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Poetic Techniques
'Metre' is the organised rhythm of beats in poetry.

Poetic Techniques

Stanzas and couplets are poetic techniques. Poets have many, many tricks up their sleeves. We analyse and categorise these tricks as poetic 'techniques' or 'devices'. Looking very closely at a poem and analysing the techniques the poet has used can help you appreciate exactly how a poem has an effect on its reader. Always remember when writing about poetry that it is not enough to name the technique or device: you must also describe how the technique creates an effect.

Test your knowledge of a poet's 'tricks of the trade' with this quiz.

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1.
Choose the correct poetic device.
A stanza consisting of a pair of lines.
Quatrain
Terza Rima
Couplet
Sonnet
Pairs of lines which rhyme are called 'rhyming couplets'
2.
Choose the correct poetic device.
The collections of lines into which a poem is divided.
Sonnets
Stanzas
Meters
Metrical feet
Lines in a stanza are usually of a similar length and may demonstrate a metrical pattern
3.
Choose the correct poetic device.
The organised rhythm of beats in poetry.
Rhyme
Stanza
Free verse
Metre
Every English word has one or more stresses (or beats). When a poet writes so that the stresses fall in a particular pattern, we refer to it as 'metre'. Here is an example from Romeo and Juliet: 'But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?' This particular example of metre is called 'iambic pentameter'
4.
Choose the correct poetic device.
A type of figurative language in which the poet writes about one thing as if it were another.
Theme
Metaphor
Homophone
Oxymoron
5.
Choose the correct poetic device.
A form of poetry without metre, pattern, or rhyme.
Sonnet
Free verse
Ballad
Sestina
6.
Choose the correct poetic device.
A phrase or line which recurs throughout a poem.
Stanza
Assonance
Ballad
Refrain
A refrain can also be a group of lines which are repeated
7.
Choose the correct poetic device.
The repetition of a consonant sound, especially at the beginning of a word or stressed syllable.
Alliteration
Simile
Metaphor
Hyperbole
8.
Choose the correct poetic device.
The technique which describes a clause or phrase which runs on between lines or verses without a pause.
Caesura
Enjambment
Iambic pentameter
Meter
9.
Choose the correct poetic device.
A long pause or break within a line, usually (but not always) created by punctuation such as a full stop, semi-colon, colon or, occasionally, an em (long) dash.
Caesura
Enjambment
Falling rhythm
Voice
10.
Choose the correct poetic device.
The style and tone of a poem's narrator, speaker, or persona.
Subject
Mood
Voice
Form
It is important to recognise that the person speaking in a poem is not necessarily the poet - sometimes 'voice' is described as the 'speaker' or 'narrator'. If the voice is rather different to that of the poet, it might be referred to as a 'persona'
Author:  Sheri Smith

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