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Blank Verse

Verse consisting of unrhymed lines, usually of iambic pentameter. Commonly associated with Shakespeare.

Free Verse

Unrhymed verse without a consistent metrical pattern

Shakespearean Sonnet

The sonnet form used by Shakespeare, composed of three quatrains and a terminal couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern "abab cdcd efef gg." Also called Elizabethan sonnet, English sonnet

Italian Sonnet

A sonnet containing an octave with the rhyme pattern "abbaabba" and a sestet of various rhyme patterns such as "cdecde or cdcdcd." Also called Petrarchan sonnet.


A narrative poem which is, or was originally meant to be, sung. Characterized by repetition and often by a repeated refrain. Example: Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler"


A poem that celebrates the acheivements of mighty heroes or heroines in a continous narrative, usually uses elevated language and a grand high style. Example: "The Illiad, The Aenid, The Odyssey."


A formal lament for the death of a particular person. Example: "O Captain, My Captain"


A poem that describes the simple life of country folk, usually shepherds who line in a timeless painless life in a world full of beauty, love and music that remains forever green.


Used to be sun, now a short poem expressing intense personal emotion rather than describing a narrative or dramatic situation.


A morning song in which the coming of dawn is either celebrated or denounced as a nuisance.

Dramatic Monologue

Set in a specific situation and spoken TO someone else


One person talking to himself about events that have transpired in his/her life. Example: "Tomorrow" from Macbeth, "Romeo" from Romeo and Juliet, "Whether 'tis nobler" Hamlet

Narrative Structure

Simply put, it tells a story. The story may teach you something or illustrate some larger idea, but on the surface it is simply a story.

Descriptive/Dramatic Structure

Depends most heavily on imagery to help the reader see what the poet wants him/her to see. Dramatic uses vivid imagery and unfolds scene by scene.


Presents the reader with a voice; offers the persona's thoughts, feelings and opinions. This kind of poem often begins with a brief narrative, but quickly moves into an attempt to explain the meaning of the story.


A more modern style of poetry that focuses on intense feelings and emotions that symbolize the modern world.


The repetition of vowel sounds in a line or series of lines; may affect pace and the way words included in the pattern seem to be underscored. Example: How now brown cow? Cloud, found, crowd.


The repetition of a sequence of consonant sounds. Example: Steep step, ship shape


The repetition of sounds in nearby words, usually invovling the initial consonants of the words. Example: Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout, tiki tiki tumbo


The sound of the word imitates the meaning. Example: Buzz, crackle, fizz


A group of lines with a specific cogency of their own and usually set off from each other by a space

Couplet, Tercet/Triplet, Quatrain

Number of lines in a stanza related either by rhyme or idea.

Heroic Couplet

A couplet consisting of two rhymed lines of iambic pentamenter and written in an elevated style.

Internal Rhyme

When words within the same line rhyme. Example: He tanned on the sand, it's nice to deliver ice.

End Rhyme

The words at the ends of lines rhyme, most common. Example: If you become a pest/ I'll give you a big test.

Feminine Rhyme

Two lines that rhyme and end in unstressed syllables. Examples: You're all I ever wanted/ You absense leaves me haunted.

Masculine Rhyme

Two lines that rhyme and end in stressed syllables. Examples: Tiger, tiger burning bright/ in the forest of the night.

Slant Rhyme

Words almost rhyme, but a vowel or consonant sound differs (sometimes called near rhyme). Example: Bent/Want, Backs/Box

Rime Riche

Words sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Example: Night/Knight, Sun/Son.


The study of the metrical structure of verse


The process of viewing a line of text, marking the syllables as stressed or unstressed, dividing repetitive patterns into feet, and naming it. This results in a determination of rhythm and meter.


Consists of one stressed syllable and one or more unstressed syllables.


(U/) A metrical foot with an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable


(/U) A metrical foot with a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable


(UU/) A metrical foot with two unstressed sullables followed by a stressed syllable


(/UU) A metrical foot with a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables

Number of feet per line

Monometer, Dimeter, Trimeter, Tetrameter, Pentameter, Hexameter, Heptameter, Octameter

Iambic Pentameter

A line of five metrical feet, each one containing an unstressed syllable, followed by a stressed syllable. Commonly associated with Shakespeare.


A metrical foot consisting of two long or stressed syllables.


A slight pause within the line for an effect. Need not by indicated by punctuation and does not affect the rhyme.


A single syllable in a line, half of a foot, but NOT deonted as a foot of meter if the line ends with it.


The sense of the line carries on into the next line without a pause


The line concludes with a distinct pause.


Ur little sister

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