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blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter

couplet

rhyming stanzas made up of two lines

dramatic monologue

type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener

elegy

a formal sustained poem lamenting the death of a particular person

English Sonnet (Shakespearean)

14-line sonnet consisting of three quatrains of abab cdcd efef followed by a couplet, gg. Usually uses iambic pentameter.

epic

extensive, serious poem that tells the story about a heroic figure

free verse

poetry free of a strict rhythmical structure or set rhyme scheme

haiku

Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of 5,7,5; usually about some form of nature

iambic pentameter

poetic meter consisting of five repetitions of an iamb; most closely approximates the normal rhythm of English

idyll

poetry that depicts a peaceful, idealized country scene; otherwise a long poem telling a story about heroes of a byegone age

Italian sonnet (Petrarchan)

a sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba followed by six lines with rhyme patter cdecde or cdcdcd

light verse

poetry that entertains with humor or wit; some, like satire, has an underlying serious intent

limerick

short, sometimes vulgar, humorous poem consisting of five anapestic lines

lyric

once referred to poetry meant to be sung to music; now describes any short, concentrated poem expressing personal feelings

narrative

poetry that tells a story

ode

usually a long, complex lyric expressing profound emotion; usually has a more elaborate and exalted expression and style than other lyric

ottava rima

a poem written in 8-line octave

pastoral

poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, romanticized way

quatrain

stanza or poem consisting of four lines; lines 2 and 4 must rhyme

sonnet

14 line poem usually in iambic pentameter and following a specified rhyme scheme

terza rima

type of poetry consisting of 10-11 syllables lines arranged in three-line tercets

villanelle

19-line poem consisting of 5 tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes

end-stopped line

line of poetry marked by a logical or rhetorical pause at the end

enjambment

running over of a sentence from line or stanza into another so that closely related words fall in different lines

foot

units of accented and unaccented syllables, used to measure meter

meter

generally regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry; measured in units of feet

onomatopoeia

naming of a thing or action by vocal imitation of the sound associated with it

refrain

regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or division of a poem or song

scansion

analyzing the metrical patterns of a poem

stanza

division of a poem consisting of a series of lines arranged together in a usually recurring pattern of meter and rhyme

syllabic verse

poetry in which the number of syllables per line is fixed (ex. haiku)

alliteration

repetition at close intervals of initial identical consonant sounds; or vowel sounds in successive words or syllables that repeat

anaphora

repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect

antithesis

rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences

assonance

repetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximity

consonance

repetition of a consonant sound within two or more words in close proximity

end rhyme

rhyme occuring at the ends of lines

internal rhyme

rhyme between a word within a line and another either at the end of the same line or within another line

slant-rhyme

words that do not rhyme exactly, but end with similar sounds

polysyndeton

repetition of conjunctions in close succession

parallelism

repetition of words, phrases, or sentences that have same grammatical structure or that state a similar idea

repetition

repeating word, phrase, or other element for emphasis

allusion

a brief reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object

hyperbole

exaggeration for effect or humor

metaphor

direct or implied comparison between two dissimilar objects

conceit

exaggerated comparison popularized in the 17th century by the metaphysical poets

metonymy

object or characteristic associated with the subject used in place of the subject (ex. the pen is mightier than the sword)

paradox

statement that contains seemingly contradictory elements or appears contrary to common sense, yet can be seen as true when viewed from another angle

personification

giving human characteristics to something non-human

simile

comparison between seemingly dissimilar objects using like or as

symbol

something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance; especially a visible sign of something else

synecdoche

figure of speech by which part stands for whole ("fifty sails" for "fifty ships"), whole for part ("society" for "high society") the species for the genus ("cutthroat" for "assassin"), genus for species ("creature" for "man") or the name of the material for the thing made ("boards" for "stage")

synesthesia

describing one kind of sensation in terms for another

pun

words or expressions which contain two or more meanings simultaneously, helpful in a genre which requires language to condense meanings in a compact space

paradox

language appears to contradict itself; contradiction is only apparent, however

irony

contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality

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