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Poetic Expressions

Poetic Terms

QuestionAnswer
Alliteration the repetition of the same sounds, usually initial consonants, in neighboring words
Assonance the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words
Ballad a form of narrative poetry that presents a single dramatic episode, which is often tragic or violent
Blank verse poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter, which must not be confused with free verse
Cacophony harsh, clashing, or dissonant sounds, often produced by combinations of words that require a clipped, explosive delivery, or words that contain a number of plosive consonants
Cadence the rising and falling rhythm of speech, especially that of the balanced phrases in free verse or in prose. Also the fall or rise in pitch at the end of a phrase or sentence
Caesura a pause in a line of verse, often coinciding with a break between clauses or sentences.
Conceit an unusually far-fetched or elaborate metaphor presenting a surprisingly apt parallel between two apparently dissimilar things or feelings.
Connotation the range of further associations that a word or phrase suggests in addition to its straightforward dictionary meaning.
Consonance the repetition of identical or similar consonants in neighboring words whose vowel sounds are different (e.g. coming home, hot foot).
Couplet two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme and that are written to the same meter, or pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. Three be the things I shall have till I die: Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
Dactyl metrical foot of three syllables, one accented followed by two unaccented.
Dirge a funeral song of lamentation; a short lyric of mourning.
Dissonance harshness of sound and/or rhyme, either inadvertent or deliberate.
Dramatic monologue a kind of poem in which a single fictional or historical character other than the poet speaks to a silent audience of one or more persons. Such poems reveal not the poet’s own thoughts, but the mind of the impersonated character.
Elegy an elaborately formal lyric poem lamenting the death of a friend or public figure, or serious reflection on a serious subject.
End-stopped line a line brought to a pause at which the end of a verse line coincides with the completion of asentence, clause, or other independent unit of syntax. It is the opposite of enjambment.
Enjambment the running over of the sense and grammatical structure from one verse line or couplet to the next without a punctuated pause.
Epic a long narrative poem celebrating the great deeds of one or more legendary heroes in a grand style.
Euphony a pleasing smoothness of sound, perceived by the ease with which the words can be spoken in combination. Adjective: euphonious.
Extended Metaphor a metaphor that is sustained for several lines or that becomes the controlling image of an entire poem.
Foot the basic unit of rhythmic measurement in a line of poetry.
Free Verse poetry that is free of rhyme and meter resembling natural speech.
Heroic Couplet two end-stopped iambic pentameter lines rhymed aa, bb, cc, with the thought usually completed in the two line unit.
Hexameter a line containing six feet.
Iamb a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, an unaccented syllable followed by an accented as in the word invade.
Image language referring to something that can be perceived through one or more of the senses.
Imagery the making of pictures in words.
In medias res Latin for “the middle of things.” The term describes the narrative practice of beginning a story in the middle of the action to involve the reader, and then using one or more flashbacks to fill in what led up to that point.
Lyric a usually short, personal poem expressing the poet’s emotions and thoughts rather than telling a story.
Measure an older word for meter. The term is also used to refer to any metrical unit such as a foot.
Meter the pattern of measured sound-units recurring more or less regularly in lines of verse.
Octave a group of eight verse lines forming the first part of a sonnet; or a stanza of eight lines.
Ode an elaborately formal lyric poem, often in the form of a lengthy address to a person or abstract entity, always serious and elevated in tone.
Pastoral a poem dealing with shepherds and rural life.
Pentameter a line of five feet. Iambic pentameter, normally 10 syllables, has had special status as the standard line in many poetry forms.
Persona the assumed identity or fictional “I” assumed by a writer in a literary work.
Prosody the study of sound and rhythm in poetry.
Quatrain a verse stanza of four lines, rhymed or unrhymed.
Refrain a line, group of lines, or part of a line repeated at regular or irregular intervals in a poem.
Rhyme the similarity of sound between two words.
Rhythm the patterned flow of sound in poetry and prose. Sound devices create rhythm. Sprung rhythm – measured by counting only the accented syllables and by varying the number of unaccented syllables
Scansion analyzing the meter in lines of poetry by counting and marking the accented and unaccented syllables, and dividing the lines into metrical feet.
Sestet a six-line poem or stanza.
Sonnet a fourteen-line lyric poem in iambic pentameter. English sonnet – rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, gg (a/k/a Shakespearean sonnet) Italian sonnet – rhyme scheme of abba, abba, cde, cde (a/k/a Petrarchan sonnet)
Stanza a section or division of a poem, resembling paragraphs in prose.
Stress the emphasis placed on a word or syllable.
Trochee a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, an accented syllable followed by an unaccented syllable, as in the word fortune.
Verse poetry as distinct from prose. The term is usually more neutral than poetry, indicating that the technical requirements of rhythm and metre are present, while poetic merit may or may not be present.
Villanelle a lyric poem made up of five stanzas of three lines, plus a final stanza of four lines.
Volta the Italian term for the turn in the argument or mood of a sonnet, occurring between the octave and thesestet in the 9th line.
End rhyme rhyme that comes at the end of a line of poetry.
Internal rhyme rhyme that comes within the line.
Feminine rhyme two-syllable rhyme.
Forced rhyme meaning in the poem suffers because of the stilted nature of the rhyme
Masculine rhyme one-syllable rhyme.
Exact rhyme identical rhyme between two words (feature/creature)
Slant rhyme (proximate, near) – inexact rhyme between two words
Eye rhyme rhyme based on spelling rather than sound (bough/though)
Created by: 1418885215