Poetry form (jar)

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Last updated: December 17, 2019
Free Verse
Open poetry that does not have a regular meter or rhyme scheme

Prose poetry
Open poetry that uses language in a poetic manner but avoids any type of meter; written block like without care to eye appeal

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Visual poetry
poetry that focuses as much on the word’s apearance on the page as on what the words say; written with a distinctive visible shape like “Swan and Shadow” by John Hollander

Found poetry
Open poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and/or lines (and consequently meaning), or by altering the text by additions and/or deletions.

Blank verse
closed poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter

Closed Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, often spiritual and serious in tone, relying mostly on imagery, and usually set in one of the four seasons.

Closed comic verse form of five anapestic lines usually rhyming aabba. The 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines tradtionally have 3 stressed syllables each; the 3rd and 4th have two stresses each (3,3,2,2,3).

A closed, traditional and widely used verse form, especially poplular for love poetry.

Uses fixed form of 14 lines, traditionally written in iambic pentameter, usu. made up of an octave (1st 8 lines) and a concluding sestet (6 lines). (English, Italian, or Spenserian.)

A very short poem, often comic, usually ending with some sharp turn of wit or meaning.

A short lyric form of 8 rhymed lines borrowed from the French.

the two opening lines are repeated according to a set pattern. Often playful, but dark lyric poems demonstrate the form’s flexibility.

A fixed form developed by French courtly poets of the Middle Ages in imitation of Italian folk song. Consists of 6 rhymed stanzas in which two line are repeated in a prescribed pattern.

A complex verse form (“song of sexes”) in which six end words are repeated in a prescribed order through six stanzas. Ends with an envoy of three lines in which all six words appear–for a total of 39 lines. Originaly used by French and Italian poets, it has become a popular modern form in English.

From the Italian, meaning “stopping-place”or “room”. A recurring pattern of two or more lines of verse, poetry’s equivalent to the paragraph in prose. It is the basic organizational priniciple of most formal poetry.

A two-line stanza in poetry, usually rhymed, which tends to have lines of equal length – heroic (ends in light pause) & closed (heavily end-stopped).

A group of three lines of verse, ususally all ending in the same rhyme.

Terza rima
A verse form made up of three-line stanzas that are connected by an overlapping rhyme scheme (aba, bcb, cdc, ded, etc.)

A stanza consisting of four lines. Most common stanzas used in English-language poetry.

A poem or stanza of six lines. Term often used when speaking of sonnets to indicate the final six-line section of the poem, distinct from the octave (first 8 lines).

A stanza of eight lines.

Ususally used when sepaking of sonnets to indicate the first eight-line section of the poem, distinct from the sestet.

Syllabic verse
A verse form in which the poet establishes a pattern of a certain number of syllables to a line. Most common meter in most Romance languages such as Italian, French, and Spanish.

Less common in English because it is difficulf to hear syllable count.

An emphasis or accent placed on a syllable in speech. Clear pronunciation of polysyllabic words almost always depends on correct placement of it. Basic principle of most English-language meter.

A person, place, or thing in a narrative that suggest meanings beyond its literal sense. Related to allegory, but works more complexly. Usually contains multiple meanings and associations whereas allegories have a single additional significance. (Dickinson, Hardy, Frost)

From the Latin versum , “to turn”. Has two major meanings. First, it refers to any single line of poetry. Second, it refers to any compostion in lines of more or less regular rhythm – in contrast to prose.

A practice used to describe rhythmic patterns in a poem by separating the metrical feet, counting the syllables, marking the accents, and indicting the pauses. Can be very useful in analyzing the sound of a poem and how it should be read aloud.

Slant rhyme/Consonance
A rhyme in which the final consonant sounds are the same but the vowel sounds are different, as in letter and litter. May also be called “near rhyme”, “off rhyme”, or “imperfect rhyme”.

End rhyme
Rhyme that occurs at the ends of lines, rather than within them (as internal rhyme does). Most common kind of rhyme in English-language poetry.

Exact rhyme
A full rhyme in which the sounds following the initial letters of the words are identical in sound, as in follow and hollow, go and slow, disband and this hand.

a poem usually addressed to a particular person, object or event that has stimulated deep and noble feelings in the poet

Iambic meter
A verse meter consisting of a specific recurring number of iambic feet per line

Trochaic meter
A metrical foot in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable as in the words sum-mer and chor-us. Often associated with songs, chants, and magic spells in English.

A metrical foot in verse in which two unstressed syllables are followed by a stressed syllable, as in “on a boat” or “in a slump”.

A metrical foot of verse in which one stressed syllable is followed by two unstressed syllables (bat-ter-y or par-a-mour).

Internal rhyme
Rhyme that occurs within a line of poetry, as opposed to end rhyme.

The unit of measurement in metrical poetry. Different meters are identified by the pattern and order of stressed and unstressed syllable in it, usually containing two or three syllables, with one syllable accented. Types include: monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter, heptameter, octameter, nonameter, and decameter.

masculine rhyme
a rhyme of one-syllable words (jail, bail) or (in words of more than one syllable) stressed final syllables; di-VORCE, re-MORSE

feminine rhyme
a rhyme of two or more syllables, with stress on a syllable other than the last; TUR-tle, FER-tile

eye rhyme
rhymes that are spelled alike but are pronounced differently. ex.

rough and dough, venus and menus

elements of poems
rhyme, meter, alliteration, assonance, euphony, cacophony, repitition, onomatopoeia, theme

recurrence of stresses and pauses

a greater amount of force given to one syllable in speaking than is given to another

slack syllables
unstressed syllables

a light but definite pause within a line

when a line ends in a full pause (usually with some form of punctuation)

rising meters
iambic and anapestic; movement rises from an unstressed syllable(s) to stress

falling meters
trochaic & dactylic meters; movement falls from a stressed syllable(s) to unstressed

accentual meter
poetry not written in feet (as in other meters), but instead counts accents (stresses)

quantitative meter
an iamb in classical verse that is one short syllable followed by a long syllable and is constructed on the principle of vowel length

open form
poetry written with freedom from rhyme scheme and basic meter; pauses used as needed for emphasis (e.e. cummings)

closed form
poetry with some sort of pattern; visually look regular and symmetrical, often is stanzas of grouped rhymes; striving for perfection

projective verse
poetry composed by poet listening to their own breathing; uses indentations, word groupings, pauses

concrete poetry
Type of open poem that makes designs out of the letters like “Concrete Cat” by Dorthi Charles

Shakespearean sonnet
English sonnet where rimes cohere in four clusters: a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g; 3 quatrains then a couplet

Italian sonnet
Petrarchan sonnet with an octave presenting a problem then a sestet to resolve the problem. Rime scheme is abba, abba in the octave and then cdcdcd, or cdecde, or cdccde

the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a break in syntax.

acrostic poem
a closed form poem in which the initial letter of each line, read downward, spells out a word or words that named (and insulted) a well-knowned anthologist.

Spenserian sonnet
Invented by Edmund Spenser as an outgrowth of the stanza pattern he used in “The Faerie Queene ” w/ the pattern: a b a b b c b c c d c d e e distinct four-line groups, each of which develops a specific idea a, b, c, and d rhymes form the first 12 lines into a single unit with a separated final couplet. The three quatrains then develop three distinct but closely related ideas, with a different idea (or commentary) in the couplet.

a descripton (usually narrative) in which person, places, and things are employed in a continuous and consistent system of equivalents.

Confessional poetry
Uses frank self-determination as its main purpose and candid personal experience that may violate social conventions or propriety

personal identity methods in poetry
Culture, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Social class, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs

main topic (what the poem is about)

the thought of the poem which can be stated variously, depending on what you believe matters most in the poem.

lyric poetry
short poeme expressing the thoughts and feeling of a single speaker. (often in first-person)

poetry types
lyric, narrative, or dramatic

narrative poetry
poetry that relates to a series of events whose main purpose is to tell a story (Robert Frost)

dramatic poetry
poetry presented in the voice of an imaginary character(s) speaking directly, without any additional narration by the author.

the attitude toward a subject conveyed in a literary work

satiric poetry
poetry that blends criticism with humor to convey a message; uses irony to make points; tone is detached amusement, withering contempt, and implied superiority

verbal irony
contrast between the speaker’s words and meaning

ironic point of view
contrast between the writer’s attitude and what is spoken by a fictitious character

dramatic irony
contrast between the limited knowledge of a character and the fuller knowledge of the reader or spectator

cosmic irony
contrast between a character’s aspiration and the treatment he or she receives at the hand of Fate.

all of the words or sequences of words that refer to any sensory experience in a poem (visual, auditory, tactile)

figure of speech
an expression or comparison that relies not on its literal meaning, but rather on its connotations and suggestions.

(metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, understatement, metonymy, transferred epithet, paradox, apostrophe, pun

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