Poetry Terms

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Alexandrine
a line of verse of 12 syllables consisting regularly of 6 iambs with a caesura after the third iamb
Allegory
a narration of description usually restricted to a single meaning because its events, actions, characters, setting, and objects represent specific abstractions or ideas
alliterative meter
repetition of sounds in one line
anacrusis
one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a verse.
ballad
A poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas
blank verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter
caesura
A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line.
catalexis
metrically incomplete line- either lacks a syllable at end or finishes with incomplete foot
conceit
comparison between two very unlike things
connotation
An idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning
continuous form
form of poem in the lines follow one another without formal grouping; the only breaks being dictated by the units of meaning
couplet
Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
dactyl
/UU
dead metaphor
A metaphor which has become so commonplace that it has lost its force, and we forget that it is not literally true.
face of the mountain
dramatic poetry
A type of poetry that utilizes the techniques of drama; the speaker is clearly someone other than the poet
end-stopped line
A line that ends with a natural speech pause
English sonnet
a sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg
extra-metrical syllables
In metrical verse, extra unaccented syllables added at the beginnings or endings of lines.
feminine rime
A rime of two or more syllables
ghazal
a type of rhyming poetry in the Urdu language
heroic couplet
Iambic pentameter lines rhymed in pairs (can have elevated style)
Italian sonnet
A sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba, followed by a sestet with the rhyme pattern cdecde or cdcdcd
limerick
A five line poem in which lines 1, 2 and 5 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme.
liquids
*a class of consonants consisting of lateral consonants together with rhotics (l, m, n, r, soft v & f sounds, semivowels w & y, and th/wh); fairly mellodious
lyric poem
poem that has a musical rhythm, and their topics often explore romantic feelings or other strong emotions.
masculine rime
when rime sounds involve only one syllable
meter
when a rhythmic pattern of stresses recur in a poem; patterns are determined by the type and number of feet in a line of verse combining the name of a line length with the name of a foot concisely describes it
metrical variations
Departures from the basic metrical pattern (eg substitution, extrametrical syllables)
named metaphor
metaphor in which the literal term is named and figurative term implied
octave
a poetic stanza of eight lines, usually forming one part of a sonnet
ottava rima
a stanza of eight lines of heroic verse with the rhyme scheme abababcc
pantoum
Poem with four-line stanzas in which lines are repeated
periodic sentence
A sentence that presents its central meaning in a main clause at the end.
phonetic intensive
words whose sound connects with their meaning
fl is often associated with moving light
plosives
a stop or occlusive produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract ( /p/,/t/, /k/, /d/)
prose meaning
That part of a poem’s total meaning that can be separated out and expressed through paraphrase.
prose poem
a kind of open form poetry that is printed as prose and represents the most clear opposite of fixed form poetry; are densely compact and often make use of striking imagery and figures of speech
quatrain
a four-line stanza; are the most common stanzaic form in the English language; they can have various meters and rime schemes
refrain
A line or set of lines repeated several times over the course of a poem.
rhetorical stresses
the stressing of words to clarify intentions or feelings
rhetorical pause
natural pause unmarked by puctuation ??
rime royal
A stanza consisting of seven lines in Iambic pentameter rhyming a b a b b c c.
rhythm
a term used to refer to the recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds in poetry; depending on how sounds are arranged, it may be fast or slow, choppy or smooth; poets use it to create pleasurable sound patterns and to reinforce meanings; in prose it arises from pattern repetitions of sounds and pauses that create looser effects
rondeau
13 octosyllabic lines, grouped in stanzas of 5,3,and 5. Poem uses only 2 rimes, and the first word/phrase of the first line recurs twice as refrain in 2nd and 3rd stanzas
rubiyhat
quatrains with rhyme aaba; trochaic or iambic meter
sapphic
stanzas of 4 lines, first 3 have 11 syllables, last have 5
scanning
the process of measuring the stresses in a line of verse in order to determine the metrical pattern of the line
sestet
a stanza consisting of exactly six lines
sestina
a type of fixed poetry consisting of thirty-six lines of any length divided into six sestets and a three-line concluding stanza called an envoy; the six words at the end of the first sestet’s lines must also appear at the ends of the other five sestets, in varying order; these six words must also appear in the envoy, where they often resonate important themes
sonnet
a fixed form of lyric poetry that consists of fourteen lines, usually written in iambic pentameter
Spenserian sonnet
a sonnet consisting of three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab bcbd cdcd ee
stanzaic form
the form taken by a poem when it is written in a series of units having the same number of lines and usually other characteristics in common, such as metrical pattern or rhyme scheme
substitution
use of an alien metric foot in a line of otherwise regular metrical pattern
syllabic verse
Verse measured by the number of syllables rather than the number of feet per line.
terza rima
an interlocking three-line rime scheme: aba, bcb, cdc, ded, an so on
villanelle
a type of fixed form poetry consisting of nineteen lines of any length divided into six stanzas: five tercets and a concluding quatrain; the first and third lines of the initial tercet rime; these rimes are repeated in each subsequent tercet (aba) and in the final two lines of the quatrain (abaa); line 1 appears in its entirety as lines 6, 12, and 18 while line 3 reappears as lines 9, 15, and 19
Categories: Poetry