ESL II-Poetry Terms Defined

Allusion
a brief, usually indirect reference to a person, place, or event–real or fictional

Apostrophe
the sign (‘), as used: to indicate the omission of one or more letters in a word, whether unpronounced, as in o’er for over, or pronounced
Apostrophe

Assonance
resemblance of sounds
Assonance

Caesura
a pause, especially for sense, usually near the middle of a verse line
Caesura

Denotation
the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that a word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience

Dissonance
a simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion

Figurative Language
speech or writing that departs from literal meaning in order to achieve a special effect or meaning, speech or writing employing figures of speech
Figurative Language

Free verse
verse that does not follow a fixed metrical pattern

Hyperbole
an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity
Hyperbole

Iambic pentameter
a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable

Metaphor
something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else;
figure of speech, implied comparison
Metaphor

Meter
the rhythmic element as measured by division into parts of equal time value
Meter

Personification
he attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure
Personification

Romanticism
A movement in literature and the fine arts, beginning in the early nineteenth century, that stressed personal emotion, free play of the imagination, and freedom from rules of form.

Refrain
a phrase or verse recurring at intervals in a song or poem, especially at the end of each stanza; the principal, recurrent section of a song or poem
Refrain

Simile
a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”
Simile

Speaker
a person who speaks, especially at a formal occasion
Speaker

Stanza
group of rhymed verse lines
Stanza

Tone
particular quality, way of sounding, modulation, or intonation of the voice as expressive of some meaning, feeling, spirit, etc.
Tone

Mood
a prevailing emotional tone or general attitude
Mood