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building blocks of poetry....maccherone


-create rhythm/meter, rhyme, and form
-define the speaker, characters, setting
-carry ideas and emotions


-word choice

specific/concrete diction

-exact/end up with an image
ex: cherry...hung in bloom
OR three score years and ten

general/abstract diction

ex: infinite spaces and eternal truth

high/formal diction

-correct grammar
-complex words
-lofty tone
-greek/latin vocab

middle/neutral diction

-correct diction
-neither complex language nor slang/jargon

low/informal diction

-relaxed structure
-common, simple, even substandard English or slang
-unself-conscious in tone

Idiom (diction)

-common/accecptable in a particular language
-how its understood by a culture
-creates colloquial tone
-takes on another meaning

Dialect (diction)

-speech common to a particular region or group
-primary feature of local color writing

Slang (diction)

-informal/substandard vocabulary
-used within a standard context slang can jar or shock
-phase out, transitional and always changing

Jargon (diction)

-special terminology of a group
ex: athletes, dancers, army
-establishes authenticity on a subject
-reinforces the speakers reliability
-can be abtruse->hidden meaning


the concept of words (formal/informal) should fit the subject;also used to refer to manners, dress, behaviors


word order and sentence structure


duplicating forms (parts of speech) in the word order


contrasting situation or idea (often saved for the last line)


inversion of word order from the first part of a sentence in the last part.
-opposite of parallelism


dictionary meaning of a word


emotional, physchological, social, and historical associations


words that trigger your imagination to recall and recombine images
-mental pictures or memories of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, touches that evoke feelings, emotions, responses

visual imagery

referring to sight

auditory imagery

referring to sound

olfactory imagery

referring to smell

gustatory imagery

referring to taste

tactile imagery

referring to touch/texture

kinetic imagery

referring to general motion

kinesthetic imagery

referring to muscle movement in humans and animals


the mixing of sensory description
ex: "a green thought in a green shade"
"the room smelled yellow and orange"
"molten golden notes..."


"run-on" end of a line of poetry that carries over to the next line (no punctuation)


"end-stopped" pause within or at the end of a line of poetry

figures of speech

give poem depth and range

figurative language

-compresses thought
-promotes understanding
-shapes reader responses


equates known objects or actions with something that is unknown or to be explained


show the similarity of the known to something unknown or to be explained


idea + attitude expressed in a metaphor/smilie by the speaker/author


words of metaphor/smilie


apparent contraditction expressing some truth
"death, thou shalt die"


repetition of the same word or phrase through a work/section in order to lend weight or emphasis


direct address to real or imagines listener who is NOT present in the poem
-used for dramatic effect


attribution of human traits to abstractions or to non-human objects


part is used to stand for whole or whole is used to stand for part
"all hands on deck"


name of one thing is used to identify something closely associated with it
ex: hollywood=movie industry


word play based on multiple meanings of words with similar or identical sounds


-exaggeration for effect
"i was starved to death"


the poet's attitude about the subject of the poem as expressed through the speaker and controlled by various elements of poetry


powerful aspect of tine that allow reader not only to understand but also feel

verbal irony

the very words mean the opposite of what is expressed

situational irony

derived from the discrepancies between the ideal and the actual

dramatic irony

occurs when the reader understands something that the speaker or another character in the poem does not


revealed through the tone of poem that employs humor and irony to expose human follies and vices


shorthand way of referring to extensive ideas or attitudes that otherwise would be impossible to state in the brief format of a poem
-can convert a private moment into an idea of general significance


has meaning in itself but also understood to represent something else

cultural/universal symbols

drawn from nature , Judeo-Christian religion, mythology, history, custom
-possesses a ready-made clearly agreed upon meaning

contexual/private/authorial symbols

derive meaning from the context in which the author sets them; not widely or universally recognized outside of the individual works.


-unacknowledged brief quotations from other works
-references to historical events and any aspect of human culture
-can be a single word or phrase or the description of an entire situation
--enrich meaning
--presuppose a common bond of knowledge between the poet and the reader
--can build new ideas in a poem


concept, principle, scheme, method, or plan


idea, image, principle, or motif


(like a melody in music) embodied, repeated, developed within a literary work


comprehensive reference to the ideas expressed in the poem


provides a starting point for understanding

character, setting, action

are dramatic elements of meaning

words-diction,denotation, connotation, syntax

are basic to a poem's total meaning and impact

imagery and figures of speech

provide an interpretive basis of ideas


enables the reader to measure and balence ideas


distinguishes and emphasizes ideas

structure and form

allow readers to follow the development of idea

symbol, allusion, and myth

broaden the scope of a poem's ideas


-from the Italian for "little song"
-one of the most popular durable of the closed form
-14 lines

Italian /Petrarchan form

named for the medieval Italian poet Petrarch who created the form
-form= 2 quatrians & 2 tercets
-ryhme= abba abba / cdc cdc OR cde cde

Shakespearean/English form

adapted by shakespeare for fewer rhymes
-form=3 quatrians & 1 couplet
-ryhme= abab cdcd efef / gg

Sonnet Cycle

series of sonnets on a particular theme to a particualr individual
-shakesspeare's cycles included 126 to an unidentified man, 26 to a mysteripus dark lady, and 2 extra to complete the 154 sonnets


clinches, sums up, enhances
-2 lines


4 lines


6 lines

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