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the repetition of consonant sounds in a sequence of nearby words


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


a pair of rhyming lines written in the same meter


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


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.


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


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


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


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


verse composed in lines of seven metrical feet

heroic couplet

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


a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement as a means of emphasis


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


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


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


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


having the qualities of a lyric poem; songlike, musical


synonym for litotes


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

parallel structure

the repetition of a grammatical pattern


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


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


verse written in lines of five metrical feet


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the act of determining the prevailing rhythm of a poem


six line stanza


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


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


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


a foot of two successive syllables with approximately equal strong stresses


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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