AY Honors/Poetry and Songwriting/Answer Key

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Poetry and Songwriting

Skill Level






Approval authority

North American Division

Poetry & Songwriting AY Honor.png
Poetry and Songwriting
Arts, Crafts and Hobbies
Skill Level
Approval authority
North American Division
Year of Introduction
See also


Define the following terms as they relate to poetry. Give an example of each:



The root for the word “alliteration” comes from the Latin word “latira” which simply means “letters of the alphabet”. It is a technique in which the first consonant (non-vowel) sound of multiple words close together in a series have the same sound. Examples of this include “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.” In this sentence, the letter “P” occurs as the first letter of multiple words in a series. It is important to note that alliteration is based off of sounds, not letters. For example, the phrase “knowing nothing” is alliterative, (uses alliteration) while the phrase “city clouds” is not.



Allusion means indirectly making a reference to something or suggesting something without directly speaking of it.



The audience is the person or group that the poem was intended for. For example, a poem written for children would be very different than a poem written for adults.



Inflated, extravagant exaggeration that isn't supposed to be taken literally. Writers often use this to paint word pictures and describe things from a certain perspective. Examples of this include “hungry enough he could eat a horse” and “I've told you a million times.”



Imagery is painting a picture with words, using words that cause us to see things in our mind. Suppose I told you of a green field in the early morning, the sun shimmering through the dew on the grass, and a morning breeze whispering through the trees. What do you see? I have painted a picture using words that you can see and hear in your mind. The most important part of imagery is using words that will show the audience what you want them to see, rather than simply telling them.



One of the divisions that make up a verse or stanza. Think of a line of poetry as being a sentence. By itself, it is not a paragraph. To make it a paragraph, more sentences must be added. However, remember that a line of poetry does not necessarily follow the rules of a sentence, such as having a subject and verb, etc, and ending in a period. Instead, many poetry lines are incomplete thoughts by themselves, but make sense when put together with the other lines in the stanza.



A metaphor is a comparison between two different things that doesn't use words such as “like” or “as”. Examples of this include “the sky is an ocean” or “thoughts are birds”.



This is the intended emotional or mental feelings that the author intends for the audience to feel. The mood is often closely connected to imagery, using describing words that would cause the audience to feel placed into the poem. To describe a poem's mood, someone could use words like “joyful”, “angry”, “apprehensive”, or “peaceful”.



Words that are meant to sound like the noise they are describing are known as onomatopoeia. Words like thump, crack, splat, zip, whirr, and many animal noises such as woof and meow fall under this category.



Personification is a writing tool that takes an inanimate or non-living object and gives it human actions, such as wind playing hide-and-seek, or roads that run through the mountains. Obviously winds can't play, nor can roads run, but personification is meant to draw pictures, not to be perfectly and humanly accurate.



Basically what it sounds like. Repeating. Using the same idea, word, phrase, or symbols again and again.



Words that share the same end sound are known as rhyming words. Many rhyming words share the same spelling at the end, such as name, game, same, and shame. However, many words do not share the same ending, such as blue, shoe, too, screw, and few. Besides this, there are perfect rhymes, such as the ones already mentioned, then there are imperfect rhymes (also called, half, slant, oblique, or near rhymes), which are words that are close enough to rhymes that they are often used as such, but do not actually rhyme. Examples of imperfect rhymes are shape and keep, bridge and grudge, fast and task, and on and moon.



The dictionary defines rhythm as “a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound.” A poem's rhythm may have eight beats in each line, or maybe twelve in the first line and four in the second, then twelve in the third and four in the fourth, basically repeating the rhythm of the first two lines. Whatever the rhythm, it is usually fairly consistent throughout the poem.



This is very similar and often confused with a metaphor. Remember that a metaphor compares two different things, but it doesn't use words such as “like” or “as”. Similes on the other hand do use these words. The phrases “a cloud is like a marshmallow in the sky” or “joy is a free as a bird” are both similes.



This is the person that the audience is supposed to think is reading or telling the poem. Ultimately this would be the author, but the author often steps into various roles, such as a farmer, a witness of an event, or even an inanimate object. Basically, the author is the speaker who supplies the brain of the supposed speaker.



A stanza is a group of lines. Consider it a paragraph in poetry. Remember that a stanza does not necessarily need to follow the same rules as a normal paragraph, though.


Poems can be divided into hundreds of types. List five different types and a poem in each group.

Types of poetry:

  • Narrative: Tells a story
  • Sonnet: Contains 14 lines, usually with 10 beats per line. Comes from the Italian word “sonetto”, meaning small or little song.
  • Haiku: Japanese poetry containing 17 syllables. 1st line contains 5 syllables, 2nd contains 7, and the 3rd contains 5.
  • Limerick: According to the dictionary, “a humorous, frequently bawdy, verse of three long and two short lines rhyming aabba, popularized by Edward Lear.”
  • Epic: A long and serious poem about a specific event. Previously an important part of the histories of nations before writing.
  • Couplet: Two lines of poetry, usually matching in rhythm and rhyme. Could stand alone as a poem, or be a part of a larger poem.
  • Free Verse: Poem that does not use a steady rhythm or rhyme scheme.
  • Acrostic: A poem in which the specific letters of each line make up a word or phrase.
  • Ballad: A poem often derived from folklore, telling a story in short stanzas.
  • Shape: A poem written describing an object and arranged so the words form the shape of the object being spoken of.


What is the difference between assonance and consonance? Give an example of each.

In assonance, the same vowel is used repeatedly close together. Example: … as I wiped inside the eyes…” On the other hand, consonance involves the same consonant sound being repeated. It is similar to alliteration, but it does not require that the sound to be repeated is the first one. Example: “silken sad uncertain rustling”.


Research one type of poetry and write a brief history about it, including names of influential authors and poems.

This one's on you! Have fun!


How are poetry and songwriting the same? How are they different?

Songwriting is basically poetry set to music. However, songwriting is somewhat more free in that meter and rhythm can change rapidly and without notice.


Describe the role of a songwriter and how their role is different from that of a lyricist or melodist.

A songwriter writes the entire song, from words, to music, to melody and harmony. He/she is both the lyricist and the melodist. A lyricist basically writes poetry in a manner that would be easy to apply music to. They often work closely with a melodist, who deals mainly with the melody, harmony, instruments, and the like. Melodists are often called composers, even for non-classical music.


Explain the differences between perspective, situational, and narrative poetry.

Perspective poetry or songs allows the audience to see a certain part of a character’s life through the character's own eyes. When something happens, it happens to “me”. Most songs fall under this category, as it is considered the easiest to write.

Situational poetry or songs deals with a specific event or time in the speaker's experience and how the speaker understood or reacted to it. Many songs fall under this category, but significantly fewer than under the perspective category.

Narrative poetry and songs tells a story with a definite plot, a beginning, middle, and end. It is arguably the most difficult way to write a song out of these three types, and by far the least common.


Define melody, countermelody, and harmony, and how they relate to songwriting.

  • Melody: According to the dictionary, “a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying. In general life, known as the song's tune.
  • Countermelody: A second melody accompanying and adding to the first one. Also could be considered a lesser melody, or often a melody that counters the first one. Hence the name “countermelody”.
  • Harmony: an ear-pleasing set of two or more notes being played at the same time.


Describe the differences between a verse, chorus, and bridge.

A verse closely corresponds with the poem's stanza. There are rarely fewer verses than choruses, but it is common for a song to have several more verses than choruses. Each verse tends to have different words than the other verses, and their main purpose is to support and explain the chorus.

A chorus is the repeated part of the song, usually differing from the verse, and carries the main point of the song. Usually it is considered the most important part, and is often the section that is most memorable. It often contains the same words, though this is not always the case.

Not every song has a bridge. A bridge helps to break up the repetition of a song and to hold on the listener's attention. It usually has several characteristics that are similar with either the verse or the chorus, but has its own distinct sound to it. It can serve as a calming section from a high-energy chorus to a more gentle ending, or it could serve as an energy-builder, for a more vibrant ending. Most bridges are located after the second chorus, bridging to the final chorus.

For the most part, most modern songs follow a pattern similar to this: Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus However, any variation of this is possible and if it can be done, it probably has been.


Large sections of the Bible are written as poetry. With your instructor and your unit, discuss why you think this is the case.

Some say that the entire Bible was originally written in verse. While this could be debated, it is undeniable that poetry has a large part of in the Bible. Over 25% of the Bible consists of poetry. Much of the poetic structure has been lost in the translation of the Bible from the original languages in which it was written. It is possible that so much is poetry because poetry tends to be somewhat easier to remember. On the other hand, some think that this is caused by the fact that changing even one word can ruin the meaning. A changed word would not have made sense and would have been a flag for error. However, this is all suggestions. Put your thinking caps on a see how many other explanations you can come up with.


Why do poetry and songwriting have such an impact on the minds of people? Are there good and bad forms of each? How can an author write poems or songs for the glory of God?

Poetry and songwriting are an open opportunity to express ideas and thoughts. They are also open for interpretation by the hearers. The images that these create are very different and far more graceful than the images that everyday speech creates. Just like any other type of art, there are ways to create quality, as well as downright immoral poetry and songs. Often the most subtle influences of evil are slipped into the words, and the power for good that could be had is lost. Anything that can be taken by the audience in a bad or immoral way should be avoided or at least carefully considered, especially since we are the authors. Writing any of these forms of art should be written in a way that God is not dishonored in any way.

Again, this is a discussion. Discuss away!


Complete one of the following:


Individually or with your unit, write a short poem of at least three verses using techniques discussed above. Share it with your instructor.

This is for you. Let your creative juices flow! Remember to ask yourself if Jesus would approve of it! If you are hesitant to show it to your instructor, reconsider what you are saying in it. Have fun!


Individually or with your unit, write a song consisting of at least two verses and a chorus, using techniques discussed above. Share it with your instructor.

This is for you. Let your creative juices flow! Remember to ask yourself if Jesus would approve of it! If you are hesitant to show it to your instructor, reconsider what you are saying in it. Have fun!


Complete one of the following:


Present your poem or song with your club as an audience. The presentation should be creative and can involve more than just the author(s).

Ideas for this could be a video, a narration for a skit following the written words, or any number of other options. This is meant to be open for discussion within the group. Be creative!


If applicable, display your poem at a Pathfinder event, such as a fair, camporee, or Investiture ceremony.

Or anywhere similar to this. There is no wrong way to do this, so be creative!


Create a video of your poem or song.

This does not have to be a video watching the author(s) read or sing it. Video the performance at a talent show, a special music in church, or create a nature video to go along with it.