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Poetry Lit Terms

Alliteration The repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables "The great and graceful gourmand has guaranteed his growth."
Amplification Repeating a word or expression with detail for emphasis "This orchard, this lovely, shady orchard, is the main reason I bought this property."
Anscrusis An unstressed syllable or syllable group that begins a line or verse but is not counted as part of the first foot. "THE place where the sidewalk ends."
Anapest A kind of metric foot in poetry. Comprised of two unstressed and one stressed syllable, in that order. "I am OUT of huMANity's REACH."
Antithesis it is a counter-proposition and denotes a direct contrast to the original proposition. "One small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind."
Anaphora The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs “It was the best of times; It was the worst of times.”
Aphorism A brief saying embodying a moral, a concise statement of a principle or precept given in pointed words. "Lost Time is never Found again."
Apostrophe a rhetorical device in which a speaker turns from the audience as a whole to address a single person or thing
Assonance The relatively close juxtaposition of the same or similar vowel sounds, but with different end consonants in a line or passage, thus a vowel rhyme, as in the words, date and fade. :"It beats as it sweeps as it cleans."
Bathos unintended humor caused by an incongruous combination of high and low. "a character commits suicide and another jumps into the  grave and tells the men to bury him in the ground with her. the love tugs at emotions, but is too far fetched for reality."
cacophony The use of harsh or discordant sounds in literary composition, as for poetic effect "All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe"
caesura A break, esp. a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and [[SOMETIMES]] marked in scansion by a double vertical line "The prop I er stud I y II of I mankind I is man"
canto A major division of a long or extended poem. Kind of like a chapter in a book. "The epic Italian poem, Divine Comedy, is broken up into 3 parts, and within those parts there are 33 cantos each."
Chiasmus a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases. "She went to the mall, to the store she went."
Couplet a pair of successive lines of verse, usually a pair that rhyme and are of the same length "True wit is nature to advantage distressed. What often was thought, but ne’er so well expressed."
Dactyl A metrical foot consisting of one long and two short syllables or of one stressed and two unstressed syllables. "HOLiday (HOL-i-day), HAPpily (HAP-i-ly)"
Dirge A mournful or elegiac poem or other work " “The Raven,” Edgar Allen Poe’s poetic lament for lost love."
Dissonance deliberate avoidance of patterns of repeated vowel sounds "The words 'Thee', 'Thy', and 'The' are examples of dissonance."
Doggerel A light verse which is humorous and comic by nature, often viewed with disdain as containing little literary value. The poem is often cliché, has forced rhymes and a faulty meter. "Roses are red, violets are blue..."
elegy a poem or song composed especially as a lament for a deceased person "poems inside sympathy cards, funeral songs, etc"
Enjambment the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break.
Epanalepsis Repetition at the end of a clause or sentence of the word or phrase with which it began "Mankind must put an end to war--or war will put an end to mankind."
Epic noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style "Homer in The Odyssey"
Epigraph A motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme. "From Watchmen – "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. (Who watches the watchers?)"
Epilogue The conclusion of a piece of literature to review its theme. "From Romeo and Juliet, 'For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.' "
Epistrophe The repetition of a word or words at the end of two or more successive verses, clauses, or sentences. “…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Epithet a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing. "heartfelt thanks", "wine-dark sea", "blood-red sky", "fleet-footed Achilles", "stone-cold heart”, “life-giving water”, “peaceful dawn”
Euphony agreeableness of sound; please effect to the ear [especially a pleasing and sounding or harmonious combination or succession of words]
Foot basic unit of rhythm in a poem
Free Verse unrhymed iambic pentameter
Hyperbation is a figure of speech in which words that naturally belong together are separated from each other for emphasis or effect
Iamb unstressed, stressed syllable
Internal rhyme occurs in the middle of the line or verse
Inversion Change of word order (aka syntactic permutation)
Kennings A poetic replacement or nickname for another noun or person
Metaphor – comparison of two unlike things (not using like or as) – a direct relationship substituting one thing to completely stand for the other
Metonymy substituting one word for another closely related word
Onomatopoeia sound words
Oxymoron two unlike things used together
Petrarchan Sonnet One octave (8 lines) and one sestet (6 lines) abbaabba
Periodic Structure A sentence which is not grammatically complete until its end and uses “stops” (oratorical pauses) throughout the middle of the sentence.
Personification giving an inanimate object human qualities
Polysyndeton Use of several conjunctions in succession where they might not be needed (opposite of asyndtern)
Portmanteau Combination of two or more words to create a new word i.e. “blog” (web log)
Quatrain 4 line stanza
Rhyme Scheme predicitable pattern of rhymes in poetry
Rhythm scansion of a poem is analysis of rhythm which is the specific number of syllables, their stresses
Sestet six lines
Shakespearean Sonnet 14 lines of iambic pentameter; ababcdcdefef gg (rhyming couplet)
Stanza a collection of lines that fit together – a “paragraph of poetry.”
Synesthesia Mixing of the senses – calling a color “loud”
Syntax the arrangement or order of words or sentences
Tricolon A sentence with three equally defined and equal parts
Trochee stressed, unstressed syllables in a foot (opposite of iamb)
Zeugma joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a single common verb or noun “If we don’t hang together, we shall hang separately”
Created by: payalamin06



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