Poetry is one of the most important literary genres studied in English-language classes around the world. But poetry, when not set to music as rap or a song, can be hard for students to engage with. There seem to be a whole host of literary terms that only English teachers use - things like synecdoche and metonymy - and often students struggle with where to begin with poetry. But it doesn't have to be that way here are 2 steps to make it more fun!
Apostrophe: A figure of speech in which something inanimate (dead or nonhuman) is addressed as if it were alive and could reply.
Alliteration: The repetition at close intervals of a consonant/vowel sound.
Allusion: A reference, explicit or implicit, to something in literature or history.
Connotation: What a word suggests beyond its basic definition.
Denotation: The basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word.
Hyperbole: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for the sake of revealing detail.
Metaphor: A figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is made between two dissimilar things.
Metonymy: A figure of speech in which some part of a whole or something similar is used to represent something else.
Onomatopoeia: The use of words that represent sounds.
Paradox: A statement or situation containing apparently contradictory or incompatible elements.
Paraphrase: A restatement of a poem to make the basic prose meaning clear.
Personification: A figure of speech in which human attributes are given to something inanimate (nonhuman or dead).
Simile: A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two dissimilar things.
Symbol: A figure of speech in which something means more than what it is.
Theme: The central idea (or ideas) of a literary work.
Tone: The writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject, or the audience, or herself/himself.
TIPS: Make some flash cards out of the above to help you remember what each one means. Also, there are some excellent books out there filled with definitions of literary terms, and we've simply narrowed the list down to the ones we find are most commonly used, so bookmark this page and keep these resources for future reference!
We've created a whole host of fun (FUN!) poetry quizzes for you to do online. Scroll down to go through some poetry multiple choice questions. Become a POETRY MASTER!
Read the poems below and answer the multiple-choice questions based on the BEST answer; there may be more than one answer that is technically correct, but only one that is the BEST.
These quizzes were made by our former English teacher/English professor CEO, so if you don't like the correct answers, take it up with her via Twitter. Even better...use EssayJack to write her an essay to prove your point and don't forget to send it to your teacher too!
TIP: The trick with poetry - and with multiple-choice quizzes - lies in trying to be as precise as possible. Just because poems can mean many things does not necessarily mean that they can mean ANYthing! The more precise you are in your discussion of a poem's mechanics and/or meaning, the likelier your interpretation will be sound.
Was that one fun? Here's another one to test yourself. If you found these fun share this blog with your friends and let us know if you want more poetry quizzes!
EssayJack is an interactive web platform with a patented solution that pre-structures student essays, reduces writing anxiety, and allows educator customization and feedback. Ranked as one of the top English Language teaching digital innovations in the world by the British Council and Cambridge English, EssayJack was created by award-winning educators and can be customized for almost any writing task.