Poetic Terms

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  1. Allegory
    A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning. Allegory often takes the form of a story in which the characters represent moral qualities.
  2. Alliteration
    The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words. Example: "Fetched fresh
  3. Anapest
    Two unaccented syllables followed by an accented one, as in com-pre-HEND or in-ter-VENE.
  4. Antagonist
    A character or force against which another character struggles
  5. Assonance
    The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or a line of poetry or prose, as in "I rose and told him of my woe."
  6. Aubade
    A love lyric in which the speaker complains about the arrival of the dawn, when he must part from his lover.
  7. Ballad
    A narrative poem written in four-line stanzas, characterized by swift action and narrated in a direct style.
  8. Blank verse
    A line of poetry or prose in unrhymed iambic pentameter.
  9. Caesura
    A strong pause within a line of verse.
  10. Closed form
    A type of form or structure in poetry characterized by regularity and consistency in such elements as rhyme, line length, and metrical pattern.
  11. Connotation
    The associations called up by a word that goes beyond its dictionary meaning. Poets, especially, tend to use words rich in connotation.
  12. Couplet
    A pair of rhymed lines that may or may not constitute a separate stanza in a poem.
  13. Dactyl
    A stressed syllable followed by two unstressed ones, as in FLUT-ter-ing or BLUE-ber-ry.
  14. Denotation
    The dictionary meaning of a word.
  15. Elegy
    A lyric poem that laments the dead.
  16. Elision
    The omission of an unstressed vowel or syllable to preserve the meter of a line of poetry.
  17. Enjambment
    A run-on line of poetry in which logical and grammatical sense carries over from one line into the next.
  18. Epic
    A long narrative poem that records the adventures of a hero.
  19. Figurative language
    A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words. Examples include hyperbole or exaggeration, understatement, simile and metaphor.
  20. Hyperbole
    A figure of speech involving exaggeration.
  21. Iamb (Not lamb!)
    An unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one, as in to-DAY.
  22. Metaphor
    A comparison between essentially unlike things without an explicitly comparative word such as like or as. An example is "My love is a red, red rose,"
  23. Metonymy
    A figure of speech in which a closely related term is substituted for an object or idea. An example: "We have always remained loyal to the crown." Crown instead of Queen.
  24. Narrative poem
    A poem that tells a story.
  25. Octave
    An eight-line unit, which may constitute a stanza; or a section of a poem, as in the octave of a sonnet.
  26. Ode
    A long, stately poem in stanzas of varied length, meter, and form.
  27. Onomatopoeia
    The use of words to imitate the sounds they describe. Words such as buzz and crack.
  28. Personification
    The endowment of inanimate objects or abstract concepts with animate or living qualities. An example: "The yellow leaves flaunted their color gaily in the breeze."
  29. Quatrain
    A four-line stanza in a poem, the first four lines and the second four lines in a Petrachan sonnet. A Shakespearean sonnet contains three quatrains followed by a couplet.
  30. Simile
    A figure of speech involving a comparison between unlike things using like, as, or as though. An example: "My love is like a red, red rose."
  31. Sonnet
    A fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter.
  32. Spondee
    A metricalfoot represented by two stressed syllables, such as KNICK-KNACK.
  33. Stanza
    A division or unit of a poem
  34. Syntax
    The grammatical order of words in a sentence or line of verse or dialogue. The organization of words and phrases and clauses in sentences of prose, verse, and dialogue. In the following example, normal syntax (subject, verb, object order) is inverted:"Whose woods these are I think I know."
  35. Tercet
    A three-line stanza.
  36. Tone
    The implied attitude of a writer toward the subject
  37. Villanelle
    A nineteen-line lyric poem that relies heavily on repetition.
Card Set:
Poetic Terms
2013-04-23 15:49:17
poetic terms

Cards to revise poetic terms for AS/A2 English Lit
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