Poetry Terms

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Last updated: November 23, 2019

the repetition of the same initial consonant sound of words in a line or lines of poetry

a reference in a work of literature to a well-known character, place, or situation from another work of literature, art, music, or history.

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the repetition of vowel sounds within words in a line or lines of poetry.

blank verse
poems written in iambic pentameter without rhyme.

the repetition of the same consonant sound WITHIN words (BlueBerry, coPy PaPer)

a pair of lines grouped together in a poem

rhyme at the end of lines

the end of a line which contains a complete sentence or phrase with regard to grammar and logic

when a logical, grammatical phrase is interrupted by the end of a line and continues on the next line without pause or punctuation.

a brief quotation or saying that is sometimes placed before a poem, after the title.

figurative language
language that conveys meanings beyond the literal meaning of words.

the design or structure of a poem. In formal poetry, there are rules that dictate the structure (e.

g. through the repetition of words or lines, rhyme schemes, or syllables).

free verse
poetry that is without a regular meter, rhyme scheme, or stanza arrangement (i.e.

not formal poetry).

poetic exaggeration or overstatement.

iambic pentameter
a meter using five feet to a line, each containing a light stress followed by a heavy stress. (e.g. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day OR Upon those boughs which shake against the cold.)

language that appeals to the senses, usually when one thing is represented by another.

internal rhyme
rhymes within lines (not at the end of lines).

line break
where a line ends; the interruption of text by the end of a line.

a comparison between two unlike things in which one thing becomes another thing.

a rhythmic pattern of a line of poetry. The meter of a line is determined by the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.

the emotional quality or atmosphere of a story or poem.

narrative poetry
verse that tells a story.

a special kind of metaphor in which a nonhuman thing or quality is talked about as if it were human.

a type of compressed literature in which language, images, sound, and rhythm are combined to appeal to our emotions and imaginations. Poetry may use (or not) figures of speech, rhyme, meter, and imagery.

language written in sentence and paragraph form (generally not poetry).

a grouping of four lines of poetry

the recurrence of sounds, words, phrases, lines, or stanzas

rhyme scheme
the pattern of end-rhymes used in a poem.

The scheme can be designated with letters of the alphabet, using a separate letter for each rhyme

a musical quality produced by the repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables or by the repetition of certain other sound patterns

a comparison between two unlike things, using a word such as like, as, resembles, or than

a poem of fourteen lines, traditionally using iambic pentameter and a rhyme scheme. An English sonnet (as written by Shakespeare) typically uses three quatrains and a couplet in the following rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg

the voice talking to us in a poem. It is not necessarily the same as the poet.

a group of consecutive lines in a poem that is separated by an extra amount of space from other groups of lines or stanzas (like a paragraph in prose).

also known as a triplet, a group of three lines

the attitude a writer takes toward the audience, a subject, or a character (e.

g. a poem may have a lighter, funnier tone or a serious or sad tone).

the author’s distinctive style or perspective, or the particular speech patterns of the speaker

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