The Voice of the Swallow, Flittering, Calls to Me Pastoral Poetry Couplet A couplet is a pair of rhyming lines written in the same meter. The following iambic tetrameter couplets come from John Miltons LAllegro: And if I give thee honor due, Mirth, admit me of the crew To live with her, and live with thee, In unreproved pleasures free.
Theme The central idea, concern, or purpose in a literary work. In an essay the theme might be directed stated in what is known as the thesis statement. In a serious literary work, the theme is usually expressed indirectly rather than directly. A light work, one written strictly for entertainment, may not have a theme. Diction Diction refers to a writers choice of words.
This choice is like the appropriate selection of clothing. You would not go to a wedding in jeans. A writers diction can be a major determinant of his or her style. Diction can be described as formal or informal, abstract or concrete, plain or ornate, ordinary or technical Diction John L. Foster, the translator of these Egyptian love poems, made the following statement about his choice of words:
The diction should be unpretentiously colloquial, simple, except when elevated by the power of a strong feeling or slipping over into the sometimes slangy verbal patterns of irony or humor. The language should be conversational, quiet, the usages of personal and private speech; for those are the kinds of words for lovers. Rhyme Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the ends of words. End rhyme occurs when the rhyming words are repeated at the ends of lines of poetry.
Internal rhyme occurs when the rhyming words fall within a line. Exact rhyme is the use of identical rhyming sounds as in love and dove. Approximate or slant rhyme is the use of sounds that are similar but not identical, as in prove and glove. Rhyme Scheme A rhyme scheme is a regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem or stanza. To indicate a rhyme scheme, on assigns each final sound in the poem or stanza a
different letter. Consider the following example from La Fontaines The Wolf and the Lamb: Rhyme Scheme
A lamb her thirst was slaking Once at a mountain rill. A hungry wolf was taking His hunt for sheep to kill, When spying on the streamlets brink This sheep of tender age, He howled in tones of rage, How dare you roil my drink? The rhyme scheme of these lines is : ababcddc
a b a b c d d c Simile A simile is a figure of speech that compares two dissimilar things by using a key word
such as like or as. By comparing dissimilar things, the writer of a simile shocks the reader into appreciation of the qualities of the things being compared. A simile makes a description more vivid and memorable. Irony Irony is the general name given to literary techniques that involve surprising, interesting, or amusing contradictions. In verbal irony, words are used to suggest the
opposite of their usual meaning. In dramatic irony, there is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true. In irony of situation, an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience.
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