English Literature Poetry Vocabulary

narrative
tells an objective story

epic
long narrative poem in elevated style presenting characters of high position in a series of adventures which form an organic whole through their relation to a acentral figure of heroic proportions and through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation or race (ie. The Odyssey)

dramatic
presented as an individual’s speech or as a dialogue between two people

lyric
gives personal feelings/emotions of the poet marked by imagination, melody, and emotion which creates in the reader a unified impression

speaker/voice/persona
role or voice assumed by poet in a given poem

structure
how a poem is organized

stanza
a standard unit of poetry; way in which lines are grouped

blank verse
unrhymed verse

free verse/vers libre
poems without a formally recognizable meter

tone
the overall mood and atmosphere of a poem

onomatopoeia
the imitation of natural sound by word sound

assonance
close repetition of the same vowel sound for a certain effect

alliteration
close repetition of the same vowel sound for a certain effect

rhyme
a matching sound or sounds

diction
types of words used in poem that reveal clues about speaker and situation

polysyndeton
repetition of conjunctions to effect measured thought and solemnity

simile
uses like or as in directly joining two images or ideas

metaphor
an indirect linking of two images or ideas

symbol
an extension of a metaphor which “presents us with one half of the analogy and requires us to supply the missing part”

oxymoron
words conveying opposite meanings

hyperbole
exaggeration or overstatement

personification
giving human characteristics to inanimate objects

repetition
repeating a word or words to reate emphasis, rhythm, or coherence

ellipsis points
mark of puncuation used to create pauses or gaps