Understanding Personification in Poetry

Understanding Personification in Poetry

Learn what personification is and why writers use it in poetry. Discover how the word "person" in personification gives a clue to its meaning - giving human qualities to nonhuman objects and ideas.

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Slide1What is “personification ” ? A Presentation on Personification in Poetry

Slide2PERSONIFICATION What word do you notice inside the word: “personification” ?  How does the word “person” give you a clue as to the meaning of personification?  Why do you think a writer would want to use personification in a poem?

Slide3And the answer is…… Personification  is giving human qualities (such as emotion) and actions to nonhuman objects and/or ideas.

Slide4The Sky Is LowBy: Emily Dickinson The Sky is low -- the Clouds are mean. A Travelling Flake of Snow Across a Barn or through a Rut Debates if it will go – A Narrow Wind complains all Day How some one treated him Nature, like Us is sometimes caught Without her Diadem.

Slide5Unfamiliar Vocabulary diadem-  debates-

Slide6Discussion Questions What are some examples of  personification  in the poem?  Why do you think Dickenson chose to personify weather?  What kind of words does she use to set the mood of the poem? Can you think of other words that might do the same thing?  How does she intensify the image of an unpleasant day by using personification?  What does she compare nature to? Why do you think she did this?

Slide7Two SunflowersMove in the Yellow Room. By: William Blake "Ah, William, we're weary of weather," said the sunflowers, shining with dew. "Our traveling habits have tired us. Can you give us a room with a view?" They arranged themselves at the window and counted the steps of the sun, and they both took root in the carpet where the topaz tortoises run.

Slide8Discussion Questions: What is different about how Blake uses personification in his poem?  Why do you think he chooses to have the sunflowers talk?  What kinds of descriptive words does Blake use?  Why do you think he uses these words?

Slide9April Rain SongBy: Langston Hughs Let the rain kiss you Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops Let the rain sing you a lullaby The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk The rain makes running pools in the gutter The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night And I love the rain .

Slide10Discussion Questions: What are Langston Hughes’ feeling toward rain?  What does he want his audience to do?  How does personification help him make his point?  How is his use of personification different from that of Dickinson or Blake?  What do you notice about the language he uses to describe the rain?  How does he use repetition to make his point?

Slide11Final Discussion ?’s What are the different moods of each poem?  How does the use of personification by each poet contribute to the mood of his or her poem?  What are the different types of words and patterns that each poet uses?  Which poem do you like best? Why?