CLASS: SENIOR ONE
UNIT I: INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY GENRES: FICTION AND NON-FICTION
UNIT II: INTRODUCTION TO PROSE: PLOT, SETTING & CHARACTERS
UNIT III: INTRODUCTION TO POETRY
UNIT IV: THEMES AND MESSAGES IN POETRY
UNIT V: LANGUAGE USE IN POETRY
UNIT VI: INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA
UNIT VII: KEY ASPECTS OF DRAMA
UNIT V. LANGUAGE USE IN POETRY
V.1. POETIC DEVICES
Poetic devices are literary techniques that are used in poetry to create sounds and mental pictures within a poem. They are also tools that a poet uses to create rhythm, enhance a poem’s meaning, or deepen a mood or a feeling. Poetic devices make poems pleasant to listen to.
It is the repeating of a word, a phrase, line, stanza or idea in a poem. Repetition not only creates rhythm in a poem but also establishes unity in the poem as well as helping the poet to emphasize certain ideas.
Ex: Smile by Mark Chetambe
They say she smiled at me
I will not slaughter my only cock
I will not throw a party
I will not bring down my flute
I will not compose a song
I will not change my walking style
I will not go to the barber for a box haircut…
Ex: Freedom song by Marjorie Macgoye
Atieno washes dishes,
Atieno plucks the chicken,
Atieno gets up early,
Beds her sacks down in kitchen,
Atieno eight years old,
Ex: ‘To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells
Bells, bells, bells-
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!’
V.2. FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
We usually use two different kinds of expressions while speaking: the literal and the figurative.
Literal statements mean exactly what they say while the figurative one means other beyond the accepted definitions.
Figurative language includes simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, paradox, onomatopoeia, symbolism, …
It is a comparison between two unlike things by using the words ‘like’, ‘as’ or ‘than’. It is a figure of speech which uses the words ‘like’, ‘as’ or ‘than’ to show the resemblance between two things which are different. Sometimes the verbs ‘appear’ or ‘seem’ are also used to compare.
Ex1: The day was as hot as the sun
He could swim like a fish
Her sneeze was as loud as a train whistle
I felt like a fish out of water
Ex2: Friends are like chocolate cake
You can never have too many.
Chocolate cake is like heaven-
Ex3: Love is like a painting
Filled with all colours and shades
Love is like a bleeding heart
Cut with many sharp blades.
Metaphor is a figure of speech which compares two unlike thinks without using ‘as’, ‘like’ or ‘than’. It says that one thing is another. A metaphor can be implicitor explicit.
Explicit metaphor: It is a metaphor which is clear about the two things being compared.
Ex: The stars were diamonds in the sky.
Her smile was a ray of sunshine.
He couldn’t stand because his legs were rubber.
She is a peacock.
The classroom was a zoo.
My teacher is a dragon
He is a night owl
Jamal was a pig at dinner
The snow is a white blanket
You are my sunshine
The sun is a golden ball
Books are the keys to your imagination
Implicit/implied metaphor: It is a metaphor which compares two unlike things without mentioning one of them.
Ex: Philip’s anger grew until it erupted. (compares anger to a volcano)
John barked at the girl. (compare John to a dog)
She flies at him. (compares her to a bird)
The ants orbited the snail before attacking it. (they are being compared to planets)
It is a figure of speech which gives human traits or qualities to animals or thing. It is when the non-humans are given human characteristics.
Ex1: Lightning danced across the sky.
The wind howled in the night.
The car complained as the key was roughly turned in its ignition.
My alarm clock yells at me to get out of bed every morning.
The door protested as it opened slowly.
The moon played hide and seek with the clouds.
The approaching car’s headlights winked at me.
The camera loves her since she is so pretty.
The stairs groaned as we walked on them.
My flowers were begging for water.
The thunder was grumbling in the distance.
The wildfire ran through the forest at an amazing speed.
The moon smiled at the stars in the sky.
The leaves waved in the wind.
Ex2: Pregnant clouds
Ride stately on its back,
Ex3: The wind whistles by
And trees bend to let it pass.
Ex4: The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
It is a deliberate exaggeration which is not intended to deceive but rather to create a special effect. It involves the exaggeration of ideas. Hyperbole is used to create a strong impression and add emphasis.
Ex1: “As I walked One Evening” by W.H Auden
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
Ex2: She’s as thin as a toothpick.
He was skinny enough to jump through a keyhole.
That mall is large enough to have its own zip code.
I ate so much on Thanksgiving; I weigh more than a whale.
His stomach is a bottomless pit.
If I can’t get a smartphone, I will die.
My mom is going to kill me.
These dress shoes are killing me.
This is so boring, just kill me now!
It was so cold I saw polar bears wearing jackets
It feels like my birthday will never come.
I had a ton of chores to do.
I’m so hungry I could eat a horse
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
The church was decorated with a million flowers.
He’s got tons of video games.
Grandpa is older than dirt.
My dad is always working.
I’ve told you a million times not to do that.
We waited for centuries for the latest game to be released.
It will only take me two seconds to get there.
You’re walking slower than a snail.
Carrie never stops talking.
Paradox is a phrase/statement that appears to be self-contradictory but which is actually expressing some truth when it is closely examined. Paradox is used to attract attention or secure emphasis. Paradox is a statement which seems untrue at first sight but proves valid on closer inspection.
Ex: You can save money by spending it.
I know one thing; that I know nothing.
This is the beginning of the end.
“I can resist anything but temptation.”
Here are the rules: Ignore all rules.
I only message those who do not message.
He was glad to finally be punished for his crimes.
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Love puts in when friendship is gone
It was the best mistake he ever made
Good fences make good neighbours
It is a combination of two contradictory/opposite words. Most of them are made by adjectives preceding nouns with contrasting meanings.
The ugly beauty
Parting is such a sweet sorrow (in Romeo and Juliet),
There was a love-haterelationship between those neighbours.
Paid volunteers were working for the company.
All the politicians agreed to disagree.
There was a deafening silence.
It is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something which is closely associated with that thing or concept. It is a figure of language where instead of using the actual name of something, we use the name of something else which is closely related to it or which resembles it. A metonymy is a substitution where a word or phrase is used in place of another word or phrase.
Ex: “The crown” can be used to mean king, queen or government.
The chair has called of the meeting. Chair=person
The bench usually refers to the judges
Suits to mean business people
Heart to refer to love or emotion
Dish to refer to an entire plate of food
Washington to refer to the US government
Hollywood to refer to film industry
Hand to mean help
Tongue to mean language
Ears to refer to giving attention, listening
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” The word “pen” substitutes for written work.
The word “sword” substitutes for violence or warfare
Synecdoche occurs when a part of something is used to refer to the whole or the whole for the part.
A synecdoche may use part of something to represent the entire whole.
Ex: Bread can be used to represent food in general or money (
Sails is often used to refer to a whole ship.
Hired hands can be used to refer to workmen.
Wheels refers to a vehicle
It may use an entire whole thing to represent a part of it.
Ex: The “world” is not treating you well.
The word “society” is often referred to a specific sector of society.
“Police” can be used to represent one or several officers.
“Rwanda” attended the UN conference in New York. Rwanda: president
Synecdoche and metonymy resemble one another because they both use a word or phrase to represent something else. They are both considered metaphors because the word or words used are not taken literally.
It is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. A literary symbol is something that stands for something else other than itself. This symbol does not exist for itself but rather points to something different from itself.
Ex: The dove is a symbol of peace
The cross symbolizes Christianity
A ring on a finger can mean marriage
A red rose stands for love/romance
White represents life and purity
Black is a symbol of evil or death
Red can symbolize blood, danger,…
A chain may mean union or imprisonment
A broken mirror may symbolize separation
Smile symbolizes friendship
Smiling at you symbolizes the feeling of affection to you
Snow refers to winter symbol
Dust symbolizes death in the Bible.
A literary symbol is a thing/event/person/quality/relationship which functions in two ways:
– as a sign of something else
Ex: “blood” may mean just that, but it may also mean war.
This includes words that sound like their meaning or imitations of sounds. It is referred to a word which duplicates the natural sounds of objects. They help the readers to hear the sounds of the words they reflect.
The watch-dogs bark!
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
Cry, ‘Cock-a-diddle-dow!’” From “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare.
Ex2: “I’m getting married in the morning!
Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime.”
The bees were buzzing
Ex3: bang, ping, buzz, boom, slurp, hiss, squish, voom,….
Use/importance of figures of speech in poetry
– They create images that make abstract statements appear real.
-They communicate more concretely and vividly.
-They convey judgements.
-They communicate feelings so as to influence our attitude towards the subject.
V.3. RHYME PATTERNS OF RHYTHM
Rhyme is a repetition of similar sounding words (or the same sounds) in two or more words, most often in the final syllables or lines in poems and songs.
Types of rhymes
The poet who wishes to write a rhyming poem has several different sorts of rhyme from which to choose. Some are strong, some more subtle, and all can be employed as the poet sees fit.
The following are some of the main types:
End Rhymes: Rhyming of the final words of lines in a poem.
Ex1: Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground
From Seamus Heaney’s “Digging”
Ex2: Tyger Tyger, burning bright
In the forest of the night
From William Blake’s “The Tiger”
Internal Rhymes: Rhyming of two words within the same line of poetry.
Ex1: Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
From William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’
Ex2: Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
From Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”
Slant Rhymes: Rhymes in which two words share just a vowel sound (assonance) or in which)they share just a consonant sound (consonance.
Ex1: Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun
From Seamus Heaney’s “Digging”
Rich Rhymes: Rhymes using two different words that happen to sound the same (homonyms) –like “raise” and “raze”.
Ex1: And breathe the true poetic vein,
This page should not be fill’d in vain!
From Thomas Hood’s “A First Attempt in Rhyme”
Eye Rhymes: Rhyme on words that look the same but which are actually pronounced differently– as “bough” and “rough”.
Ex1: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
From Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 18’
Here, “temperate” and “date”look as though they rhyme, but they are pronounced differently.
Identical Rhymes: It is simply using the same word twice.
An example is in (some versions of) Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could not Stop for Death”
Ex: We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground—
The Roof was scarcely visible—
The Cornice—in the Ground—
In the above lines, the word “ground” is repeated twice for rhyming effect; and this make it an identical rhyme.