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Poems | English Oral Narratives Notes

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Last Updated: 08th June, 2020

Ready? Attempt these Poems Exercises (Answers Available)

Introduction To Poems

Poetry has no one set definition because it can mean so many things to different people.
The following are some common definitions:
→→ It is the art of writing thoughts, ideas, and dreams into imaginative language which may contain verse, pause, meter, repetition, and/or rhyme.
→→ Writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound,and rhythm

- A poet is the one who writes poetry.
- A poem is a written expression of emotion or ideas in an arrangement of words or verse, most often rhythmically.

Different Types of Poetry

There are over 50 types of poetry. Poetry is categorized by:
a) The number of lines in the poem, for example, sonnet
b) The words in the poem,
c) Whether it rhymes or not, and
d) What it is about, for example, love poetry, death poetry, etc

Below are the common types of poetry:
- Haikus
- Sonnets
- Name poems
- Free verse poems


a) The haiku originated from Japan.
b) It's the shortest type of poem and, often, the most difficult to understand.
c) Haiku poems consist of 3 lines.
d) The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables.
e) The lines rarely rhyme.
Easter Chocolate Haiku
by Kaitlyn Guenther

Easter bunny hides
Easter eggs are out of sight
Kids look everywhere

Free verse poems

- A free verse is the loosest type of poem.
- It can consist of as many lines as the writer wants.
- It can either rhyme or not, and it does not require any fixed metrical pattern.
After the Sea-Ship
by Walt Whitman

After the Sea-Ship-after the whistling winds;
After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks,
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship:
Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves-liquid, uneven, tremulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,
Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface;


- A sonnet is best described as a lyric poem that consists of fourteen lines.
- Sonnet's have at least one or two conventional rhyme schemes.
Stay Or Go?
by Thompson

The days go by, then a month, then a year,
and still through the days I see not a change.
No matter what happens, you still aren't here,
and how you just disappeared is what's strange.

No explanation, no warning, just gone.
I wish I had just some of your courage
to go leave one rainy morning at dawn,
to leave one day without any message.

How I long for somewhere to be renewed
or to just disappear, just not to be,
not to see, not to feel, not to hear you,
the ghost that you are, which I long to be.

But as many days that I want to go,
there are more that I want to stay and know.

Name poems

- They are popular among children and are often used in schools.
- The name of the person becomes the poem.
- Each letter in the name is the first letter in the line of the poem.
by Anonymous

Magnificent, a creature of wonder
Alluring, so attractive
Reliable, a buddy you can count on
Interesting, truly fascinating
Obliging, willing to accommodate
Nice, a sweet soul

Note: There is a very wide definition of what constitutes poetry, and although some types of poetry can be grouped together in specific styles, creativity is the key to poetry and a new poet can choose to write in any style he wants, even if it doesn't fit into one of the recognized types.

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