Poetry Dictionary

the repetition of identical or similar consonant sounds, normally at the beginnings of words.

a reference in a work of literature to something outside the work, especially to a well-known historical or literary event, person, or work.

makes a comparison between two or more things that are similar in some ways but otherwise unalike.

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the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds.

a four-line stanza rhymed abcd with four feet in lines one and three and three feet in lines two and four.

folk ballad
a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture.

literary ballad
deliberately imitates the form and spirit of a folk ballad.

blank verse
unrhymed verse, especially the unrhymed iambic pentameter most frequently used in English dramatic, epic,and reflective verse.

catalogue poem
a list that is written, then organized so that it is in an artistic manner.

utilizing overused analogies and simplistic rhyming scheme.

the most intense, exciting, or important point of a story; a culmination or apex.

the overall problem in a given plot that the main protagonist is attempting to overcome.

the associated feeling behind a word rather than the literal dictionary definition.

two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, forming a unit.

a particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group.

the use of words in a literary work; word choice

dramatic monologue
a poem in which a character reveals himself by speaking to a silent listener.

a characterizing phrase of a person, place, or thing

figures of speech
writing or speech that is not meant to be interpreted literally.

It is often used to create vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dislike things.

free verse
poetry not written in a regular pattern of meter or rhyme.

A three line verse. The first and third line each have five syllables, while the second line has seven syllables.

It seeks to convey a single vivid emotion by means of images from nature.

a deliberate, extravagant, and often outrageous exaggeration. It may be used for serious or comical effect.

iambic pentameter
has five stressed syllables, each preceded by an unstressed syllable.

visually descriptive or figurative language, esp. in a literary work

extended image
An image developed over several lines of poem or even throughout the entire poem.

a conclusion one can draw from the presented details

reversal of the normal order of words, typically for rhetorical effect but also found in the regular formation of questions in English

the contrast between actual meaning and the suggestion of another meaning.

verbal irony
a figure of speech in which the actual intent is expressed in words which carry the opposite meaning

situational irony
something happens in the story that contradicts the expectations of a character or the reader.

dramatic irony
a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader or audience knows to be true.

lyric poetry
a form of poetry with rhyming schemes that express personal and emotional feelings.

a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without using “like” or “as.”

direct metaphor
a comparison of two things without using “like” or “as” that directly states something is another.

implied metaphor
a comparison of two things without using “like” or “as” that suggests the comparison rather than stating it directly

extended metaphor
an implied analogy, or comparison, which is carried throughout a stanza or an entire poem.

the repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in a line of poetry.

verse written in one-foot lines. It consists of one iamb.

a metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

verse written in two-foot lines.

It consists of two iambs.

a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable.

verse written in three-foot lines.

It consists of three iambs.

three syllables with third stressed: a metrical foot of three syllables with the stress on the third syllable, or of two short syllables followed by a long syllable

verse line with four feet: a line of verse that has four metrical feet; line with four pairs of feet: in classical poetry, a line of verse made up of four pairs of feet

metrical foot of three syllables: a metrical foot of one long syllable followed by two short syllables in classical verse or one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables in modern verse

a line of verse consisting of five units of rhythm such as five pairs of stressed and unstressed syllables

unit of poetic rhythm: a metrical foot of two long or stressed syllables

narrative poetry
a poem that tells a story and has a plot

the use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning.

situation or action or feeling that appears to be contradictory but on inspection turns out to be true or at least to make sense.

a restatement of an idea in such a way as to retain the meaning while changing the diction and form. It is often used as an amplification of the original for the purpose of clarity.

a kind of metaphor that gives inanimate objects or abstract ideas human characteristics.

a piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song and that is usually rhythmical and metaphorical. It is one of the three major types of literature. _______ are often divided into lines and stanzas and often employ regular rhythmical patterns, or meters.

prose poem
a piece of writing in prose whose poetic qualities, including intensity, compactness, prominent rhythms, and imagery, are self-evident.

a play on words involving a word with two or more different meanings or two words that sound alike but have different meanings

a repeated line or group of lines

the repetition of sounds at the ends of words

end rhyme
occurs when the rhyming words come at the ends of lines

internal rhyme
occurs when the rhyming words appear in the same line

approximate/slant/near rhyme
the repetition of words that sound alike but do not rhyme exactly

rhyme scheme
the pattern of rhyme between lines of a poem or song. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme.

the arrangement of stressed an unstressed syllables into a pattern.

_______ is most apparent in poetry, though it is part of all good writing.

the place where an incident in real life or fiction occurs or occurred

the analysis of a poem’s meter. This is usually done by marking the stressed and unstressed syllables in each line and then, based on the pattern of the stresses, dividing the line into feet.

the time and place of action in a narrative.

a comparison made between two dissimilar things through the use of a specific word of comparison such as like, as, than, or resembles. The comparison must be between two essentially unlike things.

A traditional _______ has fourteen lines of a rhymed iambic pentameter and a regular rhyme scheme. ________ also feature a “turn” somewhere in the middle, where the poem takes a new direction or changes its argument in some way.

This change can be subtle or really obvious.

Italian/Petrarchan sonnet
A fourteen-line lyric poem consisting of two parts: the octave (or first eight lines / eight line stanza) and the sestet (or last six lines / six line stanza). The ________, or _______ sonnet, originated in Italy in thirteenth century and was much used bythe Italian poet Francesco Petrarch. Often times the octave rhymes abba, abba and sestetrhymes cde, cde. The octave states the theme or asks question. The sestet comments on oranswers the question.

The first eight lines of a Petrarchan (or Italian) sonnet

The last six lines of a Petrarchan (or Italian) sonnet.

The _____, from the Latin wordfor six, usually has a rhyme scheme of cdecde. A thought or idea that is introduced in the firsteight lines, octave, of the poem is sometimes further developed in the ______.

Shakespearean/English sonnet
A fourteen-line lyric poem consisting of three quatrains (four line stanza) and a concluding couplet (two rhyming lines). The __________, or ______, ________ was NOT invented by William Shakespeare, but is named for him because he is its most famous practitioner. Its rhyme scheme is abab, cdcd, efef, gg. The couplet usually comments on the ideas contained in the preceding twelve lines. The sonnet is usually not printed with the stanzas divided but a reader can distinguish ideas in each

a stanza or poem of four lines; unified by a definite rhyme and rhyme schemes. (However, a _____ may also be any group of four lines.

_____ usually follow an abab,abba, or abcb rhyme scheme.)

a two-line stanza, usually with end-rhymes the same.

the voice behind the poem – the person we imagine to be speaking. It’s important to note that the ______ is not the poet.

Even if the poem is biographical, you should treat the ______ as a fictional creation, because the writer is choosing what to say about himself.

usually a repeated grouping of three or more lines with the same meter and rhyme scheme.

something that is simultaneously itself and a sign of something else.

the main thought expressed by a work. In poetry, it is the abstract concept which is made concrete through its representation in person, action, and image in the work.

the manner in which an author expresses his or her attitude; the intonation of the voice that expresses meaning. (Remember that the “voice” need not be that of the poet.) ___ is described by adjectives, and the possibilities are nearly endless. Often a single adjective will be enough, and ____ may change from stanza to stanza or even line to line. _____ is the result of allusion, diction, figurative language, imagery, irony, symbol, syntax, and style.