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Nonce Sonnet

a hybrid of English and Italian sonnet (examples include "Ozymandias," "Work Without Hope," and "Leda and the Swan")

English Sonnet

has a rhyme scheme of ababcdcdefefgg and is usually printed as a single stanza/contains three English quatrains plus a heroic couplet

Petrarchan sonnet

cast in two stanzas, an octave ryhming abbaabba and a sestet with a variable rhyme scheme

Heroic Couplets

two rhyming lines of iambic pentameter


one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable


one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable


extended or far-fetched metaphor

Petrarchan conceit

clichéd comparison usually relating to a woman's beauty


when a nonhuman thing, abstraction, or person not physically present is directly addressed


an apparent contradiction or illogical statement


a short paradox, usually consisting of an adjective and noun with conflicting meaning


a conscious mixing of two different types of sensory experience


repetition of vowel sounds


repetition of consonant sounds


A casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or another passage of literature, often without explicit identification


a pause within a line

End stopped lines

lines that clearly pause at their conclusion


lines that run onto the next line with no pause


the speaker of the poem


the person spoken to in a poem


brief explanatory statement or quotation

Occasional Verse

a poem written about or for an important event or occasion

Dramatic situation

who is speaking to whom and under what circumstances?

Oral tradition

how stories and poems were passed down from generation to generation prior to the printed word


personal use of words that mark a poet's poetry "way with words"

Lyric poetry

originally comprised brief poems that were meant to be sung or changed to the accompaniment of a lyre. Today, it includes virtually all poems that are primarily about a subject and contain little narrative content. The subject might be poet's emotions or an abstract idea, a satirical insight, or a description of person or place.

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