ENGLISH II – UNIT 9: POETRY

couplet
two successive lines of poetry, especially two that rhyme with each other, having the same number of feet

didactic
meant to instruct; having a moral

epic
a long poem relating the adventures of a hero or heroes, written in a dignified, majestic style. Examples are Homer’s Iliad and Milton’s Paradise Lost

expository prose
prose that is written to explain or to instruct rather than to entertain

figure of speech
a phrase or expression used outside of its literal meaning to add beauty or force to writing or speech

imagery
comparisons, descriptions, and figures of speech that help the mind form forceful or beautiful pictures

meter
the arrangement of beats or accents in a line of poetry

octave
a group of eight lines of poetry; the first eight lines of a Petrarchan sonnet

quatrain
a stanza or poem with four lines, usually with alternate rhymes

rhyme scheme
the pattern of rhymes used in a stanza, verse, or poem, usually denoted by letters

sestet
a poem or stanza of six lines; the last six lines of a Petrarchan sonnet

sonnet
a poem having fourteen lines and a formal arrangement of rhymes, usually written in iambic pentameter

terza rima
an Italian form of iambic verse consisting of ten-syllable or eleven-syllable lines arranged in triplets, the middle line of each triplet rhyming with the first and third lines of the following triplet (aba, bcb, cdc, etc.)

triplet
three successive lines of poetry, usually rhyming and equal in length; also called tercet

ballad
a poem that tells a story, often intended to be sung

cadence
rhythm that regularly repeats itself

doggerel
poetry that is not artistic in form or meaning; crude or poor poetry

poetic diction
the language or word choice of a poet

poetic device
a figure of speech, sound effect, or other technique used by poets to enhance the effectiveness of a poem

irony
a way of speaking or writing in which the ordinary meaning of the words is the opposite of the thought in the speaker’s or writer’s mind

paradox
a statement that may be true but that seems to say two opposite things

symbolism
in literature, the use of words that stand for or represent something else, especially an idea, a quality, or a condition