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Kirstyn Leuner, CU-Boulder

Poetry-Specific Terms

Alliteration: repetition of the same sounds in any sequence of neighboring words, usually the first sounds. Ex: Landscape-lover, lord of language (Tennyson). Assonance: the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in the stressed syllables of neighboring words. It is distinct from rhyme in that the consonants differ although the vowels match. Example: Sweet dreams and Hit or miss. Blank verse: unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter. o Example: One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. (Tennysons Ulysses) Consonance: the repetition of identical or similar consonants in neighboring words. Example: catchy color. (Note how the vowel sounds do not have to rhyme here.) Couplet: a pair of rhyming verse lines, usually of the same length. See also Heroic couplet. End rhyme: rhyme occurring at the ends of verse lines, as opposed to internal rhyme. This is the most familiar kind of rhyming! End stop: when a line ends with punctuation or the feel or punctuation. Enjambment: when a line of verse runs over into the next line in both sense and sound. The completion of the sense and phrase is held over to the next line. Foot: a group of 2-3 stressed or unstressed syllables. See Kinds of poetic feet. Free verse: a kind of poetry that does not conform to any regular meter: the length of its lines and the use of rhyme are both irregular and do not conform to a pattern. Heroic Couplet: 2 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter. Iambic pentameter: the meter for sonnets, where each line has 5 feet (or beats) and each foot is an iamb. This is a very common meter for traditional lyric poetry, in general. Italian Sonnet: One of two kinds of sonnets the other being the Shakespearean sonnet. The Italian sonnet is comprised of an octave (first 8 lines) and a sestet (last 6 lines). Rhyme scheme is abbaabba cdecde. Lyric: In the modern sense, any fairly short poem expressing the personal mood, feeling or meditation of a single speaker (who may sometimes be an invented character, not the poet). In ancient Greece, a lyric was a song for accompaniment on the lyre, and could be a choral lyric sung by a group, such as a dirge or hymn; the modern sense, current since the Renaissance, often suggests a song-like quality in the poems to which it refers. Lyric poetry is the most extensive category of verse, especially after the declinesince the 19th century in the Westof the other principal kinds: narrative and dramatic verse. Lyrics may be composed in almost any meter and on almost every subject, although the most usual emotions presented are those of love and grief. Among the common lyric forms are the sonnet, ode, elegy, haiku, and the more personal kinds of hymn. Lyricism is the emotional or song-like quality, the lyrical property, of lyric poetry. For a fuller account, see Scott Brewsters book Lyric (2007). Meter: the pattern or succession of metrical feet that occur in each line of verse. See Kinds of Poetic Feet and Kinds of Meter. Example: iambic pentameter is the meter for sonnets. Off-rhyme: rhyme that is imperfect but close. Example: stand / wand. Poetry: writing in lines of verse, rather than writing that is not divided specifically by line, which is prose. Prose: the opposite of poetry; writing that is not divided intentionally with line breaks.

Kirstyn Leuner, CU-Boulder

Rhyme scheme: the pattern in which the rhymed line-endings are arranged in a poem or stanza. For example: the rhyme scheme for a Shakespearean sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg. Scansion: the act of figuring out (1) the rhyme scheme, (2) # of feet per line, (3) the kinds of feet in each line, and (4) the kinds of divisions or stanzas of the poem. Stanza: a division of a poem. See Kinds of stanzas or divisions. Shakespearian Sonnet: One of two kinds of sonnets the other being an Italian Sonnet. The rhyme scheme for this kind of sonnet is: abab cdcd efef gg. See entry for Sonnet (general). Sonnet (general): a lyric poem comprising 14 rhyming lines of equal length: all lines are in iambic pentameter (5 feet or beats per line, each foot/beat is an iamb). There are two kinds of sonnets: Italian sonnets and Shakespearean sonnets. We care about Shakespearean sonnets! Stressed syllable: When reading aloud, the syllable that naturally carries the stress. Unstressed syllable: When reading aloud, the syllable that naturally is not stressed.

Kinds of Poetic Feet (beats): ( = unstressed; / = stressed) Iamb: unstressed + stressed ( / ). Examples: I am; your heartbeat lub-dub Trochee: stressed + unstressed ( / ). Example: beat it. (A Trochee is as Tro-chee scans!) Dactyl: / . Example: heavenly Anapest: /. Example: to the store. Spondee: / /. Example: home-made. (Spondee is as Spon-dee scans!) Pyrrhic: . Example: in a

Kinds of Meter (how many feet per line) Dimeter = 2 feet per line Trimeter = 3 feet per line Tetrameter = 4 feet per line Pentameter = 5 feet per line Hexameter = 6 feet per line

Kinds of Stanzas or Divisions of a Poem Couplet = 2 lines in a stanza Heroic Couplet = 2 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter Tercet = 3 lines per stanza Quatrain = 4 lines per stanza

Kirstyn Leuner, CU-Boulder

(there are more but these are the gimmes)