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English 1102 – Poetry

Speaker
Not to be confused with the author. The persona, can either be participant (first person) or an observer (third person).

Audience
The reader or listener of poetry.

Narrative poetry
Poetry whose main function is to tell a story.

Epic poetry
A long narrative poem about the exploits of a hero.

Folk epics
Work originally intended for public recitation and existed in oral form for a long time. Example: the Iliad

Literary epics
Product of known authors who wrote their poems for publication. Example: Dante’s Inferno

Ballads
Shorter narratives with song-like qualities which often include rhyme and repeated refrains.

Lyric Poetry
Focuses on sounds, images, or a specific subject rather than telling a narrative story.

Elegy
A lyrical poem on the occasion of a death.

Ode
A long lyric in elevated language on a serious theme.

Imagery
Sensory details denoting specific physical experiences.

Visual imagery
Sensory details denoting sight.

Auditory imagery
Sensory details denoting sound.

Tactile imagery
Sensory details denoting touch.

Olfactory imagery
Sensory details denoting smell.

Gustatory imagery
Sensory details denoting taste.

Metaphor
Direct comparison between two unlike things (usually uses the “to be” verb).

Implied metaphor
Comparing two unlike things without directly stating what you are relating the object to.

Simple
Metaphor using the words “like,” “as,” or “than.”

Onomatopoeia
Word whose meanings are closely related to their sounds, like “splash” or “thud”

Alliteration
Repetition of initial consonant sounds.

Assonance
The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a line.

Assonance
The repetition of similar consonant sounds in a line.

Hyperbole
An overstatement, an extreme exaggeration

Understatement
The opposite of hyperbole

Personification
Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects, nonhuman things, or abstractions

Tone
The speaker’s implied attitude towards the words he or she said.

Irony
Element of tone by which a poet may imply an attitude that is contrary to what his or her words appear to say. The simplest form is sarcasm.

Verbal irony
Actual attitude is opposite of what is said.

Situational irony
The setting of the poem contains a built-in incongruity.

Dramatic irony
The persona is less aware of something than the reader

Free verse poetry
Verse with no consistent metrical pattern

Concrete/Spatial
A poem in the shape of something

Acrostic
The first letters of the lines spell a message.

Measured forms
Forms based on meter

Blank verse
Lines of iambic pentameter that do not rhyme

Haiku
Traditional Japanese form; three lines long, 17 total syllables; five-seven-five

Sonnet
14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter

Italian/Patriarchan Sonnet
Two stanzas; an octative rhyming ABBA ABBA and a sestet with a variable rhyme scheme: CDCDCD, CDECDE, etc.)

Shakespearean Sonnet
Single stanza; ABABCDCDEFEFGG

Stanza
How lines are grouped in a poem

Couplet
Paired rhyming lines

Tercet
Three line stanza

Quatrain
Four line stanza

Quintet
Five line stanza

Refrain
A repeated line or group of lines in a poem

Caesura
A pause in the middle of a line

Endstopped line
Punctuation at the end of a line

Enjambment
Line running on to the next line before a punctuation mark

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