Poetry - St. John's High School

“The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
– William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads
It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood two to four, with but an inning left to play.
So, when Cooney died at second, and Burrows did the same,
A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the game.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped;
“That ain't my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.
A straggling few got up to go, leaving there the rest,
With that hope which springs eternal within the human breast.
For they thought: “If only Casey could get a whack at that,”
They'd put even money now, with Casey at the bat.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on the stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
But Flynn preceded Casey, and likewise so did Blake,
And the former was a pudd'n and the latter was a fake.
So on that stricken multitude a deathlike silence sat;
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult, he made the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “strike two.”
But Flynn let drive a “single,” to the wonderment of all.
And the much-despised Blakey “tore the cover off the ball.”
And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
There was Blakey safe at second, and Flynn a-huggin' third.
“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and the echo answered
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed;
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let the ball go by again.
Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell—
It rumbled in the mountaintops, it rattled in the dell;
It struck upon the hillside and rebounded on the flat;
For Casey, mighty Casey was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place,
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face;
And when responding to the cheers he lightly doffed his hat
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.
The sneer is gone from Casey's lips, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel vengance his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville: Mighty Casey has struck out.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt,
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
- “Casey at the Bat” by Ernst Lawrence Thayer
Then when the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance glanced in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
Types of Rhyme
• Internal rhyme – a rhyme within a single line of
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and
• External rhyme – when the last words of two
lines rhyme.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.
Nameless here for evermore.
Narrative Poetry
 Tells a story
 Has a plot, characters, setting, and theme
like a short story
 Tends to be longer than other types of
 Each stanza of the poem usually has the
same number of lines
 Lines may or may not rhyme
In poetry…
 The use of a phrase or word over and over
throughout the course of a poem
 Refrain – a word or phrase that appears in the
same position in all or many of the stanzas of
the poem
 Chorus – several lines repeated at certain points
in the poem
 Has the effect of contributing to the music of
the poetry, emphasizing important ideas and
establishing mood and tone
The Ballad
A poem that tells a story, usually of a
single historical or legendary person
Usually made up of four line stanzas; lines
will often be 6 or 8 syllables each
Stanzas usually have the same rhythm and
rhyme scheme throughout the entire poem
(abcb, aabb or abab)
Often set to music
Dramatic Poetry
Poetry in which the speaker is clearly
someone other than the poet
- Dialogue in which more than one
character speaks
- Monologue
Lyric Poetry
 Express their thoughts and feelings
in a brief but musical way
 Usually a defined meter
 Closely related to song, often
accompanied by it
The basic rhythmic structure of
verses (which syllables are stressed,
which are unstressed, how many per
Scansion - the analysis of the metric
structure of a poem
The Song Of Hiawatha
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
Bright before it beat the water,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward the Light Brigade”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Slant Rhyme
Also called “half rhyme” or “near rhyme”
When there is consonance on the final
consonants of the two words involved
(generally at the end of a line of poetry)
AKA words that “sort of” rhyme
I.E: “ill” and “shell”; “dropped” and “wept”
Sounds like…
 Alliteration - The repetition of consonant sounds at
the beginning of words
Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers /
a peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
 Assonance – repetition of vowel sounds
Do you like blue?
 Consonance – repetition of consonant sounds
Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile/
Whether Jew or gentile I rank top percentile
The use of a similar construction for
one or more sentences/lines of
poetry for a lyrical effect
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of
blessing; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal
sharing of miseries." –Winston Churchill
Figurative Language
 Language that uses figures of speech
 Has the effect of making something intangible tangible, helping
others understand the comparison
 Metaphor: compares one thing to another (often implied)
- Genius is a fountain
 Simile: compares one thing to another using like or as
- This bread is like rubber
 Personification: gives human characteristics to something
- The sun is a wizard
 Tenor = target (subject to which qualities are attributed);
Vehicle = source (subject from which attributes are borrowed)
The Ode
A form of stately and elaborate lyrical
verse, originally popular in ancient Greece
where odes were performed by a chorus
- An address
- Serious tone
- Composed of the strophe, the
antistrophe, and the epode
 I.E. Word choice
 Denotation – the literal meaning of a word
 Connotation – the associations made with a
particular word
 An important element of establishing tone
 Poetic diction – the language appropriate for poetry
(often uses an elevated vocabulary, simile, metaphor
and other types of figurative language, loaded
adjectives and adverbs)
- Imagery = description that appeals to the 5
senses; a poet’s use of words to create mental
pictures that convey experience
- Onomatopoeia = words that imitate the sound
they are describing
“The Jabberwock” – John Tenniel
A Japanese form of poetry
First and third lines have five
syllables each; the second line has
seven syllables
What is unsaid is more important
than what is said
Concrete Poetry
Poetry in which the words are
arranged to look like, or suggest,
something about the subject being
Brainstorm: which subjects would
lend themselves to forms of concrete
l(a - ee cummings
Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

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