Poetry Unit Terms

4 Elements of Poetry
Form and Structure, Sound, Imagery, Figurative Language

Lines
Lines can vary in length. Poets choose the line length to fit the rhythm, feeling, or thought expressed in a poem. Lines are grouped in stanzas

Stanza
a group of lines in a poem which are separated by a space or a period from other parts of the poem

Form
The way a poem’s lines and stanzas are arranged on the page.

2 Main effects form can have on a poem
1. creates a visual effect that reinforces a poem’s message. 2. effects the sound of a poem by creating rhythm

3 Genres of Poetry
Narrative, Lyrical, and Dramatic

Narrative Poetry
Tells a story or recounts events. Like fiction, it includes a plot, characters, and setting. (Ex. The Cookie Thief, Casey At the Bat)

Dramatic Poetry
Verse that relies heavily upon dramatic elements such as a monologue or dialogue. It may also tell a story, but focuses more on character. (Ex. Shakespeare’s Plays, Job)

Lyrical Poetry
Poetry that presents the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker. (Ex. Psalms)

Ballad
A type of narrative poetry that tells a story. It is meant to be sung or recited (read aloud).

Epic Poetry
A long narrative poem about the adventures of a hero whose actions reflect the ideas and values of a nation or group.

Ode
A type of lyrical poetry that addresses broad, serious themes such as justice, truth, or beauty.

Sonnet
A poem of a more formal structure containing 14 lines with a specific scheme and meter. The Sonnet (which means “little song” can be used for a variety of topics.

Free Verse
Poetry without a regular pattern of rhyme, rhythm, or meter. It is used for a variety of topics.

Formula Poetry
A poem that follows a specific pattern of lines and which is created by following a specific formula.

Blank Verse
Any poetry comprised of unrhymed lines all in the same meter. (Ex. Shakespeare)

End Rhyme
Rhyme that occurs at the end of lines

Internal Rhyme
Rhyme that occurs within a single line of poetry, when two or more words in the same line of a poem rhyme

Near Rhyme
Two or more words that don’t completely rhyme, but parts (a syllable or two) of them rhyme; or words that sound similar, but are not exactly the same (Ex. purple and turtle)

Sound Device
Figures of speech that pertain to the words sound in a line of poetry. They are used by poets to add to or reinforce the meaning or feeling of poetry.

Rhyme Scheme
The regular patter of rhyme between lines of a poem, a pattern that is consistent THROUGHOUT the poem.

Repetition
A literary device in which a sound, syllable, word phrase, line, or stanza is repeated. Found in most poetry, it is used to provide sound, emphasize an idea, or convey a certain feeling.

Types of Repetition
Rhyme, Consonance, Assonance, Alliteration

Consonance
A literary device in which the same consonant sound is repeated two or more times in short succession.
The sounds do not have to immediately follow each other.

Assonance
A form of repetition in which a rhyming vowel sound is repeated inside the lines of a poem

Alliteration
The repetition of consonant or vowel sounds at the beginning of words.

Imagery
Words and phrases that appeal to the 5 senses. Poets use it to create a picture in the reader’s mind or to remind the reader of a familiar sound, smell, or sensation (positive or negative).

Figurative Language
A tool an author or poet uses to help the reader create a visual image of something; a word or phrase that departs from everyday literal language for the sake of comparison, clarification, or freshness

Personification
Giving human qualities, feelings, actions, or characteristics to an non-human object

Simile
Comparing one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make descriptive words more emphatic or vivid. Uses words: like, as, or than

Metaphor
A figure of speech in which a word or a phrase is applied to an object that isn’t literally applicable

Onomatopoeia
The use of words whose sounds echo their meaning.

Hyperbole
An exaggeration or overstatement to produce an effect without being taken literally

Analogy
A comparison between things that are alike in some way

Symbolism
A literary device in which a poet/author uses symbols to represent ideas or qualities or emotions

Idioms
An expression that has been established by common usage to have a meaning different from the literal meaning of its words

Irony
An expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally means the opposite, typically for humorous effect or emphasis

Mood
The created atmosphere or overall feeling of a poem or other literature.

Formula Poetry
A poem that follows a specific pattern of lines and which is created following a specific formula.

Acrostic Poem
A poem in which each letter of the main word or words that the poem is about is used as the first letter of each line of the poem. The main word or words can be found by reading vertically down the page

Clerihew Poetry
A poem with 4 lines, The first two lines rhyme and the second two rhyme, creating an AABB rhyme scheme.

Diamante Poetry
A type of formula poetry in which the parts of speech are used to create a 7 line poem about a noun.

Cinquain Poetry
A five line poem with a specific formula (Noun, 2 adjectives, 3 verbs, a four word phrase, synonym for the noun)

Haiku
A form of ancient Japanese poetry. It traditionally has 3 lines, does not rhyme, and deals with nature. Each line has a fixed number of syllables (5-7-5)