Poetry Terms

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Author:
WinnPasq
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7482
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Poetry Terms
Updated:
2010-02-20 18:06:59
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poetry terminology literary words dictionary
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poetry terms & terminology
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  1. Literary epic
    an epic poem written in imitation of an earlier epic; aka secondary epic
  2. Heptameter
    seven metrical feet; no longer common in English poetry
  3. Common measure
    ABAB rhyme scheme; suitable for choirs & hymns, i.e., Amazing Grace
  4. Literary Ballad
    a ballad with more elaborate stanzas, i.e., Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  5. Trochaic
    A foot consisting of a strongly stressed syllable followed by a weakly stressed syllable
  6. Anapestic
    a foot consisting of two unstressed syllables followed by a stress, as in "The Destruction of Sennacherib" by Byron: "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold"
  7. Dactylic foot
    a foot of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables: merrily, happily
  8. Genre
    a kind or type of poetry that conforms to certain conventions & expectations
  9. Dimeter
    a line of verse consisting of two metrical feet
  10. End-stopped line
    a line of verse in which a logical or rhetorical pause occurs at the end of the line, usually marked with a period, comma, or semicolon
  11. Caesura
    a pause or break in the middle of a line, may be marked by a comma
  12. Accentual-Syllabic meter
    a rhythmic pattern based on a regular count of both the syllables and the accents in a line, as in Cantebury Tales
  13. Prosody
    the science or study of poetic meters and versification
  14. Scansion
    act of determining what meter a given line has, if any
  15. Headless Line
    an iambic line in which the first (unstressed) syllable is omitted; allows the poet to vary meter in a subtle way; also known an asacephalous:

    To An Athlete Dying Young

    by AE Housman

    • The time you won your town the race
    • We chaired you through the market-place;
    • Man and boy stood cheering by
  16. Folk Ballads
    anonymous medieval word-of-mouth poems
  17. Symbol
    anything that represents or stands in for some larger idea or concept
  18. Border Ballads
    arose on the border of Scotland & England when a lot of skirmishes took place
  19. Literal
    as opposed to figurative; considering the obvious meaning of words & phrases
  20. Traditional Epic
    classic epics that became foundational texts for later writers

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