FHS PIB10 Poetry Term DEFINITIONS

73 terms by ellis-fhsmall 

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alliteration

the repetition of consonant sounds in a sequence of nearby words

allusion

a reference, explicit or indirect, to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art

anapest

a three-syllable foot of poetrywith two weak stresses followed by one strong stress

apostrophe

a direct and explicit address to an absent person or non-human entity

assonance

the repetition of vowel sounds in stressed syllables containing dissimilar consonant sounds

ballad

a poem or song that tells a story, a narrative species of folk songs which originate, and are communicated orally, among illiterate or only partly literate people; a literary ballad is composed in imitation of an old folk ballad

blank verse

poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter lines.

cacophony

(dissonance) language which seems harsh, rough, and unmusical; the discordance is the combined effect of meaning and difficulty of pronunciation, as well as sound

caesura

a pause in the middle of a line of poetry dictated by sense or natural rhythm

concrete

a pattern poem in which the visual form or shape of the poem reflects the poem's theme or content

consonance (one letter)

repetition of consonant sounds within a line of verse, similar to alliteration but not limited to the beginning letter of a word

consonance (two or more letters)

the repetition of a sequence of two or more consonants, but with a change in the intervening vowel

couplet

a pair of rhyming lines written in the same meter

dactyl

a three-syllable metrical foot consisting of a heavy stress followed by two lights, as in might-i-est

dimeter

a line of verse consisting of two metrical feet

dramatic monologue

a type of poem or dramatic speech where a single person, who is NOT the poet, utters the entire poem in a specific situation at a critical moment.

elegy

a formal and sustained poetic lament (and usually consolation) for the death of a particular person

end-stop line

poetic line in which the pause in the reading, naturally occurring, coincides with the end of the line

enjambment

run-on lines - the continuation of a sentence or phrase from one verse line to the next without end-stopped punctuation

epic

long narrative poem on a great or serious subject told in an elevated style and centered on a heroic or quasi-divine figure on whose actions depends the fate of a tribe or nation

epigram

any short poem which is polished, terse, and pointed, which often ends with a surprising or witty turn of thought

free verse

poetry not written in a regular, rhythmical pattern, or meter

heptameter

verse composed in lines of seven metrical feet

heroic couplet

lines of iambic pentameter which rhyme in pairs (aa, bb, cc, etc.)

hyperbole

a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement as a means of emphasis

iamb

a metrical foot with one weak stress followed by one strong stress, as in the word—afraid

inversion/chiasmus

changing/reversing the natural word order; sometimes this is an artificial way for the poet to achieve a rhyme and rhythm

litotes

a form of understatement that asserts that something is true by denying its opposite

lyric

a poem that expresses the observations and subjective feelings of a single speaker

lyrical

having the qualities of a lyric poem; songlike, musical

meiosis

synonym for litotes

metaphor

a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else

meter

the rhythmical pattern of a poem, determined by the number and types of stresses, or beats, in each line

metonymy

the literal term for one thing is applied to another with which it is closely associated

octave

a stanza of eight lines; first part of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet, rhyming abbaabba

ode

a long lyric poem that is serious in subject and treatment, elevated in style, and elaborate in its stanzaic structure

onomatopoeia

the use of words that imitate sounds, as in buzz, hiss, murmur

oxymoron

the paradoxical utterance conjoining two terms that in ordinary usage are contraries

paradox

a statement that seems to be contradictory but that actually presents the truth

parallel structure

the repetition of a grammatical pattern

paraphrase

a brief restatement, in one's own words, of all or part of a literary work

pastiche

an imitation of an author's style, syntax, diction, and themes

pentameter

verse written in lines of five metrical feet

personification

a type of figurative language in which a non-human subject is given human characteristics

phonetic intensive

a word whose sound, by an obscure process, to some degree suggests its meaning, such as flicker, slippery, glisten

pun

a play on words that are either identical in sound (homonyms) or very similar sound, but are sharply diverse in meaning

pyrrhic

a metrical foot composed of two successive syllables with approximately equal light stresses

quatrain

four-line stanza; the most common in English versification, and is employed with various meters and rhyme schemes

refrain

a phrase, verse, or group of verses repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem, especially at the end of each stanza

repetition

the act or instance of repeating a certain literary element, word, or phrase

rhythm

the varying speed, intensity, elevation, pitch, loudness, and expressiveness of speech especially prevalent in poetry

rhyme

the repetition of identical or closely related sounds in the syllables of different words, most often in concluding syllables at ends of lines

slant rhyme

sounds are similar, or a visual rhyme, as in prove/glove

internal rhyme

rhyming words that fall within the line

masculine rhyme

last word in one line rhymes with the last word in another line

feminine rhyme

rhyming accented syllables followed by identical unaccented syllables at the ends of lines, as in brightly/lightly

rhyme scheme

the pattern of a poem's rhyme, usually indicated by assigning a letter of the alphabet to each rhyming sound

scansion

the act of determining the prevailing rhythm of a poem

sestet

six line stanza

shift

an often intentional change in anything - point of view, scenery, mood, etc.; can often be intended as a device

simile

a figure of comparison using "like" with nouns and "as" with clauses

sonnet

a lyric poem consisting of a single stanza of fourteen iambic pentameter lines linked by an intricate rhyme scheme; Elizabethan and Petrarchan being the predominant forms

spondee

a foot of two successive syllables with approximately equal strong stresses

stanza

a grouping of the verse-lines in a poem, set off by a space in the printed text

symbol

a specific word, idea, or object that may stand for ideas, values, persons, or ways of life

synaesthesia

descriptions of one kind of sensation in terms of another; using one sensory experience to describe another

synecdoche

a part of something is used to signify the whole or vice versa

tercet/triplet

stanza of three lines

terza rima

poetry written in tercets which are interlinked in that each is linked to the one following by a common rhyme

trochee

a two-syllable metrical foot consisting of a heavy stress followed by a light stress; as in never or gather or happy

understatement

restraint or lack of emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect (see also litotes and meiosis)

verse

compositions written in meter, a line of poetry; can refer to poetry in general

zeugma

expressions in which a single word stands in the same grammatical relation to two or more other words, but with an obvious shift in its significance.

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