Poetry Quizzes

Topic: CultureSubculture
Sample donated:
Last updated: December 14, 2019
Double-dactyl
Higgledy-piggledy,Benjamin HarrisonTwenty-third President Was, and, as such Served between Clevelands andSave for this trivialIdiosyncrasy,Didn’t do much.

Clerihew
Sir Christoper WrenSaid, “I am going to dine with some men. If anyone calls, Say I am designing St. Paul’s.”

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Limerick
There was a young lady named BrightWhose speed was much faster than light. She set out one dayIn a relative way,And returned on the previous night.

Triolet
Brief repeating form in which two refrains recur for roughly 5/8 of the poem.

Villanelle
Poetic form in which the first and third lines of the first (tercet) stanza repeat as the third line of successive, alternating stanzas, while the second lines all rhyme with each other. Ends with a four-line stanza in which lines 1 and 3 of the first stanza become the final two lines of the poem.

Ballade
Poetic form with rhyme scheme ABABBCBC, in which each stanza ends on a refrain (with the C rhyme).

Ends on an “envoy” stanza: 4 lines, BCBC rhyme, with the refrain as the last line of the poem.

Acrostic
Poem that spells out a “hidden” word or message.

Blues
Popular or folk form in which the first line is repeated three times, then a fourth, different line somehow resolves whatever problem is being chewed over in those three repeated lines.

Sestina
Poetic form in which the six end words of the first six-line stanza are repeated, in rotation, as the end words of all successive six-line stanzas. Ends with a three-line stanza in which all six words are used again, two in each line.

Rondeau
Poetic form (also French!) in which the first part of the first line (usually its first two iambic feet) is repeated as the final line of successive stanzas.

Pantoum
Poetic form in which the second line of the first stanza becomes the first line of the second stanza, and the fourth line becomes line 2 of that stanza.

This pattern repeats through the entire poem. John Hollander finds this form maddening, but I think it’s a lot of fun.

Refrain
Line or lines that recur throughout a poem, remaining the same or varying only slightly, to create an antiphonal effect.

Petrarchan sonnet
ABBAABBACDECDE

Cinquain
2-4-6-8-2

Pure syllabic verse
Imported into English from other languages. Lines can be any length. Syllables are counted, not accents.

Shakespearean sonnet
ABABCDCDEFEFGG

Haiku
Five.

Seven. Five.

Iambic pentameter
da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM

Free Verse
Verse influenced by Walt Whitman and the French poet Rimbaud, in which the mode of variation itself is significant.

Hebrew Bible
Most influential unmeasured verse form in the entire poetic tradition; “one-half line makes an assertion; the other part paraphrases it; sometimes a third part will vary it.”

Concrete poem
“A development in graphic art . .

. depend[ing] on unique drawn, printed, or assembled representations of patterned description, punning rebus, etc.” Meant to be visual, not read aloud; indeed, it often really doesn’t “read” well aloud.

Pattern-poem
“Composed in, or typographically arranged in, shapes of images of ojects or abstract forms, from some aspect of which the poet’s subject or ‘occasion’ will arise.”

Pindaric ode
Takes gods and public events for its subject matter

Horatian ode
Takes personal meditation for its subject matter

Sapphic stanza
Long line, long line, long line, short line

Horatian stanza
Long line, long line, short line, long line

Accentual-syllabic
Verse system in which syllables are grouped in twos or threes. Words tend to keep their natural patterns of emphasis, as in normal speech. Best-known example: iambic pentameter.

Blank verse
Iambic five-beat lines

Sapphics
“________: Four-line stanzas whose first three lines areHeard — in our hard English at least — as heartbeats,Then, in one more touch of a final short line,Tenderly ending.”

Rhyme royal
Stanza form of seven pentameter lines

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