Poetry (A Pocket Anthology)

Topic: CultureSubculture
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Last updated: December 8, 2019
Dramatic Situation
Who is speaking to whom under what circumstances?

Occasional verse
A poem that is written about or for an important event

Who is speaking?

Confessional Poetry
A form of autobiographical poetry

The person or persons spoken to in a poem

A brief explanatory statement or quotation

Explains the setting

Separate categories delineated by distinct style, form, and context

Lyric Poetry
Brief poems that were meant to be sung or chanted to the accompaniment of a lyre

A lyric on the occasion of a death

A long lyric in elevated language on a serious theme

Narrative Poetry
Main function is to tell a story

A long narrative poem about the exploits of a hero

Folk Epic
Intended for public recitation

Literary epics
The products of known authors

Short narratives with song. Often include rhyme and repeated refrains.

Folk ballads
Come from oral tradition and are anonymously authored

Art/literary ballads
Conscious imitations of the ballad style by later poets and are generally more sophisticated than folk ballads (in technique)

Realistic narratives
“poetic novels”

Dithyrambic poetry
Composed to be chanted at religious rituals by a chorus, was the forerunner of tragedy

Dramatic poetry
Presented as a speech or dialogue that might be acted out like a soliloquy or scene from a play

Dramatic monologue
A speech for a single character. usually delivered to a silent auditor

Dialogue poetry
To persons speak alternatively

The individual words of a poem

Poetic diction
Used to indicate a level of speech somehow refined above ordinary usage and, thus, somehow superior to it


o’er, ne’er, pow’r)

A word made up by the poet

The order of words in a sentence

Words that fall out of their expected order

The study of the sources of words

Concrete diction
Denote that which can be perceived by the senses

Abstract diction

Sensory details denoting specific physical experiences

Refers to individual words like “splash” or “thud” whose meanings are closely related to their sounds

The use of one word to imply the additional meaning of a similar-sounding word (a pun)

Figures of speech/tropes
Involve some kind of comparison, either explicit or implied

A direct comparison between two unlike things

Implied metaphor
A metaphor in which either the tenor or vehicle is implied, not stated

A comparison using “like,” “as”, or “than”

An extended or far-fetched metaphor, in most cases comparing things that apparently have almost nothing in common

Petrarchan conceit
Named after the first great master of the sonnet, is a cliched comparison usually relating to a woman’s beauty

Metaphysical conceit
Refers to the extended comparisons favored by such so-called metaphysical poets

Use of a part for the whole, or vice versa (very similar to metonymy)

Giving human characteristics to nonhuman things or to abstractions

A variety of personification in which a nonhuman thing, abstraction, or person not physically present is directly addressed as if it could respond

An apparent contradiction or illogical statement

A short paradox, usually consisting of an adjective and noun with conflicting meanings

A conscious mixing of two different types of sensory experience

Transferred epithet
Not, strictly speaking, a trope, it occurs when an adjective is “transferred” from the word it actually modifies to a nearby word

Usually a narrative that exists on at least two levels simultaneously, a concrete literal level and a second level of abstract meaning; throughout an allegory a consistent sequence of parallels exists between the literal and the abstract.

Any concrete thing or any action in a poem that implies a meaning beyond its literal sense

The element of tone by which a poet may imply an attitude that is in fact contrary to what his words appear to say

Verse satire; epigram
Poetry that exists primarily to mock or ridicule, although often with serious intent

Situational irony
Irony in which the setting of the poem contains a built-in incongruity.

Dramatic irony
The third type of irony that occurs when the persona of a poem is less aware of the full import of his or her words than is the reader

A series of unpleasant sounds

Sounds that are deliberately unpleasant

The repetition of the initial consonant sounds

The matching of parallel units that contain contrasting meanings

Refers to a whole genre of literature and thus stands with fiction and drama as one major type of writing

Refers to a mode of writing in lines of a certain length

System of measurement

Accentual-syllabic verse
Requires that the poet count both the strongly stressed and the total number of syllables in the line

One unstressed and stressed syllable

Free verse

A group of lines in a poem

Blank verse
Consists of individual lines of iambic pentameter that do not rhyme

A Japanese import consisting of lines of five, seven, and five syllables

Consists of fourteen lines of rhymed iambic pentameter

Italian sonnet, or Petrarchan sonnet
Usually cast in two stanzas, an octave rhyming abbaabba, cdcdcd, cdecde, cddcee, etc

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