Poetry terms/devices

Cosmos P.7
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Terms in this set (...)

anapest
a foot with two weak stresses followed by one strong stess
Ex: Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green
apostrophe
a direct address to an absent listener or to the reader
Ex: Twinkle, twinkle, little star
assonance
the repetition of the same or similar vowel sounds within a passage
Ex: Men sell the wedding bells.
ballad
A narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style.
Ex: Ballad of the Army Carts
cacophony
A harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
Ex: Jabberwocky
caesura
A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line.
Ex: I loked on my left half || as þe lady me taughte
concrete
a poem whose meaning is conveyed through its graphic shape or pattern on the printed page; also called shaped verse
Ex: Star
consonance
the repetition of a pattern of consonants with changes in the intervening vowels
Ex: Blank and think
couplet
a two-line pair of rhymed iambic pentameter lines
Ex: Blessed are you whose worthiness gives scope,/Being had, to triumph; being lacked, to hope.
dramatic monologue
a speech delivered to the audience or to another character, in which the speak typically reveals his or her true feelings or character
Ex: Balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet
elegy
a sorrowful poem or speech
Ex:Here Captain! dear father!/This arm beneath your head;/It is some dream that on deck,/You've fallen cold and dead. - O Captain! My Captain!
end-stop line
to end a line with a punctuation mark, thus calling attention to the line as a structure within the poem
Ex: Bright Star, would I were as stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
enjambment
in poetry, the running over of a line from one verse or stanza into the next without stopping at the end of the line
Ex: Or gazing on the new soft-fallen masque
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
epic
A long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
Ex: The Odyssey
epigram
A brief witty poem, often satirical.
Ex: Little strokes/Fell great oaks.
free verse
verse that does not contain regular patterns of rhythm and rhyme, and thus achieves a rhythm more like that of everyday speech. although it lacks conventional meter, it may contain various rhythmic and sound effects such as repetition
heroic couplet
a couplet consisting of two rhymed lines of iambic pentamenter and written in an elevated style
Ex: O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull;
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.
hyperbole
the literary term for exaggeration, the overstating of something for emphasis
Ex: I've told you a million times
inversion/ chiasmus
changing natural word order
Ex: Here by the rose-tree
they planted once
of Love in Jeopardy
an Italian bronze.
litotes
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite.
Ex: They do not seem the happiest couple around.
lyric
A type of poetry that explores the poet's personal interpretation of and feelings about the world.
Ex: Italian Sonnet by James DeFord
lyrical
Expressing a poet's inner feelings; emotional; full of images; song-like
Ex: Ex: Italian Sonnet by James DeFord
meiosis
Meiosis Literary Term is a figure of speech that consists of saying less than one means, or of saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrants - an understatement. A litotes is a form of Meiosis. Meiosis and Litotes the speaker's words convey less emotion than is actually felt. A good example of these literary terms are illustrated as follows: "Will you walk into my parlour" said the spider to the fly. The spider is not just glad to have a visitor, but is excited to have his next meal trapped in his web.
metaphor
an implied comparison which asserts one thing as the equivalent of another
Ex: Broken heart
metonymy
the substitution of a thing associated with a thing for the thing itself
Ex: Crown - in place of a royal person
octave
the first eight lines of a sonnet
ode
A lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject.
Ex: Ode to the West Wind
oxymoron
two qualities that are normally considered impossible to exist together
Ex: Great Depression
paradox
(logic) a self-contradiction
Ex: I'm nobody.
parallel structure
the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures
Ex: Mary likes hiking, swimming, and riding a bicycle.
pastiche
a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work
Ex: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
pyrrhic
A metrical foot with two unstressed syllables ("of the").
Ex: To a green thought in a green shade.
quatrain
a stanza of four lines in a poem, or a grouping of four lines in a sonnet. sonnets are typically composed of three of these and a couplet
refrain
A line or set of lines repeated several times over the course of a poem.
Ex: Stopping by Woods On a Snowy evening, by Robert Frost
repetition
the appropriate reinforcement of ideas by phrasing similar ideas in similar grammatical form
Ex: A horse is a horse, of course, of course
masculine rhyme
A rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable
Ex: From what I've tasted of desire/ I hold with those who favor fire
feminine rhyme
a rhyme of two syllables, one stressed and one unstressed, as "waken" and "forsaken" and "audition" and "rendition." Feminine rhyme is sometimes called double rhyme.
Ex: grumbling, rumbling
rhyme scheme
the pattern of end rhyme in a poem, assigning a letter of the alphabet to each line, and starting with a
sestet
the last six lines in a sonnet, sometimes composed of a quatrain and a couplet
simile
a comparison between two different objects using "like" or "as"
Ex: Them trees stood like skyscrapers
synaesthesia
A blending or intermingling of different senses in description.
Ex: Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sun burnt mirth!
synecdoche
substitution of a part for the whole or the whole for a part
Ex: The word "sails" is often used to refer to a whole ship.
tercet/ triplet
a three-line stanza
Ex: Daddy, Daddy I want to be
Singer, happily said she
Daddy looked dissaprovingly
terza rima
a verse form with a rhyme scheme: aba bcb cdc, etc.
Ex: Divina Commedia
understatement
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means; the opposite of exaggeration.
Ex: I have to have this operation. It isn't very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.
zeugma
Artfully using a single verb to refer to two different objects in an ungrammatical but striking way, or artfully using an adjective to refer to two separate nouns, even though the adjective would logically only be appropriate for one of the two.
Ex: The farmers in the valley grew potatoes, peanuts, and bored.
dactyl
a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables
Ex: This is the / forest prim- / eval. The / murmuring / pines and the / hem locks
dimeter
A line of verse consisting of two metrical feet
Ex: Even out Earth's
rondure, flatten
Eiger, blanden
the Grand Canyon.
Make valleys
slightly higher,
widen fissures
to arable land,
remand your
terrible glaciers
heptameter
a verse of seven feet
iamb
a foot with one weak stress, followed by one strong stress
Ex: The only news I know
meter
the repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in poetry. each unit is known as a foot, consisting of one stressed syllable and two unstressed syllables
pentameter
a verse of five feet
spondee
a foot with two strong stressed
Ex: Crý, crý! Tróy búrns, or élse let Hélen gó.
trochee
a foot with one strong stress followed by one weak stress