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Argyle English - Poetry: Home

Poetry

Terminology

TERM

DEFINITION

Elegy

A lyrical poem with a mournful nature, usually dealing with death or war, and is often rhymed. It features elevated language, and rhythm.

Epigram

A very short poem consisting of two or more rhyming lines, and is witty, satirical, or political in nature.

Ode

A lyric poem of praise, often on a serious subject, and characterized by dignity of style, rhymed, and with rhythm.

Sonnet

A short lyric poem of fourteen lines; the  Shakespearean sonnet has three rhyming quatrains, and a rhymed couplet at the end. It features iambic pentameter, rhythm and rhyme.

Couplet

Two lines of poetry that rhyme together.

Ballad

A narrative poem - originally composed to be sung - that rhymes, and has a refrain

Limerick

A five-line poem rhyming aabba and written in anapestic metre. They’re funny, and often risqué. There was an old man….

Shape/Concrete

Poetry focusing on shapes or concepts created from the placement of letters and words. The appeal is to the visual, phonetic, and kinetic.

Pastoral

A lyric poem glorifying and idealizing rural life and nature, often featuring shepherds.

Epic

A long narrative poem, characterised by an elevated tone, language, heroes and quests. They are often allegorical in nature.

Lyric

This genre of poetry tends to be short, and deals with emotion. It was originally composed to be sung, or accompanied by an instrument. They feature rhyme and rhythm.

Narrative

A poem that tells a story. It can be rhymed or free verse.

Haiku

Usually written in 3 lines, containing 17 syllables organized in a 5-7-5 syllable format. Deals with an epiphany inspired by nature.

Free Verse

No rhyme, no rhythm.

Rhymed Verse

Poetry that rhymes, thus providing unity to the poem (helps it stay together).

Blank Verse

Has rhythm, but no rhyme. Unrhymed iambic pentameter follows the natural cadences of the English language, so it feels natural, and less sing-songy than rhymed verse, yet provides unity.

Synecdoche

A part of something signifies the whole – something concrete represents an abstract idea. Nice wheels! Wheels = whole car

Metonymy

A kind of metaphor, identifying one thing with another by identifying qualities that are similar (symbolic). Lend me your ears. Ears = attention.

Apostrophe

To address (talk to) a person or thing not present as if it were present, to talk to something inanimate, or to talk to the dead.

Irony

When what happens is opposite to what experience leads you to believe should happen. Situational (as explained), Dramatic (the audience is aware of something before the characters), and Verbal (spoken, often sarcastic).

Metaphor

A direct comparison/juxtaposition of two unlike things with one element in common.

Simile

A comparison of two unlike things using ‘like’ or ‘as’.

Personification

Applying human qualities to objects, animals, nature.

Allusion

References to the world outside the text to enrich the image.

Hyperbole

A deliberate exaggeration. I’ve told you a million times…

Paradox (oxymoron, antithesis)

Self-contradictory statement that should be impossible, yet somehow makes sense. Oxymoron=two words, Antithesis (anti-idea)=two contradictory ideas, or sentences.

Alliteration

Words closely connected in a line of poetry that start with the same sound.

Iambic pentameter

A line or verse with 5 metrical feet (iamb - one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable).10 syllables in total

Internal rhyme

A rhyme within the line of poetry

Rhyme Scheme

The ordered pattern of rhyme at the end of each line in a poem.

Assonance

The repetition of the same vowel sound in nearby words.

Rhythm

The flow/pattern of sounds in the lines of a poem.

Consonance

The repetition of identical consonant sounds within nearby words.

Stanza

A paragraph within a poem.

Euphony

The use of sounds pleasing to the ear.

Cacophony (Dissonance)

Use of unpleasant sounds. Glut, hiss, spit.

Onomatopoeia

Sound of word mimics sound to which it refers, or the meaning of the word (thud, crackle, buzz).

Verse

Single line of poetry

Metre

The measurement of the pattern of sound, the pattern of the rhythm.