Literary Terms (Poetry)

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Ballad
a short narrative poem with stanzas of two/four lines & possibly a refrain that most frequently deals with folklore or popular legends & is suitable for singing. Ballads are constructed of alternating lines of four & three beats (feet). The lines are usually iambic, but need not to be. This accordion-like construction creates a lilting, sing-song style.

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
`By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ?
The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin ;
The guests are met, the feast is set :
May'st hear the merry din.'
He holds him with his skinny hand,
`There was a ship,' quoth he.
`Hold off ! unhand me, grey-beard loon !'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
Cinquain
a light verse used to express the brief thoughts or moments. The poem is 5 lines & 22 syllables long. It does not have to follow a metric pattern, though a common meter is iambic. The first line of the poem has 2 syllables, the second 4, the third line 6, the fourth line 8, and the final line has 2.

EX: A example from its inventor, Adelaide Crapsy:

These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow... the hour
Before the dawn... the mouth of one
Just dead.
Epic
a long narrative poem that usually unfolds a history or mythology of a nation/race. It details the adventures and deeds of a hero, and in doing so, tells the story of nation. It is the oldest form of poetry. Epics often follow a recognizable pattern, but there is not set pattern. The form changes from culture to culture, language to language.

EX: Beowulf, Gilgamesh, Iliad, Ulysses
Sestina
A sestina is a complex form relying on the repetition of end-words, and it works best when read aloud. A good poet will make the incessant repetition of words, necessary in this form, seem natural. The form of sestina is demanding. There are 39 lines in the sestina broke into 6 stanzas, of 6 lines each and one final stanza of 3 lines. The last word in each of the first six lines of the poem is repeated as the last word in varying lines through the poem. If we assign the last
word of each line a letter, the pattern of last words would fall as follows: ABCDEF FAEBDC
CFDABE ECBFAD DEACFB BDFECA the final stanza, or the tag stanza, ends with either
ACE or ECA. This tag stanza usually includes the other three words. On top of this, sestina often follows a strict metered rhythm (often iambic).

EX: Famous poets have written sestina, including Elizabeth Bishop & Erza Pound. The following excerpt is by Bishop:

September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child

.........

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.
Sonnet
one of the most popular forms, the sonnet has two major styles, English (Elizabethan or Shakespearean) & Italian (Petrarchan). Both forms are fourteen lines long & renowned for focusing on love. Often, the first eight lines of the poem (the first two quatrains in an English sonnet) demonstrate the problem to be solved, and the final six lines ( the last quatrain & a couplet in the English sonnet) resolve it.

Sonnets are written in iambic pentameter. The English sonnet adheres to this rhyme pattern: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, or a variation on it. The Italian sonnet, usually follows this pattern: ABBA ABBA CDE CDE. Sometimes the tercets (groups of three lines) vary. These variations
can look like: CDC DCD or CDC DDC or CDC EDC. Finally, there is a second form of English
sonnet known as the Spenserian sonnet. It rhymes ABAB BCBC CDCD EE. It follows the
same basic pattern as the Shakespearean sonnet but varies the rhyme.

EX: Shakespeare's Sonnet 18
Sonnet
-Elizabethan (Shakespearean)
Having the most flexible pattern out of all sonnets, the English sonnet consists of quatrains of alternating rhyme scheme & closes with a rhyming couplet:

a b a b
c d c d
e f e f
gg

Each quatrain serves to develop its own idea, unique from the other quatrains but still closely related.

The rhyme scheme of the English sonnet is quite simple but the sonnet form is also more flexible in the placement of the volta (the turn in thought in a sonnet that is often indicated by initial words such as But, Yet, & And Yet)

That time of year thou mayst in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed by that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Sonnet
-Italian (Petrarchan)
Italian Sonnet can be distinguished by its bipartite division into the octave & the sestet: the octave consisting of a first division of 8 lines rhyming: abbaabba

and the sestet (second division) consists of 6 rhyming lines: cdecde, cdccdc, cdedce

The Octave can present the problem, narrative, or states a proposition & the Sestet drives home the narrative by making an abstract comment, applies the proposition, or solves the problem.

Essential meter: iambic pentameter

Very strict with forms. Strict practice suggests that the sestet should not end with a rhyming couplet (dd or ee). Typically, a change from one rhyming group to the next group signifies a change in subject matter & this change is called a volta or turn. At the turn, the second idea of the poem is introduced, making the turn perhaps the essential element of the sonnet.

EX: Sonnet LXXI by Sir Philip Sidney
"Sonnet LXXI," Sir Philip Sidney
Who will in fairest book of Nature know
How Virtue may best lodged in Beauty be,
Let him but learn of Love to read in thee,
Stella, those fair lines, which true goodness show.
There shall he find all vices' overthrow,
Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty
Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;
That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.
And not content to be Perfection's heir
Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,
Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.
So while thy beauty draws the heart to love,
As fast thy Virtue bends that love to good.
"But, ah," Desire still cries, "give me some food."
Villanelle
a poem of heavy repetition. Nineteen lines long, the villanelle not only repeats lines, it rhymes. The pattern is ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA. The first & third lines of the poem repeat alternatively at the ends of every subsequent stanza. Usually complete in iambic tetrameter or pentameter, the poem has a clear cadence.

EX: Dylan Thomas's "Don't Not Go Gentle Into that Goodnight"

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Carpe diem
Latin phrase for "seize the day". The term refers to a common moral or theme in classical literature that the reader should make the most out of life & should enjoy it before it ends. The poetry or literature that illustrates this moral is often called poetry or literature of the "carpe diem".

EX: Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress"; Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time"
Comedy/Comedy of manners
a genre that deals in humor & entertainment. Comedies traditionally end in marriage, which is what makes a comedy different from tragedies

EX: Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream --an example of romantic comedy


an entertainment form which satirizes the manners & affections of a social class of of multiple classes often represented by stereotypical stock characters; a comedy dealing with love & courtship that satirizes the mores of a current society. These were popular during the 18th & 19th centuries

EX: Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband or The Importance of Being Earnest
Complaint
a formerly popular variety of poem that laments or protests unrequited love or tells of a personal misfortune, misery, or injustice.

EX: Rutebeuf's La Complainte Rutebeuf
Dramatic monologue
a poem in which a poet speaker discusses either the reader or an internal listener at length. It is similar to the soliloquy in theater, in that both a dramatic monologue & a soliloquy often involve the revelation of the innermost thoughts & feelings of the speaker.

EX: Browning's "My Last Duchess"
Elegy, elegiac verse
a poem of lament & praise & consolation, usually formal & about the death of a particular person. Elegies can also mourn the passing of evens or passions. They can be meditative & distressed. Elegies are seldom w/o form, though the form varies from poem to poem

EX: "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray
Epic/Mock epic/Mock heroic
In contrast with an epic, a mock epic is a long, heroicomical poem that merely imitates the features of the classical epic. The poet often takes an elevated style of language, but incongruously applies that language to mundane or ridiculous objects & situatons. It focuses frequently on the exploits of an antiheoro whose activites illustrate the stupidity of the class or group he represents. Various other attributes common to the classical epic, such as the invocation of the use or the intervention of gods, or the long catalogs of characters appear in the mock epic as well, only to be spoofed.

EX: Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock & Lord Bryon's Don Juan

Mock-heroic poetry mocks the conventions of heroic (aka epic) poetry. It does so by taking the elevated, 'heroic' language of epic poetry, & using it to tell rather ordinary (sometimes dull) stories. In other words, mock-heroic poetry uses the same style as heroic poetry, but the content of the poetry is entirely different

EX: Alexander Pope's the Rape of the Lock
Lyric verse
a short poem with one speaker (not necessarily the poet) who expresses thought and feeling. Though it is sometimes used only for a brief poem, it is more often applied to a poem expressing the complex evolution of thoughts & feeling. The emotion is or seems personal. In classical Greece, the lyric was a poem written to be sung accompanied by a lyre.
Ode
often written in praise of a person, an object, or an event, odes tend to be longer in form and, generally, serious in nature. Odes do not follow a prescribe pattern

EX: "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats
Parody
an imitation of a particular writer, artist, or genre, exaggerating it deliberately to produce a comic effect. The humorous effect in parody is achieved by imitating and overstressing noticeable features of a famous piece of literature, as in caricatures, where certain peculiarities of a person are highlighted to achieve a humorous effect. Unlike satire, parody mimics a subject directly to produce a comical effect.

EX: Shakespeare's Sonnet 13 in parody of traditional love poems common in his day. He presents an anti-love poem theme in a manner of a love poem mocking the exaggerated comparisons they made.

"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;"
Romance
a genre about courtly love and chivalry. It also discusses honor, duty, and damsels in distress

EX: Thomas Malorys Le Morte d'Arthur or The Tempest
Satire
-Hortian satire
is cleaver & humorous and generally mocks other, aimed to make fun of human behavior in a comic way; named after the Roman satirist Horace, Horatian Satire is a form in which the voice is indulgent, tolerant, amused, and witty. The speaker holds up to gentle ridicule the absurdities & follies of human beings, aiming at producing in the reader not the anger of a Juvenal, but a wry smile

EX: The Importance of Being Earnest
Satire
-Juvenalian satire
shows anger & resentfulness,; can be personal & its goal is to provoke change; named after the Roman satirist Juvenal, formal satire in which the speaker attacks vice and error with contempt & indignation. Juvenalian satire in its realism & its harshness is in strong contrast to Horatian satire.

EX: William Golding's Lord of the Flies
Tragedy
a genre that depicts a noble character who more or less falls from grace. The genre is meant to create the emotions of pity and fear in its audience, purging those emotion in an act of catharsis. The fall from grace is brought about by some sort of tragic flaw on the part of the hero, like ambition, greed, or pride or certain unfortunate circumstnaces.

EX: Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Greek tragedies Antigone
Duple meters
-Iambic (rising)
Poetry consisting of two syllables to a metrical food, and one food to each line. It is a rare form.

EX: Herrick's "Upon His Departure Hence"
Thus I
Passe by,
And die:
As One,
Unknown,
And go.

a foot consisting of an unaccented & accented syllable. English seems to fall naturally into iambic patterns, for it is the most common meter in English

EX: Shakespeare's Hamlet: "To be or not to be."
Duple meters
-Trochaic (falling)
a foot consisting of an accented and unaccented syllable.

EX: Longfellow's Hiawatha:

"By the shores of GitcheGumee
By the shining Big-Sea-water."
Falling meter
a type of feet that transition from stressed to unstressed syllables

EX: Trochaic & Dactylic Meters
Foot, feet
a combination of stressed & unstressed syllables.

EX: iambic, trochee, spondee, anapest
Line length
a unit of language into which a poem is divided & the length is determined by the number of feet per line

EX: monometer (one foot)
Dimeter (two feet)
Trimeter (three feet)
Tetrameter (four feet)
Pentameter (five feet)
Hexameter (six feet)
Heptameter (seven feet)
Octameter (eight feet)
Metrical substitutions
a way of varying poetic meter by taking a single foot of normal meter & replacing it with a foot of different meter. When a poet uses metrical substitution to replace the first entire foot with a single stressed beat, the result is an an acephalous line.

EX: For instance, a poem might consist primarily of iambic pentameter, with a "light-heavy" pattern of stress. The poet might add variety by occasionally inserting a foot consisting of two stresses (spondeic substitution) or a foot with a reversed pattern of "heavy light" stress (trochaic substitution).
Metrical substitutions
-Phyrrhic
a foot consisting of two unaccented syllables, generally used to vary the rhythm

EX: dada (not accented)
Metrical substitutions
-Rest
a short pause in a line of poetry, a caesura
Metrical substitutions
-Spondee
a foot consisting of two accented syllables, as in the word Heartbreak. In English, this foot is used occasionally, for variety or emphasis.

EX: Heartbreak
Metrical substitutions
-Trochee
a metrical foot is made up of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. Think of as the opposite of an iamb (daDUM)

EX: DUMda
Rising meter
a type of meter that move from an unstressed syllable to a stressed syllable

EX: anapaestic & iambic meters
Scansion/Scanning
the process of marking the stresses in a poem, and working out the metre from the distribution of stresses

EX: U for an unstressed syllable & a slash / for a stressed one...
Stress/Accent
he emphasis that falls on certain syllables & not others
Triple meters
a meter in which a majority of the feet contain three syllalbles

EX: anapest & dactyls
Triple meters
-Anapestic (rising)
a foot consisting of two unaccented syllables & an accented syllable.

EX: Shelley's Cloud
"Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb
I arise and unbuild it again."
Triple meters
-Dactylic (falling)
a foot consisting of an accented syllable & two unaccented syllables

EX: swimingly, mannikin
Blank verse
unrhyming verse written in iambic pentameter. In poetry & prose, it has a consistent meter with 10-syllables in each line (pentameter) where, unstressed syllables are followed by stressed one & five of which are stressed but do not rhyme. It has no fixed number of lines. It has a conventional meter that is used for verse drama & long narrative poems. It is often used in descriptive & reflective poems & dramatic monologues. It can also be composed in any kind of meter, such as iamb, trochee, spondee, and dactyl.

EX: Mending Walls by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall.
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
Common meter/Hymn meter/Ballad stanza
iambic tetrameter alternating with iambic trimeter

EX: Amazing Grace by John Newton
Continuous form
the form of a poem in which the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning

EX: Gary Bovett "Continuous Pour"
Red lights in the western window
Five hundred feet and counting
The continuous pour
Of 1975 or was it 76
Appearing over the hill top
Like Kilroy
Only still here

The pipes bringith
The pipes taketh away
Gas in exchange for steam
Steam in exchange for power
Power in exchange
For someone else's money
While the left over smoke
In exchange for clean air
Blows up the chimney


Workers voices
Like Bill Baker
(He was our neighbour
In seventy one until he
smoked his last)
Echoed through the pipework
Put together then
Now slowly taken apart
The only noise left
A low hum
Generated
In some other place
Closed couplet
If a couplet that has the ability to stand apart from the rest of the poem, it is independent & hence is called a closed couplet

EX: "O, no, poor suff'ring Heart, no Change endeavour,
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;
My ravish'd eyes behold such charms about her,
I can die with her, but not live without her:
One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past anguish:"
(One Happy Moment by John Dryden)
Heroic couplet
rhyming pairs of verse in iambic pentameter. In the old days, they were used to talk about the trials & adventures of heroes.

EX: Alexander Pope "Sound and Sense"
Open couplet
A couplet which cannot render a proper meaning alone is called an open couplet

EX: "At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
And offered as a dower his burning throne,
Where she should sit for men to gaze upon.
The outside of her garments were of lawn,
The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;"
(Hero and Leander by Christopher Marlowe).
End of each couplet is enjambed--its phrasal & syntatic sense is carried to the next lines.
Epigram
a short poem or verse that seeks to ridicule a thought or event, usually with witticism or sarcasm.

EX: Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "On a Volunteer Singer"

Swans sing before they die- 'twere no bad thing
Should certain people die before they sing!
Free verse
a type of poetry that is free from limitation of regular meter or rhythm & does not rhyme with fixed forms. These poems do not have any set rules. This type of poem is based on normal pauses & natural rhythmical phrases as compared to the artificial constraints of normal poetry.

EX: Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider
Nonce form
refers to any new form at poet creates for a particular poem. Nonce forms operate by "rules" the poet create his/herself, may seem more irregular at first glance, and can sometimes be highly organic.

EX: l(a by E. Cummings.
Verse paragraph
a division of poetry by each section's content in a manner similar to prose paragraphs. It can be distinguished by the extra line-space above and below the section to set it off from other parts of the poem. Unlike stanza, verse paragraph does not have to repeat elements of rhyme or other poetic structure, it can end and begin according to divisions of sense and subject-matter. Its lengths can vary within individual work.

EX: Milton's Paradise Lost
Caesura
a strong pause within a line, and is often found alongside enjambment

"They lie together now. They sleep apart"
End-stopped line
a poetic device in which a pause comes at the end of a syntactic unit (sentence, clause or phrase); this pause can be expressed in writing as a punctuation mark such as a colon, semi-colon, period or full stop

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....
Enjambed line/Emjambment
the running on of a sense from one couplet or line to the next without a major pause or syntactical break

Listen! The mighty Being is awake
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder―everlastinly.
Couplet rhyme
a unit of verse consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and having the same meter and often forming a complete thought or syntactic unit

She was a little tense
The notice made no sense

I saw a little hermit crab
His coloring was oh so drab

It's hard to see the butterfly
Because he flies across the sky
Double rhyme
a two-syllable rhyme

regal/eagle
ended/blended
End rhyme
a rhyme that occurs in the last syllables of verses, as in stanza one of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening":

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Full/Perfect/True rhyme
rhyme in which the final accented vowel and all succeeding consonants or syllables are identical, while the preceding consonants are different

great/late
rider/beside her
dutiful/unbeautiful
Internal rhyme
a poetic device which can be defined as metrical lines in which its middle words and its end words rhymes with each other. It is also called middle rhyme, since it comes in the middle of lines.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door.....
Rhyme scheme
arrangement of rhymes in a poem or stanza

(abab)
Bid me to weep, and I will weep
While I have eyes to see;
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.
Slant/Near/Partial/Imperfect/Half rhyme
a partial or imperfect rhyme, often using assonance or consonance only, as in dry and died or grown and moon

If love is like a bridge
or maybe like a grudge,
Triple rhyme
a rhyme involving three syllables

vanity/humanity
Alliteration
a stylistic device in which a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series

"The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea."
Assonance
when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds

"He gives his harness bells a shake...
The only other sound's the sweep"
Cacophony
the use of words with sharp, harsh, hissing and unmelodious sounds primarily those of consonants to achieve desired results

Stars prick the eyes with sharp [ammoniac] proverbs,
New verities, new inklings in the velvet hummed
Of dynamos, where [hearing's leash is strummed]....
Power's script, - wound, [bobbin-bound], refined-
Consonance
repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase. This repetition often takes place in quick succession such as in pitter, patter.

'T was later when the summer went
Than when the cricket [came],
And yet we knew that gentle clock
Meant nought but going [home].
Euphony
the use of words and phrases that are distinguished as having a wide range of noteworthy melody or loveliness in the sounds they create. It gives pleasing and soothing effects to the ears due to repeated vowels and smooth consonants.

[Season] of [mists] and [mellow] fruitfulness,
Close bosom-[friend] of the [maturing] sun;
Conspiring with him how to [load] and bless
With [fruit] the [vines] that round the [thatch] -eves run;
Onomatopoeia
a word which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting.

"Hark, hark!
Bow-wow.
The watch-dogs bark!
Bow-wow.
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
Cry, 'cock-a-diddle-dow!'"
Ballad stanza/Hymn stanza
a four-line stanza often used in ballads, rhyming in the second and fourth lines and having four metrical feet in the first and third lines and three in the second and fourth.

"Father, father where are you going?
Oh do not walk so fast!
Speak,father, speakto your little boy,
Or else I shall be lost."

The night was dark, no father was there,
The child was wet with dew;
The mire was deep, and the child did weep,
And away the vapour flew.
Cinquain (five lines)
a verse of five lines that do not rhyme

My mum 2
Is so caring 4
She is always helpful 6
She is so beautiful and kind 8
Love you. 2
Couplet (two lines)
a literary device which can be defined as having two successive rhyming lines in a verse and has the same meter to form a complete thought. It is marked by a usual rhythm, rhyme scheme and incorporation of specific utterances.

"Whether or not we find what we are seeking
is idle, biologically speaking."
Envoy
a short closing stanza in certain verse forms, such as the ballade or sestina, dedicating the poem to a patron or summarizing its main ideas

Bihoold the murye words of the Hoost

This worthy Clerk, whan ended was his tale,
Oure Hooste seyde, and swoor, "By Goddes bones,
Me were levere than a barel ale
My wyf at hoom had herd this legende ones!
This is a gentil tale for the nones,
As to my purpos, wiste ye my wille;
But thyng that wol nat be, lat it be stille."
- Envoy to the Clerk's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer
Ottava rima (eight lines)
an Italian poem made up of eight lines that rhyme. Each line consists of eleven syllables.
made up of an octave with the rhyme pattern ab/ab/ab/cc

Quickly did the tiger begin his fast run
Over hilly ground you see him fly and leap
The passive prey laying grazing in the sun
Suddenly its life that it wanted to keep
Tiger pounces, quickly getting the job done
The prey collapsing in a really big heap
Tiger sleeps as night takes over from the day
Will we ever see the hunter become prey?
Quatrain (four lines)
a form of stanza popularized by a Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, who called it a Rubai. It has common rhyming schemes a a a a, a a b b, a b a b.

"Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter-and the Bird is on the Wing."
Refrain
a phrase, line, or group of lines repeated at intervals throughout a poem, generally at the end of the stanza

Jesse had a wife to mourn him all her life,
The children they are brave.
'Twas a dirty little coward shot Mister Howard,
And laid Jesse James in his grave.
Rime royal (seven lines)
a form of verse consisting of seven-line stanzas of iambic pentameter in which there are three rhymes: ababbcc

O Lord, Our Lord, Thy name how marvelous
Is spread through all this mighty world," said she
"For not alone Thy praise so glorious
Is given by men of worth and dignity,
But from the mouths of children Thy bounty
Is hymned, yea, even sucklings at the breast
Do sometimes Thy laudation manifest.
Septet (seven lines)
stanza comprising of seven lines.

Standing in the shredded bark
Cast off by Gum trees in early autumn
As they prepare a new winters coat
Of dark grey, silver and brown
The morbid colors do not attest to death
Nor do they call for sleep
Simply for a while they will be at peace.
Sestet (six lines)
a kind of stanza that consists of six lines. It is the second division of Italian or sonnets of Petrarch following an octave or the first division comprising eight lines. In a sonnet, a sestet marks a change of emotional state of a poet as they tend to be more subjective in the second part of the sonnet.

So answerest thou; but why not rather say:
"Hath man no second life? - Pitch this one high!
Sits there no judge in Heaven, our sin to see? -
More strictly, then, the inward judge obey!
Was Christ a man like us? Ah! Let us try
If we then, too, can be such men as he!"
Spenserian stanza (nine lines)
a stanza consisting of eight lines of iambic pentameter and a final alexandrine, rhymed ababbcbcc

Oh weep for Adonais-he is dead!
Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep,
Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;
For he is gone where all things wise and fair
Descend. Oh dream not that the amorous deep
Will yet restore him to the vital air;
Death feeds on his mute voice, and laughs at our despair .
Tercet (three lines)
a tercet comprises three lines following a same rhyming scheme a a a or have a rhyming pattern a b a.

"My mother's maids, when they did sew and spin,
They sang sometimes a song of the field mouse,
That for because their livelihood was but so thin.

Would needs go seek her townish sister's house.
Would needs She thought herself endured to much pain:
The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse..."
Pastoral
a literary work (as a poem or play) dealing with shepherds or rural life in a usually artificial manner and typically drawing a contrast between the innocence and serenity of the simple life and the misery and corruption of city and especially court life

The time has come for my groaning ox to drag
My heavy plow across the fields, so that
The plow blade shines as the furrow rubs
against it.
Not till the earth has been twice plowed, so twice
Exposed to sun and twice to coolness will
It yield what the farmer prays for...