Poetry Concepts and Terminology

poetry
A kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imagination.

sonnet
14 line poem

epic
usually long and tells the story of heroes and the deeds that brought them fame

ballad
A narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style.

stanza
A group of lines in a poem

pastoral
A work of literature dealing with rural life

dramatic monologue
A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue.

epigram
A brief witty poem, often satirical.

haiku
A japanese form of poetry, consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables

elegy
a sorrowful poem or speech

ode
1) in Greek tragedy, refers to the dancing and sung words of the chorus, divided into strophe and antistrophe
2) a classical and modern poetic form, either in irregular stanzas, or in regular stanzas with an often intricate rhyme scheme

carpe diem
Literally, “seize the day”; enjoy life while you can, a common theme in literature

allusion
One text refers to another text or situation whose meaning exists independently of the first text

speaker
voice or persona that speaks the words in a poem

persona
An individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.

tone
attitude of a poem’s speaker or narrator of a text toward the material of the poem/narrative

irony
A contrast between expectation and reality (dramatic, situational, verbal)

paradox
antithesis whose meaning cannot be resolved logically but may produce a counterintuitive truth

voice
A writer’s unique use of language that allows a reader to perceive a human personality in his or her writing.

diction
variation in word choice, word order and expression within the general conventions of grammar

imagery
element of setting or character in a work of art or literature that takes on significance beyond its literal meaning

connotation
All the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests

denotation
The dictionary definition of a word

formal diction
the choice and use of words for serious and/or academic means

jargon
Special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand

dialect
refers to specific form of a language, possessing its own pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar

figures of speech
use of a word or phrase different from or in addition to its literal meaning or standard usage

metaphor
A comparison that establishes a figurative identity between objects being compared.

simile
A comparison using “like” or “as”

personification
places an abstract word or concept in a narrative context, gives it human qualities, and uses it to refer to a figurative level of meaning

hyperbole
employs exaggeration for dramatic effect

understatement
the presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.

synaesthesia
A perceptual experience in which stimulation of one sense produces additional unusual experiences in another sense

rhythm
(noun) The beat and blow of syllables in a poem or in any text

meter
measure of a line or verse, can be 1) quantitative, measured according to the length of each vowel and consonant combination. 2) syllabic, measured according to the number of units of pronunciation in each word. 3) accentual, measured according to the number of accented syllables only. 4) accentual-syllabic, measured according to the number of stressed and unstressed syllables combined

rhyme
Repetition of sounds at the end of words

alliteration
repetition of the initial consonant in a series of words

assonance
repetition of vowel sounds in a series of words

scansion
scanning a line of poetry to determine its meter

foot
unit of stressed and unstressed syllables in a verse written in accentual-syllabic meter

iamb
a line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable

iambic pentameter
A common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable.

blank verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter

caesura
A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line.

euphony
pleasant, harmonious sound

cacophony
Harsh, jarring noise

onomatopoeia
A word that imitates the sound it represents.

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

eye rhyme
rhyme that appears correct from spelling but does not rhyme because of pronunciation

couplet
A pair of rhymed lines that may or may not constitute a separate stanza in a poem.

tercet
3 line stanza

quatrain
A four line stanza

octave
8 line stanza

sestet
6 line stanza

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

x

Hi!
I'm Gilbert!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out