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Poetry Terminology

Poetry Midterm

Allegory A narrative in which characters and events stand for ideas and actions on another level (represent moral qualities).
Alliteration The repetition at the beginning of words or syllables.
Image Something that is brought into the light of consciousness through one of the senses.
Concrete Anything presented to consciousness as a bodily sensation.
Abstract Ideas that are stripped of physical detail.
Anapest Two unaccented syllables followed by an accented one, as in com-pre-HEND or in-ter-VENE.
Assonance The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or a line of poetry as in "I rose and told him of my woe."
Ballad A narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style.
Blank Verse A line of poetry or prose in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Caesura A strong pause within a line of verse.
Catharsis The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama.
Closed Form A type of form or structure in poetry characterized by regularity and consistency in such elements as rhyme, line length, and metrical pattern, such as a sonnet.
Connotation The personal and emotional associations called up by a word that go beyond its dictionary meaning.
Convention A customary feature of a literary work such as the use of a chorus in Greek tragedy or an explicit moral in a fable.
Couplet A pair of rhymed lines that may or may not constitute a separate stanza in a poem.
Dactyl A stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones, as in FLUT-ter-ing or BLUE-berry.
Denotation Dictionary meaning of the word.
Epic A long narrative poem that records the adventures of a hero.
Epigram A brief witty poem, often satirical.
Flashback An interruption of a work's chronology to describe or present an incident that occurred prior to the main time frame of the action
Foot A metrical unit composed of stressed and unstressed syllables. For example, an iamb or iambic foot is represented by u ', that is, an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one.
Foreshadowing Hints of what is to come in the action of a play or story.
Free verse Poetry without a regular pattern of meter or rhyme.
Hyperbole A figure of speech involving exaggeration.
Iamb An unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one, as in to-DAY.
Imagery The pattern of related comparative aspects of language in a literary work.
Irony A contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen.
Literal Language A form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote.
Lyric Poem A type of poem characterized by brevity, compression, and the expression of feeling.
Metaphor A comparison between essentially unlike things without a word such as like or as.
Meter The measured pattern of rhythmic accents in poems.
Metonymy A figure of speech in which a closely related term is substituted for an object or idea.
Narrative poem A poem that tells a story.
Octave An eight-line unit, which may constitute a stanza or a section of a poem, as in the octave of a sonnet .
Open form A type of structure or form in poetry characterized by freedom from regularity and consistency in such elements as rhyme, line length, and metrical pattern. [Buffalo Bill's]
Parable A brief story that teaches a lesson often ethical or spiritual
Pathos A quality of a play's action that stimulates the audience to feel pity for a character.
Quatrain A four-line stanza in a poem.
Rhyme The matching of final vowel or consonant sounds in two or more words.
Rhythm The recurrence of accent or stress in lines of verse.
Rising Meter Poetic meters such as iambic and anapestic that move or ascend from an unstressed to a stressed syllable.
Satire A literary work that criticizes human misconduct and ridicules vices, stupidities and follies.
Similie A figure of speech involving a comparison between unlike things using like,as, or as though.
Soliloquy A speech in a play which is meant to be heard by the audience but not by other characters on the stage.
Sonnet A fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter. The Shakespearean or English sonnet is arranged as three quatrains and a couplet, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg.
Spondee A metrical foot represented by two stressed syllables such as KNICK-KNACK.
Stanza A division or unit of a poem that is repeated in the same form–with similar or identical patterns of rhyme and meter.
Symbol An object or action in a literary work that means more than itself, that stands for something beyond itself.
Tercet A three-line stanza.
Tone The implied attitude of a writer toward the subject and characters of a work.
Trochee A metrical foot represented by an stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one, as in GLAR-ing.
Elision The omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable to preserve the meter of a line of poetry.
Diction The selection of words in a literary work.
Figurative language A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words.
Pyrrhic A metrical foot with two unstressed syllables ("of the")
Synecdoche A figure of speech in which a part is substituted for the whole.
Understatement A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means.
Created by: amber_mcmorris



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