Ch 5: Understanding Poetry

About This Chapter

This Understanding Poetry chapter digs into the basics of poetry as a literary form while also looking at its elements, interpretation and related terms. The included lessons aim to help you get the most out of reading poetry.

Understanding Poetry - Chapter Summary

This chapter covers key facets of poetic form. It begins by solidifying your fundamental understanding of the poetic genre before delving into more advanced topics regarding poetic terms, analysis, and meaning. By the end of the chapter, you will have buffed up your knowledge of:

  • How poetic structure impacts meaning
  • Rhymes and sounds
  • Approaches to reading poetry
  • Pointing out forms in American poetry
  • Terms and examples of American poetry

The practice quizzes attached to every lesson can serve as a way to verify your understanding of the content subject-by-subject. While they provide links back to the relevant point of the lesson if a question is answered incorrectly, you can also ask questions of our professional instructors through the teacher or help tab if there's something you're stuck on.

6 Lessons in Chapter 5: Understanding Poetry
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Poetry as Literary Form: Overview and Examples

1. Poetry as Literary Form: Overview and Examples

This lesson will introduce the formal qualities of poetry and the ways that it differs from prose. Among other things, we'll consider meter, rhyme schemes, stanzas, and popular poetic forms.

How the Structure of a Poem or Drama Contributes to Meaning

2. How the Structure of a Poem or Drama Contributes to Meaning

Look closely at the form of any poem or play. Authors put a lot of thought into the structure of their work. This lesson discusses how that structure contributes to the overall meaning of the piece as a whole.

Elements of Poetry: Rhymes & Sounds

3. Elements of Poetry: Rhymes & Sounds

Many poems rhyme, but there is often more going on in terms of the sounds of the words than just what happens at the ends of the lines. This lesson explores some of the nuances of rhyme and sound in poetry.

Different Approaches to Reading Poetry

4. Different Approaches to Reading Poetry

There are many approaches to reading poetry, depending on the purpose. In this lesson, you'll learn three ways to travel through a poem, from a technique that takes a few seconds to one that will allow a reader to dig into the depths of meaning.

Identifying Forms in American Poetry

5. Identifying Forms in American Poetry

There is more to poetry than symbolism and imagery. This lesson will help you figure out meter and rhyme schemes in poetry, with some classic American poems as examples.

Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples

6. Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples

It can sometimes be tough to figure out what a poem means. This lesson provides some tools to help you analyze poetry and develop your interpretations.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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