English 2 ::Poetry Terms::

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Last updated: December 12, 2019
Repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginnings of words, to create smoothness and effect. (Seven silver swans swam southward.)

Repetition of internal vowel sounds for aural effect.

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(ba- boon, gloom, soon)

Five lines, unrhymed with 22 total syllables in the following scheme:First line: 2, Second line: 4, Third line: 6 Fourth line: 8, Fifth line: 2.

A variation on alliteration where the repeated consonant sounds are embedded in the line of poetry, not always at the beginning of the words.

Two consecutive, rhymed lines of poetry, rhyme pattern: a a.

Continuation of meaning from one poetry line to the next.

End rhyme
Rhyme that ends a line of poetry. Nursery rhymes are gener- ally the first poems we learn, and most contain rhyme at the ends of the lines. These would also be true rhymes.

End-stop line
The opposite of enjambment.

When a line has a pause or period at the end, it is an “end-stopped line.”

The closing tercet using all six words chosen for the sestinas and the final presentation of the three chosen words in the tritina.

Long, narrative poem, usually telling of heroic deeds, events of his- toric importance, or religious or mythological subjects. (Ex. Iliad, Beowulf, Odyssey, the Epic of Gilgamesh)

Eye rhyme
Rhyme that depends on words that have the same spelling, but are pronounced differently. They “rhyme” by the looks, but not the sound.

Fixed form
poetry that is categorized by the pattern of its lines, meter, rhythm, or stanzas. A sonnet is a fixed form of poetry because by definition it must have fourteen lines. Other fixed forms include limerick, sestina, and villanelle. However, poems written in a fixed form may not always fit into categories precisely, because writers sometimes vary traditional forms to create innovative effects.

A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. A foot is the smallest unit of poetic measurement. Lines of poetry are divided into metrical groups called feet. Each foot will have 2 or 3 syllables.

one foot per line

two feet per line

three feet per line

four feet per line

five feet per line

six feet per line

seven feet per line

eight feet per line

Free verse
Poetry without standard meter or rhyme, but rhythmical arrangement of lines for effect. Such poetry derives its rhythmic qual- ities from the repetition of words, phrases, or grammatical structures, the arrangement of words on the printed page, or by some other means.

Japanese unrhymed poetic form with one observation in three lines, seventeen syllables.

In the Moment
Jumping right into a poem.

A line of poetry is characterized by its length and meter, which are created by the number of syllables and where their stresses fall.

means, literally, transference. A type of figurative lan- guage where the writer transfers qualities of one thing to another thing.

One thing “is” another.

The number of feet in a line of poetry.

Form of lyric poetry characterized by giving praise or showing appreciation. Odes are written to commemorate special occasions, both glorious and horrendous, or to praise someone or something. Ex. Thomas Gray – “Ode on the Dear of a Favorite Cat, On Being Drowned in a Tub of Fishes”; “Ode to Spring”

Words that sounds like what they represent. (Ex.

Crash, slurp, splat)

a metaphor that gives human or physical qualities to an object, animal, or idea.

Picture poems
poems arranged into particular shapes to help ex- press what the poet is describing. Poets also play with different fonts, font sizes, and spacing. Also known as pictogram poems or concrete poetry.

Literature other than prose, often with rhythm, rhyme, and lines making up stanzas.

Poem or stanza containing four lines and many variations of rhyme schemes, line lengths, and rhythm patterns.

Repetition of words or phrases at the end of each stanza in poetry or song.

Words that sound like another word or have similar-sound- ing parts; an element often used in poetry.

Rhyme scheme
Assigning the same letters to lines of a poem that have the same end rhymes.

recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds. (see foot & meter)

recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds. (see foot & meter)

Six-stanza poetic form plus a three-line ending, arranged in a specific pattern. Six unrhymed stanzas of six lines each; repeat end words with these patterns:First stanza: 123456, Second stanza: 612345, Third stanza: 364125, Fourth stanza: 532614, Fifth stanza: 451362, Sixth stanza: 246531, Three line ending

a kind of metaphor that uses “like” or “as” to compare two things.

Lyric poem expressing one idea, containing fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and set rhyme scheme. There are three kinds of sonnets: Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Spencer.

Group of lines of poetry, usually with a common form and spaced apart from each other, commonly called a verse.

Three-lined poem

Terza rima
a tercet with the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, etc.

a Tercet where all lines rhyme.

comes from the Latin for “three.” It’s a repetitive form of po- etry that consists of three stanzas, plus an envoy.

True Rhyme
Rhyme where the vowel/consonants combinations sound the same at the end of the words. The spellings are not always the same however. When you think of rhyming words, you are think- ing of true rhymes

A short poem consisting of 19 lines using repetition and rhyme in a complex pattern. It uses tercets plus a quatrain (four line stanza) at the end.

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