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means of written expression and consists of words arranged in patterns of sound and imagery to spark an emotional, and intellectual,

response from us.

is the language of the imagination, of feelings, of emotional self-expression, of high art.

Prose explains, but poetry sings. The language in poetry is musical, precise, memorable, and magical.

Language of Poetry

Part A. Imagery Part B. Sound Patterns

Part A. Imagery
refers to mental pictures created by words There are two types of imagery:i. Literal Images: used to describe something directly by appealing to one or more of our sensory faculties. ii.Figurative images: used to describe one thing by comparing it to something else with which we are more familiar. The poet uses figurative language to bring us new experiences, new visions, new ways of looking at the world.

Literal Images
Visual images: they consist of things we can see. The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night. (Lewis Carroll) Through the green twilight of a hedge, I peered with cheek on the cool leaves pressed (Walter de la Mare)

Tactile images: they appeal to our sense of touch.

Auditory images: they suggest the sounds of things, usually resulting in an effect onomatopoeia (Words that imitate sounds or sounds that are linked with objects). Olfactory images: they suggest the smells of things.

Bow-wow, says the dog, Mew, mew says the cat, Grunt, grunt, goes the hog, And squeak goes the rat. Tu, whu, says the owl, Quack, quack, says the duck, And what the cuckoo says you know. (Mother Goose) As Mommy washed up and the children played, smell of warm butter filled the air. (Anonymous)

Kinesthetic images: they refer to actions or motions.

A poem once stopped me on the street. I've got a poem stuck on my feet. A poem attacked me in the shower. I find a poem most every hour! (Mark Stansell)

Gustatory images: they suggest the tastes of things

A mouse found a beautiful piece of plum cake, The richest and sweetest that mortal could make: 'Twas heavy with citron and fragrant with spice, And covered with sugar all sparkling as ice. (Iona and Peter Opie)

Figurative Images
Simile: a stated comparison, employing a connective such as "like" or "as". Metaphor: an implied comparison, not directly stated with words such as "like" and "as". "My love is like a red, red rose" (Robert Burn)

In the morning the city Spreads its wings Making a song In stone that sings. (Langston Hughes)

Personification: human qualities are given to an inanimate object, an abstract idea, or a force of nature.

"The Night was creeping on the ground! She crept and did not make a sound" (James Stephens)

Part B. Sound Patterns

Most poems are written to be read
aloud, and how they sound is as important as what they mean.

Sound patterns consist of two elements:

rhythm and rhyme.

i. Rhythm: the pattern of stressed and

unstressed syllables in language.

ii. Rhyme: the repetition of similar sounds in the two or more words.
Nursery rhymes tend to have very predictable rhythms. For example, "Mary had a little lamb", "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" (regular trochees; i.e., two syllables with the emphasis on the first) When reading poetry to children, we need to be aware of the rhythm pattern(s) a poem contains so that we can gain good effect from our reading.

End rhyme: the repetition of the ending sounds in two or more lines.

One, two,buckle my shoe; Three, four,shut the door; Five, six,pick up sticks; Seven, eight,lay them straight; Nine, ten,a big, fat hen.

Alliteration: the repetition of initial sounds in two or more words.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds within words.

Hickory Dickory Dock, The mouse ran up the clock, The clock struck one, The mouse ran down, Hickory Dickory Dock!

Consonance: the repetition of consonant sounds within words, often with a variation in adjoining vowels.

A flea and a fly Flew up in a flue. Said the flea, "Let us fly!" Said the fly, "Let us flee!" So they flew through a flap in the flue.

Types of Poetry
Part A. Narrative Poetry

Narrative poems tell stories in verse.

A number of them are very old and were originally intended to be recited to audiences Examples Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey".

For children, perhaps the most accessible narrative poems are ballads - contains four lines, each with eight syllables and with the second and fourth lines rhyming.

Part B. Lyric poetry describes the poet's innermost feelings or can did observations and evokes a musical quality in its sounds and rhythms

Teaching Poetry to Children

Children's Poetry Preferences According to Fisher & Natarella's (1982) and Terry's (1974) studies on children's poetry preferences, they found that:

Most children preferred narrative poems over lyric poems. Children preferred poems that had pronounced sound patterns of all kinds, but especially enjoyed poems that rhymed. Children preferred poems with regular, distinctive rhythm. Children liked humorous poems, poems about animals, and poems about enjoyable familiar experiences. (cited in Lynch-Brown, C. & Tomlinson, C. 2005.
Essentials of Childrens Literature, 5th edition, p. 49)

Strategies of Teaching Poetry to Children


Reading Poetry Aloud to Children should be introduced first and frequently in an oral form. Most poetry is best read aloud. Moreover, children's oral language is the basis for their later acquisition of literacy. should be read for its meaning and enunciated words clearly.

Some need to be performed and dramatized. Using your voice to make special effects, such as variations of volume, pitch, and speech rate, and even a dramatic pause.
Brief encounters with one to three poems at a time are best.

ii. Choral Poetry

consists of interpreting and saying a poem together as a group activity. Children enjoy this way because they have a participatory role in the activity.

Short, humorous narrative poems are good first choices.

Options for reading a poem chorally include unison, two- or three-part, solo voices, cumulative buildup, and simultaneous voices.
Incorporating action, gestures, body movements, and finger plays can produce more interesting and enjoyable presentation.