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Soph Poetry Terms

Poetry Terms for Berlin High School Sophomore Literature

TermDefinition
form the "look" of a poem; how the poem is presented on a page [often described in terms of lines and stanzas
stanza a grouping of poetic lines that work as one unit of a poem (similar to a paragraph in a prose essay)
rhyme the repetition of ending sounds of words such as rat/bat, nice/spice, or ingrain/disdain
rhyme scheme the pattern of rhyme in a poem, especially in the last words of each line
internal rhyme rhyming that takes place within the same line of poetry
rhythm a repeating pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables; the beat
free verse a style of poetry without a set rhyme scheme or rhythmic pattern
alliteration the repetition of beginning sounds, especially consonant sounds as the repetitive Ns in "While I nodded nearly napping"
assonance the repetition of vowel sounds in consecutive or nearby words as heard in the short A's in: "Diane spat sass at an aunt."
imagery writing that appeals to the reader's senses
simile a comparison, using the words "like" or "as," between two primarily unlike subjects, where the subjects share at least one characteristic in common
metaphor a direct comparison (no "like" or "as") between two primarily unlike subjects, where the subjects share at least one characteristic in common.
extended metaphor Multiple lines of a poem, or even the entire poem, work together to develop a comparison between two primarily unlike things that share one or more characteristic.
personification giving human characteristics to a non-human thing or idea; this may also refer to giving animated characteristics to an inanimate object or idea
speaker the voice in the poem; the narrator [This may be a character, rather than the voice of the poet.]
theme Although this CAN also refer to the topic of primary focus in a poem, for our purposes this will refer to the MESSAGE about life or human nature that the poet shares with the reader.
narrative poetry a type of poetry that tells a story
dramatic poetry a type of poetry that contains character dialogue
onomatopoeia the effect of words that describe sounds and sound like the sounds that they describe, such as crunch, crackle, boing, boom, or wham!
iambic rhythm a rhythmic pattern characterized by accenting every second syllable [unaccented syllable followed by accented syllable]
iambic foot a single unit of iambic rhythm; one unaccented syllable followed by one accented syllable as we see in the words beHIND or toDAY.
iambic pentameter iambic rhythm repeating itself five consecutive times in each 10-syllable line of poetry (Example: What LIES beYOND the WEARy MILES of LIFE?)
syllable elementary sound or combination of elementary sounds uttered with a single impulse of the voice; makes up a word or part of a word
couplet consecutive (back to back) lines of poetry with the last word of each line rhyming [the lines work as a pair.]
quatrain a four-line stanza; a set of four poetic lines that work together to form one unit of the rhyme scheme (such as in the following rhyme schemes: abab, abcb, abba)
lyric poetry a form of poetry that expresses a speaker's personal thoughts and feelings [This form of poetry is named for a stringed instrument, the music of which often accompanied the reading or singing of these poems in ancient times.]
tone the poet's or speaker's attitude toward the poem's subject
mood the atmosphere or dominant feeling or emotion conveyed in a poem
symbolism the use of representative symbols to describe a person, place, thing, feeling, or idea. The symbols draw parallels between the subject and some abstract property (ies) of the symbol [Example: A black cloud overhead may represent bad luck or depression.
parallelism the repetition of similar wording and/or grammatical structures; the repetition of the same type of wording in any type of list [Examples: "Like father, like son." or "He works quickly, decisively, and skillfully (The list is all adverbs.)]
figurative language the use of figures of speech (such as similes, metaphors, allusions, hyperboles, etc.) to be more impactful, more effective, or more persuasive; these figures of speech go beyond the literal meanings of words to offer new insights to the reader
hyperbole exaggerated statements not intended to be taken literally
Shakespearean sonnet a 14-line lyric poem written in iambic pentameter with an ABABCDCDEFEFGG rhyme scheme
Created by: MrReise