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AP Poetry Terms

I had a test coming up and didn't feel like buying index cards.

TermDefinition
Assonance The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds.
Consonance The repetition of similar consonant sounds in a group of words.
Elegy A sustained and formal poem setting forth the poet's meditations upon death or another solemn theme.
Internal Rhyme Rhyme that occurs within a line, rather than at the end.
Narrative Poem A non-dramatic poem which tells a story, whether simple or complex, long or short. (Ex. Epics and Ballads)
Personification A kind of metaphor that gives inanimate objects or abstract ideas human characteristics.
Sestet A six-line stanza.
Synecdoche A figure of comparison in which a word standing for part of something is used for the whole of that thing or vice versa; any part or portion or quality of a thing is used to stand for the whole of the thing or vice versa.
Visual Imagery Any imagery that you can literally see.
Abstract Diction Language that describes qualities that cannot be perceived with the five senses.
Auditory Imagery Any image that is perceived through the sense of hearing.
Couplet A two-lined stanza, usually with end-rhymes the same.
Enjambment The continuation of the sense and grammatical construction from one line of poetry to the next.
Irony The contrast between actual meaning and the suggestion of another meaning.
Ode Typically a lyrical verse written in praise of,or dedicated to someone or something which captures the poet's interest or serves as an inspiration for the poem.
Poetic Foot A unit of poetic meter consisting of stressed and unstressed syllables in any various set of combinations.
Simile A directly expressed comparison; a figure of speech comparing two objects, usually with "like", "as", or"than".
Syntax The ordering of words into patterns or sentences.
Alliteration The repetition of identical or similar consonant sounds, normally at the beginnings of words.
Ballad A poem that tells a story similar to a folk tale or legend and often has a repeated refrain and is often about love and often sung.
Dactyl A metrical foot consisting of one long and two short syllables or of one stressed and two unstressed syllables.
Extended Metaphor An implied analogy, or comparison, which is carried throughout a stanza or an entire poem.
Litote A figure of speech in which a certain statement is expressed by denying its opposite. (Ex. Not unattractive)
Onomatopoeia The use of words whose sound suggests their meaning. (Ex. Buzz)
Pun A play on words that are identical or similar in sound but have sharply diverse meanings.
Slant Rhyme Rhyme in which either the vowels or the consonants of stressed syllables are identical.
Tactile Imagery Any image that can be felt, touched, tasted, or smelled.
Allusion A reference in a work of literature to something outside the work, especially to a well-known historical or literary event, person, or work.
Blank Verse Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Diction The use of words in a literary work.
Free Verse Poetry which is not written in a traditional meter but is still rhythmical.
Lyric Poem Any short poem that presents a single speaker who expresses thoughts and feelings. (Ex. Sonnets and Odes)
Overstatement Refers to the intentional exaggeration of a situation's significance for a rhetorical effect.
Understatement Deliberately expresses an idea as less important than it actually is, either for ironic emphasis or for politeness and tact.
Quatrain A four-line stanza with any combination of rhymes.
Sonnet Normally a fourteen-line iambic pentameter poem.(Includes the Petrarchan and the English types)
Tercet A stanza of three lines in which each line ends with the same rhyme.
Anapest A metrical foot consisting of two short syllables followed by one long syllable or of two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable.
Caesura A pause, usually near the middle of a line of verse, usually indicated by the sense of the line, and often greater than the normal pause.
Didactic Poem A poem which is intended primarily to teach a lesson.
Iamb A metrical foot consisting of one short syllable followed by one long syllable or of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable.
Metaphor A figurative use of language in which a comparison is expressed without the use of a comparative term such as "like" or "as".
Oxymoron A form of paradox that combines a pair of contrary terms into a single expression. It usually serves the purpose of shocking the reader into awareness.
Rhyme Close similarly or identity of sound between accented syllables occupying corresponding positions in two or more lines of verse.
Spondee A metrical foot of two syllables, both of which are long (or stressed).
Tone The manner in which an author expresses their attitude; the intonation of the voice that expresses meaning.
Antithesis A figure of speech characterized by strongly contrasting words, clauses, sentences, or ideas. This is a balancing of one term against another for emphasis or stylistic effectiveness.
Cinquain The general term applied to poetic forms using a five-line pattern. This refers to a poem that rhymes and has the same rhythm to it at all times except in the last line.
Dramatic Monologue A poem written as a speech made by a character (other than the author) at some decisive moment. It usually is directed toward another character that remains silent.
Imagery The images of a literary work; the sensory details of a work; the figurative language of a work.
Meter The repetition of a regular rhythmic unit in a line of poetry. This element of a poem emphasizes the musical quality of the language.
Paradox A situation/action/feeling that appears to be contradictory but on inspection turns out to be true or at least make some sense.
Rhyme Scheme A regular pattern of rhyme, one that is consistent throughout the extent of the poem.
Stanza Usually a repeated grouping of three or more lines with the same meter and rhyme scheme.
Trochee A metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable.
Apostrophe A figure of speech in which someone (usually, but not always absent), some abstract quality, or a nonexistent personage is directly addressed as though present.
Concrete Diction Language that describes qualities that can be perceived with the five senses as opposed to using abstract or generalized language.
Dramatic Poem A poem which employs a dramatic form or some elements of dramatic techniques as a mean of achieving poetic ends. (Ex. Dramatic monologue).
Implied Metaphor A more subtle comparison using carefully chosen, highly concentrated language; the terms being compared are not specifically explained.
Metonymy A figure of speech which is characterized by the substitution of a term naming an object closely associated with the word in mind of the word itself.
Parallelism A similar grammatical structure withing a line or line of poetry.
Symbol Something that is simultaneously itself and a sign of something else.
Rhythm The recurrence of stressed and unstressed syllables.
Connotation An association or additional meaning that a word, image, or phrase may carry beyond its literal references or dictionary definition.
Aporia A figure of speech in which the speaker expresses real or simulated doubt or perplexity about where to begin, what to do, or what to say.
Hyperbaton A figure of speech in which words that naturally belong together are separated from each other for emphasis or using deviation from normal or logical word order to produce an effect.
Epistrophe Ending a series of lines,phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same word or words.
Symploce The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in the series.
Anaphora A repetition device where the same word or words are repeated at the beginning of two or more lines, clauses, or sentences.
Anastrophe Inversion of the natural or usual word order. This can emphasize a point or make it more awkward.
Chiasmus Reversal of grammatical structures in successive phrases or clauses.
Anadiplosis Repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause.
End-stopped A metrical line ending at a grammatical boundary or break or with punctuation. A line is also considered end-stopped if it contains a complete phrase.