  • Question 7

What poetic term or device could be used to describe this line?

 

My love is like a red, red rose.

CORRECT ANSWER
Simile
EDDIE SAYS
This line is an example of a simile.
A simile directly compares two objects or ideas using the words 'like' or 'as'.
  • Question 8

What poetic term or device could be used to describe this line?

 

The autumn wind, how he howled through the woods

CORRECT ANSWER
Personification
EDDIE SAYS
The clue in this question was the word 'he'. Personification is when an inanimate object or thing is given a human-like quality. In this case, the wind has been given a male identity as we hear 'he howls' through the woods.
  • Question 9

Choose the words in the list below that are examples of onomatopoeia. Three of the words use this device. 

CORRECT ANSWER
Sizzling
Slushy
Swishing
EDDIE SAYS
Could you remember this from the last question? Onomatopoeia is used in words which imitate a sound.
"Sizzling", "Slushy" and "Swishing" all imitate the sound they are describing and so use onomatopoeia.
  • 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
Alliteration
EDDIE SAYS
This line uses alliteration to enhance its effect.
Alliteration is the repetition of identical initial consonant sounds within a group of words.
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