Subjective, reflective poetry with regular rhyme scheme and meter which reveals poet’s thoughts and feelings to create a singe, unique impression.
Ex. “Because I could not stop for death” (Emily Dickinson 110-111)
non-dramatic, objective verse (usually with regular rhyme scheme and meter) which relates a story or narrative
Ex. “Out, Out—” (Robert Frost 139-140)
a rigid 14-line verse form, with variable structure and rhyme scheme according to type; usually written in iambic pentameter
three quatrains and concluding couplet in iambic pentameter, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg or (less commonly) abba cddc effe gg.; also known as an English sonnet.
Ex. “That time of year” (William Shakespeare 250)
An octave and sestet, between which a break in thought. The traditional rhyme scheme is abba abba cde cde (or-cdcdcd); also known as an Italian sonnet.
Ex. “The world is too much with us” (William Wordsworth 51)
elaborate lyric verse which praises and explores the meaning of the subject
Ex. “___ on a Grecian Urn” (John Keats 278-279)
unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter; Shakespeare used this commonly in his plays.
Ex. “I Knew a Woman” (Theodore Roethke 398-399)
unrhymed lines without regular rhythm
Ex. “good times” (Lucille Clifton 349)
a long, dignified narrative poem which gives the account of a hero important to his or her nation or race.
Ex. The Odyssey (Homer)
a lyric poem in which the speaker addresses himself to persons around him; his speech deals with a dramatic moment in his life and manifests his character
Ex. “My Last Duchess” (Robert Browning 135-136)
a poem of lament, meditating on the death of an individual
Ex. In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 27 (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
simple, narrative verse which tells a story to be sung or recited: the folk ballad is anonymously handed down, while the literary ballad has a single author
Ex. “La Belle Dame sans Merci” (John Keats 379-381)
lyric poetry describing the life of the shepherd in pastoral, bucolic, idealistic terms
Ex. “The Solitary Reaper” (William Wordsworth 418-419)
French verse form, strictly calculated to appear simple and spontaneous; five tercets and a final quatrain, rhyming aha aha aha aha aha ahaa. Lines l, 6, 12, 18 and 3, 9, 15, 19 are refrain.
Ex. “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” (Dylan Thomas 252-253)
general category of poetry written to entertain, such as lyric poetry, epigrams, and limericks. It can also have a serious side as in parody or satire
Ex. “The Jabberwocky” (Lewis Carroll)
Japanese verse in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, often depicting a delicate image.
Ex. The lightening flashes!
And slashing through the darkness, A night-heron’s screech. (Matsuo Basko)
Poetry’s rhythm, or its pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. It is measured in units of feet ; the five basic kinds of feet are indicated below. Accent marks indicate stressed(/) or unstressed (U) syllables.
These units are the building blocks of lines of verse: lines are named according to the number of feet they contain:
describes a two-syllable foot: unstress stress (ex. balloon)
describes a two-syllable foot: stress unstress (ex. soda)
describes a three-syllable foot: unstress unstress stress (ex. contradict)
describes a three-syllable foot: stress unstress unstress (ex. paradise)
describes two syllables stressed equally: stress stress (ex. man-made)
one metrical foot
two metrical feet
three metrical feet
four metrical feet
five metrical feet
six metrical feet
seven metrical feet
the analysis of these mechanical elements within a poem to determine meter. Feet are marked off with slashes and accented appropriately (/ = stress; u = unstress)
(for review, 204-216)
a poetry “paragraph” set off by spaces (one exception is when talking about sonnets, where shifting rhyme schemes may indicate these)
eight-line stanza; also known as an octet
*Note: after eight lines, refer to stanza lengths as x-line stanza; ex. “Oliver’s 14-line stanza explores…”
a pause in the meter or rhythm of a line.
Ex. “Flood-tide below me! I see you face to
(Walt Whitman: “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”);
In this line, the pause is between “me!” and “I.”
a run-on line, one continuing into the text without a grammatical break
Ex. “Green rustlings, more-than-regal charities / Drift cooly from that tower of whispered light.” (Hart Crane: “Royal Palm”)
rhyme occuring at end of verse line; most common rhyme form.
Ex. “I was angry with my friend,
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.”
(William Blake, “A Poison Tree”)
rhyme contained within a line of verse.
The splendor falls on castle walls”
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Blow, Bugle, Blow”)
pattern of rhymes within a unit of verse; in analysis, each new end rhyme-sound is represented by a new letter
rhyme in which only the last, accented syllable of the rhyming words correspond exactly in sound; most common kind of end rhyme; also known as single rhyme
Ex. chemistry / free
rhyme in which two consecutive syllables of the rhyme-words correspond, the first syllable carrying the accent; also know as double rhyme
Ex. passing / massing
imperfect rhyme; also known as half or slant rhyme
repetition of two or more vowel sounds within a line
Ex. The moaning and woeful tone (repeated “oh” sound)
repetition of two or more consonant sounds within a line (not just at the beginning of words)
Ex. Crack and pick a canary’s tracks (repeated “ck” sound)
repetition of two or more initial sounds in words within a line
Ex. “Bright black-eyed creature, brushed with brown.” (Robert Frost, “To a Moth Seen in Winter”)
the technique of using a word whose sound suggests its meaning
Ex. “The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard.” (Robert Frost, “Out, Out”)
the use of compatible, harmonious sounds to produce pleasing, melodious effect.
Ex. “I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them.” (Theodore Roethke, “I Knew a Woman”)
the use of inharmonious sounds in close conjunction for effect; opposite of euphony
Ex. “But when loud surges lash the sounding shore” (Alexander Pope, “Sound and Sense”)
figure of speech which makes a direct comparison between two unlike objects by identification (a simile is one type of this literary device that uses like or as)
an extended metaphor comparing two extremely unlike objects with powerful effect. (It owes its roots to elaborate analogies in Petrarch and to the Metaphysical poets, particularly Donne.)
Ex. “If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.”
(John Donne, “Valediction Forbidding Mourning”)
figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human qualities (also known as anthropomorphizing)
directly addressing a person or personified object not present
Ex. Little Lamb, who made thee?
(William Blake, “The Lamb”)
the substitution of a word which relates to the object or person to be named, in place of the name of that thing itself
Ex. A spotted shaft is seen
(Emily Dickinson, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”) “spotted shaft” is a this term for a snake
figure of speech in which a part represents the whole object or idea (a type of metonymy)
Ex. “Not a hair perished.”
(William Shakespeare, The Tempest)
“Hair” is a this term for “person.”
gross exaggeration for effect; overstatement
understatement for effect
the contrast between actual meaning and the suggestion of another meaning.
saying one thing and meaning another
(sarcasm is one type of this term, but not all this term is sarcastic)
when the reader knows something the characters do not and which would drastically affect their actions
Ex. When Romeo kills himself thinking Juliet is dead, but the audience knows she is not really dead.
when the reality of a situation differs from the anticipated or intended effect; when something unexpected occurs
Ex. A character who hates dogs becomes reliant on a seeing eye dog after going blind.
the use of one object to suggest another, hidden object or idea
the use of words to represent things, actions, or ideas by sensory description; words/descriptions that invoke the senses
a statement which appears self-contradictory, but underlines a basis of truth
Ex. “Elected silence, sing to me.”
(Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Habit of Perfection”)
contradictory terms brought together to express a paradox for strong effect
Ex. “Beloved enemy!”
a reference to an outside fact, event, or literary story
rhymed two-line stanza