English Sonnet Definition

Topics: LifeLove

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Last updated: December 10, 2019

allusion
reference to a person, place, even, thing that is known from science, religion, history, myth, culture.

apostrophe
a figure of speech in which the speaker addresses an absent or dead person or even an abstract quality or non-human as if it were present and able to respond.

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Metaphysical poets
term applied to poets like Donne or Herbert and other 17th century poets who wrote in a deliberately difficult and abstract style.

conceit
an elaborate figure of speech that makes a surprising connection between two seemingly dissimilar things.

metaphysical conceit
a particularly startling conceit.

incongruity
lack of agreement, consistency, harmony.

paradox
a statement that seems to contradict experience but which may actually be true.

wit
a quality in speech or writing that combines verbal cleverness with deep insight.

Lyric Poetry
poem, often short, that has the form and musical quality of song; it is characterized by the song-like outpouring of the poets thoughts and feelings.

Cavalier Poets
characterized by; wit, short lines, precise language, charm, main themes; love, honor and time.

Petrarchan
abba abba cde cde rhyme scheme.

(octet and sestet).

Octave
first eight lines of a sonnet.

Sestet
last six lines of a sonnet.

Volta (turn)
the turning point in the sonnet. (usually between the octet and sestet or between the last quatrain and the couplet).

Shakespearean
abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme.

(4 quatrains and a couplet).

Quatrain
a four line unit in a sonnet.

Couplet
sums up or comments on the previous 12 lines of the sonnet.

Sonnet
a verse form consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme.

Carpe Diem
“seize the day” can be emphasized in poem.

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