POETIC DEVICES - English teaching resources

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POETIC DEVICES
Beginners guide
Thursday, July 16, 2015
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THE IAMB
If you read most lines of
Shakespeare you will notice a
rhythmic pattern:
If music be the food of love, play on
I have underlined the stresses and
you will notice a de-DUM de-DUM
pattern to the line.
The de-DUM unit is called the IAMB…
EASY.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
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De-DUM
Try to write two lines, (a couplet)
using this device five times in each
line.
If you are stuck, look around and
write using what you can see in the
room.
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Well Done
You have just mastered the iambic
pentameter, the King of poetic form
in the English language.
To celebrate, write another pair.
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The Trochee
If you invert the rhythm, you get a
trochee. Dum-de Dum-de,
As in the line
“How I wonder what to do with
Connor”
You can see that the stresses have
shifted.
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Try a trochee couplet…
Go on, try…
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Now…
Poetry based on these alone would be
pretty dull actually.
Let’s look again at the first example:
If music be the food of love, play on.
Does “play ON” sound odd?
What happens if you say:; “PLAY on”?
Is this still a line of Iambs?
Thursday, July 16, 2015
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If music be the food of love, play
on.
If music be the food of love, play on.
Shakespeare has slipped in a trochee to a
line of Iambs – cheeky devil.
What separates the trochee from the iamb
before it?
The comma creates a breathing point and
allows the speaker to shift emphasis
easily. This break is called a CAESURA.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
SGS peel 2007
Task
4 lines of Iambic pentameter.
4 lines of Iambic pentameter in which you
may use a trochee instead of an Iamb for
effect. You may well need a caesura (or a
drink) to help.
Give it a go – treat it as a game and aim
for a high score.
For the really talented, an extra task:
4 lines alternating Iambic and Trochaic
pentameter.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
SGS peel 2007

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