Poetry Final Terms

martian poetry
form: no set rhyme or meter, but must be composed of wild metaphors (“heterogeneous ideas yoked together by violence”)
content: poems focus on visual description; they achieve radical estrangement from the familiar by using structural irony (a naïve narrator who doesn’t understand what he/she sees + hears)
EX: Craig Raine, “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home”

modern medeas
form: no set form, but poets are drawn to form and typically use strict forms like sestina, villanelle, and sonnet
content: subset of confessional school that looks at the violence of intimate family relationships, such as domestic violence, maternal ambivalence

confessional school
a group of poets who felt they needed to “confess” their sins through all different types of poetry; subject matter was usually drug abuse, failed love affairs, adultery, pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or suicide; the reader acts as a priest; EX. Sylvia Plath

rhetoric
the art of persuasion

ambigram
calligraphic design that allows a word to be read the same backwards and forwards, though the word is not a palindrome

kinetic poetry
attempts to capture energy + motion through the arrangement of words on the page
EX: e.e. cummings, “Cat”

concrete poetry
typographical arrangement of words is as important as meaning; where words are not so much “read” as apprehended
EX: Harry Crosby, “Photoheliograph”

shape poetry
arranges the letters in the form of the idea presented; it is made of sentences that can be read; started during Protestant Reformation
EX: George Herbert, “Easter Wings”

calligram
Arabic artists word for shape poetry

micrography
Jewish mystic writers word for shape poetry

prose poem
a poem w/o line breaks – appeared as a block, paragraphed text – which retains poetic techniques like meter, imagery, rhyme, repetition, but also employs fictional prose techniques like plot + dialogue
content: b/c it’s a contradiction in terms, it’s good for working out feelings of ambivalence
EX: Charles Baudelaire, “Be Drunk”

ars poetica
form: no set rules, often in a another genre
content: “the art of poetry”; poem about writing poetry; author takes stock, revealing his/her articles of faith
EX: Marianne Moore, “Poetry”

haiku
history: grew out of Zen buddhist philosophy, seeks to capture a moment of perception
form: in english, usually 3 lines w/ 5-7-5 syllable pattern; originally composed in haiku sequences, multiples of 4, so haikus were 36, 40, 80, 100 verses long
content: turn on a kigo and offer a spiritual insight; as basho said, “the bones of haiku are oddness + plainness,” meaning each haiku should juxtapose an ordinary image with an unfamiliar one
EX: Ezra Pound, “In a Station of the Metro”

kigo
a seasonal cue; the pivotal moment in a haiku

villanelle
form: 19 lines of iambic pentameter, laid out as 5 tercets and a quatrain; 2 repetends and 2 masculine rhyme; A1 b A2, a b A1, a b A2, a b A1, a b A2, a b A1 A2
content: due to high amount of repetition, form is ideal for poems about early stages of grief
EX: Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art”

hokku no renga
the firs verse of the haiku sequence

abecedarian
poem arranged in alphabetical order, esp. a poem with the left-hand column spelling out the alphabet when read vertically
EX: Psalm 25 + 34 (when read in Hebrew)

ghazal
history: originally a Medival Persian/Arabic/Turkey love poem
form: 5-12 couplets, monorhymed: aa, ba, ca, da, ea, fa
content: celebrates mystical love + spirituality, finding one’s identity through a relationship to Allah/God; poet usually signs name in last line
EX: Catherine Bowman, “Twins of Gazelle Which Feed Among the Lilies”

pantoum
history: 15th century Malayan
form: usually 4 or more quatrains with a repetend similar to villanelle except on following pattern
content: good for subtle, indirect critiques
EX: William Snyder, “If This Doesn’t Change Your Mind, Read It Again While Sitting in Your Old Truck: A Pantoum”

found poem
form: no set rhyme or stanza length; like the ode, can be combined with stricter rhyming forms
content: assembled from borrowed words occurring in poet’s environment; heightens existing poetic effects in language + offers political critique of borrowed voice
EX: Liz Ahl, “Panic Pantoum”

surrealism
art that seeks to capture the fractured logic of dreams, and to honor the unconscious mind as the source of creativity

epinikion
ode to an athlete
EX: B. Raquel Flowers Rivera, “Portrait of Lolo”

skolia
“drinking song”
EX: “Auld Lang Syne”

epithalamium
an ode written specifically for a bride on her way to the bridal chamber; Ancient Greek goddess of marriage would sing these to women

monody
a musical poem that laments on someone’s death; sung by only one person, rather than a choir
EX. Jacob Furr, “Drift Away”; “I Remember You”

threnody
a dirge, funeral lament, or elegy performed to music which is plural in subject and performance
EX. Jacob Furr + wife, Christina, “Voices on the Sea”

pastoral elegy
an ode which mourns both the end of a simpler time, such as the author’s childhood or a rural way of life, and death; has no required form, but several content rules: a generalized lament against mortality, rhetorical questions

mock elegy
a poem which appears to be lamenting the passing of a thing, person, etc, but using irony – esp. hyperbole – to question the value of the passing, and may even be saying “good riddance”
EX: Maya Angelou, “Chicken Licken”

elegy
an ode mourning the death of one individual, many people, or an abstraction; pays tribute to that person or thing, reflects on mortality itself

ode
a lyric, or formal song of praise, celebrating a person, event, or thing
form: ENGLISH ODES – 1 quatrain rhymed abab + 1 sestet rhymed cdecde
NORTH/SOUTH AMERICAN ODES – no stanza or rhyme rules
content: praise must move from strophe (turn) to antistrophe (counter turn) to epode (stand), taking 3 different positions on the subject matter
EX: Pablo Neruda, “Ode to the Watermelon”

juxtaposition
2 images laid side by side for poignant or ironic effect

strophe
turn; first section of ode that takes first position on subject

antistrophe
counter turn; second section of ode that takes second position on subject

epode
stand; third section of ode that takes third position on subject

hyperbole
the irony of exaggeration; in mock elegy, it allows heaping excessive + ridiculous praise on something or someone to actually cut him/her down

quatrain
4 line stanza

tercet
3 line stanza

envoi
“farewell” or “conclusion”
final lines of a poem

conceit
a metaphor extended throughout an entire poem

irony
when the intended meaning undermines the surface meaning
EX: sarcasm

ballad
form: quatrains with alternating iambic tetrameter + trimeter; rhyme scheme: xaxa or abab
content: once used as journalism, ballads usually have themes of class struggle, female soldiers, romantic criminals, and a functional first person “i”
EX: Robert Burns, “John Anderson My Jo”

blues
form: tercets with a repetend, rhymed AAa or BBb
content: southern, african american music tradition; 1900-1940s; blues poems usually takes on themes such as struggle, despair, and sex; often have a first person narrator; structured like a hymn, but has dirty themes; metaphors are common
EX: Robert Johnson, “They’re Red Hot”

sestina
form: 39 lines, 6 sestets + final envoi as a tercet; no rhyme scheme, uses 6 end words in a specific pattern
content: ideal for subjects related to compulsion, addiction, and other ritualistic behaviors
EX: Elizabeth Bishop, “Sestina”

trick poetry
poetry built on a metaphoric + visual conceit that must be “solved” to add another layer of meaning to the poem
EX: Alice Walker, “Never Offer Your Heart to Someone Who Eats Hearts”