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allusion

refers to something outside the poem or things placed in time, culture or tradition.

metaphor

comparison between two things to imply identity which brings new shades of meaning to the poem.

ambiguity

possessing more than one meaning; can leave the meaning unsettled.

ambivalence

a state of feeling that includes more than one emotion.

apostrophe

direct address to something or someone you wouldn't ordinarily address.

diction

choice of words or group of words

enjambment

the running of a sentence from one line into the next without punctuation

figure of speech

a word or group of words that are not to be taken literally; e.g. metaphor, personification, simile, allusion

Image

a vivid picture or other appeal to the senses

inversion

twisting of words out of their natural order

Irony

saying one thing when you mean something else

sarcasm

a biting or hurtful form of irony

understatement

the speaker says less than what he/she means.

overstatement (bathos)

exaggeration for effect.

metonymy

replacing the real name of a thing with the name of something associated with it.

onomatopoeia

naming of a thing by imitating the sound associated with it

oxymoron

a statement combines opposites; type of irony

personification

attributing human qualities to non-human things

simile

a comparison between two things using like or as

symbol

something that stands for something else

alliteration

repetition of sounds

assonance

repeating vowel sounds

dissonance

unharmonious combinations of sounds to evoke discomfort in reader

foot

a single rhythmic unit

line

a row of words considered as a unit

free verse

lines can be any length, any rhythm

meter

repetition of a single foot or pattern of feet

rhetoric

the total of the words that make a poem persuasive

rhyme

repetition of sounds

Music

the totality of the poem's sound - rhyme, rhythm, speed, consonants and vowels and combinations

rhythm

the natural flow of stressed and unstressed syllables

stress or accent

natural emphasis placed on syllables

character

fictional representation of a person

occasion

the event, reason etc. that moves a poet to write a poem

persona

"speaker" of the poem, usually a mask or character adopted by a poet

pose

an attitude or role assumed for effect

setting

time and place in which the events of poem take place

situation

circumstances or conditions in which a poem takes place or the speaker finds himself

speaker

the fictional character who is "speaking" the words of the poem eve if the poem is just read

tone

attitude of the speaker or poet

voice

can mean the artist's style, the personality of the speaker or poet

ballad

once folk poetry written in short, musical rhyming stanzas. Often telling sad, tragic or gory stories, though we can find love poems as ballads, too.

concrete poetry

verse that takes the shape of its subject

couplet

pair of lines that seem to belong together often because of rhyme

soliloquy (dramatic monologue)

a poem spoken by a single speaker imagined alone speaking to himself

epigram

a very short poem

epitaph

an epigram memoralizing a deceased person

ghazal

an adaptation of Arabic verse usually a series of couplets

haiku

a Japanese poetic form. In English, arranged in three lines with syllables numbering 5-7-5.

performance poetry

verse intended for public performance

prose poem

poetic language in an unlined form

sonnet

a poem in fourteen lines

stanza

a group of lines that appear to belong together

syllabic poetry

verse written according to syllable count

allegory

a poem that expresses universal truth via fictional characters & actions, which have symbolic meaning

comedy

a poem that celebrates the persistence of humanity; people succeed in some delightful way.

black comedy

makes humor out of material we would ordinarily dread

convention

general agreement about how to do something

cliché

is a convention that died of overuse e.g. "cherry lips"

didactic poetry

verse that strongly advocates a point of view (as in political or moral poetry)

dramatic poetry

poetry to be performed by actors

elegy

a poem of lamentation or sorrow

epic

a long public poem telling the story how a community or nation was formed

genre

a type or kind of poetry, literature or art

light verse

poetry that is playful or humorous

lyric poetry

usually short, personal, musical poetry

myth

a story that explains or examines the universe, a culture or persistent human questions or truths

narrative poetry

poetry tells a story

Old English (Anglo-Saxon)

earliest recorded version of English (500-1000 A.D.); language found in Beowulf; short, gruff, concrete words - like house, stone, man, knife are from Old English.

parody

a poem hat makes fun of another poem

satire

a poem that holds up a particular social behavior for ridicule

tragedy

a poem that explores human limits by recounting the downfall of an admirable but flawed figure; tragedy explores how character is fate

verse

another word for poetry

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