Narrative poem that uses refrain and is often set to music. Second and fourth lines in the stanzas rhyme. They are often about lurid love gone wrong, or about an important historical event. These poems became popular as protest songs in the 20th century.
A poem with five tercets and a quatrain that repeats the lines from the first stanza throughout the poem. The Dylan Thomas poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is an example of this form.
Humorous poem that is often bawdy. Has rhyme pattern of aabba with anapestic rhythm.
Odes are often long lyric poems used as encomium (to praise someone) or as a meditation.
Poems that are witty and often use poetic conceit as a means of conveying meaning.
Poems written to convince a someone to go to bed with the speaker. Like, for real? Yep.
Often a love poem, but not always. They are always fourteen lines and generally are written in set rhyme pattern, and mostly are in iambic pentameter.
English or Shakespearean Sonnet
This sonnet is 14 lines and is comprised of four quatrains and a heroic couplet. The rhyme pattern for the quatrains is abab cdcd efef. The heroic couplet is gg. The meter is iambic pentameter.
Rhyme Pattern for English or Shakespearean Sonnets
abab cdcd efef gg
This sonnet is 14 lines and is comprised of an octave and a sestet. The rhyme pattern of abbaabba is in the octave and it has a varying rhyme in the sestet, often cdcdcd or cdecde.
Rhyme Pattern for Italian Sonnets
abbaabba cdecde (The sestet might vary.)
A poem about lovers waking up in the morning. Usually one is trying to keep the other in bed. Well, what are poems for, anyway?
Poem that recounts a dream, often with surrealistic elements. The poet often awakes and the dream is allegorical.
Poem or lament for the dead; a poem composed in elegiac couplets.
A poem dealing with shepherds, flocks, nature and love and such.
A prose work that is overwhelmingly poetic and lyrical -- usually short.
A poem that is about an idea.
The poem tells a story about a person or an event.
Spoken by more than one person, like a play.
Brief, memorable statement of a truth or principle. Synonyms include maxim, epigram, and adage.
The emotional quality of a word: Cf. house and home; dog and canine; naked or nude.
The context in which the poem takes place. This might be the setting, but can also be an interior emotional space -- or really, anywhere.
The dictionary definition. Double entendres arise if words have more than one meaning.
Sensory words used to convey place, time, character, or mood. All five senses are available for imagery: Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste or Smell.
The one listening to the poem, not necessarily the audience.
Speaker or Voice
The character saying the poem, not necessarily the poet
The atmosphere created by text.
The emotional attitude created by text.
The structure of sentences.
Whole lines or groups of lines repeat in a fixed pattern in a poem or song.
Repeating words, phrases, or lines in a poem.
Repetition of beginning words, as in Genesis and the Book of John.
Repetition of initial consonant sounds: tried and true
Repetition of vowel sounds: Time out of Mind; How now brown cow.
Cacophony or Dissonance
Ugly sounds: These can be created by consonants: as in buzzing sounds of s, x, z and plosives such as b,d,g,k,p,t.
Repetition of end consonants: short and sweet; struts and frets.
Beautiful sounds: These can be created by vowels and certain consonants such as r,l,v,n,m,w,y,wh,sh,th.
Words whose meanings and sound match; cluck; plop.
Intensification of sensation through use of sound: Bubble, burble; chatter, splatter.
A type of rhyme where accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds rhyme: great and late; rider and beside her; dutiful and beautiful; divorce and remorse.
A rhyme made on one stressed syllable: still and hill; fly and sky.
Feminine or Double Rhyme
Two syllables rhyme, but not stressed at the end: frightful and spiteful; fertile and turtle ; assonance and consonance.
Three syllables rhyme: icicle and bicycle.
Two words within the same verse line rhyme.
Two words within separate verse lines rhyme.
Words at the end of the verse line rhyme.
Also called near rhymes or approximate rhymes. These are rhymes that aren't exact but word sounds are similar, such as strut and fret. This term also includes half rhymes such as lightly and frightful or willow and yellow. It includes eye rhymes such as love and move, and forced rhymes such as rhinoceros and prepocerous; platinum and flatten 'em; hoist her and cloister. (See Ira Gershwin lyrics!)
Following the continuing rhyme pattern of: aba bcb cdc
Figurative Language or Trope
Any non-literal expression that is considered "a figure of speech".
The entire story uses subsidiary symbols often to teach a lesson. This genre includes fables and parables. (Figurative language)
Addressing a dead person or inanimate object or animal. (Figurative language).
Contrast between what the reader or one character knows and what the other characters don't. (Figurative language)
The contrast between the unexpected and the expected.(Figurative language)
The contrast between what is meant and what is not meant. (It sounds like a lie.) (Figurative language)
Verbal irony meant to cause emotional pain. (Figurative language)
Reference to other known sources such as myth, art, literature, cultural icons or events included to deepen descriptive power in a poem.
Direct comparison without using like or as. Using substitution of normally unlike objects to deepen description. A "sea of troubles". (Figurative language) These always have a literal and figurative term, and either might be named or implied.
The comparison extends the non-literal element. When it is the entire poem, it is called poetic conceit. (Figurative language)
The entire poem is an extended metaphor that uses a variety of figurative comparisons, either named or implied, as subsidiary elements to describe one literal object or idea.
Comparison using like or as. (Figurative language) These always have a literal and figurative term, and either might be named or implied.
The comparison extends the non-literal element. When it is the entire poem, it is called poetic CONCEIT. (Figurative language)
Something like the object represents the whole: "The world is not your friend." Meaning the people, not the literal planet. (Figurative language)
A part of something stands for the whole "Friends, Romans, Countrymen. Lend me your ears." Let's hope Antony is NOT speaking literally! Perrine and others combine this with metonymy. (Figurative language)
Overstatement or Hyperbole
Exaggerating the importance of something. (Figurative language) "I could eat a horse."
Stating something is less important than it is. (Figurative language) "Merely a flesh wound!"
An inanimate object takes on characteristics of a human.(Figurative language)
The literal object becomes something much larger and more profound in the context of the story: i.e. the empty chair at the table; the pickle dish. (Figurative language)
Following the following rhyme and metric pattern: x(4)a(3)x(4)a(3). The first and third line are tetrameter and don't rhyme. The second and fourth lines are trimeter and do rhyme.
Following the rhyme pattern of ababbcc, with iambic pentameter.
Couplets in iambic pentameter. These are found at the end of English sonnets.
The line in a poem that presents a transition or new idea. The ninth line of the Petrarchan sonnet is often one.
Two lines of rhymed poetry.
Three lines of poetry.
Four lines of poetry.
Six lines of poetry.
Eight lines of poetry.
Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
A balanced rhythmic flow or meter.
A break in meter caused by punctuation inside the line, or natural or metrical pause within the line.
Leaving out syllables in a word: o'er, e'er, n'er.
Verse line that ends with a natural speech pause, usually with punctuation.
Verse line that doesn't end naturally, or with punctuation but continues to next line.
One metric unit, such as an iamb, a trochee, an anapest or a dactyl. Poetic measure is determined by number of these per line.
A poem with no fixed meter or form.
The number of feet per line of poetry. Part of the "time signature" of poetry.
This is determined by the measure and the type of metric units (poetic feet) per line. The natural accents on word syllables and dramatic reading determine this. Articles and prepositions are not often stressed. You can have leftover unaccented syllables at the end or at the beginning. Types are: trochaic tetrameter, dactylic hexameter, iambic pentameter, alexandrine.
Pattern of five iambic feet per verse line. Common to Chaucer and Shakespeare. The meter of English sonnets.
Pattern of four anapestic feet per verse line. Also called anapestic tetrameter.
Patter of four trochaic feet per verse line. Common to Anglo Saxon.
You do this to find the metric pattern of a poem. The noun form is called scansion.
The accented syllables that help determine meter, though other words can carry it.
Meter Slows Down
This happens if you add more stresses, long vowels, duple meters, hard to pronounce consonant combinations, and rhetorical pauses.
To Speed Up Meter
This happens with more triple meters and unaccented or short vowels and consonants.
u / Unstressed, stressed: As in Elaine.
/ u Stressed, unstressed: As in Michael.
u u / Unstressed, unstressed, stressed: As in Mariel or Betty-Lou.
/ u u Stressed, unstressed, unstressed: As in Jessica.