Having a Lovely Time Writing

Teacher Resource: The Poet’s Tool Kit part one


The Poet’s Tool Kit    

A poet tries to describe things through creating interesting images and they have at their disposal Figurative language  – this is language that uses figures of speech. The main figures of speech are: metaphor, simile, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia and assonance. But the poet also uses language play, rhyme, rhythm, powerful verbs and sound effects created by word combinations.   

 Metaphor   

This is when the poet makes an unusual comparison where one thing is described in terms of something else.   

Keep your head down –   

            no point in looking up   

in this fat forest of people that could squish you dead.   

   (From Kid in the City. Jan Dean)   

The child is in a crowded street, the child is small and the crowd of people are being compared to a forest as they tower over the child who comes up to their knees.   

http://www.jandean.co.uk/  

Angela’s metaphor poetry created by the Glimpse of a Photo idea shows how easy it is for the children in her year 6 class to create effective and wonderfully sophisticated metaphor poems:   

A Clown's Tie

 

The clown’s tie …   

 The clown’s tie is a multi-coloured necklace reflecting in the sunlight.   

The clown’s tie is a gleaming, glistening mobile phone hanging around a neck.   

The clown’s tie is a bubbling, sparkling washing machine shaking and shivering.   

The clown’s tie is a berry filled blender making a milkshake.   

The clown’s tie is an overflowing sweet machine full to the top with delicious sweets.   

The clown’s tie is a dog’s paw print on a canvas.   

Here we can see Angela’s marking of the poem – their efforts are praised and the ideas and group work recognised.   

An excellent piece of work – your metaphors are fantastic and put an interesting picture into my head. Excellent group work also, each one of you contributed and discussed ideas   

Simile    

 An unusual comparison where one thing is described as something else, using ‘like’ or ‘as ….as’.   

            The moonshine falls lightly on the keys   

            making them sparkle brightly, like sugar on a biscuit.   

                         (From My Piano. John Rice)   

The moonlight reflects on the piano keys and makes them sparkle which reminds the poet of being like sugar on a biscuit.   

            Keep down in this swallowed up   

            swaying buzzing shuffle   

            where we are packed tight   

            as swarming bees,   

            (From Kid in the City. Jan Dean)   

The kid is in a busy city and the crowd of people are squashed together and are being compared to a swarm of bees.   

Personification    

The poet makes an unusual comparison where something non-human (inanimate) is described in human terms.   

            Last week the sea was whispering,   

            hushing and shushing the beach,   

sifting its salty secrets into the sand.   

(From Shouting at the Ocean. Gerard Benson)   

The sea can’t actual whisper, hush or shush as these are things only humans can do – this makes us think of the sound of the sea and we also know the sea can’t have any secrets as it is non-living.   

There’s no use railing at the ocean   

            If you’re angry or upset   

            The sea won’t even notice you   

            It’s too busy being wet   

            (From Shouting at the Ocean. Roger Stevens)   

The sea won’t take any notice of you (– it’s the sea how can it notice you – it is inanimate but it does move) as it is busy concentrating on getting wet. Concentration on getting wet is a human characteristic – busy can the sea be busy?   

Use Dylan’s poem to explore personification.   

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING   

I huddle over enormous cities,   

I bring chaos to the people,   

I flash my torch like headlights,   

I destroy buildings.   

I bring horror to Earth and I black out the world,    

I rumble like a volcano,   

I can strike you with fear.   

    

I can destroy colossal cities,   

I am as ferocious as a dinosaur,   

I am as fast as a cheetah.   

I AM THUNDER AND LIGHTINING!!   

Alliteration   

This is where consecutive words begin with the same letter and, more importantly, the same sound.   

            a falling flock   

            of feathered snow   

            (From Snow Petrels. Liz Brownlee)   

            He asked himself several times why   

            he’d been put in the bin. Was he bad?   

            The bear in the bin blinked his eye.   

            The bear in the bin was sad.   

            (From The Bear in the Bin. Catherine Benson)    

Alliteration    

This is where consecutive words begin with the same letter and, more importantly, the same sound.   

            a falling flock   

            of feathered snow   

            (From Snow Petrels. Liz Brownlee)   

    

               

            The bear in the bin blinked his eye.   

            The bear in the bin was sad.   

            (From The Bear in the Bin. Catherine Benson)   

 

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