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Poetry Terms

Poetry Terms WGU

Stanza A recurring pattern of 2 or more lines of verse, poetry's equal to a paragraph
Couplet A 2 line stanza in poetry, usually rhymed which tends to have lines of equal length.
Tercet A group of 3 lines of verse, usually all ending in the same rhyme.
Quatrain A stanza consisting of 4 lines. The most common stanza used in English language poetry.
Sestet A poem or stanza of 6 lines. Usually used when speaking of the last 6 lines in an Italian sonnet.
Octave A stanza of eight lines. First eight lines of an Italian sonnet.
Verse Refers to any single line of poetry, or to any composition in lines of more/less regular rhythm.
Stress An emphasis or accent placed on a syllable in speech.
Symbol A person, place, or thing in a narrative that has multiple meanings beyond it's literal sense.
Free Verse A type of poetry written NOT using strict meter or rhyme.
Prose Poetry Poetry written in a block paragraph form.
Visual Poetry Arranging the words of a poem to make the outline of the words represent a meaning of the poem.
Found Poetry Arranging poetry from unlikely places (road signs, etc), where you may delete and repeat, but not add anything.
Accentual-syllabic A meter that uses a consistent # of stresses per line. Unstressed syllables may vary, but stressed syllables do not.
Ballad A poem meant to be sung, with a compressed,dramatic, narrative style made up of quatrains.
Conceit A poetic device using dramatic comparisons. Ex: equating a loved one with the beauty of the world.
Diction Word choice or vocabulary. May be specific (concrete) or abstract.
Epic A long narrative poem depicting the adventures of a legendary or mythic hero.
Enjambment Run on lines. Moving from one sentence to the next without punctuation.
Figurative Language Intentional departure from the normal meaning of words. Describing something by comparison.
Foot The unit of measure in poetry made up by the pattern and order of stressed & unstressed syllables.
Monometer A verse meter made up of one primary stress per line.
Dimeter A verse meter made up of two metric feet or two primary stresses per line
Trimeter A verse meter made up of three metric feet or three primary stresses per line.
Tetrameter A verse meter made up of four metric feet or four primary stresses per line.
Pentameter A verse meter made up of five metric feet or five primary stresses per line.
Hexameter A verse meter made up of six metric feet or six primary stresses per line.
Heptameter A verse meter made up of seven metric feet or seven primary stresses per line.
Octameter A verse meter made up of eight metric feet or eight primary stresses per line.
Nonameter A verse meter made up of nine metric feet or nine primary stresses per line.
Decameter A verse meter made up of ten metric feet or ten primary stresses per line.
Form The way in which an author expresses the meaning & content of their work.
Blank Verse Unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter.
Haiku A Japanese verse form with 3 unrhymed lines of 5,7,5 syllables. Usually set in nature.
Limerick A short,comic verse of 5 lines usually rhyming aabba, with stresses per line 3,3,2,2,3.
Epigram A very short, comic poem usually ending with a sharp turn of wit or meaning.
Triolet A short lyric poem of 8 rhymed lines. The 2 opening lines are repeated according to a set pattern.
Villanelle 6 rhymed stanzas in which 2 lines are repeated in a prescribed pattern.
Sestina A complex verse, where 6 END words are repeated in a prescribed order through 6 stanzas and ends with 3 lines in which all 6 words appear. 39 lines total.
Imagery The collective set of images in a poem.
Internal Rhyme Rhyme that occurs within a line of poetry, as opposed to end rhyme.
Lyric A short poem, written in first person, portraying their thoughts and feelings with a songlike immediacy and emotional force.
Meter A recurrent, regular,rhythmic pattern in verse when stresses recur at fixed intervals.
Iambic (u /) A metrical foot in which an unaccented syllable is followed by an accented syllable.
Trochaic (/ u) A metrical foot in which an accented syllable is followed by and unaccented syllable.
Anapestic (uu/)A metrical foot in which 2 unaccented syllables are followed by 1 accented syllable.
Dactylic (/uu)A metrical foot in which 1 accented syllables are followed by 2 unaccented syllable.
Monologue An extended speech by a single character where the speech has listeners.
Narrative Poetry A poem that tells a story.
Ode A poem directed to a single purpose with a single theme. Accompanied by music.
Rhyme Scheme Any recurrent pattern of rhyme within a poem. Represented by small letters for end rhyme.
Exact Rhyme A full rhyme in which the sounds following the initial letters are identical.
Slant Rhyme A rhyme in which the final consonant sounds are the same but the vowel sounds are different. Ex. litter & letter
End Rhyme Rhyme that occurs at the ends of lines, rather than within them.
Scansion Used to describe rhythmic patterns by diagnosing metrical feet, syllables, accents, and pauses.
Syllabic Verse A pattern of a certain number of syllables to a line.
Italian or Petrarchan Sonnet Love poetry 14 lines, broken into an Octave (abba, abba) and a Sestet with any rhyme scheme as long as it does not end in a couplet. Turns focus after the octave.
English or Shakespearean Sonnet Love poetry 14 lines, broken into 3 Quatrains and a Couplet. abab cdcd efef gg . Turns after the quatrains.
Spenserian Sonnet Love poetry 14 lines,3 Quatrains and a Couplet.abab bcbc cdcd ee. Turns after the quatrains.
Transferred Epithet A figure of speech where the poet attributes some characteristic of a thing to another thing closly related to it. A kind of metonymy. Places an adj next to a noun where it does not seem logical, but has expressive power. Ex: "blind mouths"
Created by: LFalone



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