Important Poetry Terms

Topic: Criminal Justice
Sample donated:
Last updated: December 3, 2019
repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words.

reference to well-known event, piece of literature, or artwork

Don't use plagiarized sources.
Get Your Custom Essay on "Important Poetry Terms..."
For You For Only $13.90/page!

Get custom paper
metrical foot the consists of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed (‘interrupt’)

repetition of a vowel sound (‘right/time’)

a short narrative poem

blank verse
unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter

a strong pause within a line verse

an elaborate metaphor or simile that provides an apt comparison between two dissimilar ideas or feelings

repetition of consonant sounds in two or more successive words or syllables that contain a different vowel sound (wonder/wander; haven/heaven)

a pair of lines of verse, usually rhyming.

heroic couplet
rhymed pair of pentameter lines

metrical unit of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed (the opposite of anapest; ‘carefully’)

the slurring or suppression of a vowel sound or syllable, usually by fusing a final unstressed vowel with a following word beginning with a vowel or a mute h. Usually in poetry it is used to maintain the meter of a line (Th’expense of spirit.”). The elision is related to the syncope, in which a letter or syllable within a word is omitted (“o’er” for “over”). (note: know the difference between the elision and the syncope).

end rhyme
identical sounds at the end of lines of poetry

end-stopped line
a line of poetry that ends with a pause, usually punctuation

feminine ending
the ending of a metrical line on an unstressed syllable, as in a regular trochaic line

feminine rhyme
a rhyme on two syllables, the first stressed and the second unstressed (‘mother/another’)

a metrical unit of verse

free verse
poetry that does not conform to regular meter, line length, or rhyme

deliberate exaggeration

a metrical unit of verse having one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed (‘beyond’). Lines consisting of iambs are ‘iambic.’

imperfect rhyme
(half rhyme) partial rhyme that vary the corresponding vowel and/or consonant sounds (red/rid; stones/stuns)

internal rhyme
the rhyme of two or more words within the same line of verse (‘Of the tribe which describe with a jibe the pervasions of Justice…


the reversal of the expected word order

lyric poem
emotional or song-like piece expressing personal mood, feeling, or mediation of a single speaker. The Greeks used to perform them on lyres.

one thing, idea, of action denoting and thing, idea, or action to suggest some shared, common quality

pattern of measured sound-units recurring more or less regularly in lines of verse. Common types are trimeter (3 feet), tetrameter (4), pentameter, hexameter (6), and heptameter (7)

the ambiance or overall feeling of a piece or a portion of it; the prevailing emotion or feeling

the use of words that seem to imitate the sounds to which they refer (crackle, hiss, fizz) or which echo a particular sense.

metrical lines consisting of five feet of stresses. In English poetry, iambic pentameter has been the dominant line of forms such as blank verse, the heroic couplet, and the sonnet.

providing non-human objects with human characteristics

rhyme scheme
pattern of rhymed line-endings

pattern of sounds perceives at the recurrence of equivalent ‘beats’ at more of less equal intervals.

In English poetry the rhythm is usually manifested in a certain meter, but it can include the unmeasured rhythms of everyday speech cadences or other such less structured patterns.

an explicit comparison between two different things, actions, feelings, etc. using the words “like” or “as.” An elaborate type of simile, used as a digression in a narrative work, is called an “epic simile”; Homer loved to use these, so much so that they became known as “Homeric similes.”

a lyric poem with fourteen lines of equal length.

The two most popular are the Italian (Petrarchan) and the English (Shakespearean) sonnet. The former contains an eight-line octave of two quatrains (abba abba) and a six-line sestet (usually cdecde or cdcdcd). The latter is a fourteen-line poem with abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme, the final couplet usually providing the main message of the poem.

stanza (or verse)
a group of lines that share a common pattern of meter, length, rhyme, and/or theme, subject matter, etc..

Common examples are couplets, triplets or tercets (three lines), and quatrains (four lines, the most popular), but some can be much longer.

the name of the part is substituted for that of the whole (e.g. hand for worker)

the attitude of the speaker toward the subject matter or audience

metrical unit having one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed (the opposite of the iamb; ‘tender’). Poets can opt for a ‘trochaic’ inversion, or substitution, at the beginning and end of iambic lines.

volta (volte)
The “turn” in the argument or mood of a poem. In the Italian (or Petrarchan) sonnet, it usually occurs at the beginning of the concluding sestet, while in the Shakespearean sonnet it generally comes with the concluding couplet.

Choose your subject


I'm Jessica!

Don't know how to start your paper? Worry no more! Get professional writing assistance from me.

Click here