Spoon River Anthology: Terms and Definitions

free verse
poetry with no regular meter, rhyme, or line lengths; it depends on natural speech rhythms and varied line structures to develop ideas

a unit of structure in poetry denoted by groups of lines that appear together, separated from other groups of lines

an inscription on a gravestone; a quotation or lines which summarize the life of the deceased; a burial inscription

a collection of shorter literary works( poems, short stories, plays, essays) bound together in a single volume

extended metaphor
a figure of speech in which one element is described in terms of a dissimilar element to highlight their differences for poetic effect and carried throughout the poem as a unifying effect

parallel structure
phrases or lines of similar construction found at various points in a poem

rhetorical question
a question which does not seek or require an answer; the desired effect is achieved through asking the question

an account of a person’s life related directly by that person

illustrating one idea through a more well- known idea, which has similarities to the first

repetition of beginning consonant sounds in sucecssive or closely successive words in a line of poetry

a figure of speech that makes a reference to a historical or literary figure, element, or object not in the work studied

first- person point of view
a viewpoint in which the narrator relates personal experiences, using the first person singular pronoun

reference is made within one literary work to an element that appears in another literary work

the front of a building or person; the exterior surface

the faithful representation of reality or “verisimilitude,” realism is a literary technique practiced by many schools of writing. Although strictly speaking, realism is a technique, it also denotes a particular kind of subject matter, especially the representation of middle-class life.