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Meter

The regular patterns of accent that unerlie metrical verse; the metrical patterns of repetition of unaccented and accented syllables in poetry

Scansion

the process of measuring metrical verse-i.e. of marking unaccented and accented syllables, dividing the line into feet, identifying the metrical pattern, and noting the significant variations from that pattern

iambic

metrical pattern with one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable

iamb

metrical unit (one foot) with the iambic pattern

trochaic

metrical pattern with one stresses syllable followed by one unstressed syllable

trochee

metrical unit (one foot) with the trochaic pattern

anapestic

metrical pattern with two unstressed syllables followed by one stresses syllable

anapest

metrical unit (one foot) with the anapestic pattern

dactylic

metrical pattern with one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables

dactyl

metrical unit (one foot) with the dactylic pattern

monometer

one metrical foot (i.e. one stressed syllable in the line)

dimeter

two metrical feet (i.e. two stressed syllables in the line)

trimeter

three metrical feet (i.e. three stressed syllables in the line)

tetrameter

four metrical feet (i.e. four stressed syllables in the line)

pentameter

five metrical feet (i.e. five stressed syllables in the line)

hexameter

six metrical feet (i.e. six stressed syllables in the line)

expected rhythm

the rhythmic expectation set by the basic meter of a poem

heard rhythm

the actual rhythm of a metrical poem as we hear it when read naturally. the heard rhythm mostly conforms to but sometimes departs from the expected rhythm

substitution

the replacement of an expected metrical foot by a different one (for instance a trochee in an otherwise iambic line)

inversion

substitution of a trochee in an otherwise iambic line, or vice versa. (inversion that occurs at the beginning of the line if called initial inversion)

headless line

an iambic line with only one (accented) syllable in the first foot

extra-metrical syllables

one or more extra unstressed syllables at the beginnings or endings of lines (usually at the ends of iambic lines), either as a consistent feature of the metrical form of the poem or as an exception

blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter

free verse

unmetered poetry

stanza

poetic paragraph; a group of lines whose metrical pattern is repeated throughout a poem

couplet

two successive lines, usually in the same meter, linked by rhyme

enjambment

continuation of a sentence from one line or stanza of a poem to the next so that closely related words fall on different lines. the effect of enjambment is usually either to call attention to specific words or to show the connected thought or flow between stanzas

alliteration

the repitition at close intervals of the initial sounds of words

assonance

the repetition at close intervals of vowel sounds

consonance

the repetition at clsoe intervals of consonant sounds

sibilance

the repetition at close intervals of he 's' sound, suggestive of hissing

rhyme

the repetition of accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds in closely linked words; also called perfect rhyme

approximate rhyme

a term used for words in a rhyming patten with some kind of sound correspondence (usually assonance or consonance) but are not perfect perfect rhymes; also called imperfect rhyme

internal rhyme

a rhyme in which one or both of the rhyme words are within the line

identical rhyme

either a homonym or the same word repeated in a rhyming position (esp. end rhyme)

feminine rhyme

a rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel is in either the second or third last syllable of the words involved

onomatopoeia

words that mimic their meaning in sound

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