KOLEC Lesson 20: Features of Poetry

KOLEC Lesson 20: Features of Poetry



Like other literary genres, Poetry has features which distinguish it from other genres of literature. You can easily identify the poetry, by simply seeing it on the paper. There are also other features that are identifiable. 



There are features of Poetry that distinguish it from other genres of literature. They are:  

(1) Poems are meant to be sung or read aloud.  

(2) Poetry is split into units called lines/verses and stanzas. Novels and plays are not divided into this way. 

(3) The character of a poem is the persona. The persona in the poetry differs from the characters found in novels and plays because a persona hardly bears a name. 

(4) Poetry is richer in imagery than any other literary genre. It very much appeals to senses of touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste than other genres. 

(5) Poetry uses figures of speech more plentifully than other literary genres. 

(6) Poetry consists of musical features such as rhyme and rhythm. But novels and plays are intended to be read silently and have not many musical features like those of poetry. 

(7) Poetry employs language economy. Poetry says much in a few words. So, poets say much in a few words.  



Master of poetry is regarded as the master of other genres of literature like novels and plays. When you master poetry, you have also mastered prose. If you have mastered the language of poetry, it is not difficult to master the language of novels or play. This is because in life we first experience poetry before other genres of literature.  



[1] Define Poetry  

[2] Differentiate traditional poems from modern poems.  

[3] Match the items in List A with those in List B:  

List A  

(1) Tells a story on a certain event or issue that happened. 

(2) Addresses a person or a thing or celebrates an event. 

(3) "If We Must Die" and "Sunrise" 

(4) Deal with the actions or bravery of great men in the history of a certain society. 

(5) Expresses strong and deep feelings. 

(6) "Your Pain", "If We Must Die", and "Sunrise" 

(7) A song or songlike poem in which two or more people are speaking in turn. 

(8) Mourns the death of a person or that laments something lost. 

(9) Fourteen-line lyric poem.  

(10) A stringed instrument in ancient Greece in which lyric poems were recited to the accompaniment of it.  

(11) "Eat More", "The Trial", and "You are Lost". 

(12) Gives instructions to the readers in the society. 


List B 

A. Narrative poetry 

B. Ode 

C. Examples of sonnets 

D. Epics 

E. Lyric poetry 

F. Examples of didactic poems  

G. Ballad 

H. Elegy 

I. Sonnet 

J. lyre 

K. Didactic poetry 

L. Examples of lyric poems 

[4] What are the features of poetry? 


This course is prepared and offered by: "KACHELE ONLINE LITERATURE IN ENGLISH COURSE" (KOLEC) 

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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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