56 terms

Comp & Lit Midterm (Poetry Terms and Common Lit Terms)

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Enjambment
When a line breaks a sentence in a way as to drop the reader to the next line to complete the meaning. (Can show surprise, humor.)
End-stop
Refers to a line that ends a sentence with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. (Brings closure to the end of that line.)
Simile
States that something is LIKE something else in order to show similarities, such as "The wind howled all night like a wolf."
Metaphor
Describing something as being something else: "The wind IS a hungry wolf tonight."
Minimalist Poetry
A type of poetry in which a very few images merely suggest something, such as William Carlos Williams' "The Red Wheelbarrow."
Sonnet
A poetry form that has survived and undergone changes throughout the centuries. Today it usually will not rhyme or have a metrical beat, but it is always composed of fourteen lines.
Stanza
A verse in poetry. Similar to a paragraph in prose. In older forms of poetry, these stanzas were arranged into patterns which rhymed in various ways. Today poetry seldom uses end-rhymes.
End-rhymes
Lines in which the last word in the line rhymes with other lines' last words
Abstract Language
Words that represent ideas, intangible or concepts such as "truth" and "beauty."
Concrete Language
Contemporary poets favor this. These are words that represent particular tangible things such as "firewood," "sycamores," "knives," "red balloons."
Alliteration
Repetition of vowel or consonant sounds.
Anaphora
Repetition of a word, phrase, or sentence for emphasis or to create an obsessive mood or a tone of incantation.
Meter
The rhythmic beat of poems - usually poems written in olden times had both meter and end-rhymes.
Deep image poetry
Poetry in which surreal imagery OR certain "loaded" words take one into the depths of consciousness, connecting the visual world to the spiritual world or to the unconscious. Much of flamenco and Spanish poetry have this quality.
Duende
A quality in gypsy poetry that means roughly the same as "soul" in African-American or Afro-Caribbean art forms.
Figurative Speech
Speech that says one thing but suggests meanings beyond the literal meaning (such as similes and metaphors)
Lyric poetry
Poetry in which the mood or music of the language and imagery predominate over the "story."
Narrative Poetry
A poetry that tells a story but in a way that is much more brief than prose and much more vividly descriptive.
Dramatic Poetry
Many ancient plays and oral histories were presented in poetry form. These include Greek classics, Elizabethan drama such as those by Shakespeare, and even more recent dramas such as those of Federico Garcia Lorca (early 20th century).
Onomatopoeia
Words that sound like what they do: chug, babble, bang, crash, trickle, gurgle, whisper, hiss, buzz, sizzle, splat, puff.
Personification
The technique of giving nonhuman subjects human characteristics
Oxymoron
An expression that combines opposite or contradictory qualities but is none-the-less true, such as "Jumbo Shrimp."
Prose poems
Also called flash fiction. Tight little "stories" characterized by intense, vivid imagery, sometimes having a surreal quality, and written without line breaks, like prose.
Slant rhymes
Rhymes in which either some vowels or some consonants rhyme, but not the whole word, such as myth/bath, hope/hype, break/brick, lace/lame.
Internal rhymes
Words that rhyme within lines or stanzas but in irregular patterns rather than at the ends of lines.
Visual Impact
The use of white space within a poem, the shape of the poem on the page and the pattern of lines. All of these have an impact on the reader.
Ghazal
A type of Arabic poetry in which each two-line stanza could stand alone as a poem all by itself.
Tanka
A type of Japanese poetry composed of five lines with a metrical count of 5-7-5-7-7.
Plot
The events of a story and how they are arranged, usually including a conflict and its resolution.
Point of View
The perspective from which a story is told. The narrator could be a character in the story, or could be outside the story as an observer, or could be omniscient (like God).
Innocent or Naive Narrator
The narrator does not realize all of the facts that the reader is aware of in the plot.
Stream of Consciousness
Random thoughts of the narrator
Inner Monologue
Logical, but as if the narrator is talking to him/herself.
Characters
The people in the story
Round Characters
AKA Dynamic Characters. These are the characters the author has developed more fully and are more complex just as in real life, who change just as real people do. Sometimes, a character's name can be a clue to his/her personality, through words or names of historical people.
Flat Characters
AKA Static Characters. Usually these characters are less important and do not develop much over the course of the story.
Setting
The time and place of a story.
Tone
The attitude that the author seems to have about his/her subject (sarcastic, humorous, sympathetic, angry, puzzled, etc.)
Theme
Whatever general insight or message the entire story reveals. Sometimes could be the "moral of the story." Often, there is more than one theme.
Symbols
A symbol is something that reveals more than just its literal meaning. It hints at other meanings. Symbols are usually concrete objects, but sometimes titles of the stories or the setting or poetic names can be symbols, too.
Foreshadowing
An indication or hint of what may happen later.
Flashback
An event re-lived in a character's memory.
Protagonist
The main character who is attempting to resolve a conflict that stands in the way of his/her personal goals.
Antagonist
A character who gets in the way of the protagonist and opposes the protagonist's objectives.
Hero
An important well-noted person with great ideals and great achievements.
Anti-hero
Popular since the 1920s. An ordinary, inglorious and unnoticed citizen of the modern world who may be puzzled, cynical, angry, frustrated and alone in a hostile world.
Diction
The narrator's or a particular character's style of speaking and choice of words (Formal and well-educated; pompous; slangy; attacking; reversed; wordy, etc.)
Denotation
A word's dictionary meaning
Connotation
The mood that the word evokes; the shade of meaning.
Verbal Irony
Sarcasm. May say the opposite of what is meant.
Situational (or cosmic) Irony
An outcome that is totally different from what one would expect; something that shouldn't have happened according to logic.
Exposition
The opening portion of a story that sets the scene, introduces the main character(s), and gives pertinent background information. (Sometimes stories omit this part and plunge right into a dramatic event that is happening.)
Genre
A specific type of literature, such as novels, poems, plays, fiction, non-fiction, essays, etc.
Prose
Any form of writing that is not poetry nor written in play (drama) format.
Fiction
Stories that are imagined and created, not necessarily factual but may include some factual data such as historic events that form the backdrop for a story.
Intertextuality
Something that requires prior knowledge of another text referred to in the writing in order to understand the underlying comparison (e.g. Faustian Economics).
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