Poetry glossary

Topic: Family Formation
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Last updated: December 7, 2019
Figurative language
Language in which the writer means something more than what is literally stated.

From Greek “good saying”, substitution of an indirect statement for a direct one, often with the intention of sounding less offensive or more refined (death -> passing away)

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figures of speech, Words, and phrases acquire special meaning, or special weight, because of their special syntactical arrangement., which deviates from the standard syntactical order

figures of thought (images), A word or phrase is used in a consciously different or figurative sense

Explicit comparison between two essentially unlike things, using “as (if)” or “like”

rhetorical figure which “equates” one thing with another, the speaker treats one thing as if it were another, without using “as” or “like”, comparison is implicit

Figure of speech in which a term closely related to sth serves as its substitute

figure of speech that uses a part to stand for the whole or the whole to stand for a part

Human qualities are attributed to sth non-human

a concrete object is evoked that points to an abstract meaning

Lyric poetry
Term for variety of short poetic forms, usually revolves around a single event, impression or idea; normally expresses feelings and thoughts of the speaker in a highly personal manner

narrative poetry
tells a story with a clearly defined plot

two rhymed lines of a verse

closed couplet
a couplet that is set aside or self-contained

stanza that consists of four lines

alternating rhyme

envelope stanza

blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter, commonly used for long poems

heroic couplet
rhymed iambic pentameter (aa bb cc dd ee)

free verse
reflects the stress and delivery patterns of natural speech, but has no regular metre or even line length

form of narrative poetry, relates a story through action and dialogue, often tragic, typically four-line stanzas with alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and trimeter with abcb rhyme scheme (ballad metre)

dramatic monologue
form of narrative poetry in which a single speaker speaks to a silent audience, personality of speaker is exposed without him/her being aware of what s/he reveals

concrete poetry
poems that use the physical arrangement of words on a page to mirror meaning, takes advantage of visible shapes of letters and words to create a picture

literary movement in early 20th cent., attempts to reduce and condense poetry to essential “images”, extreme economy of expression, use of as few words as possible, often conveying ideas and emotions indirectly but suggestively through images

An elaborately crafted fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter

Petrarchan sonnet
contains an eight-line stanza (octave), with an abbaabba rhyme-scheme, followed by a six-line stanza (sestet) of cdecde; The two are thematically separated by the volta (“turn”), i.e.

a shift in meaning, view, etc.. The octave often raises a question or states a problem or proposition that is answered in the sestet

eight-line stanza

six-line stanza

Shakespearean sonnet
consists of three quarains and a couplet, rhyme scheme abab/cdcd/efef/gg

witty and concise couplet at end of Shakespearean sonnet (gg)

abstract idea that is revealed through the manner in which a work deals with its subject, described in abstract terms, often become apparent through motifs

Minimal thematic unit, a discrete thing, image, situation, event or phrase that is repeated in a work of literature

of words and phrases, can highlight words, and/or create a particular rhythm

effect produced when there is a discrepancy between two levels of meaning

verbal irony
deliberate contrast between what is said and what is meant

rhetorical question
a question asked for the sake of manipulation or persuasion, no answer is expected

The repetition of identical syllables or sounds

form of internal rhyme, repetition of consonants at the beginning of words

form of internal rhyme, the recurrence of identical or similar vowel sounds in verse

eye rhyme
A type of rhyme which is based on syllables with identical spelling but different pronunciation.

The use of a word that sounds like its meaning, such as “pop”, “hiss”, “buzz”, “cuckoo”. In poetry, it is used to emphasise the meaning of a word through its acoustic dimension

An underlying regular beat in a poem, and an element of its acousticrhythmical dimension.

Stressed and unstressed syllables of a line of poetry can be organised in feet

form of metre with three stressed syllables to the line (=3 feet)

four stressed syllables (=4 feet)

five stressed syllables (=5 feet)

six stressed syllables/feet

segment of verse composed of stressed and unstressed syllables

an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one (?¯?).

a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one (¯??).

two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed one (??¯?).

a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones (¯???).

analysis of poetic metre by indicating stresses, pauses and rhyme patterns

a pause in a line of verse, often indicated by punctuation and thus corresponding with the end of a clause or sentence

stress shift
term for inclusion of a single irregular foot in a line of verse that is otherwise regular

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