Literature – Formal Elements of Poetry

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Last updated: May 3, 2019

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It is where mere description becomes difficult and where measurement calculation, or imitation of the experience results in an inferior result.

Narrative
A spoken or written accounts of connected events; A story.

Lyrical
Poems that focus on emotions and feelings with certain musicality.

Dramatic
Poetry written for theatre

Rap
Spoken rhythmic lyrics

Soliloquy
Speaking one’s thought aloud.

Indian epics
Asian philosophical and spiritual element.

Subject
Explicit images and stated clearly

Theme
Implicit ideas; ideas are implied but not plainly expressed

Diction
Word or phrase choice in speech or writing.

Denotation
Literal meaning (Dictionary meaning)

Connotation
Meaning is according to the contexts e.g. Emotional, social, cultural, etc.

Abstract
Intangible; concepts we know through intellect

Concrete
Tangible; qualities and characteristics we know through senses

Onomatopoeia
Words that sound like that which they describe e.g. Meow! Arf! Kokak! Hssss!

Repetition
Repetition of entire lines to emphasize key statements

Parallel structure
Repetition of the order of verbs and nouns; repeats sentence structure.

Style
Defined as the way the writer writes; technique which an individual author uses in his writing.

Syntax
Arrangement of words and word choice.

Formal
Language designed in situations in which natural language is not suitable.

Standard
Lingua franca and in their public discourse

Colloquial
Ordinary and familiar conversation

Vulgate
Texts created for the use of the common people

Slang
Non-standard words and phrases in a given language

Dialect
Regional variety of language.

Jabberwocky
Nonce words-made up

Medium
How is it being presented or relayed/communicated?

Dialogue
Relayed through conversation

Narrative
Communicated through telling a story.

Description
Presented through classifying.

Medium is the message
Medium can affect how the message is perceived.

Stanzas
are a series of lines grouped together and separated by an empty line from otherstanzas.

Refrain
Verse that is repeated throughout a song.

Verse/Lines
are writing arranged with a metrical rhythm. Lines unit of language intowhich a poem is divided.

Rhythm
Strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound.

Prosody
The use/study of patterns of rhythm.

Meter
Rhythmical pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in verse.

Foot
Basic unit of measurement. Usually contains one stressed and one unstressed syllable.

Iamb
Metrical foot consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable.

Sonnet line
Consists of ten syllables in iambic pentameter

Iambic
Weak then strong syllable.

Trochaic
Strong then weak syllable

Anapestic
Two weak then a strong syllable

Spondaic
Two strong syllables

Dactylic
A strong then two weak syllable

Rhymes
Words thus corresponding in sound.

Alliteration
Repetition of initial sound on the same line or stanza e.g. Big bad bob bounced bravely.

Assonance
Repetition of vowel sounds (anywhere in the middle or end of a line or stanza) e.

g. Tilting at windmills

Consonance
Repetition of consonant sounds (anywhere the middle or end of a line or stanza) e.g. And all the air a solemn stillness holds.

Tone
Attitude of the poem.

Imagery
Visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory senses stimulated.

Synesthesia
Sense impression; stimulation of senses.

Mask/Persona
Identity of the author.

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