Oly AP English Literature: Poetry

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Poetry Terms for Mrs. Madsen's Olympia High School's AP English 12 Literature

alliteration

use of the same sound at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse

assonance

the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words (e.g. lake and fate; trodden and cobbles)

blank verse

unrhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)

cacophony

use of words and phrases that imply strong, unpleasant sounds

cadence

the accent in a metrical foot of verse or prose

caesura

a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line

conceit

simile or metaphor comparing two seemingly dissimilar things

connotation

an idea that is implied or suggested

consonance

the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words, but the vowels are usually different (car and cur or add and odd)

controlling image

an image or metaphor that runs throughout and determines the form or nature of a literary work

couplet

a stanza consisting of two successive lines of verse

dirge

a mournful poem that is usually short, a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person

dissonance

use of discordant sounds to either create unpleasant effect or create an interesting variation from what is rhythmically correct

dramatic monologue

a poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener

elegy

a mournful poem that is usually long

end-stopped line

when poetry contains a pause in meaning (thus in reading) at the end of a line or a couplet; often marked by punctuation but not always

enjambment

the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of verse into the next line without a pause

epic

a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds

euphony

any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds

foot

basis of meter, regular unit of meter when repeated, makes up a verse

free verse

unrhymed verse without a consistent metrical pattern

iamb

a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables

image

representation of a sensory experience

imagery

the ability to form mental images of things or events

in medias res

"into the middle of things" beginning a narrative well along in a sequence of events; supplying information through flashbacks about the beginning

lyric

a brief, personal poem that is especially musical and filled with emotion; sonnets, odes, and elegies are types of lyrics

meter

rhythmic pattern of a poem

octave

a rhythmic group of eight lines of verse

ode

a poem usually addressed to a particular person, object or event that has stimulated deep and noble feelings in the poet

pentameter

a verse line having five metrical feet

persona

the speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of writing

quatrain

a stanza or group of four lines of poetry

refrain

a regularly repeated line or group of lines in a poem or song

repetition

the repeated use of the same word or word pattern as a rhetorical device

rhyme

be similar in sound, especially with respect to the last syllable

end rhyme

rhyme that occurs at the end of two or more lines of poetry

external rhyme

two words that rhyme at the ends of separate lines

feminine rhyme

occurs when the rhyme ends on an unstressed syllable (i.e. "calling" and "falling")

internal rhyme

a rhyme between words in the same line

masculine rhyme

occurs when the rhyme ends on an stressed syllable (i.e. fan and ran)

scansion

analysis of verse into metrical patterns

sestet

group of six lines of poetry

sonnet

a verse form consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme

English sonnet

a sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern: abab cdcd efef gg

Italian sonnet

a sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba, followed by a sestet with the rhyme pattern: cdecde or cdcdcd

stanza

a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem

stress

the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)

trochee

a metrical unit with stressed-stressed-unstressed syllables

volta

the turn in thought from question to answer, from instance to application, from problem to solution, that occurs towards the end of the sonnet

allusion

passing reference or indirect mention

apostrophe

address to an absent or imaginary person

euphemism

an inoffensive expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive

hyperbole

a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor

litotes

understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)

metaphor

a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

onomatopoeia

using words that imitate the sound they denote

personification

the act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.

simile

a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with 'like' or 'as')

symbol

something that stands for something else

synechdoche

Uses a part to explain a whole or a whole to explain a part. ex. Lend me an ear.

understatement

a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said

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