English Terms and Vocab Allegory-Volta

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Last updated: December 12, 2019

an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances

the repetition of initial consonant sounds

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brief references to something with which the audience is assumed to be familiar

unclearness by virtue of having more than one meaning

an extra unaccented syllable at the beginning of a line before the regular meter begins

drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect

a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed-stressed syllables

repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses

a figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction

the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words

a love lyric expressing complaint that dawn means the speaker must part from his lover

conjunctions are omitted, producing a fast paced and rapid prose

a narrative poem of popular origin, a song or songlike poem that tells a story

Ballad meter
a four-line stanza rhymed abcd with four feet in lines one and three and three feet in lines two and four

Blank verse
unrhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)

harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance

a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line

a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed (“Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.


a fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects

an idea that is implied or suggested

the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words OR harmony

Continuous form
that form of a poem in which the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning

two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme

a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables

the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression

the manner in which something is expressed in words

Didactic poetry
poetry with the primary purpose of teaching or preaching

A line of verse consisting of two metrical feet

Double rhyme
a rhyme in which the repeated vowel is in the second last syllable of the words involved.

Dramatic monologue
When a single speaker in literature says something to a silent audience.

Duple meter
A meter in which a majority of the feet contain two syllables.

a mournful poem

a deliberate act of omission

Elizabethian/English/Shakespearian sonnet
3 quatrains, couplet

the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced for the context (“Some people prefer cats; others, dogs.”)

End rhyme
Rhyme that occurs at the end of two or more lines of poetry

End-stopped line
A line that ends with a natural speech pause, usually marked by punctuation.

the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of verse into the next line without a pause

a short, witty saying

any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds

Extended figure
a figure of speech sustained or developed through a considerable number of lines or through a whole poem

Extra-metrical syllable
Unaccented syllables at the beginnings or ends of lines

Feminine rhyme
a rhyme of two syllables, one stressed and one unstressed, as “waken” and “forsaken” and “audition” and “rendition.

” Feminine rhyme is sometimes called double rhyme.

Fixed form
a poem that may be categorized by the pattern of its lines, meter, rhythm, or stanzas.

a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm

Free verse
unrhymed verse without a consistent metrical pattern

Heroic couplet
Two consecutive lines of rhyming poetry that are written in iambic pentameter and that contain a complete thought.

a verse line having six metrical feet

a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor

a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables

Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)

Interior monologue
a literary genre that presents a fictional character’s sequence of thoughts in the form of a monologue

Internal rhyme
a rhyme between words in the same line

the reversal of the normal order of words

Irony (situational, verbal, dramatic)
the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually happens

Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet
a poem that falls into two parts: an octave of eight lines and a sestet of six; the octave rhyme pattern is “abba abba” (two sets of four lines); the sestet’s lines are more variable: “cde cde”; or “ced ced”; or “cd cd cd”.

A five-line light poem, usually in anapestic rhythm. The first, second, and fifth lines are rhymed trimeter; lines three and four are rhymed dimeter. The rhymes are frequently eccentric, and the subject matter is often nonsensical or obscene.

understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)

Lyric poetry
Personal, reflective poetry that reveals the speaker’s thoughts and feelings about the subject

Masculine rhyme
Rhyme that falls on the stressed and concluding syllables of the rhyme-words. Examples include “keep” and “sleep,” “glow” and “no,” and “spell” and “impel.”

understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)

a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

rhythm as given by division into parts of equal time

substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in ‘they counted heads’)

Metrical variation
variation in a poem’s meter

Narrative poetry
A poem that tells a story

Near rhyme
A rhyme based on an imperfect or incomplete correspondence of end syllable sounds.

a rhythmic group of eight lines of verse

a lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject

using words that imitate the sound they denote

conjoining contradictory terms (as in ‘deafening silence’)

a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)

a verse line having five metrical feet

A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes

using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in ‘he ran and jumped and laughed for joy’)

Pyrrhic (poetry meter)
a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed syllables

A stanza or group of four lines of poetry

The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at definite intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza

repeating a word, phrase, or idea for emphasis or rhythmic effect

Rhetorical poetry
poetry using artificially eloquent language, that is, language too high-flown for its occasion and unfaithful to the full complexity of human experience

the arrangement of spoken words alternating stressed and unstressed elements

witty language used to convey insults or scorn

form of literature in which irony, sarcasm, and ridicule are employed to attack human vice and folly

analysis of verse into metrical patterns

a rhythmic group of six lines of verse

hissing sounds represented by s, z, sh

a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)

a short poem with fourteen lines, usually ten-syllable rhyming lines, divided into two, three, or four sections

Spenserian sonnet
a sonnet consisting of three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab bcbd cdcd ee

a metrical unit with stressed-stressed syllables

in metrical verse, the replacement of the expected metrical foot by a different one

Sustained figure
also known as extended figure; a figure of speech sustained or developed through a considerable number of lines or through a whole poem

anything that stands for or represents something else

Part as representative of the whole. “All hands on deck”

describing one kind of sensation in terms of another (“a loud color”, “a sweet sound”)

the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences

a stanza of three lines in which each line ends with the same rhyme.

Terza rima
an Italian form of iambic verse consisting of eleven-syllable lines arranged in tercets, the middle line of each tercet rhyming with the first and last lines of the following tercet (aba, bcb, cdc, etc.)

a metrical line containing four feet

a line of verse with three metrical feet

Triple meter
a meter in which a majority of the feet contain three syllables

a metrical unit with stressed-stressed-unstressed syllables

omission of an unaccented syllable at either end of a line

a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said

a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number, followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.

the shift or point of dramatic change in a poem

characterized by a mixture of opposite feelings or attitudes


) shapeless, without definite form; of no particular type or character; without organization, unity, or cohesion

the absence of a syllable in the last foot of a verse

Harsh, inharmonious, or discordant sounds

coming into existence; emerging

Prevailing meter
The predominant or main meter of a poem

A type of fixed form poetry consisting of thirty-six lines of any length divided into six sestets and a three-line concluding stanza called an envoy. The six words at the end of the first sestet’s lines must also appear at the ends of the other five sestets, in varying order. These six words must also appear in the envoy, where they often resonate important themes.

Slant rhyme
rhyme in which the vowel sounds are nearly, but not exactly the same (i.e.

the words “stress” and “kiss”); sometimes called half-rhyme, near rhyme, or partial rhyme

Sound devices
elements such as rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, and onomatopoeia – gives poetry a musical quality

something that provides nourishment; food needed to live

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