POETRY: rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery to appeal to the reader’s imagination and emotions.
NARRATIVE poetry: poetry that tells a story.
LYRIC poetry: poetry that expresses the speaker’s personal thoughts or feelings. Lyric poetry does NOT tell a complete story.
LOVE songs and poems are lyrical. DRAMATIC poetry: has one or more characters speaking.
BALLAD: a story told in verse, usually meant to be sung, that often contains a refrain or chorus.
EPIC: a long narrative (story) poem that tells the deeds of a great hero who embodies the values of a particular society. Epics were usually based on oral traditions that had been passed down by story-tellers for generations.
RHYME: the repetition of sound in 2 or more words or phrases that usually appear close to each other in a poem.
END RHYME: when the rhyme occurs at the ends of lines. INTERNAL RHYME: when the rhyme occurs within a line.
―The splendor falls on castle walls‖ from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ―Bugle Song‖ EXACT RHYME: when the repeated sounds are identical.
“book, look, cook, nook, took”
APPROXIMATE or NEAR or PARTIAL RHYME: when the final sounds of the words are similar but not identical.
―For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on thy people, Lord!‖ from Rudyard Kipling’s ―Recessional‖
METER: a generally regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry. The stressed syllables are marked with and the unstressed with . The basic measurement unit of a poem is called a foot, which consists of one stressed syllable plus one or two unstressed syllables. A line is measured by the number of feet in it. Measuring the pattern of syllables in a poem is called scansion and is done by identifying the prevailing foot, naming the number of feet in a line, and describing the stanza pattern.
RHYME SCHEME: the pattern of rhymes in a poem. The repetition of beginning, middle, or ending sounds to emphasize pattern, meaning or the musical flow of a poem.
To see if a poem has an end rhyme scheme, assign each ending sound (per line), a different letter of the alphabet. Lines that rhyme (lines with last words that sound alike) are given the same letter.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼COUPLET: two consecutive (one after the other) lines of poetry that rhyme. (2 rhyming lines)
HEROIC COUPLET: two rhyming lines of iambic pentameter which contain a complete thought in these two lines.
QUATRAIN: a stanza of four lines (comes in many patterns).
TERCET: a stanza of three lines, often with one rhyme.
ANAPHORA: the internal repetition of specific words or phrases in a poem. Anaphora establishes rhythms, creates structure, and emphasizes meaning.
―The highwayman came riding – riding – riding – The highwayman came riding. . .‖ Alfred Noyes’ “The Highwayman”
REFRAIN: the repetition of certain words, phrases or lines or group of lines in a poem, for emphasis. Sometimes known as a chorus.
―Come round by my side and I’ll sing you a song,
I’ll sing it so softly it’ll do no one wrong.
On Birmingham Sunday the blood ran like wine,
And the choir kept singing of freedom.‖ from ―Birmingham Sunday” by Richard Farina
IAMBIC PENTAMETER: most common verse pattern in English poetry.
Consists of one unstressed (soft) syllable followed by a stressed (hard) syllable.
Used frequently in Shakespeare’s plays. Follows the rhythm of natural speech.
BLANK VERSE: verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Each line usually contains 10 syllables, with every other syllable stressed.
William Shakespeare’s tragedies and John Milton’s epic poems are written in blank verse. ―But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!”
from The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
SONNET: a 14 line lyric poem, usually written in rhymed iambic pentameter (lines of 10 syllables with the stress on every other syllable). The two main types of sonnets are Shakespearean and Petrarchan.
SHAKESPEAREAN SONNET: 3 quatrains (4 line stanzas) and a concluding couplet (2 rhymed lines) usually has following rhyme scheme:
abab cdcd efef gg _________________fate [a] _________________love [b] _________________great [a] _________________dove [b]
_________________sweet [c] _________________sorrow [d] _________________greet [c] _________________morrow[d]
_________________strife [e] _________________pain [f] _________________life [e] _________________gain [f]
_________________feel [g] _________________real [g]
PETRARCHAN or ITALIAN SONNET: named after Italian poet Francesco Petrarch who wrote more than 300 sonnets to Laura, the woman he loved, in the 1300s.
has 2 parts: an octave (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines) usually follows this rhyme scheme:
the octave sometimes raises questions or ideas which the sestet develops or answers
END-STOPPED LINE: the end of the line corresponds with a natural pause in speech.
RUN-ON LINE: the sense of the line hurries on (continues) into the next line.
ALLITERATION: repetition of initial consonant sounds, as in “tried and true‖ – most tongue twisters use alliteration to trip people up (“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.‖)
METAPHOR: a comparison between two unlike things (two nouns) that does not use the words ―like‖ or ―as.‖ Metaphors create images, and by connecting any two different ideas, persons, places or
things, they show us things in new ways.
“Her lips were two ripe cherries, warmed by the sun.”
“He was a tiger in the ring, fierce and fast and ferocious” (notice the alliteration, too!)
IMPLIED METAPHOR: the comparison between things is only suggested, not stated outright. ―My love burst into bloom‖ does not state that love is like a flower,
but only implies it.
EXTENDED METAPHOR: the metaphor is extended or developed over several lines of writing or throughout the entire poem.
MIXED METAPHOR: the inconsistent mixing of two or more metaphors. A common problem in in bad writing and confused speech.
“Let’s set sail and get this show on the road”—mixes sailing ships and shows “That’s a hard blow to swallow”—mixes pills and blows
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