The Giant Poetry Test That Determines Our Grade For The Rest of Our Lives

figurative language
language that communicates meanings beyond the literal meanings of words

simile
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things, using the words like or as.

metaphor
a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that are basically unlike but have something in common. metaphors do not use the words like or as.

extended metaphor
a figure of speech that compares two essentially unlike things at some length and in several ways.

personification
a figure of speech in which human qualities are given to an animal, object, or idea.

hyperbole
a figure of speech in which the truth is exaggerated for emphasis or humorous effect.

sound devices
uses of words for their auditory effect which convey meaning and mood or unify a work

repetition
a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated for emphasis and unity

alliteration
repetition of consonant sounds at the beginnings of words, ex. “which circle slowly with a silken swish”

consonance
repetition of consonant sounds within and at the ends of words, ex. “whose nest is in a watered shoot”

assonance
repetition of vowel sounds within and at the ends of words, ex. “words shy and dappled, deep eyed deer”

form/structure
the way in which the lines of a poem are arranged, including the length of the lines, the placement of lines, the grouping of lines into stanzas.

stanza
a group of two or more lines that form a unit in a poem. a stanza is comparable to a paragraph in prose.

quatrain
a four-line stanza

couplet
a rhymed pair of lines of the same length and meter

enjambed line
– a line of poetry in which the meaning of the line requires the reader to continue on to the next line without pausing for punctuation.

end-stopped line
a line of poetry in which the end of the line coincides with a pause or with the end of a thought, often recognized by end punctuation, such as a period, comma, dash, question mark, or exclamation point.

rhyme
the occurrence of similar or identical sounds

internal rhyme
rhyme that exists within the line

end rhyme
rhyme that exists at the end of lines

half or slant rhyme
end rhyme that is not exact but approximate, as in “again” and “allan”

rhyme scheme
a regular pattern of end rhyme

rhythm/meter
the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in spoken or written language

scansion
the process of marking the stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry

metric foot
a unit, or group of syllables, that consist of one stressed and one or two unstressed syllables in a line of poetry

dimeter
a line of poetry consisting on two feet

trimeter
a line of poetry consisting of three feet

tetrameter
a line of poetry consisting of four feet

pentameter
a line of poetry consisting of five feet

iamb
a metric foot consisting of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable

blank verse
poetry that is written in lines of unrhymed iambic pentameter. This verse form was widely used by Elizabethan dramatists like William Shakespeare.

narrative poetry
poetry that tells a story and contains the same devices as a work of fiction, such as setting, plot, theme , and characters.

lyric poetry
highly musical, impressionistic poetry in which the speaker shares personal thoughts and feelings on a subject. In ancient times lyric poems were sung to the accompaniment of the lyre, a type of stringed instrument like a small harp. Modern lyric poems, though not sung, are rhythmic.

dramatic monologue
a poem in which the speaker addresses a silent or absent listener, as if engaged in a private conversation. The speaker often reveals his or her own feelings, attitudes, motivations, and character traits in a moment of high intensity or deep emotion.

voice from the grave poetry
poetry in which the speaker, who is dead, reflects back on his or her past life

ballad
a type of narrative poem that was originally meant to be sung or recited. the traditional ballad is written in quatrains with alternating lines of tetrameter and trimeter.

concrete poetry
a poem whose lines create recognizable shapes to create a picture related to the poem’s subject

free verse
poetry that does not contain a regular pattern of rhythm or rhyme. Free verse seeks to capture the rhythm of speech and is the dominant form of modern poetry.

dramatic poetry
poetry that involves the techniques of drama and in which the speaker is clearly someone other than the author.

speaker
the poem’s voice

symbol
something that stands for or represents something else and derives its meaning from the context in which it appears.

imagery
words and phrases that employ one or more of the five senses

irony
the term used to describe literary techniques that involve differences between appearance and reality, expectation and result, or meaning and intention.

allusion
a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art.

cynicism
the belief that all people are motivated by selfishness.