Irony, Poetry, Rules of Imagist Poetry ; Other Literary Terms

Irony
Discrepancy. An instance of difference, inconsistency, or deviation

Dramatic Irony
Occurs when the audience has information that a character does not. In other words, there is a “discrepancy between a character’s perception and what the reader or audience knows to be true”. With this information, the reader or audience understands the full implication or meaning of the character’s speech or action.

Situational Irony
Involves a “discrepancy between expectation and reality” between actual circumstances and those that would seem appropriate, or between what one anticipates and what actually happens. Observing these discrepancies, the reader or audience recognizes why these shifts or turns are apt and appropriate.

Verbal irony
Characterized by a “discrepancy between what a speaker or writer says and what he or she believes to be true. In other words, it occurs when a speaker or narrator intentionally says one thing but means the opposite. Oftentimes, it is important for the reader or audience to consider the speaker’s rhetorical goals.

Sarcasm
Often involves an exaggerated form of verbal irony. A sarcastic remark is typically directed at a specific person with the intent to wound or to ridicule. Sarcasm, in fact, comes from the Greek word, sarkazo, which means to tear flesh. Verbal irony, however, is often directed toward a situation and generally lacks a hurtful aim.

Coincidence
Defined as “the coinciding of events so that movement of a PLOT is determined or significantly altered without a sense of a causal relationship among the events “. Coincidence is not situational irony in that coincidence is merely a happening of unfortunate circumstances, not a “discrepancy between expectation and reality”, between actual circumstances and those that would seem appropriate, or between what one anticipates and what actually happens

Satire
A literary manner or point of view which blends a critical attitude with humor and wit for the purpose of improving human institutions or humanity. True satirists are conscious of the frailty of human institutions and attempt through laughter not so much to tear them down as to inspire a remodeling

Parody
A composition that imitates the serious manner and characteristic features of a particular work, or the distinctive style of its maker, and applies the imitation to a lowly or comically inappropriate subject. Often a parody is more powerful in its influence on affairs of current importance- politics for instance–than its original composition. It is a variety of burlesque

Mockery
teasing and contemptuous language or behavior directed at a particular person or thing

Burlesque
A form of comedy characterized by ridiculous exaggeration and distortion. A serious subject may be treated frivolously or a frivolous subject seriously. The essential quality that makes for burlesque is the discrepancy between subject matter and style. That is, a style ordinarily dignified may be used for nonsensical matter, or a style very nonsensical may be used to ridicule a weighty subject

Caricature
A picture, description, or imitation of a
person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated to create a comic or grotesque effect

Horatian Tone
[aims to reform through broad laughter] is a tone named after the Roman satirist Horace: It is characterized as satire in which the voice is indulgent, tolerant, amused, and witty. The speaker holds up to gentle ridicule the absurdities and follies of human beings, aiming at producing in the reader not the anger of a Juvenal, but a wry smile

Juvenalian Tone
[aims to reform through mocking ridicule] is a tone named for the Roman satirist Juvenal: It is characterized as formal satire in which the speaker attacks vice and error with contempt and indignation. Juvenalian satire in its realism and its harshness

Tone
Describes the author’s attitude toward his/her subject. This attitude may be stated in so many words or, more often, implied

Mood
Describes the atmosphere of the work-the emotions it invokes in you, the reader. Mood can be conveyed through diction, but also situation.

Assonance
The relatively close juxtaposition (placement) of the same or similar vowel sounds, but with different end consonants, in a line or passage. Creates a vowel rhyme

Consonance
The repetition of the same consonant sounds at the end of stressed syllables, but with different vowel sounds, within or at the end of a line

Euphony
Harmony or beauty of sound that provides a pleasing effect to the ear, usually soughtfor in poetry for effect. Vowel sounds are generally more pleasing to the ear than the consonants, so a line with a higher ratio of vowel sounds will produce a more agreeable effect; also, the long vowels

Cacophony
Discordant sounds created by the jarring juxtaposition of harsh letters or syllables, sometimes inadvertent, but often deliberately used in poetry for effect

End Rhyme
The repetition of the accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds

Line
What distinguishes poetry from prose. Poetry is arranged into a series of units (lines) that do not necessarily correspond to sentences, but rather to a series of metrical feet. There is a natural tendency when reading poetry to pause at the end of each line, but you should instead follow the punctuation to find where natural pauses should occur

Prose
written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure

Stanza
A division of a poem created by arranging the lines into a unit, often repeated in the same pattern of meter and rhyme throughout the poem

Persona
The speaker or voice of a literary work who is doing the talking. Thus persona is the “I” of a narrative or the implied speaker of a lyric poem. The poem’s author and its persona are not necessarily the same person; rather, the poet adopts a persona

Apostrophe
Speaking directly to a real or imagined listener or inanimate object; addressing that person or thing by name

Repetition
The purposeful reuse of words and phrases for an effect. Repetition creates emphasis which can reveal theme

Parallelism
A type of repetition especially with longer phrases that contain a different key word each time

Anaphora
A type of parallelism created when successive phrases or lines begin with the same words, often resembling a litany. The repetition can be as simple as a single word or as long as an entire phrase. Not only can anaphora create a driving rhythm by the recurrence of the same sound, it can also intensify the emotion of the poem.

Ambiguity
A word or phrase that can mean more than one thing, even in its context. Poets often search out such words to add richness to their work. Often, one meaning seems quite readily apparent, but other, deeper and darker meanings, await those who contemplate the poem further

Euphemism
An understatement, used to lessen the effect of a statement; substituting something innocuous (not harmful) for something that might be offensive or hurtful

Hyperbole
An outrageous exaggeration used for effect

Simile
an imaginative comparison of two unlike objects using the words “like” or “as.” In a simile, the qualities of one thing are ascribed to the other.

Metaphor
A direct comparison between two unlike things, stating that one is the other or does the action of the other

Extended Metaphor
A metaphor which is drawn out beyond the usual word or phrase to extend throughout a stanza or an entire poem, usually by using multiple comparisons between the unlike objects or ideas.

Symbol
a concrete, tangible object that stands for an idea

Form
The external pattern or shape of a poem, describable without reference to its content. The length and placement of lines

Alliteration
the repetition of the initial (beginning) sounds (usually consonants) in neighboring words or at short intervals within a line of poetry or passage from a book.

Extended Figure
A figure of speech (usually metaphor, simile or
personification) sustained through a series of lines or through the whole poem.

Internal Rhyme
A rhyme in which one or both of the rhyme words occurs within the line

Paranomasia
The use of one word to imply the additional meaning of a similar- sounding word. Also known informally as the pun.

Allusion
A reference, explicit or implicit, to a literary, historical or mythological figure or subject

Diction
The writer’s precise use of connotative and denotative language for a value,
condition or quality; effect.

Polysyndeton
The deliberate use of many conjunctions (for,
and, nor, but, or, yet, so) for special emphasis – to highlight quantity or mass of detail

Imagery
The use of vivid language that appeals to one or more of the senses to generate ideas and/or evoke mental images or sensations and emotion. The term “imagery” can apply to any component of a poem that evokes sensory experience and emotional response, and it also applies to the concrete things so brought to mind

Enjambment
The breaking of a syntactic unit (a phrase, clause, or sentence) by the end of a line or between two verses. Its opposite is endstopping, where each linguistic unit corresponds with a single line. By using enjambment (breaking the line), the poet can place emphasis on particular words, as words that appear at the end or beginning of a line get most notice

End Stop
The ending of a line with punctuation

Juxtaposition
Lacing words, ideas or phrases next to each other to create effect or meaning

Exclamatory Sentence
A sentence that emphasizes or expresses an idea

Ellipsis
The deliberate omission of a word or phrase for effect or meaning

Cumulative Sentence
A sentence that begins with an independent
clause and ends with a series of grammatical phrases and clauses.

Slant Rhyme
Rhyme in which either the vowels or the consonants of stressed syllables are identical

Syllabic Verse
Verse measured by the number of syllables per line

Six Rules of Imagist Poetry
1. To use the language of common speech, but to employ always the EXACT word, not the nearly-exact, nor the merely decorative word.
2.To create new rhythms…We do not insist upon “free-verse” as the only method of writing poetry. We fight for it as a principle of liberty.
3. To allow absolute freedom in choice of subject. 4. To present an image, an image that ‘is itself the speech’ and that is ‘the very essence of intuitive language’…We believe that poetry should render particulars exactly and concretely and not deal in vague generalities.
5. To produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.
6. Concentration is the very essence of poetry.