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The Language of Poetry

Vales and Hills

Language is the personal or private choice of words the speaker uses to express himself. Poetry makes pictures with words.

  • Are there any words that are repeated or that stand out?
  • Are the sentences long or short?


Imagery
- the words used in a way to create pictures in our minds. These words in turn appeal to our senses: hear, see, taste, and feel. A poet may evoke pictures through:

Symbols - when a word stands not only for itself (a literal meaning), but also stands for something else (a figurative meaning).

Similes - a direct comparison between two things using the words "as" or "like".

See an example of a simile in the following poem by William Wordsworth,

I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

Metaphors – an indirect comparison between two things without the use of “as” or “like”.

See an example of a metaphor in the poem by Sarah Teasdale There Will Come Soft Rains

“Robins will wear their feathery fire, Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;…” (The metaphor of robins that are personified as humans wearing their feathers as coats which keep them warm)

  • What sense/senses are evoked (vekket) in the poem?
  • Can you find any symbols in the poem?
  • What similes or metaphors are used in the poem?

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