Poetry Terms 10 LC Honors

Abstract poetry
The opposite of concrete. Abstract terms and statements describe ideas or denote general qualities of persons or things.Ex. “I believed for years that Love was the conjunction Of two oppositions; That was all untrue…”

Accent
Refers to anything that is stressed or emphasized. The syllable of a word that receives the most coval stress is the accented syllable.

In “exemption,” for example, the “emp” receives the accent. Whole words may be accented to differentiate the meanings of otherwise identical sentences. Metrical accent is the pattern of stressed syllables in poetry. Ex. “Why have you driven here?” asks for different information than does “Why have you driven here?” (Iambic pentameter)

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Allegory
A literary device for suggesting meanings other than the literal.

CLosely related to the parable, fable, and metaphor, but is often longer and more intricate.Ex. Edmund Spenser’s poem “The Faerie Queene” (1590, 1596). A chivalric romance on the surface, but its characters and their actions suggest that is also a commentary on morals and manners in sixteenth century England.

Alliteration
Poetic technique that creates melodic resonance in lines by repeating the initial consonant sound in nearby words or syllables. Also known as “head rhyme”.Ex.

Prologue of the fourteenth century metrical allegory, “The Vision of William, Concerning Piers the Plowman” (c. 1362) by William Langland, begins with the lines containing repeated f, p, and w sounds.

Allusion
A direct or indirect references within a literary work to a well-known thing, idea, person, or event.

Ex. Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick (1851) opens with the sentence, “Call me Ishmael,” it alludes to the Ishmael of the Bible, who was an outcast forced to live in the desert.

Anachronism
A work of literature, drama, or art that does not belong in the time setting.Ex. “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare, 1996 film with Leonardo diCaprio (Romeo).

Anthropomorphism
Giving human characteristics to nonhuman entities.Ex. George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945), farm animals take over a farm and organized communistic government.

Apostrophe
In literature it concerns direct address to a real or imaginary person, thing, or abstraction for some rhetorical or dramatic effect.Ex. “I said to Love.

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Approximate rhyme
Also known as slant rhyme, it is rhyme in which either the vowels or the consonance of stressed syllables are identical.Ex.

“The Mind is Smooth– no Motion– Contented as the Eye Upon the Forehead of a Bust– That knows– it cannot see”- “The Difference Between Despair”, Emily Dickenson

Assonance
The repetition of vowel sounds within nonrhyming words. Ex. Repetition of the “u” sound: “Only their usual maneuvers, dear” – W.H. Auden, “O What Is That Sound”

Ballad
Type of narrative poem that tells a story and was originally meant to be sung or recited.

Ballads have a setting, plot, and characters. Traditional ballads are written in four-line stanza with regular rhythm and rhyme. Folk ballads were composed orally and handed down by word of mouth. Usually tell about ordinary people who have unusual adventures or performing daring deeds. Literary ballad is a poem written by a poet in imitation of the form and content of a folk ballad.Ex. Traditional ballads also inspired literary adaptations and imitations.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) is a famous example; another, which follows the traditional form more loosely, is Robert Duncan’s “The Ballad of Mrs Noah” (1960).

Blank verse
This term refers to unrhymed iambic pentameter. That is, each line contains ten syllables with the stress on the even-numbered syllables, with occasional minor variation in stress placement or syllable count. Ex. But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! -Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare

Cacophony
arring, jangling, inharmonious sound. In poetry cacophony created by discordant consonants and consonant clusters introduces harshness to the tone and slows the pace of the verse.

Ex. “The nasal whine of power whips a new universe…Where spouting pillars spoor the evening sky…”

Caesura
A notable pause in the rhythm of a poetic line, usually coming in the middle of the line.

Reinforced by punctuation most of the time, a caesura varies the cadence of a poem by slowing its pace.Ex. “I will arise and go now, || for always night and dayI hear lake water lapping || with low sounds by the shore…

Carpe diem poetry

Cinquain

Closed form poetry
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Conceit

Concrete poetry

Connotation
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Consonance

Couplet

Denotation

Diction

Elegy
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End Rhyme

End stopped line

Enjambment

Epic

Exact rhyme

Eye Rhyme

Feminine Rhyme

Figurative language
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Foot

Free verse
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Hyperbole

Iamb
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Imagery

Auditory Imagery
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Gustatory imagery

Olfactory imagery
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Tactile imagery
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Visual imagery
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Internal rhyme

Inversion

Irony

Literal language

Lyric poetry

Masculine Rhyme
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Metaphor

Meter

Metonymy

Narrative Poetry
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Octave

Open form poetry

Ode
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Onomatopoeia

Paradox

Paraphrase

Pastoral
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Personification

Petrarchan sonnet
(aka the Italian sonnet)This is divided into two parts. THe first eight lines make up the octave or octet and rhyme abbaabba. The octave presents the theme or problem of the poem (thesis!).The following six lines, or sestet, usually rhyme cdecde. Rhyme variations in the sestet are admissible (ex: cdecde, cdcdcd, and cdcdee), but rhymes are limited to five.

The sestet resolves the problem.

Pun

Quatrain

Refrain
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Rhyme

Rhythm

Scansion

Sestet

Simile

Sonnet
A fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter, that one of several types of rhyme schemes.SonnetXXX by William Shakespeare

Shakespearean sonnet
(aka the English sonnet-it’s a variation of the Petrarchan sonnet)This consists of three quatrains and a concluding couplet. The rhyme scheme is normally1. abab cdcd efef gg OR2. abba cddc effe gg

Stanza

Symbol

Synedoche
The naming of a part to mean the whole”Oh! Oh! You will be sorry for that word.”

Theme

Tone