83 terms

Fundamentals of Poetry Vocabulary

A poetry vocabulary list
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Meter
Pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry; Meter should be determined by importance of the word, the position in the metrical pattern, and other linguistic factors
Stressed Syllable
Called the accented syllable
Unstressed Syllable
Called the unaccented syllable
Foot
Unit of a meter; Can have two or 3 syllables; Consists of one stressed and one or more unstressed syllables; A line may have one or multiple feet
Iamb
A two-syllable foot with an unstressed first syllable and a stressed second syllable; The iambic foot is the most common foot in English
Trochee
A two-syllable foot with a stressed first syllable and an unstressed second syllable
Anapest
A three-syllable foot with the first two syllables unstressed and a stress on the last syllable
Spondee
A two-syllable foot with two stressed syllables
Dacytl
A three-syllable foot with a stressed first syllable and two unstressed syllables at the end
Monometer
A meter with only one foot per line
Dimeter
A meter with only two feet per line
Trimeter
A meter with only three feet per line
Tetrameter
A meter with only four feet per line
Pentameter
A meter with five feet per line
Hexameter
Also called Alexandrine; A meter with six feet per line; The lines fall into halves with a pause in the middle (Caesura)
Caesura
A pause in the middle of a line
Heptameter
A meter with seven feet per line
Octometer
A meter with eight feet per line
Rhymed Verse
Verse with rhyme at the end of each line and usually a regular meter
Blank Verse
Lines of iambic pentameter without end rhyme
Free Verse
Lines that do not have a regular meter and do not contain rhyme
Rhyme
The similarity or likeness of sound between two words; A true rhyme consists of identical sounding syllables that are stressed, and the letters preceding the vowel sounds should be different
Near, Off, or Slant Rhyme
A rhyme based on an imperfect or incomplete correspondence of end syllable sounds (Variations are Sight or Eye Rhyme)
End Rhyme
The similarity between words occurring at the end of two or more lines of verse
Internal Rhyme
The similarity between words occurring between two or more words in the same line
Masculine Rhyme
Occurs when one syllable of a word rhymes with another word
Feminine Rhyme
Occurs when the last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word
Triple Rhyme
Occurs when the last three syllables of a word or line rhyme
Rhyme Scheme
The patter or sequence of rhyme; Each new syllable is denoted by a letter, and the same letters are used when the sounds are repeated
Alliteration
The repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line of verse
Onomatopoeia
The use of a word to represent or imitate natural sounds
Assonance
The similarity or repetition of a vowel sound in two or more words
Consonance
The repetition of consonant sounds within a line of verse; Similar to alliteration except that the repeated sound isn't limited to the first letter of a word
Refrain
The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza
Repetition
The reiterating of a word or phrase within a poem
Simile
A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing to another using the words "like" or "as"
Metaphor
A figure of speech where a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable
Personification
A figure of speech where attributes of a person are applied to an inanimate object
Synecdoche
A figure of speech where a part is made to represent a whole, or vice versa
Metonymy
A figure of speech where a name is substituted for an attribute or adjunct of that thing
Symbol
A figure of speech where a thing stands for something else
Allegory
A figure of speech where a story or poem can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning
Overstatement/Hyperbole
A figure of speech where exaggerated statements are used to describe a situation
Understatement/Litotes
A figure of speech with ironic understatement where an affirmative is expressed by the negative of it's contrary (e.g., you won't be sorry)
Antithesis
A figure of speech where an opposition or contrast of ideas is expressed by parallelism of words that are the opposites of each other
Apostrophe
A figure of speech in which an absent person is addressed as though present
Dramatic Irony
A figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words
Situational Irony
A figure of speech where the expected outcome of a situation does not occur
Verbal Irony
A figure of speech where the vocabulary is used to describe something in a way other than it seems
Paradox
A figure of speech where a statement appears to contradict itself
Oxymoron
A figure of speech where incongruous or seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side
Stanza
A division of a poem based on thought or form; Stanzas based on form are marked by their rhyme scheme; Stanzas are known by the number of lines they contain
Couplet
Two-line stanza
Triplet/Tercet
Three-line stanza
Quatrain
Four-line stanza
Sestet
Six-line stanza
Septet
Seven-line stanza
Octave
Eight-line stanza
Terza Rima
A three-line stanza form with an interlaced or interwoven rhyme scheme (a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, etc.); Usually iambic pentameter
Limerick
A five-line nonsense poem with an anapestic meter; Rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b-a; The first, second, and fifth lines have three stresses; The third and fourth have two stresses
Ballad Stanza
Four lines with a rhyme scheme of a-b-c-b; The first and third lines are tetrameter; The second and fourth lines are trimeter
Rime Royal
A stanza consisting of seven lines in iambic pentameter rhyming a-b-a-b-b-c-c; It was used by King James I
Ottava Rima
Eight lines of iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c; An Italian form
Spenserian Stanza
Nine lines of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by a line of alexandrine (iambic hexameter); The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b-b-c-b-c-c; The form is named from Edmund Spenser who invented it
Sonnet
A fourteen line stanza form consisting of iambic pentameter lines
Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet
Divided between eight lines (Octave) using an a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a rhyme scheme and six lines (Sestet) using any arrangement of either two or three rhymes (c-d-c-d-c-d or c-d-e-c-d-e); The division between octave and sestet usually correspond to a division of thought
English (Shakespearean) Sonnet
Composed of three quatrains and a concluding couplet; Rhyming a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g; The untis marked off by the rhymes and the development of the thought often correspond
Villanelle
Consists of five tercets and a quatrain where the first and third lines of the opening tercet recur alternatively at the end of the other tercets and together as the last two lines of the quatrain.
Elegy
Usually a poem that mourns the death of an individual; The absence of something deeply loved, or the transience of mankind
Lyric
The most widely used type of poem with several factors: a. limited length, b. intensely subjective, c. personal expression of emotion, d. expression of thoughts and feelings of one speaker, e. highly imaginative, f. regular rhyme scheme
Ode
An exalted, complex, rapturous lyric poem written about a dignified, lofty subject (hero, aspect of nature)
Bard
An elevated term for a poet
Cacophany
Literally meaning "bad sound"; Language that is discordant and difficult to pronounce; It may be unintentional or intentional
Enjambment
In poetry, the running over of a sentence form one verse or stanza into the next without stopping; When the sentence or meaning does not stop at the end of the line it is called End-stopped Line
Explication
Literally meaning an "unfolding"; Where an entire poem is explained in detail, addressing every element and unraveling any complexities as a means of analysis
Euphony
Literally meaning "good sound"; Language that is smooth and pleasant
Imagery
Anything that affects or appeals to the reader's senses
Narrative Poem
A poem that tells a story
Pastoral
A poem, play or story that celebrates and idealizes the simple life of shepherds; The term has come to refer to an artistic work that portrays rural life in an idyllic way
Pliant
A lamentation or wailing; A Plaintive poem has this tone
Prosody
The overall metrical structure of a poem
Scansion
The process of measuring the stresses in a line of verse in order to determine the metrical pattern of the line
Versification
Synonymous with Prosody; the overall metrical structure of a poem