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blank verse

unrhymed iambic pentameter


rhyming stanzas made up of two lines

dramatic monologue

type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener


a formal sustained poem lamenting the death of a particular person

English Sonnet (Shakespearean)

14-line sonnet consisting of three quatrains of abab cdcd efef followed by a couplet, gg. Usually uses iambic pentameter.


extensive, serious poem that tells the story about a heroic figure

free verse

poetry free of a strict rhythmical structure or set rhyme scheme


Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of 5,7,5; usually about some form of nature

iambic pentameter

poetic meter consisting of five repetitions of an iamb; most closely approximates the normal rhythm of English


poetry that depicts a peaceful, idealized country scene; otherwise a long poem telling a story about heroes of a byegone age

Italian sonnet (Petrarchan)

a sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba followed by six lines with rhyme patter cdecde or cdcdcd

light verse

poetry that entertains with humor or wit; some, like satire, has an underlying serious intent


short, sometimes vulgar, humorous poem consisting of five anapestic lines


once referred to poetry meant to be sung to music; now describes any short, concentrated poem expressing personal feelings


poetry that tells a story


usually a long, complex lyric expressing profound emotion; usually has a more elaborate and exalted expression and style than other lyric

ottava rima

a poem written in 8-line octave


poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, romanticized way


stanza or poem consisting of four lines; lines 2 and 4 must rhyme


14 line poem usually in iambic pentameter and following a specified rhyme scheme

terza rima

type of poetry consisting of 10-11 syllables lines arranged in three-line tercets


19-line poem consisting of 5 tercets and a final quatrain on two rhymes

end-stopped line

line of poetry marked by a logical or rhetorical pause at the end


running over of a sentence from line or stanza into another so that closely related words fall in different lines


units of accented and unaccented syllables, used to measure meter


generally regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry; measured in units of feet


naming of a thing or action by vocal imitation of the sound associated with it


regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or division of a poem or song


analyzing the metrical patterns of a poem


division of a poem consisting of a series of lines arranged together in a usually recurring pattern of meter and rhyme

syllabic verse

poetry in which the number of syllables per line is fixed (ex. haiku)


repetition at close intervals of initial identical consonant sounds; or vowel sounds in successive words or syllables that repeat


repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, sentences, or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect


rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences


repetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximity


repetition of a consonant sound within two or more words in close proximity

end rhyme

rhyme occuring at the ends of lines

internal rhyme

rhyme between a word within a line and another either at the end of the same line or within another line


words that do not rhyme exactly, but end with similar sounds


repetition of conjunctions in close succession


repetition of words, phrases, or sentences that have same grammatical structure or that state a similar idea


repeating word, phrase, or other element for emphasis


a brief reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object


exaggeration for effect or humor


direct or implied comparison between two dissimilar objects


exaggerated comparison popularized in the 17th century by the metaphysical poets


object or characteristic associated with the subject used in place of the subject (ex. the pen is mightier than the sword)


statement that contains seemingly contradictory elements or appears contrary to common sense, yet can be seen as true when viewed from another angle


giving human characteristics to something non-human


comparison between seemingly dissimilar objects using like or as


something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance; especially a visible sign of something else


figure of speech by which part stands for whole ("fifty sails" for "fifty ships"), whole for part ("society" for "high society") the species for the genus ("cutthroat" for "assassin"), genus for species ("creature" for "man") or the name of the material for the thing made ("boards" for "stage")


describing one kind of sensation in terms for another


words or expressions which contain two or more meanings simultaneously, helpful in a genre which requires language to condense meanings in a compact space


language appears to contradict itself; contradiction is only apparent, however


contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality

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