EH 102 Poetry Exam

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Last updated: December 8, 2019

Alliteration
Repeated consonant sounds at the beginning of words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines. A somewhat looser definition is that it is the use of the same consonant in any part of adjacent words.

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Assonance
Repeated vowel sounds in words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines. These should be in sounds that are accented, or stressed, rather than in vowel sounds that are unaccented.

Consonance
Repeated consonant sounds at the ending of words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent lines. These should be in sounds that are accented, or stressed, rather than in vowel sounds that are unaccented. This produces a pleasing kind of near-rhyme.

Onomatopoeia
Words that sound like their meanings.

Repetition
The purposeful re-use of words and phrases for an effect. Sometimes, especially with longer phrases that contain a different key word each time, this is called parallelism

Rhyme
Words that have different beginning sounds but whose endings sound alike, including the final vowel sound and everything following it, are said to rhyme.

Rhythm
Pattern Name Example – / Iamb/Iambic invite / – Trochee/Trochaic deadline – – / Anapest/Anapestic to the beach / – – Dactyl/Dactylic frequently / / Spondee/Spondaic true blue

Allegory
A representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning. Sometimes it can be a single word or phrase, such as the name of a character or place. Often, it is a symbolic narrative that has not only a literal meaning, but a larger one understood only after reading the entire story or poem

Allusion
A brief reference to some person, historical event, work of art, or Biblical or mythological situation or character.

Analogy
A comparison, usually something unfamiliar with something familiar.

Apostrophe
Speaking directly to a real or imagined listener or inanimate object; addressing that person or thing by name.

Cliche
Any figure of speech that was once clever and original but through overuse has become outdated. If you’ve heard more than two or three other people say it more than two or three times, chances are the phrase is too timeworn to be useful in your writing.

Connotation
The emotional, psychological or social overtones of a word; its implications and associations apart from its literal meaning. Often, this is what distinguishes the precisely correct word from one that is merely acceptable.

Contrast
Closely arranged things with strikingly different characteristics. Example: He was dark, sinister, and cruel; she was radiant, pleasant, and kind.

Denotation
The dictionary definition of a word; its literal meaning apart from any associations or connotations. Students must exercise caution when beginning to use a thesaurus, since often the words that are clustered together may share a denotative meaning, but not a connotative one, and the substitution of a word can sometimes destroy the mood, and even the meaning, of a poem.

Euphemism
An understatement, used to lessen the effect of a statement; substituting something innocuous for something that might be offensive or hurtful. Example: She is at rest. (meaning, she’s dead)

Hyperbole
An outrageous exaggeration used for effect.

Irony
A contradictory statement or situation to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true.

Metaphor
A direct comparison between two unlike things, stating that one is the other or does the action of the other.

Oxymoron
A combination of two words that appear to contradict each other.

Paradox
A statement in which a seeming contradiction may reveal an unexpected truth.

Personification
Attributing human characteristics to an inanimate object, animal, or abstract idea

Pun
Word play in which words with totally different meanings have similar or identical sounds

Simile
A direct comparison of two unlike things using “like” or “as.”

Symbol
An ordinary object, event, animal, or person to which we have attached extraordinary meaning and significance – a flag to represent a country, a lion to represent courage, a wall to symbolize separation

Point of View
The author’s point of view concentrates on the vantage point of the speaker, or “teller” of the story or poem. This may be considered the poem’s “voice” — the pervasive presence behind the overall work. This is also sometimes referred to as the persona. • 1st Person: the speaker is a character in the story or poem and tells it from his/her perspective (uses “I”). • 3rd Person limited: the speaker is not part of the story, but tells about the other characters through the limited perceptions of one other person. • 3rd Person omniscient: the speaker is not part of the story, but is able to “know” and describe what all characters are thinking.

Line
is fundamental to the perception of poetry, marking an important visual distinction from prose. Poetry is arranged into a series of units that do not necessarily correspond to sentences, but rather to a series of metrical feet. Generally, but not always, the line is printed as one single line on the page. If it occupies more than one line, its remainder is usually indented to indicate that it is a continuation.

Verse
One single line of a poem arranged in a metrical pattern. Also, a piece of poetry or a particular form of poetry such as free verse, blank verse, etc.

, or the art or work of a poet.

Stanza
A division of a poem created by arranging the lines into a unit, often repeated in the same pattern of meter and rhyme throughout the poem; a unit of poetic lines (a “paragraph” within the poem).

Stanza Forms
The names given to describe the number of lines in a stanzaic unit, such as: couplet (2), tercet (3), quatrain (4), quintet (5), sestet (6), septet (7), and octave (8).

Rhetorical Question
A question solely for effect, which does not require an answer. By the implication the answer is obvious, it is a means of achieving an emphasis stronger than a direct statement.

Rhyme Scheme
The pattern established by the arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or poem, generally described by using letters of the alphabet to denote the recurrence of rhyming lines, such as the ababbcc of the Rhyme Royal stanza form.

Enjambment
The continuation of the logical sense — and therefore the grammatical construction — beyond the end of a line of poetry

Form
The arrangement or method used to convey the content, such as free verse, ballad, haiku, etc. In other words, the “way-it-is-said.” • Open: poetic form free from regularity and consistency in elements such as rhyme, line length, and metrical form • Closed: poetic form subject to a fixed structure and pattern • Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter (much of the plays of Shakespeare are written in this form) • Free Verse: lines with no prescribed pattern or structure — the poet determines all the variables as seems appropriate for each poem• Couplet: a pair of lines, usually rhymed; this is the shortest stanza • Heroic Couplet: a pair of rhymed lines in iambic pentameter (traditional heroic epic form) • Quatrain: a four-line stanza, or a grouping of four lines of verse

Fixed Form
A poem which follows a set pattern of meter, rhyme scheme, stanza form, and refrain • Ballad: a narrative poem written as a series of quatrains in which lines of iambic tetrameter alternate with iambic trimeter with an xaxa, xbxb rhyme scheme with frequent use of repetition and often including a refrain• Concrete Poetry: also known as pattern poetry or shaped verse, these are poems that are printed on the page so that they form a recognizable outline related to the subject, thus conveying or extending the meaning of the words • Epigram: a pithy, sometimes satiric, couplet or quatrain comprising a single thought or event and often aphoristic with a witty or humorous turn of thought • Epitaph: a brief poem or statement in memory of someone who is deceased, used as, or suitable for, a tombstone inscription; now, often witty or humorous and written without intent of actual funerary use • Haiku: a Japanese form of poetry consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. • Limerick: a light or humorous form of five chiefly anapestic verses of which lines one, two and five are of three feet and lines three and four are of two feet, with a rhyme scheme of aabba. • Ode: any of several stanzaic forms more complex than the lyric, with intricate rhyme schemes and irregular number of lines, generally of considerable length, always written in a style marked by a rich, intense expression of an elevated thought praising a person or object. “Ode to a Nightingale” is an example.• Sonnet: a fourteen line poem in iambic pentameter with a prescribed rhyme scheme; its subject was traditionally love.

Three variations are found frequently in English, although others are occasionally seen. • Shakespearean Sonnet: a style of sonnet used by Shakespeare with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg • Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet: a form of sonnet made popular by Petrarch with a rhyme scheme of abbaabba cdecde or cdcdcd • Spenserian Sonnet: a variant of the Shakespearean form in which the quatrains are linked with a chain or interlocked rhyme scheme, abab bcbc cdcd ee.• Sonnet Sequence: a series of sonnets in which there is a discernable unifying theme, while each retains its own structural independence. All of Shakespeare’s sonnets, for example, were part of a sequence.

Imagery
The use of vivid language to generate ideas and/or evoke mental images, not only of the visual sense, but of sensation and emotion as well

Tone, Mood
The means by which a poet reveals attitudes and feelings, in the style of language or expression of thought used to develop the subject

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