Mary Oliver A Poetry Handbook vocab

Topics: DesignConstruction


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Last updated: December 3, 2019

A pure iambic, six-foot line

The repetition of the initial sound of words in a line or lines of verse

A reference to something that belongs properly to a world beyond the specific sphere of the poem

Two light stresses followed by a heavy stress

The repetition of vowel sounds within words in a line or lines of verse; creates a near-rhyme

Blank Verse
Poems written in iambic pentameter without end rhyme

A structural and logical pause within and only within the line

A comparison that is particularly unusual or fanciful

The atmosphere of a word

The repetition of both initial sounds and interior sounds of words

All letters other than vowels; divided into semivowels and mutes

Line 1 rhymes with line 2, line 3 rhymes with line 4aa bb cc dd etc.

A heavy stress followed by two light stresses

Word choice

English / Shakespearean Sonnet
Three quatrains and a coupletabab cdcd efef gg

Turns the line so that a logical phrase is interrupted

Epic Poem
Requires a dignified theme, organic unity, and an orderly progress of the action, with a heroic figure or figures

Extended Metaphor
A comparison of two things is repeated and extended throughout a poem with repeated instances of imagery

Feminine Rhyme
Uses words of more than one syllable that end with a light stress; “buckle” and “knuckle”

Figurative Language
Another term for imagery; in the poem there is a figure that is a concrete, nonliteral, informing representation of something; a familiar thing is linked to an unknown thing

Free Verse
Rose out of a desire for release from the restraints of meter, the measured line, and strict rhyming patterns; free from formal metrical design; language that is composed, considered, appropriate, and effective

A six-foot line

A light stress followed by a heavy stress

Iambic Pentameter
Five iambic feet strung together

The representation of one thing by another thing

Italian Sonnet
The first eight lines (octave) set out a statement or premise; the following six lines (sestet) respondabba abba cdd cee

Each line of the poem can be divided into feet and each foot into stresses (in metrical verse)

Lyric Poem
Brief, concentrated, has usually no more than a single subject and focus and no more than a single voice, and is more likely to employ a simple and natural rather than an intricate or composed musicality

Masculine Rhyme
Words rhyme on a single stressed syllable; “spears” and “tears”

An implicit rather than explicit comparison; does not use the words “like” or “as” in its construction; two things compared often seem very different

A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry

Mute Consonants
A consonant that cannot be sounded at all without a vowel, and which at the end of a syllable suddenly stops the breath; “k” “p” “t”

Narrative Poem
Generally longer that the lyric poem, and its tone is without such a tightly coiled force; it sets an easy and readable pace and helps us to enjoy sequential events

Negative Capability
The poet should be a kind of negative force — that only by remaining himself negative, or in some way empty, is the poet able to fill himself with an understanding of, or sympathy for, or empathy with, the subject of his poem; KEATS

Off Rhyme / Slant Rhyme
Words are not true rhyming words but almost rhyme; frequently used by Dickinson; “down” and “noon”

The use of a word that, through its sound as well as its sense, represents what it defines; natural sounds such as “buzz” “moo” “chirp” “rumble”

A five-foot line

The voice, or speaker of the poem

When one gives a physical characteristic or innate quality of animation to something that is inanimate, or to an abstraction

Poetic Diction
Language in which all freshness is gone, from which credibility has long vanished, in which “the edge is off”; allows fro creativity

Prose Poems
A fairly short block of type — a paragraph or two, rarely more than a page; often is is pure description

abab cdcd etc

The reappearance of a sound, a word, a phrase, a stanza, or other structure in any literary work.

The similarity of sound at the end of two or more lines

A musical quality produced by the repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables (meter) or by the repetition of words and phrases or even whole lines or sentence

A process of dividing a line into its metrical feet and each foot into its individual parts

Self-enclosed Line
An entire sentence or a phrase that is complete in terms of grammar and logic, though it is only part of a sentence

A consonant that can be imperfectly sounded without a vowel so that at the end of syllable its sound may be protracted “l” “n” “z”

Comparison using “like” or “as” in its construction

A poem of fourteen lines; traditionally it uses the iambic pentameter line

Spenserian Stanza
abab bcbc c

Two equal stresses

A group of lines in a poem that is separated by an extra amount of space from other groups of lines

An evaluation of the sum of the choices an author makes in blending diction, syntax, figurative language, and other literary devices

Syllablic Verse
A pattern is set up, and rigorously followed, in which the number of syllables in each of the lines of the first stanza is exactly repeated in the following stanzas

Arrangement of words and phrases to create well formed sentences

An extra light stress within a final foot and is not counted as part of the metrical pattern

Tercet / Triplet
aaa bbb ccc ddd etc

Terza Rima
aba bcb cdc ded etc

A four-foot line

Makes the poem an experience, something much more than mere statement; plentitude and layering of details

The overall effect of the diction of a piece of writing, in addition to other elements, such as choice of subject, imagery, design of poem etc

A three-foot line

A heavy stress followed by a light stress

True Rhyme
Ex: “spears” “tears” “pot” “hot”

Used to identify the agency or agent who is speaking through the poem, apart form those passages that are actual dialogue

Forms a perfect sound when uttered alone. “a” “e” “i” “o” “u” and sometimes “w” and “y”

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