Poetry Terms from Poetry-Pun

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Last updated: December 7, 2019

Poetry
language sung, chanted, spoken, or written according to some recurrence that emphasizes the relationship of words according to sound as well as meaning.

Rhyme is not a requirement.

Prose
the form of written language or everyday speech that is not organized according to the formal patterns of verse

Narrative Poetry
the class of poems that tell stories

Ballad
a story told in song, usually a story derived from a tragic incident in local history or legend

Epic
a long narrative poem celebrating the deeds of one or more legendary heroes, in a grand, ceremonious style

Lyric Poetry
In ancient Greece, this was a song for accompaniment on the lyre; in modern times a lyric is any fairly short poem expressing the personal mood, feeling, or meditation of a single speaker. It is the most extensive category of verse.

Sonnet
A fourteen-line, iambic pentameter poem made up of either three quatrains and a couplet or an octave and a sestet.

Ode
a philosophical meditative poem

Blank Verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter; echoes the natural rhythm of speech and is the poetic form used by Shakespeare in his plays

Free Verse
poetry with irregular line length, no rhyme, and no regular meter; it is now the most widely practiced verse form in English

Rhyme
the repetition of the final sound of two or more words

Exact Rhyme
indicates identical consonant or vowel sounds

Near Rhyme
indicates the similarity of sounds

Internal Rhyme
indicates that two or more words rhyme within one line of verse

End Rhyme
indicates rhyme that comes at the end of a line of poetry

Stanza
is a defined group of verse lines, which may be united by a regular pattern of rhyme. It often ties together the sense of several lines acting much like a paragraph in prose. It is named for the number of lines it contains

Couplet
a two-line stanza

Tercet or Triplet
a three-line stanza

Quatrain
a four-line stanza

Cinquain
a five-line stanza

Sestet
a six-line stanza

Septet
a seven-line stanza

Octave
an eight-line stanza

Rhyme Scheme
is the labeling of the pattern of rhyme in a stanza or poem

Repetition
is the repeating of sounds, words, or phrases in a way that adds to the musical quality of poetry

Alliteration
is the repetition of the initial vowel or consonant sound in three or more words

Assonance
is the repetition of vowel sounds

Consonance
is the repetition of consonant sounds within a word

Onomatopoeia
represents a word which suggests its meaning by its sound

Imagery
is the representation, through language, of a sense experience

Visual
sight imagery

Aural or Auditory
hearing, sound imagery

Olfactory
smell imagery

Tactile
touch imagery

Oral – Gustatory
taste imagery

Kinesthetic
movement

Symbol
is something that means more than what is said

Metaphor
is a comparison between two things that are essentially unlike

Simile
is a comparison between two things, using the words as, like, or than

Personification
is a giving of human or life-like qualities to something non-human

Paradox
is a contradiction of meaning

Oxymoron
is two successive words which contradict one another

Hyperbole
is an exaggeration used for special effect

Understatement
is saying less than one means

Allusion
is a direct or indirect reference to something outside the work

Apostrophe
is an address to something that is not ordinarily spoken to

Pun
is a play on words

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