Poetry

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Poetry

I. Rhyme and Rhyme-Related Figures

I.1. Rhyme

1. The definition of rhyme

2. The basic types of rhyme: masculine and feminine

3. The position and function of rhyme

Exercises

I.2. Assonance

Exercises

I.3. Consonance

Exercises

I.4. Alliteration

Exercises

I.5. Eye-rhyme

I.6. Enjambment

I.7. Rhyme-schemes, stanza patterns

1. Rhyme-schemes

2. Stanza patterns

3. The function of rhyme schemes and stanza patterns

Exercises

II. Verse, Versification

II.1. Accentual Syllabic Verse (Metre, Metrics)

1. The definition of metre and of accentual syllabic verse

2. Feet and lines in accentual syllabic verse

3. A few hints on scansion

4. The function of metrics, the use of scansion

Exercises

II.2. Combinations of accentual syllabic verse and rhyme patterns

Exercises

II.3. Accentual verse

Exercises

II.4. Free verse

III. Poetic Forms and Genres

IV. Exercises

V. Links

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

The two words that deviate from the rather strict rhyme scheme of the Petrarchan sonnet here are the words Grace and faith. The first one is an assonance among the rhyming words wayseveryday’sPraise, while the latter is involved in consonance with the words breathdeath but is also in assonance with waysday’sPraiseGrace. If we examine the meaning of the text we will notice that these two deviations from the pattern are not accidental. The whole poem is largely based on a juxtaposition of past illusion associated with religious zeal (faith and Grace) and the present where these false past passions are substituted for by the more genuine passion of love. The fact that Grace and faith are involved in assonance can therefore be interpreted as a demonstration of their illusory and ultimately fake character.)