MAP Reading- Poetry Terms

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Last updated: December 9, 2019

Sonnet
A sonnet is simply a poem written in a certain format. You can identify a sonnet if it has the following characteristics: Fourteen lines, a strict rhyme scheme, is written in iambic pentameter (see below), and can be broken down into three quatrains and one couplet.

Stanzas
In poetry, a stanza is a unit within a larger poem.

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A stanza consists of a grouping of lines, set off by a space, that usually has a set pattern of meter and rhyme

Enjambment
The continuation of a complete idea (a sentence or clause) from one line or couplet of a poem to the next line or couplet without a pause.

End Stop
In poetry, a grammatical pause at the end of a line of verse (period, comma, etc.)

Limerick
A light, humorous poem of five usually lines with the rhyme scheme of aabba.

Iambic Pentameter
A type of meter in poetry, in which there are five rhythmic (stressed and unstressed syllables) units to a line. Shakespeare’s plays were written mostly in iambic pentameter, which is the most common type of meter in English poetry.

Rhythm
The patterned recurrence specific language features, usually features of sound.

Poetic Meter
The arrangement of a line of poetry by the number of syllables and the rhythm of stressed/unstressed syllables.

Scansion
The analysis of a poem’s meter. This is usually done by marking the stressed and unstressed syllables in each line and then, based on the pattern of the stresses, dividing the line into feet.

Tanka
A form of Japanese poetry that follows the pattern 5 syll-7syll-5 syll-7syll-7 syllables

Haiku
Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry.

Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

Canto
A division of a very long poem.

Sonnet
They that have power to hurt, and will do none,That do not do the thing, they most do show,Who moving others, are themselves as stone,Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow:They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces,And husband nature’s riches from expense,Tibey are the lords and owners of their faces,Others, but stewards of their excellence:The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,Though to itself, it only live and die,But if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds,Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.

Stanza
• 2 lines = Couplet• 3 lines = Tercet• 4 lines = Quatrain• 5 lines = Cinquain• 6 lines = Sestet• 7 lines = Septet• 8 lines = Octave

Enjambment
“I think that I shall never see/A poem as lovely as a tree.

End Stop
A little learning is a dangerous thing;Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.Note the use of punctuation!

Limerick
There once was a man from Peru,Who dreamed of eating his shoe,He awoke with a fright,In the middle of the night,And found that his dream had come true!

Iambic pentameter
A line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is “But soft!/ What light/ through yon/der win/dow breaks?”

Rhythm
da DUMThe da-DUM of a human heartbeat is the most common example

Scansion
? / ? / ? / ? / ? /To swell the gourd, and plump the ha- zel shells

Poetic Meter
Shakespeare arranged his lines this way on purpose–following a certain rhythm”A horse!/ A horse!/ My king/dom for/ a horse!”

Tanka
Line one – 5 syllables Beautiful mountains Line two – 7 syllables Rivers with cold, cold water. Line three – 5 syllable White cold snow on rocks Line four – 7 syllables Trees over the place with frost Line five – 7 syllables White sparkly snow everywhere

Haiku
Green and speckled legs,Hop on logs and lily padsSplash in cool water.

Canto
Dante’s Inferno is a very long epic poem. Therefore, it must be divided into parts.

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