Poetry terminology


Terms in this set (...)

A long poem that tells a story, usually a folk tale or legend, in rhyme. Often set to music.
Experiments with the very materials of poem itself: words, letters, format. The final product does what it says in that meaning of the poem is demonstrated by words, letters, format of poem. Concrete poems rely heavily on the visual or phonetic to get across their meaning
Free verse
Modern poetry that has no regular pattern of rhythm, rhyme or line length.
A short poem of intense feeling and emotion.
A poem that tells a story, narratives may or may not rhyme.
A fourteen-line lyric written in iambic pentameter. Sonnets follow a rigid rhyme scheme. Typical rhyme schemes for sonnets are the Shakespearian or English sonnet (abab cdcd efef gg) or the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet (abba abba cdc cdc or abba abbba cde cde).
Repeated consonant sounds at the beginning of a series of words. This device uses sound to catch the reader's attention.
Repeating vowel sounds in the middle of words. This device also uses sound to catch the reader's attention. This is a subtle device for which you must listen carefully.
Repeating consonant sounds in the middle of words. This device also uses sound to catch the reader's attention. This is a subtle device, although it is less subtle than assonance.
Sounds that are very pleasant to the ear. The opposite of cacophony
Words that sound like what they mean are called onomatopoeia. Also, known as imitative harmony.
A direct comparison between two dissimilar items.
A comparison between a non-human item and a human so that the on human item is given human characteristics.
A comparison between two dissimilar items using "like" or "as" to make the comparison.
A reference in one piece of literature to something from another piece of literature. Allusions can also be references to person/events/places in history, religion, or myth. Allusions are frequently made in poetry, but can occur in other genres as well.
Figurative language
The imaginative language that makes a poem rich to a reader. Figurative language often relies on comparison devices like simile, metaphor and personification to make the point. The opposite of literal language.
A deliberate exaggeration to make a point.
Poets create pictures in the mind of the reader, which appeal to the sense of sight; they also create descriptions to appeal to other four senses. This collection of appeals to the five senses is called the imagery of the poem.
Literal language
The literal meaning of the poem, which ignores imagery, symbolism, figurative language and any imagination on the part of the poet or the reader.
The emotion of the poem. The atmosphere. The predominant feeling created by or in the poem, usually through word choice or description. Mood is not the same as tone.
Placing single word opposites beside each other for dramatic effect is called oxymoron.
A large oxymoron. An apparently contradictory statement that despite the contradiction, has an element of truth in it.
Deliberately repeated words, sounds, phrases or whole stanzas. Repetition is used to make a point in the poem.
Something that represents something else.
The narrator's attitude toward the subject of the poem and sometimes, toward the reader of the poem.
The opposite of hyperbole. Understatement achieves its effect through stating less than what is necessary.
Two lines of poetry that rhyme. The last two lines of an English sonnet is a couplet.
Eight lines of poetry that have a rhyme scheme. The first part of an Italian sonnet is an octave.
Four lines of poetry that have a rhyme scheme. Quatrains often have an abab or abcb rhyme scheme, as well as the aabb shown above. The first three verses of an English sonnet are quatrains.
Six lines of poetry that have a rhyme scheme. The second part of an Italian sonnet is a sestet.
Another word for "verse"
A paragraph of writing in a poem. These paragraphs are written as clusters of rhyming lines in traditional poetry, such as octaves, sestets and quatrains. Also, known as a stanza.
Blank verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter. All sonnets, Shakespearian plays and the King James version of the Bible are written in blank verse. Unrhymed iambic pentameter is said to closely mimic the cadences of natural speech.
Iambic Pentameter
An is two syllables. The first one is stressed when spoken; the second one is stressed. Five iambs in a row is iambic pentameter.
when sounds match at the end of lines of poetry, it is considered rhyming (technically, it is end-rhyme).
A pattern of sound in a poem; it may be a regular pattern or irregular, as in free verse.
Rhyme scheme
The pattern of rhyme in a poem, indicated with letters of the alphabet. To decide on a rhyme scheme, you assign a letter of the alphabet to all rhyming words at the ends of lines of poetry, starting with the letter "a". When you run out of rhyme sound, you start with the next letter of the alphabet.