Poetry Study Guide

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Last updated: November 25, 2019

poetry
Type of literature in which words are chosen arranged to created a certain effect

form
The way a poem is laid out on a page.

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The length and placement of the lines and the grouping of lines into stanzas

alliteration
repitition of initial consonant sounds in words

assonance
The repetition of vowel >sounds< within non-rhyming words

sound
Use of words to their auditory effect that can convey meaning and mood or unify a work

speaker
The voice that talks to the reader, similar to the narrator in fiction. Speaker may not be poet

figurative language
Language that communicates ideas beyond the ordinary, literal meaning of words

imagery
Descriptive words and phrases that recreate sensory experiences for the reader. This is one type of figurative language; uses the 5 senses to help you see, hear, touch, taste, or smell the topic or the poem

free verse
does not have regular meter or rhyme but it tells a story

lines
A phrase or sentences in a stanza

stanzas
Grouping of two or more lines in a pattern which is repeated throughout a poem

rhyme
Occurrence of similar or identical sound at the ends of two or more words

internal rhyme
Rhyme that occurs within a line

end rhyme
Rhyme that occurs at the end of a line

rhyme scheme
a pattern of end rhymes in a poem

rhythm
A pattern of sound created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed symbols in a line. In some poems the lines have a repeated rhythmic pattern, or meter

meter
Rhythmic pattern

consonance
Repetition of consonant sounds within or at the end of words

onomatopoeia
Use of words that sound like what they refer to; ex: clang, buzz, slap, pop

haiku
KIGO; denoting time of the season with a certain word; a three-line poem, with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second and 5 syllables in the third line.

personification
Attribution of human qualities to an object; gives animals human like features; a cat talking would be an example

similie
Comparison indicated by the words like or as

metaphor
a direct comparison

denotation
The “dictionary” or standard definition of a word

connotation
The associations a word carries with it

extended metaphor
sustains a direct comparison for several lines or an entire poem

acrostic
a word is written down the side of the paper, and each letter is used to begin a word or phrase describing the up-and-down word.

narrative
Tells a story

lyric
a highly musical verse that expresses the observations of a single speaker

ballad
a songlike poem that tells a story, and often has a refrain; basically a sonnet with lyrics;

nonsense
a poem that uses either nonsensical words, or in a nonsensical order, to convey its meaning

limerick
a rhymed humorous or nonsense poem of five lines, with a set rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b-a

cinquain
a poem consisting of usually unrhymed words distributed with set rules for each line.

five line stanza

sonnet
14-line lyrical poem with three 4-line stanzas followed by a couplet

couplet
a pair of rhyming lines, generally the same length and meter, expressing a single idea

rule 1 of poetry:
all poetry is a written expression of shared human experiences; ex: something you can relate to

rule 2 of poetry:
good writing is honest writing

triplet
three line stanza

quatrain
four line stanza

idiom
phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. Ex: early bird catches the worm; close but no cigar

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