Introduction to Poetry

Topics: LifeHero

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Last updated: December 12, 2019

form
the physical arrangement of the words on the page including the length and placement of the lines and the way they are grouped into stanzas

stanza
a verse paragraph, separated from the remainder of the poem by an additional space

free verse
poetry that is not written in strict formal patterns

imagery
word pictures; poets try using the five senses to create these word pictures

figurative language
helps create strong imagery; comparisons between things that have something in common

simile
like or as signals the comparison: “my life is like an open book”

metaphor
a direct comparison, with no signal word: “jealousy is a green-eyed monster”

personification
type of figurative language in which animals, inanimate objects, or ideas are given human characteristics: “the teakettle ordered us back to the kitchen”

alliteration
repetition of initial consonant sounds in nearby words: “to jiggle and jump for joy”

assonance
repetition of vowel sounds within words: “a greed as deep as the sea”

consonance
repetition of consonant sounds within or at the end of words: “of fleet foot and sound mind”

rhyme
repetition of final sounds in two or more words: “a stray gray tray”

rhyme scheme
the pattern formed by the rhymes at the end of the lines in a poem

repetition
a literary technique in which sounds, words, phrases, or lines are repeated for emphasis or unity

anaphora
a musical and rhetorical device which repeats the opening word or phrase in several successive lines

onomatopeia
the use of words that sound like what they refer to; examples: snort, clank, buzz, bark, whir

rhythm
the pattern, or beat, of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry

meter
when a rhythm is repeated throughout a poem

narrative
tells a story

theme
the characters, setting, plot, and point of view

controlling metaphor
when an entire piece of literature can be seen as a metaphor

lyric
short poetry, and often has a song-like quality

elegy
lyric poem that is melancholy or contemplative

ode
lyric poem that is long, elaborate, and on a lofty theme like immortality or a hero’s victory

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