Basic Poetry Terms

speaker
the narrator of a poem

line
a group of words on one line of a poem

stanza
a group of lines arranged together

rhythm
can be created by meter, rhyme, alliteration and refrain. The “music” of the poem.

meter
a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables

Free Verse Poetry
no repeating patterns of syllables, no rhyme, conversational, modern

end rhyme
a word at the end of one line rhymes with a word at the end of another line

internal rhyme
a word inside a line rhymes with another word on the same line

approximate rhyme
imperfect rhyme, close rhyme, near rhyme

onomatopoeia
words that imitate the sound they name

alliteration
consonant sounds repeated at the beginnings of words

consonance
a type of alliteration in which the repeated consonant sounds are anywhere in the words

assonance
a type of alliteration in which repeated vowel sounds are in a line or lines of poetry

refrain
a sound, word, phrase or line repeated regularly in a poem

simile
a comparison of two things using like, as, than, or resembles

metaphor
a direct comparison of two unlike things

hyperbole
exageration often used for emphasis

litotes
understatement for effect

idiom
an expression in which the literal meaning of the words is not the meaning of the expression

personification
when human qualities or characteristics are given to non-humans such as objects or animals.

symbolism
a person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself but also represents something else

allusion
a reference in a literary work to something famous

imagery
language that appeals to the senses and “paints a word picture,”

lyric poem
a short poem in first person point of view that expresses an emotion, idea, or describes a scene

ballad
a song or songlike poem that rhymes

Shakespearean Sonnet
a fourteen line poem with a specific rhyme scheme

narrative poem
a poem that tells a story

concrete poem
a poem in which the words are arranged to create a picture that relates to the content of the poem

tone
the feeling or mood the poem gives

theme
the main idea of a poem, story, or piece of art

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