A term currently used for any short poem presenting a single speaker (not necessarily the writer himself) who expresses a state of mind involving strong feeling or emotion. Originally, it was a term applied to a song to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre.
A type of lyric which expresses grief or lament, usually at the death of a particular person.
A form which deals with a serious subject and an exalted emotion expressed in an elevated or complex style, especially when addressed to some personified idea or when expressive of public feeling on some important occasion.
A form devoted to the expression of a single idea or movement of feeling.
A term applied to a poem which tells a story of some kind.
A narrative poem which deals with great events or with the adventures of a hero on whose actions usually depends the fate of a nation or race. It is an elaboration of the ballad and is more formal. Examples: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; Milton’s Paradise Lost; Spenser’s Faerie Queen
A narrative poem which relates in simple language or verse the story of an adventure usually in the form of a song. It is repetitious, rapid in movement, and often anonymous.
Like narrative poetry, it tells stories. But with this type of poetry the poet lets one or more of the story’s characters act out the story.
A story told in the words of one character. Also known as a persona poem, it shares many characteristics with a theatrical monologue: an audience is implied; there is no dialogue; and the poet speaks through an assumed voice—a character, a fictional identity, or a persona. Because it is by definition one person’s speech, it is offered without overt analysis or commentary, placing emphasis on subjective qualities that are left to the audience to interpret.
FORM CONVENTIONS (METRICS)
These conventions guide the structure and formatting of poems. To create mood, tone, colour, texture, and sound effects, the poet uses many devices such as rhythm, stanzaic structure, rhyme and other techniques.
RHYTHM OR CADENCE
The regular recurrence of stress. An awareness of it is necessary to the enjoyment of poetry, for much of the effect of poetry is derived from its rhythmic patterns. It is not strange that rhythm should play such a vital role in poetry, because it is a basic principle of life. A baby is rocked in his cradle with an even motion. He enjoys the repeated to and fro movement of a swing. When he begins to walk, his steps assume a rhythmic pattern that later becomes a part of his individuality. As he grows older, if he is alert he will recognize the rhythm in a painting, in the beating of rain, in the drip of a leaky faucet, in the hum of a motor.
These are spoken with more emphasis than unstressed syllables; they determine the rhythmical patter of a line.
Measured rhythm, which follows a definite pattern. Poets often vary the pattern slightly to avoid monotony or to create a particular emotional or musical effect. In fact, if the poet feels that such a style best serves his purpose, he might use rhythm without a set pattern.
ACCENT MARK (,)
This designates stressed or accented syllables
THE BREVE (u)
Used to designate unstressed or unaccented syllables
The smallest unit in a line of poetry, which usually consists of two or three syllables distinguished by the placing of stress or accent.
Rhythm with stress occurring regularly on the last syllable of each foot. This type of rhythm mimics the natural auditory sound of English; it moves easily, slides forward and carries on effortlessly. Most poems are written in this type of rhythm. Examples: iamb and anapaest
Rhythm with stress occurring regularly on the last syllable of each foot. This type of rhythm tends to encounter auditory resistance – it ‘jutters’ and ‘drags.’ Examples: trochee, dactyl
Marked by two beats per foot. It tend to be more serious, as the rhythm can mimic that of a stately march, for example. Examples: iamb, trochee, pyrrhus, spondee
Marked by three beats per foot. This type of rhythm in English tends to be comic or funny and is generally seen in forms such as limericks. Examples: anapaest, dactyl
The action of scanning a line of verse to determine its rhythm. Scansion is the human voice encountering words.
This has two syllables. The stress falls on the second syllable:
Has three syllables. The stress falls on the third, or last syllable.
Has two syllables. The stress falls on the first syllable.
Has three syllables. The stress falls on the first.
Has two syllables, both of which are stressed. It is a substitute foot, meaning you wouldn’t normally find a line composed entirely of this type of foot.
Has two syllables, both of which are unstressed. It is a substitute foot, meaning you wouldn’t normally find a line composed entirely of this type of foot.
Lines of poetry are named according to the number metrical feet each contains. Lines of more than eight metrical feet are uncommon.
A line composed of one foot
A line composed of two feet
A line composed of three feet
A line composed of four feet
A line composed of five feet
A line composed of six feet
A line composed of seven feet
A line composed of eight feet
A term that labels the internal pauses in a passage. When it occurs at the end of a line, the line is said to be end-stopped. When the voice must continue to the next line without a pause, the line is said to be run on, or enjambed.
A group of lines arranged according to a definite scheme, combining rhythm, meter, and rhyme. They are of many structural varieties. S
CLOSED STANZA FORMS
Prescriptive. These may have a set meter, rhyme scheme, number of lines, etc. Examples: Limerick, sonnet.
OPEN STANZA FORMS
Forms that are less prescriptive. They may offer poets more ‘freedom’ to determine aspects such as meter, rhyme scheme, etc. Examples: Dramatic Monologue, Ode, etc.
A unit of two lines connected by rhyme. The rhyme scheme in a poem made up of this type of stanza is aa, bb, cc, etc.
An iambic pentameter couplet presenting a complete thought. Example: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.”
A unit of three lines.
A unit of three lines usually connected by a rhyme pattern.
A unit of four lines. A common rhyme scheme might be abab, abcb, abba, aabb.
Any poem or stanza with five lines. It can follow any meter or line length.
Any stanza of six lines.
A seven-line stanza.
A short poem of fourteen iambic pentameter lines.
A five-line poem in a humorous vein. It is anapestic in movement and has two rhymes — aabba.
Unrhymed iambic pentameter, usually characterized by a dignified tone and rhythm. Many of Shakespeare’s plays are written in this verse form.
Often confused with blank verse, actually has neither rhyme nor meter although it has a certain indescribable rhythm and artistry distinguishing it from prose.
The way a poem is presented and arranged on a page. Conventions include: the display of lines and stanzas, sections, line-breaks, etc.
Written in prose, in sentences rather than lines, which often go to the end of the page
Displays the rhyme scheme (lines are indented to indicate the patterns of rhyme)
Poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on.
The study of lines. Discerning the poet’s reasons for varying line lengths can be a loaded issue.
A distinctive unit of poetry; it is the end of a line. This is a visual effect, but not necessarily a grammatical or syntactical one. The way lines work for the eye and ear are different.
A stanza where all lines are the same length
Line lengths with in a stanza vary ( some are shorter than others, etc.)
A line that is shorter than others in the stanza; because this line is differentiated it is stressed, in therefore will take ‘more weight’ with regard to meaning.
A line that is longer than the others in a stanza.
Correspondence of sound in two or more words. It depends on two elements: the last stressed vowel and what comes after it.
This depends on the last stressed vowel and what comes after it (one or more syllables, a consonant, etc.) If both are same, it is deemed to be this type of rhyme. This rhyme pattern can be used to echo or confirm meaning. It provides consonance. Ex: hand/band
This occurs when both vowels rhyme, but what comes after them does not. Ex: hand/bang
This occurs when the vowels are different, but the sounds after them (e.g. consonants) are the same. This rhyme pattern creates dissonance, and allows readers to question meaning. Ex: hand, bind
A type of rhyme where the last stressed vowel comes in the last syllable. These rhymes are solid and clear, and for this reason tends to be found in forms that require a solid beat (e.g. anthems and marching songs) Ex: hand/band
A type of rhyme that ends with an unstressed syllable. This type of rhyme lacks definite ‘thump.’ Ex: handing/banding (the rhyme comes on the stressed syllable – hand/band – and the words end with unstressed syllables – ing)
A type of rhyme that is made up of more than one word: ‘tanned hands,’ ‘band stand.’ It can readily become silly or comic if contrived (e.g. ‘hypotenuse, lot o’ news’)
EYE RHYME (PRINTER’S RHYME)
Words that look as though they rhyme on paper, but actually don’t. Ex: (ough) ‘boy with cough, sat under the bough eating a doughnut, until he’s had enough.’
Forcing mispronunciation to emphasise rhyme (the rhyme can ‘wrench’ stress). Ex: hand, brigand
AUTO/NULL RHYME (REPETITION)
Rhyming a word with itself. It can be seen as most perfect kind of rhyme, or viewed as repetition, not rhyme. Ex: hand, hand
END or TERMINAL RHYME
The repetition of the same sounds at the ends of two lines of verse. When two or more syllables are used to make the rhyme, the accented vowel and all the letters following it are identical in sound.
Rhyme within a single line.
The pattern of rhymes in a stanza or throughout a poem.
(aaaa) If you rhyme more than two lines in a row, it starts sounding silly.
(abac or abcb) The rhyming of two lines within a quatrain stanza.
(aabb) The rhyming of couplets arranged in quatrain.
(abab) It has a tick-tock effect. It is used for narrative; it carries things forward.
(abba) This type of rhyme starts, reverses, arches and comes back to itself – not good for narrative. This type of rhyme is good for meditation, for dwelling on something.
Words that rhyme that have similar meanings Ex: cake/bake
COUNTER SEMANTIC RHYME
Words that rhyme that have opposite meanings Ex: death/breath