13 Weeks of Poetry

  1. Kennings!
    1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kennings-ive-made-a-littl_b_9198846
    2. Kennings are an Old English turn of phrase that acts as a replacement for a noun. It typically consists of two words, often an adjective and noun, that describe the purpose or action of the original noun. 
    3. Challenge: Read the list from the Huffington Post and write at least five of your own kennings. 
    4. Extra Challenge: Do some research of your own. Learn about the etymology and find some of your own favorite kennings. Books like Beowulf and other epics are riddled with them!
  2. Rhyme:
    1. https://poets.org/text/sonnet-poetic-form
    2. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/rhyme
    3. Challenge: Read the article on sonnets and search for your own, pick at least two. I’m sure you all know Shakespeare, so try to branch out. When you find your sonnet, write out the rhyme scheme. Compare the two sonnets, what is similar about them what is dissimilar?
    4. Extra Challenge: Read the second article on rhyme and write a sonnet of your own, but focus on the rhyme and not the meter. Play with internal rhymes and slant rhymes, try to get more complex than “cat” and “bat.” 
  3. Rhythm:
    1. Scansion: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/creative_writing/pattern_and_variation_aural/meter_and_scansion.html
    2. Meters: https://literarydevices.net/meter/ 
      1. https://www.litcharts.com/literary-devices-and-terms/meter
      2. Meter can be very difficult and I suggest doing more research on your own to get a better grasp of it. 
    3. Here is a quick lesson written by yours truly to simplify things: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oYLapTowW_pnMNFS1RXBasmbMm1aUKDQuUwXVTxw0Qk/edit?usp=sharing 
    4. Challenge: Using the same sonnets from the week before, scan the meter. Do they have the same rhythm?
    5. Extra Challenge: Re-write your sonnet with the correct iambic pentameter. (You might have to change your rhymes to make it work). 
  4. Imagery/ Sensory description:
    1. https://literarydevices.net/imagery/
    2. Find a poem that depends on sensory description to bring in for the class.
    3. Challenge: Write a poem that appeals to all five senses. How does it sound? Is it too much?
    4. Extra Challenge: Write a single poem for each sense, only include one type of sensory description in each poem. Is it enough to carry the poem?
  5. Metaphor and Simile:
    1. https://poetryteatime.com/blog/metaphor-simile
    2. Go to this website and read the definitions and example poems. Highlight the metaphors and similes in different colors. 
    3. Read some poems of your own and pick our your favorite metaphors and similes, write them down somewhere for yourself. 
    4. Challenge: Do the paint sample exercise from the website. 
  6. Sound:
    1. The following website has a list of definitions for sound elements in poetry: http://homepage.smc.edu/meeks_christopher/SOUND%20DEVICES%20USED%20IN%20POETRY.htm
    2. Pick one of the elements of sound and find several examples. 
    3. Challenge: based on the element you chose, write a poem using that element as best you can. How does it work? Do you like it or dislike it? What mood does it set?
  7. Enjambment, Caesura, and End Stops:
    1. https://literarydevices.net/caesura/
    2. https://literarydevices.net/enjambment/
    3. https://literarydevices.net/end-stopped-line/
    4. Pick one of the following techniques and find some of your own examples. 
    5. Challenge: Write a poem only using the one technique you chose. What effect does it have? How does it sound? How does it change the rhythm?
  8. Diction and tone:
    1. https://www.thoughtco.com/diction-words-term-1690466
    2. https://writerswrite.co.za/155-words-to-describe-an-authors-tone/
    3. Read the two articles above, and pick a word from the list in the second article.
    4. Challenge: Find two poems that represent different emotions, highlight the words in the poems that make it feel the way it does. 
    5. Extra Challenge: write a poem that represents the tone you chose from the list. What words did you use to convey your tone? What techniques do you use? Which are successful and which not so much?
  9. Form 1:
    1. Ghazals and Pantoums: 
    2. https://poets.org/glossary/ghazal
    3. https://poets.org/glossary/pantoum
    4. Challenge: Pick either a Ghazal or Pantoum. Write one. Let it be bad. The process of editing and finding a way of making sense within the parameters of the style will help you become a better poet. Structure may seem frustrating, but it forces you to use words and phrases you may not have before. It helps you discover something new.
    5. Extra Challenge: read your poem a week or two later. How do you feel about it? Do you like it? If not, write it again. How do you make it better?
  10. Form 2:
    1. Sestinas and Villanelles;
    2. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/sestina
    3. https://literarydevices.net/villanelle/
    4. Repeat last week’s challenge with these new forms. 
  11. Narrative Voice & Persona:
    1. http://barelyharebooks.com/the-3-narrative-voices-what-are-they-how-do-you-tell-them-apart/
    2. https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-persona.html
    3. Challenge: Read through the narrative voice article. Write a poem about the same thing/ scenario, from the same narrator but using first, second, and third person. Which one do you like the most? Which one is the most intimate? Which one is easiest/ hardest? Which one yields the best result
    4. Extra Challenge: Write from the perspective of something non-human. 
  12. Pathetic Fallacy and Other Emotional Techniques (Mood and tone):
    1. http://ourenglishclass.net/class-notes/writing/the-writing-process/craft/tone-and-mood/
    2. https://www.britannica.com/art/pathetic-fallacy
    3. Challenge: Choose an emotion and write a poem centered around that feeling. Avoid using synonyms for the emotion, try to represent it through images and sensory descriptions. At least once, use pathetic fallacy to strengthen the tone of your poem. 
    4. Extra Challenge: Read several poems and highlight the words that create the tone of the piece. Write one word to describe the tone for each poem.  
  13. Free verse:
    1. Using any combination of techniques you’ve learned, write a free verse poem about anything. Enjoy yourself and really get in touch with your emotions!

Additional Resources: 



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