Literary Poetry Terms

Poetry
the patterned form of verbal or written expression of ideas and concentrated imaginative and rhythmical terms.

Meter
the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in the line of poetry

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Foot
a unit of meter: iam or iambic, trochaic, anapestic, dactylic, spondaic, pyrrhic

iam or iambic
2 syllable foot with stress on the second syllable
example: (a book) (of ver) (says un) (derneath)(the bough)

trochaic
2 syllable foot with stress on the first syllable
example: (double) (double) (toil and) (trouble)

anapestic
3 syllable foot with stress on the last syllable
example: (with the sheep) (in the fold) (and the cows) (in their stalls)

dactylic
3 syllable foot with stress on the first syllable
example: (love again) (song again) (nest again) (young again)

spondaic
2 stressed syllables
example: heartbreak, childhood, football

pyrrhic
2 unstressed syllables
example:

kinds of metrical lines
monometer (1)
dimeter (2)
trimeter (3)
tetrameter (4)
pentameter (5)
hexameter (6)
heptameter (7)
octameter (8)

Verse Forms
rhymed verse (rhyme and meter)
blank verse (meter, but no rhyme)
free verse (no meter, no thyme)

Devices of Sound
rhyme (the likeness of sound existing between two words)
end rhyme
similarity (occurring at the end of two or more lines of a verse)
internal rhyme (similarity occurring between two or more words within a line of poetry)

Kind of Rhyme

Masculine rhyme – when one syllable of a word rhymes with another word

Feminine rhyme – the last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word

Rhyme scheme- pattern or sequence in which rhyme occurs

alliteration-
repetition of beginning sounds
example: Dan’s dog dove deep in the dam, drinking dirty water as he dove.

Masculine rhyme –
when one syllable of a word rhymes with another word

assonance-
similarity or reputation of vowel sounds
example: “Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!” vowel sound of short e

onomatopoeia-
a word that sounds like what it means
example: bam, pop, smash, wham

consonance-
repetition of consonant sounds
example: “Shelley sells shells by the seashore.”

refrain-
repetition of one or more phrases at intervals in a poem usually at the end of a stanza
example: “let’s gets lost…”

Figures of Speech-
an expression in which the words are used in a nonliteral sense to present a figure, picture, or image

simile-
comparing using “like” or “as”
example: He is as mad as a hornet

metaphor-
comparison without like or as
example: He is a hornet

personification-
giving human-like qualities to inanimate objects
example: The flowers waved in the breeze

apostrophe-
when you directly address an inanimate object
example: “broccoli, you’re hurting me!”

synecdoche-
the technique of mentioning a part of something to represent the whole
example: The word “wheels” refers to a vehicle.

hyperbole-
exaggeration for the sake of emphasis
example: “I’ve told you a million times”

metonymy-
the substitution of a word naming an object for another word closely associated with it.
example: Can you please give me a hand carrying this box up the stairs?

litotes-
an understatement achieved by saying the opposite of what one means or by making affirmation by stating the fact in the negative.
example: “They do not seem the happiest couple around.”
“This is no small problem.”

antithesis-
balancing or contrasting of one term against another
example- “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” – Neil Armstrong

symbol-
a word or image that signifies something other than what it literally represented
example- “Wilson” in Castaway
the raft in Huck Finn

stanza forms-
division of a poem based on thought or form

couplet (stanza form)
a two line stanza

triplet (stanza form)
a three line stanza

quatrain (stanza form)
a four line stanza

quintet (stanza form)
a five line stanza

sestet (stanza form)
a six line stanza

septet (stanza form)
a seven line stanza

Heroic couplet
a closed couplet with two successive rhyming verses which contain a complete thought within the two lines
example:
“The time is out of joint, O cursed spite
That ever I was born to set it right!”

limeric-
five line nonsense poem
example:
here once was a man from Peru
Who had a lot of growing up to do,
He’d ring a doorbell,
then run like hell,
Until the owner shot him with a .22.

octave (stanza form)
an eight line stanza

sonnet-
a 14 – line poem consisting of iambic pentameter lines
example:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

Italian petrarchan-
14 – line poem consisting of an octave that makes a statement or states a problem and a sestet; a summary that gives a solution to the problem

example:
Being one day at my window all alone,
So manie strange things happened me to see,<--- problem As much as it grieveth me to thinke thereon. At my right hand a hynde appear'd to mee, So faire as mote the greatest god delite; Two eager dogs did her pursue in chace. Of which the one was blacke, the other white: With deadly force so in their cruell race They pincht the haunches of that gentle beast, That at the last, and in short time, I spide, <----solution Under a rocke, where she alas, opprest, Fell to the ground, and there untimely dide. Cruell death vanquishing so noble beautie Oft makes me wayle so hard a desire.

Ballad-
a song meant to be sung

Feminine rhyme –
the last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word

Rhyme scheme-
pattern or sequence in which rhyme occurs

Kind of Rhyme
Masculine rhyme – when one syllable of a word rhymes with another word
Feminine rhyme – the last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word
Rhyme scheme- pattern or sequence in which rhyme occurs
alliteration- repetition of beginning sounds