Poetic Vocabularies

Narrative Poetry
Tells a story

A simple narrative poem with refrain and repetition that can be spoke or sung.

1.Simple words and rhyme scheme2. Use of Dialogue and Repetition3. Often Divided intro Quatrains4. Basic rhyme scheme with a Refrain – creates songlike quality5. Anonymously written (Folk Ballads, specifically)6. Look for Typical Rhyme Scheme – Iambic Tetrameter alternating with iambic trimeter

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Dramatic Monologue
Speaker Converses with the reader as he/she reveals eventsPopular example: My Last Duchess

Epic Poem
A lengthy elevated poem that celebrates that exploits of a heroPopular Example: Beowulf

Lyric Poetry
Subjective and emotional – poems can be as simple as sensory impression or elevated as ode or elegy; often reflective.

Can also be written in a free verse

type of lyric poem that addresses subjects of elevated stature – praise Popular example: Ode on a Grecian Urn

lyric poem written in honor of one who has diedpopular example: In Memoriam A.H.H.

lyric poem with 14 lines, each of 10 syllables, with a formal pattern of rhymes

Sonnet: Petrarchan
Also called Italian, make up of octave and sestet

2 Italian quatrains: abba abba

1. Rhyme pattern varies, some variant on c, d, and e2.

cde cde = Italian sestet3. cd cd cd = Sicilian sestet4. other variants are not namedPopular example: On his being arrived..-John Milton

Also called EnglishContains 3 sicilian quatrains: abab cdcd efefEnds with one heroic couplet: ggUsually has question or issue in first quatrains, answered in bottom partPopular example: 138-Shakespeare

very similar to shakespearean contains 3 sicilian quatrains and one heroic coupletabab bcbc cdcdeeinterlocks each of the quadrains so their rhyme is connectedpopular example: sonnet 30-spenser

Rhyme SchemeA1bA2 (refrain)abA1 (refrain)ab A2 (refrain)abA1 (refrain)ab A2 (refrain)abA1A2 (refrain)

basic building block composed of pattern of syllablesthese patterns create a meter-pattern of beats or accents based on stressed and unstressed syllables in a linefive common patterns:1. iamb (u/)2. trochee (/u)3. anapest (uu/)4.

dactyl (/uu)5. spondee(//)

how many feet per line1. Monometer2. Dimeter3. Trimeter4.

Tetrameter5. Pentameter6. Hexameter7. Heptameter8. Octameter9. Nonometer

How lines are divided1. a line2. couplet3.

tercet4. quatrain5. cinquain6. sestet7.

septet8. octave

Syllables, foot, lines, stanzas, cantos

Poetic Devices
These are ways that author’s make things a little deeper

Language that appeals to the sensesVisual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, olfactory, organic(internal sensation), kinesthetic(movement, tension in muscles and joints)

dictionary definition

emotions and ideas associated with word

reference to something in history or literature

Discrepancy between expectation and reality

a statement which means less than what is intended

a statement of exaggeration

an apparent contradiction that conveys truth

direct comparison of two unlike things useing like or as

comparison of two unlike things

attribution of human characteristics to a creature, idea or object

direct address to an inanimate object or idea

anything that has meaning of its own but also stands for something beyong itself

attitude revealed toward the subject

utilize poetic devices to understand meaning and purpose utilize poetic structure to find depth in the poem interpret the different layers of a poem and how it can be interpreted: literally, sexually, philosophically, religiously, politically

Poetry Explication
begin with the large issues and basic design of the poem and work through each line to the more specific details and patterns. The first paragraph should present the large issues; it should inform the reader which conflicts are dramatized and should describe the dramatic situation of the speaker. Ex: This poem dramatizes the conflict between.

repeated consonant sounds at the beginning of words places near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines. The use of the same consonant in any part of adjacent words

Repeated vowel sounds in words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines.

These should be in sounds that are accented, or stressed, rather than in vowel sounds that are unaccented.

Repeated consonant sounds at the ending of words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines. These should be in sounds that are accented, or stressed, rather than in vowel sounds that are unaccented. This produces a pleasing kind of near-rhymeex: boa’t’s into the pas’t’ — coo’l’ sou’l’

A discordant series of harsh, unpleasant sounds, helps to convey disorder.

This is often furthered by the combined effect of the meaning and the difficulty of pronunciation. Ex: My stick fingers click with a snickerand, chuckling, they knuckle the keys;Light-footed, my steel feelers flickerand pluck from these keys melodies.

A series of musically pleasant sounds, conveying a sense of harmony and beauty to the languageEx: Than Oars divide the Ocean, Too silver for a seam —Or Butterflies, off Banks of NoonLeap, plashless as they swim.

Words that sound like their meanings.

Example: boom, buzz, crackle, gurgle, hiss, pop, sizzle, snap

The purposeful re-use of words and phrases for an effect. Sometimes, especially with longer phrases that contain a different key word each time, this is called parallelism. I was glad; so very, very glad. Half a league, half a league, half a league onward

Words that have different beginning sounds but whose endings sound alike, including the final vowel sound and everything following it.

Ex: time, slime, mime

Double Rhyme
Includes final two syllables. Ex: arrival, survival

Triple Rhyme
Includes the final three syllables. Ex: greenery, machinery, scenery

Slant rhyme/half rhyme
If only the final consonant sounds of the words are the same, but the initial consonants and the vowel sounds are different. Ex: soul, oil, foul; taut, sat, knit

Near rhyme
If the final vowel sounds are the same, but the final consonant sounds are slightly different. Ex: fine, rhyme; poem, goin’

Sight rhyme/eye rhyme
Words which are spelled the same(as if they rhymed), but are pronounced differently. Ex: enough, cough, through, bough

a regular pattern of accented syllables separated by unaccented syllables.

the conscious measure of the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry.

Iamb/Iambic. Ex: Invite

Trochee/Trochaic. Ex: deadline

Anapest/Anapestic. Ex: to the beach


Ex: frequently

Spondee/Spondaic. Ex: true blue

Measure by number of feet in a line

one foot

two feet

three feet

four feet

five feet

six feet

seven feet

eight feet

A representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning. Sometimes a word or phrase.

A brief reference to some person, historical event, work of art, or Biblical or mythological situation or character

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.

A comparison, usually something unfamiliar with something familiar

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

Any figure of speech that was once clever and original but through overuse has become outdated. If you’ve heard more than two or three other people say it more than two or three times, chances are the phrase is too timeworn to be useful in your writing

The emotional, psychological or social overtones of a word; its implications and associations apart from its literal meaning. Often this is what distinguishes the precisely correct word from one that is merely acceptable.

Closely arranged things with strikingly different characteristics

The dictionary definition of a word. Its literal meaning apart from any associations or connotations.

An understatement, used to lessen the effect of a statement; substituting something innocuous for something that might be offensive or hurtful.

An outrageous exaggeration used for effect.

A contradictory statement or situation to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true.

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

A figure of speech in which a person, place, thing is referred to by something closely associated with it. Ex: The White House stated today that.


A combination of two words that appear to contradict each other. Ex: a pointless point of view; bittersweet

A statement in which a seeming contradiction may reveal an unexpected truth. Ex: The hurrier I go the behinder I get

Attributing human characteristics to an inanimate object, animal, or abstract idea.

Word play in which words with totally different meanings have similar or identical sounds. Ex: like a firefly in the rain, I’m de-lighted

A direct comparison of two unlike things using “like” or “as”

An ordinary object, event, animal, or person to which we have attached extraordinary meaning andsignificance

Indicating a person, object, etc. by letting only a certain part represent the whole.

Point of View
The author’s point of view concentrates on the vantage point of the speaker, or “teller” ofthe story or poem.

This may be considered the poem’s “voice” — the pervasive presence behind theoverall work. This is also sometimes referred to as the persona.

1st Person
the speaker is a character in the story or poem and tells it from his/herperspective (uses “I”).

3rd Person limited
the speaker is not part of the story, but tells about the other characters through the limited perceptions of one other person.

3rd Person omniscient
the speaker is not part of the story, but is able to “know” anddescribe what all characters are thinking.

The line is fundamental to the perception of poetry, marking an important visual distinction fromprose. Poetry is arranged into a series of units that do not necessarily correspond to sentences, butrather to a series of metrical feet.

One single line of a poem arranged in a metrical pattern. Also, a piece of poetry or a particular formof poetry such as free verse, blank verse, etc., or the art or work of a poet.

: A division of a poem created by arranging the lines into a unit, often repeated in the same pattern ofmeter and rhyme throughout the poem; a unit of poetic lines (a “paragraph” within the poem).

Stanza Forms
The names given to describe the number of lines in a stanzaic unit, such as: couplet (2),tercet (3), quatrain (4), quintet (5), sestet (6), septet (7), and octave (8).

Rhetorical Question
A question solely for effect, which does not require an answer.

By the implication theanswer is obvious, it is a means of achieving an emphasis stronger than a direct statement.

Rhyme Scheme
The pattern established by the arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or poem, generallydescribed by using letters of the alphabet to denote the recurrence of rhyming lines, such as theababbcc of the Rhyme Royal stanza form.

alternate rhyme/cross rhyme
the popular rhyme scheme of abab

envelope rhyme
The abba rhyme scheme, xaxa

The continuation of the logical sense — and therefore the grammatical construction —beyond the end of a line of poetry. This is sometimes done with the title, which in effect becomes thefirst line of the poem.

The arrangement or method used to convey the content, such as free verse, ballad, haiku, etc. Inother words, the “way-it-is-said.”

poetic form free from regularity and consistency in elements such as rhyme, line length,and metrical form

poetic form subject to a fixed structure and pattern

Blank Verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter (much of the plays of Shakespeare are written inthis form)

Free Verse
: lines with no prescribed pattern or structure — the poet determines all the variables as seems appropriate for each poem

a pair of lines, usually rhymed; this is the shortest stanza

Heroic Couplet
a pair of rhymed lines in iambic pentameter (traditional heroic epic form)

a four-line stanza, or a grouping of four lines of verse

Fixed Form
A poem which follows a set pattern of meter, rhyme scheme, stanza form, and refrain (if thereis one), is called a fixed form.

a narrative poem written as a series of quatrains in which lines of iambic tetrameteralternate with iambic trimeter with an xaxa, xbxb rhyme scheme with frequent use of repetitionand often including a refrain. The “story” of a ballad can be a wide range of subjects butfrequently deals with folklore or popular legends.

a French form, it consists of three seven or eight-line stanzas using no more thanthree recurrent rhymes, with an identical refrain after each stanza and a closing envoi repeatingthe rhymes of the last four lines of the stanza

Concrete Poetry
also known as pattern poetry or shaped verse, these are poems that areprinted on the page so that they form a recognizable outline related to the subject, thus conveying or extending the meaning of the words.

a pithy, sometimes satiric, couplet or quatrain comprising a single thought or eventand often aphoristic with a witty or humorous turn of thought

a brief poem or statement in memory of someone who is deceased, used as, orsuitable for, a tombstone inscription; now, often witty or humorous and written without intentof actual funerary use

a Japanese form of poetry consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and fivesyllables.

a light or humorous form of five chiefly anapestic verses of which lines one, twoand five are of three feet and lines three and four are of two feet, with a rhyme scheme ofaabba.

derived from the Greek word for lyre, lyric poetry was originally designed to be sung.

Oneof the three main groups of poetry (the others being narrative and dramatic), lyric verse is the mostfrequently used modern form, including all poems in which the speaker’s ardent expression of a(usually single) emotional element predominates.

any of several stanzaic forms more complex than the lyric, with intricate rhyme schemes andirregular number of lines, generally of considerable length, always written in a style marked by arich, intense expression of an elevated thought praising a person or object.

derived from the Malayan pantun, it consists of a varying number of four-line stanzaswith lines rhyming alternately; the second and fourth lines of each stanza repeated to form the firstand third lines of the succeeding stanza, with the first and third lines of the first stanza forming thesecond and fourth of the last stanza, but in reverse order, so that the opening and closing lines ofthe poem are identical.

a fixed form used mostly in light or witty verse, usually consisting of fifteen octo- ordecasyllabic lines in three stanzas, with only two rhymes used throughout. A word or words fromthe first part of the first line are used as a (usually unrhymed) refrain ending the second and thirdstanzas, so the rhyme scheme is aabba aabR aabbaR.

a fixed form consisting of six 6-line (usually unrhymed) stanzas in which the end wordsof the first stanza recur as end words of the following five stanzas in a successively rotating order,and as the middle and end words of each of the lines of a concluding envoi in the form of a tercet.First stanza, 1- 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6Second stanza, 6 – 1 – 5 – 2 – 4 – 3Third stanza, 3 – 6 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 5Fourth stanza, 5 – 3 – 2 – 6 – 1 – 4Fifth stanza, 4 – 5 – 1 – 3 – 6 – 2Sixth stanza, 2 – 4 – 6 – 5 – 3 – 1Concluding tercet:middle of first line – 2, end of first line – 5middle of second line – 4, end of second line – 3middle if third line – 6, end of third line – 1

a fourteen line poem in iambic pentameter with a prescribed rhyme scheme; its subjectwas traditionally love. Three variations are found frequently in English, although others areoccasionally seen.

Shakespearean Sonnet
a style of sonnet used by Shakespeare with a rhyme scheme of ababcdcd efef gg

Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet
a form of sonnet made popular by Petrarch with a rhyme scheme ofabbaabba cdecde or cdcdcd

Spenserian Sonnet
a variant of the Shakespearean form in which the quatrains are linked with achain or interlocked rhyme scheme, abab bcbc cdcd ee

Sonnet Sequence
a series of sonnets in which there is a discernable unifying theme, while eachretains its own structural independence. All of Shakespeare’s sonnets, for example, were part of asequence.

a poem or stanza of eight lines in which the first line is repeated as the fourth and seventhlines, and the second line as the eighth, with a rhyme scheme of ABaAabAB, as in AdelaideCrapsey’s “Song” (the capital letters in the rhyme scheme indicate the repetition of identical lines).

a poem consisting of five 3-line stanzas followed by a quatrain and having onlytwo rhymes.

In the stanzas following the first stanza, the first and third lines of the first stanzaare repeated alternately as refrains. They are the final two lines of the concluding quatrain.

The use of vivid language to generate ideas and/or evoke mental images, not only of the visualsense, but of sensation and emotion as well.

An attempt to fuse different senses by describing one kind of sense impression in wordsnormally used to describe another.Example: The sound of her voice was sweet

Tone, Mood
The means by which a poet reveals attitudes and feelings, in the style of language or expression of thought used to develop the subject.