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Glossary Of Poetic Terms

by Robert Shubinski
from the essential poetry web site,Bobs Byway: A Poetic Diversion reproduced with permission for educational use only

ABCEDARIAN POEM (ay-bee-see-DARE-ee-un) A poem having verses beginning with the successive letters of the alphabet. (Compare Acrostic Poem, Serpentine Verses) ACATALECTIC A verse having the metrically complete number of syllables in the final foot. (Compare Catalectic, Hypercatalectic) ACCENT The rhythmically significant stress in the articulation of words, giving some syllables more relative prominance than others. In words of two or more syllables, one syllable is almost invariably stressed more strongly than the other syllables. Words of one syllable may be either stressed or unstressed, depending on the context in which they are used, but connective one-syllable words like, and, but, or, to, etc., are generally unstressed. The words in a line of poetry are usually arranged so the accents occur at regular intervals, with the meter defined by the placement of the accents within the foot. Accent should not be construed as emphasis. Sidelight: Two degrees of accent are natural to many multisyllabic English words, designated as primary and secondary. Sidelight: When a syllable is accented, it tends to be raised in pitch and lengthened. Any or a combination of stress/pitch/length can be a metrical accent. Sidelight: When the full accent falls on a vowel, as in POtion, that vowel is called a long vowel; when it falls on an articulation or consonant, as in POR-tion, the preceding vowel is a short vowel. (See also Cadence, Ictus, Modulation, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm) (Compare Caesura) ACCENTUAL VERSE Verse in which the metrical system is based on the count or pattern of accented syllables in the natural rhythm of the languages in which words are accentual in character. The total number of syllables may vary. Sidelight: Most modern English poetry is a combination of accentual and syllabic verse. (Contrast Quantitive Verse ) ACROSTIC POEM A poem in which certain letters of the lines, usually the first letters, form a word or message relating to the subject.

Sidelight: Of ancient origin, examples of acrostic poems date back as far as the fourth century. (Compare Abcedarian Poem, Serpentine Verses) ADONIC A verse consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee or trochee. It is believed to be so named because of its use in songs during the Adonia, an ancient festival in honor of Adonis. Sidelight: The festival of Adonia was celebrated by women, who spent two days alternating between lamentation and feasting. (See also Sapphic Verse) AEOLIC ODE See Horatian Ode AFFLATUS (uh-FLAY-tus) A creative inspiration, as that of a poet; a divine imparting of knowledge, thus it is often called divine afflatus. (See also Helicon, Muse, Numen) ALCAIC VERSE A Greek lyrical meter, said to be invented by Alcaeus, a lyric poet from about 600 B.C. Written in tetrameter, the greater Alcaic consists of a spondee or iamb followed by an iamb plus a long syllable and two dactyls. The lesser Alcaic, also in tetrameter, consists of two dactylic feet followed by two iambic feet. Sidelight: Though seldom appearing in English poetry, Alcaic verse was used by Tennyson in his ode to Milton. ALEXANDRINE An iambic line of twelve syllables, or six feet, usually with a caesura after the sixth syllable. It is the standard line in French poetry, comparable to the iambic pentameter line in English poetry. It probably received its name from an old French romance, Alexandre le Grand, written about 1180, in which the measure was first used. (See Hexameter, Poulters Measure, Spenserian Stanza) ALLEGORY A figurative illustration of truths or generalizations about human conduct or experience in a narrative or description by the use of symbolic fictional figures and actions which resemble the subjects properties and circumstances. Sidelight: Though similar to both a series of symbols and an extended metaphor, the meaning of an allegory is more direct and less subject to ambiguity than a symbol; it is distinguishable from an extended metaphor in that the literal

equivalent of an allegorys figurative comparison is not usually expressed. Sidelight: Probably the best-known allegory in English literature is Edmund Spencers The Faerie Queene. (Compare Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb) (See also Metaphor, Personification) ALLITERATION Also called head rhyme or initial rhyme, the repetition of the initial sounds (usually consonants) of stressed syllables in neighboring words or at short intervals within a line or passage, usually at word beginnings, as in wild and woolly or the line from the poem, Darkness Lost: From somewhere far beyond, the flag of fates caprice unfurled, Sidelight: The sounds of alliteration produce a gratifying effect to the ear and can also serve as a subtle connection or emphasis of key words in the line, but should not call attention to themselves by strained usage. (See also Euphony, Modulation, Resonance, Sound Devices) (Compare Assonance, Consonance, Rhyme, Sigmatism) ALLITERATIVE VERSE Poetry in which alliteration is a formal structural element in place of rhyme; it was prevalent in a number of old literatures prior to the 14th century, including Anglo-Saxon. In alliterative verse, the first half-line is united with the second half by alliterating stressed syllables; in the first half-line generally two (but sometimes three) syllables alliterate, while in the second half usually only one. Sometimes one alliterating sound is carried through successive lines: In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne, I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were, In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes, Wente wide in this world wondres to here. --The Vision of Piers Plowman, by William Langland, 1330?-1400? Sidelight: To facilitate maintaining the alliterative pattern, poets made frequent use of a specialized vocabulary, consisting of many synonymous words seldom encountered outside of alliterative verse. Sidelight: By the 14th century, rhyme and meter displaced alliteration as a formal element, although alliterative verse continued to be written into the 16th century and alliteration retains an important function as one of a poets sound devices. ALLUSION An implied or indirect reference to something assumed to be known, such as an historical event or personage or a wellknown quotation from literature. Sidelight: An allusion can be used by the poet as a means of imagery, since, like a symbol, it can suggest ideas by connotation; its effectiveness, of course, depends upon the readers acquaintance with the reference alluded to. AMBIGUITY Applied to words and expressions, the state of being doubtful or indistinct in meaning or capable of being

understood in more than one way. (See also Denotation, Paronomasia, Pun) (Compare Connotation) AMPHIBRACH (AM-fuh-brak) A metrical foot consisting of a long or accented syllable between two short or unaccented syllables, as condition or infected. AMPHIGOURI A verse composition which, while apparently coherent, contains no sense or meaning, as in the opening lines of Nephelidia, a poem written as a parody of his own alliterative-predominant style, by the English Poet, A. C. Swinburne: From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine, Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float, (See also Macaronic Verse, Nonsense Poetry) AMPHIMACER (am-FIM-uh-suhr) See Cretic ANACLASIS The substitution of different measures to break up the rhythm. ANACREONTIC (uh-nah-kree-AHN-tik) A poem in the style of the Greek poet, Anacreon, convivial in tone or theme, relating to the praise of love and wine. Sidelight: Of tangential interest to this entry, Francis Scott Keys 1814 poem, The Star-Spangled Banner, later to become the U.S. national anthem, was set to the tune of a popular song of the day composed by John Stafford Smith, To Anacreon in Heaven. ANACRUSIS (an-a-KROO-sis) One or more unaccented syllables at the beginning of a line of verse that are regarded as preliminary to and not part of the metrical pattern. (See also Procephalic) (Compare Feminine Ending) ANADIPLOSIS (an-uh-duh-PLO-sus) The repetition of a prominent (usually the final) word of a phrase or clause at the beginning of the next, often with extended or altered meaning, as in: His hands were folded - folded in prayer. (Compare Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) ANAGOGE or ANAGOGY (AN-uh-go-jee) The spiritual or mystical interpretation of a word or passage beyond the literal, allegorical or moral sense. ANALECTS or ANALECTA Miscellaneous extracts collected from the works of authors. ANALOGY An agreement or similarity in some particulars between things otherwise different; sleep and death, for example, are analogous in that they both share a lack of animation and a recumbent posture.

Sidelight: Prevelant in literature, the use of an analogy carries the inference that if things agree in some respects, its likely that they will agree in others. ANAPEST, ANAPESTIC A metrical foot with two short or unaccented syllables followed by a long or accented syllable, as in intervene or for a while. (See an example of anapestic trimeter under Scan) ANAPHORA The repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of successive phrases for rhetorical or poetic effect, as in Lincolns Gettysburg Address: We cannot dedicate-we cannot consecrate-we cannot hallow this ground. (See also Epistrophe) (Compare Anadiplosis, Echo, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) ANASTROPHE (uh-NAS-truh-fee) The inversion of the natural or usual syntactical order of words for rhetorical or poetic effect, as inspired he was for he was inspired. (Compare Antistrophe, Chiasmus, Hypallage) ANISOMETRIC See under Stanza ANTIBACCHIUS (AN-ti-ba-KEE-us) A metrical foot consisting of two long syllables followed by a short syllable. ANTIPHRASIS (an-TIF-ruh-sus) The ironic or humorous use of words in a sense not in accord with their literal meaning, as in a giant of three feet four inches. (Compare Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Parody, Satire) ANTISPAST (AN-ti-spast) A metrical foot consisting of two long syllables between two short syllables. ANTISTROPHE (an-TIS-troh-fee) The second division in the triadic structure of Pindaric verse, corresponding metrically to the strophe; also, the stanza following or alternating with and responding to the strophe in ancient lyric poetry; also, in rhetoric, the reversal of terms mutually dependent on each other, as from the captain of the crew to the crew of the captain. (See also Epode) (Compare Anastrophe) ANTITHESIS A figure of speech in which a thought is balanced with a contrasting thought in parallel arrangements of words and phrases, such as He promised wealth and provided poverty, or It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . or Give me performance, not promises. Also, the second of two contrasting or opposing constituents, following the thesis. ANTONOMASIA (an-tuh-no-MAY-zhuh) The use of a name, epithet or title in place of a proper name, as Bard for Shakespeare. (Compare Cataphora, Metonymy)

ANTONYM One of two or more words that have opposite meanings. (Compare Homonym, Paronym, Synonym) APHAERESIS or APHERESIS (uh-FEHR-uh-sus) A type of elision in which a letter or syllable is omitted at the beginning of a word, as twas for it was. (Compare Apocope, Syncope, Synaeresis, Synaloepha) (See also Aphesis) APHESIS (AFF-uh-sus) A form of aphaeresis in which the syllable omitted is short and unaccented, as in round for around. APHORISM A brief statement containing an important truth or fundamental principle. (Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb) APOCOPE (uh-PAH-kuh-pee) A type of elision in which a letter or syllable is omitted at the end of a word, as in morn for morning. (Compare Aphaeresis, Syncope, Synaeresis, Synaloepha) APOLOGUE An allegorical narrative, usually intended to convey a moral or a useful truth. (Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb) APOSIOPESIS (ap-uh-sy-uh-PEE-sis) Stopping short of a complete thought for effect, thus calling attention to it, usually by a sudden breaking off, as in He acted like--but I pretended not to notice, leaving the unsaid portion to the readers imagination. Another example can be found in the final line of the poem, Aftertaste. (See Ellipsis) APOSTROPHE (uh-PAHS-truh-fee) A figure of speech in which an address is made to an absent person or a personified thing rhetorically, as in, O death, where is thy sting? An apostrophe is also a punctuation mark used to indicate the omission of letter(s) in an elision, aphaeresis or syncope. (Compare Prosopopeia) ARCADIA A region or scene characterized by idyllic quiet and simplicity, often chosen as a setting for pastoral poetry, from Arcadia, a picturesque region in ancient Greece. (See also Bucolic, Eclogue, Eidillion, Idyll, Madrigal) ARCHAISM (AHR-kee-izm) A word or expression no longer in general use, for example, thou mayst is an archaism meaning, you may. Sidelight: Archaisms are often deliberately used for effect. ARSIS The accented or longer part of a poetic foot; the point where an ictus is put. Sidelight: In classical prosody the arsis was the unaccented or shorter part of a foot, but a misunderstanding which occurred in the definitions of poetic feet caused the meaning to become reversed. (Contrast Thesis)

ASSONANCE The relatively close juxtaposition of the same or similar vowel sounds, but with different end consonants in a line or passage, thus a vowel rhyme, as in the words, date and fade. (See also Euphony, Near Rhyme, Resonance, Sound Devices) (Compare Alliteration, Consonance, Modulation, Rhyme) ASYNDETON (uh-SIN-duh-tahn) The omission of conjunctions that ordinarily join coordinate words and phrases, as in see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. (Contrast Polysyndeton) AUBADE (OH-bahd) A song or poem greeting the dawn or about lovers parting at dawn. (Compare Serenade) AVANT-GARDE The innovating artists or writers who promote the use of new or experimental concepts or techniques. (See Imagism, Impressionism, Objectivism, Realism, Symbolism) A poet without love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility. ---Thomas Carlyle Look, then, into thine heart, and write! ---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow BACCHIUS ( ba-KEE-us) In ancient poetry, a metrical foot consisting of a short syllable followed by two long syllables. BALLAD A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. They are written in straightforward verse, seldom with detail, but always with graphic simplicity and force. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter, with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming. Sidelight: Many old-time ballads were written and performed by minstrels attached to noblemens courts. Folk ballads are of unknown origin and are usually lacking in artistic finish. Meant to be sung, but often studied as poetry, the texts are independent of the melodies, which are often used for a number of different ballads. Because they are handed down by oral tradition, folk ballads are subject to variations and continual change. Literary ballads, combining the natures of epic and lyric poetry, are written by known authors in the style and form of the folk ballad. (See also Broadside Ballad, Lay, Tragedy) (Compare Chanson de Geste, Epopee, Epos, Heroic Quatrain)

BALLADE (ba-LAHD) Frequently represented in French poetry, a fixed form consisting of three seven or eight-line stanzas using no more than three recurrent rhymes with an identical refrain after each stanza and a closing envoi repeating the rhymes of the last four lines of the stanza. A variation containing six stanzas is called a double ballade. Sidelight: The ballade was prominent in French literature from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century and was favored by many poets, including Francois Villon. In the nineteenth century it was popular with poets like Verlaine and Baudelaire. In English literature, Chaucer wrote ballades and some late-nineteenth century poets also used the form. (Compare Chant Royal) BALLAD METER See Ballad BARD An ancient composer, singer or declaimer of epic verse. Sidelight: Today the term is popularly applied to poets of significant repute as a title of honor, with William Shakespeare being known as The Bard of Avon and Robert Burns as The Bard of Ayrshire. (See also Metrist, Poet, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith) (Compare Minstrel, Troubadour) BATHOS The ludicrous descent from a lofty level of writing or speech to the commonplace, often used in poetry for effect, as Assailed by tempest-stricken waves, he sank like a stone. (Compare Pathos) BLANK VERSE Poetry written without rhymes, but which retains a set metrical pattern, usually iambic pentameter (or five iambic feet per line) in English verse. Since it is a very flexible form, the writer not being hampered in the expression of thought by the need to rhyme, it is used extensively in narrative and dramatic poetry. In lyric poetry, blank verse is adaptable to lengthy descriptive and meditative poems. An example of blank verse is found in the well-known lines from Act IV, Scene 1 of Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice: The qua | lity | of mer | cy is | not straind It drop | peth as | the gen | tle rain | from heaven Upon | the place | beneath; | it is | twice blessed: It bles | seth him | that gives | and him | that takes. Sidelight: Blank verse and free verse are often misunderstood or confused. A good way to remember the difference is to think of the word blank as meaning that the ends of the lines where rhymes would normally appear are blank, i.e., devoid of rhyme; the free in free verse refers to the freedom from fixed patterns of traditional versification. BOUTS-RIMES (boo-REEM) An 18th century parlor game in which a list of rhyming words was drawn up and handed to the players, who had to make a poem from the list keeping the rhymes in their original order. (See also Crambo)

BRETON LAY See Lay BROADSIDE BALLAD A ballad written in doggerel, printed on a single piece of paper and sold for a penny or two on English street corners in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The name of the tune to which they were to be sung was indicated on the sheet. The subject matter of broadside ballads covered a wide range of current, historical or simply curious events and also extended to moral exhortations and religious propaganda. Sidelight: The rogue, Autolycus, in Shakespeares The Winters Tale, is a peddler whose wares include broadside ballads. BROKEN RHYME A rhyme produced by dividing a word at the line break to make a rhyme with the end word of another line. In Hopkins The Windhover, for example, he divided kingdom at the end of the first line to rhyme with the word wing ending the fourth line. BUCOLIC A poem dealing with a pastoral subject. (See also Arcadia, Eclogue, Eidillion, Idyll, Madrigal) BURDEN The central topic or principle idea, often repeated in a refrain. (See also Motif, Theme) BURLESQUE A work which is intended to ridicule by the use of grotesque exaggeration or by the treatment of a trifling subject with the gravity due a matter of great importance. (See also Hudibrastic Verse, Lampoon, Parody, Pasquinade, Satire) (Compare Antiphrasis, Irony) CACOPHONY (cack-AH-fun-ee) Discordant sounds in the jarring juxtaposition of harsh letters or syllables, sometimes used in poetry for effect, as in the opening line of Fences: Crawling, sprawling, breaching spokes of stone, Sidelight: Sound devices are important to poetic effects; to create sounds appropriate to the content, the poet may sometimes prefer to achieve a cacophonous effect instead of the more commonly sought-for euphony. The use of words with the consonants b, k and p, for example, produce harsher sounds than the soft f and v or the liquid l, m and n. (See also Dissonance) (Contrast Euphony) CADENCE The recurrent rhythmical pattern in lines of verse; also, the natural tone or modulation of the voice determined by the alternation of accented or unaccented syllables. Sidelight: Cadence differs from meter in that it is not necessarily regular. (See also Accent, Ictus, Sprung Rhythm, Stress) (Compare Caesura)

CAESURA (siz-YUR-uh) A rhythmic break or pause in the flow of sound which is commonly introduced in about the middle of a line of verse, but may be varied for different effects. Usually placed between syllables rhythmically connected in order to aid the recital as well as to convey the meaning more clearly, it is a pause dictated by the sense of the content or by natural speech patterns, rather than by metrics. It may coincide with conventional punctuation marks, but not necessarily. A caesura within a line is indicated in scanning by the symbol (||), as in the first line of Emily Dickinsons, Im Nobody: Im no | body- || who are | you? Sidelight: A caesura occurring at the end of a line is not marked in the scanning process. Sidelight: The classical caesura was a break caused by the ending of a word within a foot. (See Diaeresis) (See also Alexandrine, Hemistich) (Compare Accent, Cadence, Rhythm) CANTO A major division of a long or extended poem. A canto of a poem corresponds to a chapter of a novel. (Compare Stanza) CANZONE (kan-ZO-nee) A medieval Italian or Provencal lyric poem of varying stanzaic form, usually with a concluding envoi. (Compare Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Romance, Society Verse) CATACHRESIS (kata-KREE-sis) Misuse or abuse of words; the use of the wrong word for the context, as atone for repent, ingenuous for ingenious, or a forced trope in which a word is used too far removed from its true meaning, as loud aroma or velvet beautiful to the touch. (See also Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia) CATALECTIC, CATALEXIS Metrically incomplete; the dropping of one or two unaccented syllables from the end of a line, thus ending with an incomplete foot. Sidelight: In versification, catalexis necessarily occurs in the lines of trochaic and dactylic verse which require a final accented syllable for a rhyme. (Compare Acatalectic, Hypercatalectic) CATALOG VERSE A poem comprised of a list of persons, places, things, or abstract ideas which share a common denominator. An ancient form, it was originally a type of didactic poetry. CATAPHORA The use of a grammatical substitute (like a pronoun) which has the same reference as the next word or phrase, as in, Before him John saw a sea of smiling faces. (Compare Antonomasia, Metonymy) CAUDATE RHYME See Tail Rhyme CENTO Poetry made up of lines borrowed from a combination of established authors, usually resulting in a change in meaning and a humorous effect. (Compare Parody, Pastiche)

CHANSON DE GESTE (shan-SAWN duh ZHEST)) Literally, a song of heroic deeds, it refers to a class of Old French epic poems of the Middle Ages, such as the Chanson de Roland, believed to have been written by the Norman poet, Turold. (See Trouvere) (See also Epic, Epopee, Epos, Heroic Quatrain) (Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy) CHANT ROYAL An elaborate form of ballade in old French poetry, consisting of five stanzas of eleven lines, an envoi of eight lines and five rhymes. The rhyme scheme is usually ababccddede. CHAPBOOK A small book or pamphlet containing ballads, poems, popular tales or tracts, etc. CHAUCERIAN STANZA See Rhyme Royal CHIASMUS (kye-AZ-mus) An inverted relationship between the syntactic elements of parallel phrases, as in do not eat to live, but live to eat, or Goldsmiths to stop too fearful, and too faint to go. (Compare Anastrophe, Hypallage) CHOREE (koh-REE) A rare form of trochee, also written as choreus. CHORIAMB In ancient poetry, a metrical foot consisting of four syllables, the first two forming a trochee and the second two an iambus, as in bottomless pit or roses are red. CHORIC ODE See Pindaric Verse CINQUAIN (sing-KANE) A five-line stanza of syllabic verse, the successive lines containing two, four, six, eight and two syllables. The cinquain, based on the Japanese haiku, was an innovation of Adelaide Crapsey, a minor American Poet. (See also Quintet) CLASSICISM The adherence to traditional standards that are universally valid and enduring. (Compare Idealism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism) CLERIHEW (KLEHR-ih-hyew) A light verse two couplets in length rhyming aabb, usually dealing with a person named in the initial rhyme. It was named for its originator, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, an English writer. CLOSED COUPLET A couplet in which the sense and syntax is self-contained within its two lines, as opposed to an open couplet. (See also Distich, Heroic Couplet) COMMON MEASURE A meter consisting chiefly of iambic lines of seven accents each arranged in rhymed pairs, usually in a four-line stanza. It is also called common meter.

A meter of four-line stanzas of tetrameter verse is called a long meter (L.M.). A meter of four-line stanzas in which the first, second and fourth are trimeter and the third tetrameter is called a short meter (S.M.). Eight-line stanzas of which the first four are tetrameter and the last four trimeter is called hallelujah meter (H.M.). CONCEIT An elaborate metaphor, often strained or far-fetched, in which the subject is compared with a simpler analogue usually chosen from nature or a familiar context. An excellent example of a conceit is Sir Thomas Wyatts My Galley, Charged with Forgetfulness, an adaptation of Petrarchs Sonnet 159. (See also Euphuism, Gongorism, Marinism, Melic Verse, Metaphysical) CONCRETE POETRY Poetry which forms a structurally original visual shape through the use of reduced language, fragmented letters, symbols and other typographical variations to create an extreme graphic impact on the readers attention. The essence of concrete poetry lies in its appearance on the page rather than in the written text; it is intended to be perceived as a visual whole and often cannot be effective when read aloud. (See also Pattern Poetry) CONNOTATION The suggestion of a meaning by a word beyond what it explicitely denotes or describes. The word, home, for example, means the place where one lives, but by connotation, also suggests security, family, love and comfort. Sidelight: Sometimes one of the connotations of a word gains enough widespread acceptance to become a denotation. (See also Allusion, Symbol) CONSONANCE A pleasing combination of sounds; sounds in agreement with tone. Also, the repetition of the same end consonants of words at the end of or within a line, such as boat and night. (See also Euphony, Modulation, Resonance, Sound Devices) (Compare Alliteration, Assonance, Rhyme) CONTENT The substance of a poem; the impressions, facts and ideas it contains--the what-is-being-said. (Compare Diction, Form, Motif, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone) CONTINUOUS FORM See Stanza COUPLET Two successive lines of poetry, usually of equal length and rhythmic correspondence, with end-words that rhyme. The couplet, for practical purposes, is the shortest stanza form, but is frequently joined with other couplets to form a poem with no stanzaic divisions. Sidelight: If the couplet is written in iambic pentameter, it is called an heroic couplet. (See also Closed Couplet, Open Couplet, Distich, Elegiac)

COURTLY LOVE A late medeival idealized convention establishing a code for the conduct of amorous affairs of ladies and their lovers. Expressed and spread by the minnesingers and troubadours, it became associated with the literary concept of love until the 19th century. CRAMBO A game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by the other players. (See also BoutsRimes) CRETIC Used in ancient poetry, a metrical foot consisting of a short syllable between two long syllables, as in thirty-nine. Sidelight: Another name for the cretic foot is amphimacer. CRITICASTER An inferior or petty critic. CYCLE The aggregate of accumulated literature, plays or musical works treating the same theme. In poetry, the term is typically applied to epic or narrative poems about a mythical or heroic event or character, such as the Siege of Troy or the Nibelungs of medieval times. Sidelight: After the death of Homer, a certain group of epic poets, between 800 and 550 B.C., wrote continuations and additions on the subject of the Trojan War; chief among them were Agias, Arctinos, Eugamon, Lesches and Strasinos. Since their writing was confined to that single subject, they were referred to as cyclic poets. He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem. ---John Milton For a good poets made as well as born. ---Ben Jonson DACTYL, DACTYLIC A metrical foot of three syllables, the first of which is long or accented and the next two short or unaccented, as in merrily or lover boy. DADAISM A short-lived WWI European movement in arts and literature based on deliberate irrationality and the negation of traditional artistic values. (See Poems of Chance) DECAMETER (dek-AM-uh-tur) A line of verse consisting of ten metrical feet. DECASYLLABLE A metrical line of ten syllables or a poem composed of tensyllable lines. (See also Dodecasyllable, Hendecasyllable, Octosyllable) DENOTATION The literal dictionary meaning(s) of a word as distinct from an associated idea or connotation.

Sidelight: Many words have more than one denotation, such as the multiple meanings of fair or spring. In ordinary language, we strive for a single precise meaning of words to avoid ambiguity, but poets often take advantage of words with more than one meaning to suggest more than one idea with the same word. A pun also utilizes multiple meanings as a play on words. DIACOPE (di-ACK-o-pee) See Epizeuxis DIAERESIS or DIERESIS (dy-EHR-uh-sus) The pronunciation of two adjacent vowels as separate sounds rather than as a dipthong, as in coordinate; also, the mark indicating the separate pronunciation, as in nave. Sidelight: In classical prosody, the diaeresis was a break or pause in a line of verse occurring when the end of a foot coincides with the end of a word. (Compare Caesura) DIBRACH (DYE-brak) See Pyrrhic DICTION The choice of words; the manner or mode of verbal expression, particularly with regard to clarity and accuracy. (Compare Content, Form, Motif, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone) DIDACTIC POETRY Poetry which uses the beauty of expression, imagination, sentiment, etc., for the purpose of instruction, teaching a moral lesson, or explaining the principles of some art or science, as Virgils Georgics. Didactic verse is considered by some as a main group of poetry, along with lyric, narrative and dramatic poetry. Sidelight: The inclusion of didactic poetry among the main groups is arbitrary. In classical times, it was a minor variation of the epic and later categorized as a branch of lyric verse. Subsequently, however, it has been so largely developed by modern poets that many believe it should constitute a fourth main group, (Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Apologue, Catalog Verse, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb) DIIAMB or DIAMB (dye-EYE-am, DYE-am) In ancient poetry, a metrical foot consisting of four syllables, with the first and third short and the second and fourth long, i.e., two iambs considered as a single foot. DIMETER (DYE-muh-tur) A line of verse consisting of two metrical feet, or of two dipodies. (See Meter) DIPODY, DIPODIC VERSE (DIP-uh-dee, dih-PAH-dik) A double foot; a unit of two feet. Sidelight: Sometimes heavy and light stresses alternate in the accented syllables of verse. When such alternations are frequent enough to establish a discernable pattern, the meter is scanned in units of two feet instead of one and termed dipodic verse.

DIRGE A poem of grief or lamentation, especially one intended to accompany funeral or memorial rites. (See also Elegy, Epitaph, Monody) DISPONDEE (dye-SPAHN-dee) In ancient poetry, a metrical foot consisting of four long syllables, equivalent to a double spondee. DISSONANCE A mingling or union of harsh, inharmonious sounds which are grating to the ear. (See also Cacophony) (Contrast Euphony) DISTICH (DIS-tik) A strophic unit of two lines; a pair of poetic lines or verses which together comprise a complete sense. Sidelight: If the end words of a distich rhyme, it is called a couplet. (See also Closed Couplet, Open Couplet, Heroic Couplet) (Compare Monostich, Hemistich) DISYLLABLE A word of two syllables. (See also Monosyllable, Polysyllable, Trisyllable) DISYLLABIC RHYME A rhyme in which two final syllables of words have the same sound, as in fender and bender or beguile and revile. Sidelight: In the above examples of disyllabic rhymes, fender and bender are also a feminine rhyme, while beguile and revile are also a masculine rhyme. DITHYRAMB (DITH-eye-ram) A poem of wildly enthusiastic and irregular character. DITTY A little poem meant to be sung. (Compare Versicle) DIVINE AFFLATUS See Afflatus DOCHMIUS (DAHK-mee-us) pl. DOCHMII (DAHKmee-eye) In ancient Greek prosody, a metrical foot consisting of five syllables, the first and fourth being short and the second, third and fifth long. DODECASYLLABLE (DOH-decka-SIL-uh- bul) A metrical line of twelve syllables. (See also Decasyllable, Hendecasyllable, Octosyllable.) DOGGEREL Originally applied to poetry of loose irregular measure, it now is used to describe crudely written poetry which lacks artistry in form or meaning. (See Broadside Ballad) (See also Poetaster, Poeticule, Rhymester, Versifier) DORIAN ODE See Pindaric Verse DOUBLE BALLADE See Ballade

DOUBLE DACTYL A word with two dactyls, such as counterintelligence or parliamentarian; also, a poem with two dactyls per line, i.e., dactylic dimeter. DOUBLE IAMB A metrical foot of two unaccented syllables followed by two accented syllables, as in of the sweet land or its a good thing. A double iamb is equivalent to the lesser Ionic. DOUBLE RHYME See Disyllabic Rhyme DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE A literary work which consists of a revealing one-way conversation by a character or persona, usually directed to a second person or imaginary audience. (See also Interior Monologue, Soliloquy) DRAMATIC POEM A composition in verse portraying a story of life or character, usually involving conflict and emotions, in a plot evolving through action and dialogue. Sidelight: Dramatic, didactic, lyric and narrative, are the four main groups of poetry. It is possible, however, for a poem to combine the characteristics of all four, DYSPHEMISM (DIS-fuh-mizm) The substitution of a disagreeable, offensive or disparaging expression to replace an agreeable or inoffensive one. (Contrast Euphemism) Of all the arts in which the wise excel Natures chief masterpiece is writing well. ---Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire Though an angel should write, still t is devils must print. ---Thomas Moore ECHO The repetition of particular sounds, syllables, words or lines in poetry. (See also Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) ECHO VERSE A form of poem in which a word or two at the end of a line appears as an echo constituting the entire following line. The echo, either the same word or syllable or a homophone, often changes the meaning in a flippant, cynical or punning response, as in Jonathan Swifts lines from A Gentle Echo on Woman: Shepherd. What most moves women when we them address? Echo. A dress. Shepherd. Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore? Echo. A door. Shepherd. If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre. Echo. Liar. Shepherd. Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her? Echo. Buy her.

ECLOGUE (EHK-lawg or EHK-lahg) A pastoral poem, usually containing dialogue between shepherds. (See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Eidillion, Idyll, Madrigal) EDDA Either of two collections of mythological, heroic and aphoristic Icelandic poetry from the 12th and 13th centuries. Sidelight: The first collection contains the mythology of the people; the second, selections from the poetry of the Skalds. (See also Rune) EIDILLION or EIDYLLION A short pastoral poem. (See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Eclogue, Idyll, Madrigal) ELEGIAC (el-uh-JY-uk) A dactylic hexameter couplet, with the second line having only an unaccented syllable in the third and sixth feet; also, of or relating to the period in Greece when elegies written in such couplets flourished, about the seventh century B.C.; also, relating to an elegy. ELEGIAC STANZA See Heroic Quatrain ELEGY A poem of lament over someone who is dead; also, a reflective poem in plaintive or sorrowful mood, such as, An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, by Thomas Gray. (See also Dirge, Epitaph, Monody) ELISION The omission of a letter or syllable as a means of contraction, generally to achieve a uniform metrical pattern, but sometimes to smooth the pronunciation; such omissions are marked with an apostrophe. Specific types of elision include aphaeresis, apocope, syncope, synaeresis and synaloepha. ELLIPSIS (ih-LIP-suss, pl. ih-LIP-seez) The omission of a word or words necessary to complete a grammatical construction, but which is easily understood by the reader, such as the virtues I esteem for the virtues which I esteem. Also, the marks (...) or (--) denoting an omission or pause. (See Aposiopesis) (Compare Grave) EMPATHY The feeling or capacity for awareness, understanding and sensitivity one experiences when hearing or reading of some event or activity of another, thus imagining the same sensation as that of those actually experiencing it. EMPHASIS A deliberate stress of articulation on a word or phrase so as to give an impression of particular significance to it by the more marked pronunciation. (Compare Accent) ENALLAGE (en-AL-uh-jee) The effective use of a grammatically incorrect part of speech in place of the correct form, as in the Punch magazines, You pays your money, and you takes your

choice. (See also Catachresis, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia) (Compare Hypallage) ENCOMIUM (en-KOH-mee-um) A speech or composition in high praise of a person, object or event. Sidelight: Other terms for works involving praise and commendation include the panegyric, a more formal and elaborate type of encomium, and the eulogy, which applies to praise of the character and accomplishments of a person only; the epinicion is a celebration of victory in an ode, both the hymn and the paean embrace addresses to gods, while the epithalamium and prothalamium honor a bride and bridegroom. END RHYME A rhyme occurring in the terminating word or syllable of one line of poetry with that of another line, as opposed to internal rhyme. (See also Feminine Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme, Perfect Rhyme) END-STOPPED Denoting a line of verse in which a logical or rhetorical pause occurs at the end of the line. (Contrast Enjambment, Open Couplet, Run-On Lines) ENJAMBMENT The continuation of the sense and therefore the grammatical construction beyond the end of a line of verse or the end of a couplet. Sidelight: This run-on device, contrasted with endstopped, can be very effective as a variation to avoid monotony, but should not be used as a mere mannerism. (See also Open Couplet) ENVELOPE A poetic device in which a line, phrase, or stanza is repeated so as to enclose other material, as in Drydens What passion cannot Music raise and quell! When Jubal struck the corded shell His listening brethren stood around And, wondering, on their faces fell To worship that celestial sound. Less than a god they thought there could not dwell Within the hollow of that shell That spoke so sweetly and so well What passion cannot Music raise and quell! Sidelight: The rhyme scheme abba in a quatrain can be termed an envelope rhyme since the rhymes of the first and last lines enclose the other lines. ENVOI or ENVOY A short final stanza of a poem, especially a ballade or sestina, serving as a summary or dedication -- like an authors postscript. EPIC An extended narrative poem, exalted in style but usually simple in construction, and heroic in theme, often giving expression to the ideals of a nation or race.

Sidelight: Homer, the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, is sometimes referred to as the Father of Epic Poetry. (See also Chanson de Geste, Cycle, Epopee, Epos, Heroic Quatrain) (Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy) EPIC SIMILE See under Simile EPIGRAM A pithy, sometimes satiric couplet or quatrain which was popular in classic Latin literature and in European and English literature of the Renaissance and the neo-Classical era. Epigrams comprise a single thought or event and are often aphoristic with a witty or humorous turn of thought. Coleridge wrote the following definition: What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole, Its body brevity, and wit its soul. (See also Monostich, Heroic Couplet) (Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Fable, Gnome, Proverb) EPINICION (ehp-uh-NISS-ee-ahn) A song in celebration of triumph; an ode in praise of a victory in the Greek games or in war. (See also Encomium) EPISTROPHE (ih-PIS-truh-fee) The repetition of a word or expression at the end of successive phrases or verses, as in Lincolns of the people, by the people, for the people. (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo , Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) EPITAPH A brief poem or statement in memory of someone who is deceased, used as -- or suitable for -- a tombstone inscription; a commemorative lamentation. (See also Dirge, Elegy, Monody) EPITHALAMIUM (eh-puh-thuh-LAH-mee-im) or EPITHALAMION A nuptial song or poem in honor of the bride and bridegroom. Sidelight: Spensers Epithalamion is widely regarded as a treasure of English literature. (Compare Prothalamium) (See also Encomium, Fescennine Verses) EPITHET A descriptive word or phrase, usually referring to an outstanding quality of a person or thing, such as Richard the Lion-Hearted or Homers description of a rosyfingered dawn. Sidelight: An epithet may be either positive or negative in connotation and may also be freshly coined for a particular circumstance or occasion. (Compare Antonomasia, Kenning, Periphrasis) EPITRITE (EP-ih-trite) A metrical foot consisting of three long syllables and one short syllable, and denominated first, second, third or fourth according to the position of the short syllable. (Contrast Paeon)

EPIZEUXIS (eh-puh-ZOOK-sis) A rhetorical device consisting of the immediate repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis, as in Miltons, O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon. Sidelight: The placement of a word before a repetition in an epizeuxis is called a diacope, as in Shakespeares, Words, words, more words, no matter from the heart. (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) EPODE (EHP-ode) A type of lyric poem in which a long verse is followed by a shorter one, or the third and last part of an ode; also, the third part of a triadic Greek poem or Pindaric verse following the strophe and the antistrophe. EPOPEE (eh-puh-PEE) or EPOPOEIA (eh-puh-PEEuh) An epic poem, or the history, action or legend which is the subject of an epic poem. (See also Chanson de Geste, Epos, Heroic Quatrain) (Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy) EPOS (EH-pahs) An epic poem; also a number of poems of an epic theme but which are not formally united. (See also Chanson de Geste, Epopee, Heroic Quatrain) (Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy) EQUIVOKE or EQUIVOQUE An ambiguous word or phrase capable more than one interpretation, thus susceptible to use for puns. EULOGY A speech or writing in praise of the character or accomplishments of a person. (See also Encomium) EUPHEMISM (YOO-fuh-mizm) The substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression to replace one that might offend or suggest something unpleasant, for example, he is at rest is a euphemism for he is dead. (Contrast Dysphemism) EUPHONY (YOO-fuh-nee) Harmony or beauty of sound which provides a pleasing effect to the ear, usually sought-for in poetry for effect. Sidelight: Vowel sounds are generally more pleasing to the ear than the consonants, so a line with a higher ratio of vowel sounds will produce a more agreeable effect; also, the long vowels in words like moon and fate are more melodious than the short vowels in cat and bed. (See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Modulation, Sound Devices) (Compare Resonance) (Contrast Cacophony, Dissonance) EUPHUISM (YOO-fyuh-wizm) An ornate Elizabethan style of writing marked by the excessive use of alliteration, antithesis and mythological similes. The term derives from the elaborate and affected style of John Lylys 16th century romance, Euphues. (See also Conceit, Gongorism, Marinism, Melic Verse )

EXTENDED METAPHOR A metaphor which is drawn-out beyond the usual word or phrase to extend throughout a stanza or an entire poem, usually by using multiple comparisons between the unlike objects or ideas. (See also Conceit) EYE RHYME See Sight Rhyme Whoever can endure unmixed delight, whoever can tolerate music and painting and poetry all in one, whoever wishes to be rid of thought and to let the busy anvils of the brain be silent for a time, let him read the Faery Queen. ---James Russell Lowell Read Homer once, and you can read no more For all books else appear so mean, so poor Verse will seem prose, but still persist to read And Homer will be all the books you need. ---Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire FABLE A poetic story that illustrates a moral or teaches a lesson, usually in which animals or inanimate objects are represented as characters. (Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Gnome, Proverb) FABLIAU (FAB-lee-oh) A ribald and often cynical tale in verse, especially popular in the Middle Ages. Boccaccios Decameron, Balzacs Droll Stories and Chaucers Canterbury Tales contain examples of fabliaux. (See Jongleur, Trouvere) FACETIAE (fuh-SEE-shee-uh) Witty or humorous writings or remarks. FATAL FLAW See Hamartia FEMININE ENDING An extra unaccented syllable at the end of an iambic or anapestic line of poetry, often used in blank verse, for example: To be | or not | to be, | that is | the ques | tion (Compare Anacrusis) FEMININE RHYME A rhyme occurring on an unaccented final syllable, as in dining and shining or motion and ocean. Feminine rhymes are double or disyllabic rhymes and are common in the heroic couplet, as in the opening lines of Goldsmiths Retaliation: A Poem, Of old, when Scarron his companions invited Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united, (Contrast Masculine Rhyme)

FESCENNINE VERSES (FEH-suh-neen) Poetry of a personal nature, lacking moral or sexual restraints, commonly extemporized at rustic weddings in Fescennia, Rome and other ancient Italian cities. (See also Epithalamium, Prothalamium) FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE The use of words, phrases, symbols, and ideas in such as way as to evoke mental images and sense impressions. Figurative language is often characterized by the use of figures of speech, elaborate expressions, sound devices, and syntactic departures from the usual order of literal language. FIGURE OF SOUND See Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Euphony, Resonance, Sound Devices FIGURE OF SPEECH A mode of expression in which words are used out of their literal meaning or out of their ordinary use in order to add beauty or emotional intensity or to transfer the poets sense impressions by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning familiar to the reader. Some important figures of speech are: simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole and symbol. Sidelight: Some rhetoricians have classified over 200 separate figures of speech, but many are so similar that differences of interpretation often make their classification an arbitrary judgement. How they are classified, or labeled, however, is secondary to the importance of construing their effect correctly. Sidelight: Figures of speech are also a means of concentration; they enable the poet to convey an image with the connotative power of a few words, where a great many would otherwise be required. (See also Trope) FIT or FYTTE An archaic term for the division of a poem, i.e., a stanza or canto. FIXED FORM See Form FOOT A unit of rhythm or meter, the division in verse of a group of syllables, one of which is long or accented. For example, the line, The boy | stood on | the burn | ing deck, has four iambic metrical feet. The fundamental components of the foot are the arsis and the thesis. The most common poetic feet used in English verse are the iamb, anapest, trochee, dactyl and spondee, while in classical verse there are 28 different feet. The other metrical feet are the amphibrach, antibacchius, antispast, bacchius, choriamb, cretic, diiamb, dispondee, dochmius, molossus, proceleusmatic, pyrrhic and tribrach, plus two variations of the ionic, four variations of the epitrite, and four variations of the paeon. The structure of a poetic foot does not necessarily correspond to word divisions, but is determined in context by the feet which surround it.

Sidelight: A line of verse may or may not be written in identical feet; variations within a line are common. Consequently, the classification of verse as iambic, anapestic, trochaic, etc., is determined by the foot which is dominant in the line. Sidelight: To help his young son remember them, Coleridge wrote the poem, Metrical Feet. (See Dipody) (See also Scan, Scansion) FORM The arrangement, manner or method used to convey the content, such as free verse, ballad, haiku, etc. In other words, the way-it-is-said. Sidelight: Form provides a pattern for the poem, but is usually most effective when it is the least obvious. Sidelight: The form of a poem which follows a set pattern of rhyme scheme, stanza form and refrain (if there is one), is called a fixed form, examples of which include: ballade, limerick, pantoum, rondeau, sestina, sonnet, triolet and villanelle. (Compare Diction, Motif, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone) FOUND POEM A poem created from prose found in a non-poetic context, such as advertising copy, brochures, newspapers, product labels, etc. The lines are arbitrarily rearranged into a form patterned on the rhythm and appearance of poetry. FOURTEENER An iambic line of fourteen syllables, or seven feet, widely used in English poetry in the middle of the 16th Century. (See Heptameter, Poulters Measure, Septenarius) FREE VERSE A fluid form which conforms to no set rules of traditional versification. The free in free verse refers to the freedom from fixed patterns of meter and rhyme, but writers of free verse employ familiar poetic devices such as assonance, alliteration, imagery, caesura, figures of speech etc., and their rhythmic effects are dependent on the syllabic cadences emerging from the context . The term is often used in its French language form, vers libre. Walt Whitmans By the Bivouacs Fitful Flame is an example of a poem written in free verse. Sidelight: Although as ancient as Anglo-Saxon verse, free verse was first employed officially by French poets of the Symbolistic movement and became the prevailing poetic form at the climax of Romanticism. In the 20th century it was the chosen medium of the Imagists and was widely adopted by American and English poets. Sidelight: The one characteristic that distinguishes free verse from rhythmical prose is that free verse has line breaks which divide the content into uneven rhythmical units. (See also Polyphonic Prose, Polyrhythmic Verse)

As children gathring pebbles on the shore, Or if I would delight my private hours With music or with poem, where so soon As in our native language can I find That solace? ---John Milton Will change the pebbles of our puddly thought To orient pearls. ---Divine Weekes and Workes, Du Bartas GALLIAMBUS In classic poetry, a lyric meter consisting of four iambic dipodies, the last of which is catalectic, dropping the final accent, or a line of four lesser Ionic feet catalectic, varied by anaclasis. GENRE (ZHAHN-ruh) A category of artistic, musical or literary composition characterized by a particular form, style or content. Poetry, for example, is a literary genre. Sidelight: The term, genre, is frequently used interchangeably with type and kind. GEORGIC (JAWR-jik) A poem dealing with a rural or agricultural topic, but differing from pastoral poetry in that the primary intention of a georgic is didactic. Virgils Georgics exemplify the form. Sidelight: The poet, James Thomson, was called the English Virgil after his writing of The Seasons, which is similar in content and form to Virgils Georgics. GHAZAL (ga-ZAL) A monorhymed Middle Eastern lyric poem in which the first two lines rhyme with a corresponding rhyme in the second line of each succeeding couplet, thus a rhyme scheme of aa, ba, ca, etc. (See also Canzone, Ode, Melic Verse, Romance, Society Verse) GLEEMAN An old English minstrel. Gleemen sometimes composed their own verse, but often recited poetry written by a scop. GNOME An aphorism, a short statement of proverbial truth. Composers of such verse are known as gnomic poets. (Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Proverb) GOLIARDIC POETRY Satiric verse which flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries, usually consisting of a stanza of four 13-syllable lines in feminine rhyme, sometimes with a concluding hexameter. The satire was characteristically a defiance of authority, most particularly directed against the Church. GONGORISM (GAHN-guh-rizm) Named for the 17th century Spanish poet, Luis de Gongora y Argote, a literary style characterized by stilted obscurity and the use of affected devices of embellishment.


(See also Baroque, Conceit, Euphuism, Marinism, Melic Verse) GRAMMATICAL RHYME See under Polyptoton GRAVE (grayv or grahv) In poetry, a mark ( ` ) indicating that the e in the English ending ed is to be pronounced for the sake of meter. We hold that the most wonderful and splendid proof of genius is a great poem produced in a civilized age. ---On Milton, Thomas B. Macauley Well, write poetry, for Gods sake, its the only thing that matters. ---Edward Estlin Cummings HAIKU (HIGH-koo) A Japanese form of poetry, also known as hokku. It consists of three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables. The elusive flavor of the form, however, lies more in its touch and tone than in its syllabic structure. Deeply imbedded in Japanese culture and strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism, haiku are very brief descriptions of nature that convey some implicit insight or essence of a moment. Traditionally, they contain either a direct or oblique reference to a season: The buds on the vine explode in blossoms of pink-an unseen dog barks. -- rgs Sidelight: After World War II, haiku attracted an increasing interest among American poets and is now written in many other languages as well, often with experimental changes in the form. (See also Senryu, Tanka, Cinquain) HALF RHYME A near rhyme; also, an apocopated rhyme in which the rhyme occurs only on the first syllable of the rhyming word, as in blue and truly or sum and trumpet. HAMARTIA (hah-mahr-TEE-uh) In literature, the tragic heros error of judgement or inherent defect of character, usually less literally translated as a fatal flaw. This, combined with essential elements of chance and other external forces, brings about a catastrophe. Often the error or flaw results from nothing more than personal traits like probity, pride, and overconfidence, but can arise from any failure of the protagonists action or knowledge ranging from a simple unwittingness to a moral deficiency. Sidelight: The tragic hero is usually of high estate and neither entirely virtuous nor bad. Hamartia, rather than villainy, is the significant factor leading to his suffering. He evokes our pity because, not being an evil person, his misfortune is a greater tragedy than he deserves and is disproportionate to the flaw. We are also moved to fear,

as we recognize the possibilities of similar errors or defects in ourselves. HEAD RHYME See Alliteration HELICON A part of the Parnassus, a mountain range in Greece, which was the home of the Muses. The name is used as an allusion to poetic inspiration. (See also Afflatus, Numen, Parnassian) HEMISTICH (HEM-ih-stik) The approximate half of a line of poetic verse, usually divided by a caesura. In dramatic poetry it is used whenever characters exchange short bursts of dialogue rapidly, heightening the effect of quarrelsome disagreement; in classical poetry such a series is called hemistichomythia. Other types of poetry may use an occasional hemistich to give the effect of emotionally disturbed thought or action. (Compare Stich, Monostich, Distich, Stichomythia) HENDECASYLLABLE (HEN-decka-SIL-uh-bul) A metrical line of eleven syllables. (See also Decasyllable, Dodecasyllable, Octosyllable) HENDIADYS (hen-DYE-a-dis) The use of a pair of nouns joined by and where one has the effect of a modifier, as nice and warm (nicely warm) or Tennysons: waving to him white hands and courtesy (courteous white hands) (Compare Prolepsis, Syllepsis. Zeugma) HEPTAMETER (hep-TAM-uh-tur) A line of verse consisting of seven metrical feet. It is also called a septenarius, especially in Latin prosody. Sidelight: A heptameter is called a fourteener when it is iambic. (See Meter) (See also Poulters Measure) HEROIC COUPLET Two successive lines of rhymed poetry in iambic pentameter, so called for its use in the composition of epic poetry in the 17th and 18th centuries. In neo-classical usage the two lines were required to express a complete thought, thus a closed couplet, with a subordinate pause at the end of the first line. Heroic couplets, which are well-suited to antithesis and parallelism, are also often used for epigrams, such as Popes: You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come. Knock as you please--theres nobody at home. Sidelight: Poems written in heroic couplets, such as Popes The Rape of the Lock, are especially subject to the danger of metrical monotony, which poets avoid by variations in their placement of caesuras. (See also Couplet, Distich, Open Couplet) HEROIC QUATRAIN or HEROIC VERSE So named because it is the form in which epic poetry of heroic exploits is generally written, its rhyme scheme is

abab, composed in ten-syllable iambic verse in English, hexameter in Greek and Latin, ottava rima in Italian. Sidelight: The English form of the heroic quatrain is also called the elegiac stanza for its frequent use in elegiac verse, as in Grays Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. (See also Chanson de Geste, Epopee, Epos, Quatrain, Rhyme Royal) (Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy) HETEROMETRIC See under Stanza HETERONYM See under Homonym HEXAMETER (hex-AM-uh-tur) A line of verse consisting of six metrical feet; the term, however, is usually used for dactylic hexameter, consisting of dactyls and spondees, the meter in which the Greek and Latin epics were written. Sidelight: A hexameter is called an Alexandrine when it is iambic or trochaic. (See Meter) (See also Poulters Measure) HIATUS (hy-AY-tus) See under Elision HIGGLEDY-PIGGLEDY See Double Dactyl HOKKU (HAW-koo) See Haiku HOMERIC SIMILE See under Simile HOMOGRAPH See under Homonym HOMONYM One of two or more words which are identical in pronunciation and spelling, but different in meaning, as the noun bear and the verb bear. Sidelight: Although often called homonyms in popular usage (indeed, in some dictionaries as well), homophones are words which are identical in pronunciation but different in meaning or derivation or spelling, as rite, write, right, and wright, or rain and reign. Heteronyms are words which are identical in spelling but different in meaning and pronunciation, as sow, to scatter seed, and sow, a female hog. Homographs are words which are identical in spelling but different in meaning and derivation or pronunciation, as pine, to yearn for, and pine, a tree, or the bow of a ship and a bow and arrow. (Compare Antonym, Paronym, Synonym) (Contrast Sight Rhyme) HOMOPHONE See under Homonym HORATIAN ODE An ode relating to or resembling the works or style of the Roman poet, Horace, consisting of a series of uniform

stanzas, complex in their metrical system and rhyme scheme. The Greek form is called an Aeolic ode. Horatian odes are characteristically less elaborate and more restrained than Pindaric odes. Sidelight: John Keats Ode to a Nightingale is an example of a Horation ode. (See also Sapphic Verse) HOVERING ACCENT In scansion, a stress which is thought of as being equally distributed over two adjacent syllables, a concept proposed to cover an accent not in alignment with the expected metrical ictus, as in Popes That in | one speech | two Neg- | atives | affirme (See also Spondee, Sprung Rhythm) HUDIBRASTIC VERSE A mock-heroic humorous poem written in octosyllabic couplets, after Hudibras, a satirical poem by Samuel Butler. (See also Burlesque, Parody, Pasquinade, Satire) (Compare Antiphrasis, Irony) HYMN A song or ode of praise, usually addressed to gods, but sometimes to abstractions such as Truth, Justice, or Fortune. (See also Paean, Encomium) HYPALLAGE (high-PAL-uh-jee) A type of hyperbaton involving an interchange of elements in a phrase or sentence so that a displaced word is in a grammatical relationship with another that it does not logically qualify, as in: With rainy marching in the painful field ---Shakespeare, Henry V, IV.iii Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed? --- Shakespeare, Othello, IV.ii While the cock . . . Stoutly struts his dames before; --- Milton, LAllegro (Compare Anastrophe, Chiasmus) HYPERBATON (hi-PER-buh-tahn) An inversion of the normal grammatical word order; it may range from a single word moved from its usual place to a pair of words inverted or to even more extremes of syntactic displacement. Specific types of hyperbaton are anastrophe, hypallage, and hysteron proteron. Sidelight: The poetic use of hyperbaton is the principal difference in diction between poetry and prose. Poets utilize it to meet the needs of meter or rhyme, for emphasis or rhetorical effect, and to temper the flow of narrative. HYPERBOLE (hi-PER-buh-lee) A bold, deliberate overstatement, e.g., Id give my right arm for a piece of pizza. Not intended to be taken literally, it is used as a means of emphasizing the truth of a statement. Sidelight: A type of hyperbole in which the exaggeration magnified so greatly that it refers to an impossibility is called an adynaton. (Contrast Litotes, Meiosis)

HYPERCATALECTIC Having an additional syllable after the final complete foot in a line of verse. A verse marked by hypercatalexis is called hypermetrical. (Compare Anacrusis) (Contrast Acatalectic, Catalectic) HYPERMETRICAL A line which contains a redundant syllable or syllables at variance with the regular metrical pattern. (See also Hypercatalectic) HYSTERON PROTERON (HIS-tuh-rahn PRAH-tuhrahn) Related to the hyperbaton, a figure of speech in which the natural or logical order of events is reversed, as in I die! I faint! I fail! from Shelleys The Indian Serenade. (Compare Anachronism, In Medias Res) Could mortal lip divine The undeveloped freight Of a delivered syllable, T would crumble with the weight. ---Emily Dickinson Syllables govern the word. ---John Selden IAMB (EYE-am) or IAMBUS, IAMBIC The most common metrical foot in English, German and Russian verse, and many other languages as well; it consists of two syllables, a short or unaccented syllable followed by a long or accented syllable, as in a-VOID or the RUSH, or from the opening line of John Keats Ode to a Nightingale, a DROW | -sy NUMB | -ness PAINS Sidelight: The name of the iambic foot derives from the Greek iambos, a genre of invective poetry (now termed lampoon) with which it was originally associated. (See also Meter, Rhythm) ICTUS The recurring stress or accent in a rhythmic or metrical series of sounds; also, the mark indicating the syllable on which such stress or accent occurs. (See Arsis) (See also Cadence, Modulation, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm) IDEALISM The artistic theory or practice that affirms the preeminent values of ideas and imagination, as compared with the faithful portrayal of nature in realism. (Compare Classicism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Romanticism, Symbolism) IDENTICAL RHYME See under Perfect Rhyme IDYLL or IDYL A pastoral poem, usually brief, stressing the picturesque aspects of country life, or a longer narrative poem generally

descriptive of pastoral scenes and written in a highly finished style, such as Miltons LAllegro. Sidelight: Idyll is the anglicized version of the Greek Eidillion. Probably because the adjectival form of the word, idyllic. is conventionally applied to a mood of tranquillity, innocence, and ideal virtues, the term is applied to poetry with wide latitude, as in Tennysons Idylls of the King. (See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Eclogue, Madrigal) IMAGERY, IMAGE The elements in a literary work used to evoke mental images, not only of the visual sense, but of sensation and emotion as well. While most commonly used in reference to figurative language, imagery is a variable term which can apply to any and all components of a poem that evoke sensory experience, whether figurative or literal, and also applies to the concrete things so imaged. Sidelight: Imaginative diction transfers the poets impressions of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch to the careful reader, as in The Chambered Nautilus, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, or The Cloud, by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Sidelight: Related images are often clustered or scattered throughout a work, thus serving to create a particular tone, as images of disease, corruption, and death are recurrent patterns shaping the tonality of Shakespeares Hamlet. They can also emphasize a theme, as do the images of dissolution, depression, and mortality in John Keats Ode to a Nightingale. (See also Ekphrasis, Figure of Speech, Trope) IMAGISM A 20th century movement in poetry advocating free verse, new rhythmic effects, colloquial language and the expression of ideas and emotions with clear, well-defined images, rather than through romanticism or symbolism. (See also Avant-Garde) (Compare Classicism, Idealism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism) IMITATION See Mimesis IMPERFECT RHYME See Near Rhyme IMPRESSIONISM As applied to poetry, a late 19th century movement embracing imagism and symbolism, which sought to portray the effects (or poets impressions), rather than the objective characteristics of life and events. (Compare Classicism, Idealism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism) IMPROVISATORE (im-prah-vuh-zuh-TOR-ee) An improviser of verse, usually extemporaneously. (Compare Minstrel, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Jongleur, Troubadour, Trouvere)


INCREMENTAL REPETITION The repetition in each stanza--of a ballad, for example--of part of the preceding stanza, usually with a slight change in wording for effect. (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) INITIAL RHYME See Alliteration IN MEDIAS RES (in MEE-dee-uhs RAYZ) The literary device of beginning a narrative, such as an epic poem, at a crucial point in the middle of a series of events. The intent is to create an immediate interest from which the author can then move backward in time to narrate the story. Sidelight: In contrast, ab ovo (from the egg) refers to starting at the chronological beginning of a narrative. (Compare Anachronism, Hysteron Proteron) INTERIOR MONOLOGUE A narrative technique in which action and external events are conveyed indirectly through a fictional characters mental soliloquy of thoughts and associations. (See also Dramatic Monologue, Soliloquy) INTERLOCKING RHYME See Chain Rhyme INTERNAL RHYME Also called middle rhyme, a rhyme occurring within the line. The rhyme may be with words within the line but not at the line end, or with a word at the line end and a word within the line, as in Shelleys The Cloud, I bring fresh showers, for the thirsting flowers (See also Leonine Verse) INVECTIVE See Lampoon INVERSION See Hyperbaton INVOCATION See under Apostrophe IONIC A metrical foot of four syllables, either two long syllables followed by two short syllables (greater Ionic) or two short syllables followed by two long syllables (lesser Ionic); also, a verse or meter composed of Ionic feet. IRONY Verbal irony is a figure of speech in the form of an expression in which the use of words is the opposite of the thought in the speakers mind, thus conveying a meaning that contradicts the literal definition, as when a doctor might say to his patient, the bad news is that the operation was successful. Dramatic or situational irony is a literary or theatrical device of having a character utter words which the the reader or audience understands to have a different meaning, but of which the character himself is unaware. Irony of fate is when a situation occurs which is quite the

reverse of what one might have expected, as in Shelleys Ozymandias. Sidelight: The use of irony can be very effective, providing it is reasonably obvious and not likely to be taken so literally that the reader is left with the opposite of what was meant to convey. It should also be noted that irony, of itself, is not bitter or cruel, but may become so when used as a vehicle for satire or sarcasm. (See also Antiphrasis) (Compare Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Litotes, Meiosis, Parody) ISOMETRIC See under Stanza ITALIAN SONNET See Petrarchan Sonnet While pensive poets painful vigils keep, Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep. ---Alexander Pope The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne, Th assay so hard, so sharpe the conquering. ---Geoffrey Chaucer JINGLE A short poem marked by catchy repetition. (Compare Nursery Rhyme) JONGLEUR (zhawn-GLOOR) A public entertainer in the Middle Ages who recited or sang chansons de geste, fabliaux, and other poems, sometimes of their own composition, but more often those written by the trouveres. Sidelight: Prior to the 10th century, the term jongleur was applied to actors, acrobats, jugglers, and entertainers in general. (See also Gleeman, Improvisatore, Minstrel, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Troubadour) If I can read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that it is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that it is poetry. ---Emily Dickinson I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry, that is, prose,-words in their best order, poetry,--the best words in their best order. ---Samuel Taylor Coleridge KENNING A compound word or phrase similar to an epithet, but which involves a multi-noun replacement for a single noun, such as wave traveller for boat or whale-path for ocean, used especially in Old English, Old Norse and early Teutonic

poetry. A type of periphrasis, some kennings are instances of metonymy or synecdoche. Sidelight: Beowulf, the oldest known epic poem in English, contains numerous examples of kennings. Milton used the kenning, day-star, for sun, in Lycidas. (See also Ricochet Words, Tmesis) KINGS ENGLISH The standard, pure or correct English speech or usage, also called Queens English. Sidelight: The origin of the term is uncertain, but it appeared in Wilsons Arte of Rhetoricke in 1553 and in Act 1, Scene IV of Shakespeares The Merry Wives of Windsor in about 1597: Mistress Quickly: What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming. If he do, i faith, and find any body in the house, here will be an old abusing of Gods patience and the kings English. (Contrast Solecism) Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration, the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present. ---Percy Bysshe Shelley How does a poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they? ---Thomas Carlyle LAI A medieval narrative or lyric poem which flourished in 12th century France, consisting of couplets of five-syllabled lines separated by single lines of two syllables. The number of lines and stanzas was not fixed and each stanza had only two rhymes, one rhyme for the couplets and the other for the two-syllabled lines. Succeeding stanzas formed their own rhymes. (See also Lay, Virelay) LAMENT See Dirge, Elegy, Epitaph, Monody LAMPOON A bitter, abusive satire in prose or verse attacking an individual. Motivated by malice, it is intended solely to reproach and distress. Sidelight: Before the term lampoon was coined, it was called invective and dates back as far as the origin of poetry itself. It now appears primarily in prose, however, except for its occasional use in epigrams. (See also Burlesque, Parody, Pasquinade) LAY Originally the Anglicized term for the French lai. It became popular in 14th century England as the Breton lay, written in a spirit similar to the French lais. In the 19th century the term, lay, was sometimes used by English poets for short historical ballads or narrative poetry of moderate length.

(See also Tragedy) LEONINE VERSE Named for a 12th century poet, Leonius, who first composed such verse, it consists of hexameters or of hexameters and pentameters in which the final syllable rhymes with one preceding the caesura, in the middle of the line. (See also Internal Rhyme) LIGHT VERSE A loose catch-all term describing poetry written with a relaxed attitude and ordinary tone on trivial, mundane, or frivolous themes. It is intended to amuse and entertain and is frequently distinguished by sophistication, wit, word-play, elegance, and technical competence. Among the numerous forms of light verse are clerihews, double dactyls, epigrams, limericks, nonsense poetry, occasional poetry, parodies, society verse, and verse with puns or riddles. LIMERICK A light or humorous verse form of five chiefly anapestic verses of which lines one, two and five are of three feet and lines three and four are of two feet, with a rhyme scheme of aabba. The limerick, named for a town in Ireland of that name, was popularized by Edward Lear in his Book of Nonsense published in 1846. Sidelight: the final line of Lears limericks usually were a repetition of the first line, but modern limericks generally use the final line for clever witticisms. Sidelight: As shown by these examples, limericks, while unsuitable for serious verse, lend themselves well to humor and word-play. Their content also frequently tends toward the ribald and off-color. LINE A unit in the structure of a poem consisting of one or more metrical feet arranged as a rhythmical entity. Sidelight: The line is fundamental to the perception of poetry, since it is an important factor in the distinction between prose and verse. Sidelight: The traditional practice of capitalizing the initial line-letters contributes to the visual perception of the line as a unit; this practice is often not observed in modern free verse. (See also Stich) LIST POEM See Catalog Verse LITOTES (LIH-tuh-teez, pl. LIH-toh-teez) A type of meiosis (understatement) in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of the contrary, as in not unhappy or a poet of no small stature. (Compare Irony) (Contrast Hyperbole) LYRIC VERSE One of the main groups of poetry, the others being narrative and dramatic . By far the most frequently used form in modern poetic literature, the term lyric includes all poems in which the speakers ardent expression of a (usually single)

emotional element predominates. Ranging from complex thoughts to the simplicity of playful wit, the power and personality of lyric verse is of far greater importance than the subject treated. Often brief, but sometimes extended in a long elegy or a meditative ode, the melodic imagery of skillfully written lyric poetry evokes in the readers mind the recall of similar emotional experiences. Sidelight: Lyric is derived from the Greek word for lyre and originally referred to poetry sung to musical accompaniment. Sidelight: A lyric sequence is a group of poems, mostly lyric verse, that interact as a structural whole, differing from a long poem by the inclusion of unlike forms and diverse areas of focus. (See Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Romance, Society Verse) (See also Anthology, Canon, Companion Poem, Cycle, Sonnet Sequence.) There is pleasure in poetic pains Which only poets know. ---William Cowper If you wish me to weep, you yourself must feel grief. ---Ars Poetica, Horace MACARONIC VERSE Originally, poetry in which words of different languages were mixed together or, more strictly, words in the poets venacular were given the inflectional endings of another language, usually for humorous or satiric effect. In modern times, however, in recognition of the multilingual relationships of sound and sense between different languages, it is used most often with serious intent, thus transformed from a species of comic or nonsense verse into poetry characterized by scholarly techniques of composition, allusion, and structure. (See also Amphigouri) MADRIGAL A short medieval lyric or pastoral poem expressing a simple delicate thought. MALAPROPISM (MAL-a-prop-izm) A mistaken substitution of one word for another that sounds similar, generally with humorous effect, as in arduous romance for ardent romance. The term is named for the character, Mrs. Malaprop, in Richard Sheridans play, The Rivals, who made frequent misapplications of words, for example: . . . as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile. (See also Catachresis, Enallage, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia) MARINISM Excessive ornateness marked by the use of extravagant metaphors, so named from the 17th century Italian poet, Giambattista Marino, and his school of followers. (See also Baroque, Conceit, Euphuism, Gongorism, Melic Verse)

MASCULINE RHYME A rhyme occurring in words of one syllable or in an accented final syllable, such as light and sight or arise and surprise. (Contrast Feminine Rhyme) MEASURE Poetic rhythm or cadence as determined by the syllables in a line of poetry with respect to quantity and accent; also, meter; also, a metrical foot. (See Accentual Verse, Quantitive Verse, Syllabic Verse) (See also Common Measure) MEIOSIS (my-OH-sis) An understatement; the presentation of a thing with underemphasis in order to achieve a greater effect, such as, The building of the pyramids took a little bit of effort. Sidelight: Just as a hyperbole can underscore a truth by overstatement, the meiosis achieves the same effect with understatement. (See also Litotes) (Compare Irony) (Contrast Hyperbole) MEISTERSINGERS Members of various German trade guilds formed in the 15th and 16th centuries by merchants and craftsmen for the cultivation of poetry and music, succeeding the Minnesingers. Sidelight: Applicants had to study poetry and singing while learning their trade and pass examinations through degrees of scholars, schoolmen, singers and poets to eventually become Meistersingers (Mastersingers). The most famous of the Meistersingers was Hans Sachs (14941576) to whom about 6,000 poems are attributed. (See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Minstrel, Troubadour, Trouvere) MELIC VERSE Capable of being sung. The term is derived from an ornate form of Greek lyric poetry of the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. (Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Ode, Pindaric Verse, Romance, Society Verse) (See also Conceit, Euphuism, Gongorism, Marinism) MESOSTICH (MESS-oh-stik) See under Acrostic Poem METAPHOR A figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one object or idea is applied to another, thereby suggesting a likeness or analogy between them, as: The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one. --- Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubiyt of Omar Khayym I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! --- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind . . . The cherished fields Put on their winter robe of purest white. --- James Thomson, The Seasons Sidelight: While most metaphors are nouns, verbs can be used as well: Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,

Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high, Are each paved with the moon and these. --- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cloud Sidelight: The poetic metaphor can be thought of as having two basic components: (1) what is meant, and (2) what is said. The thing meant is called the tenor, while the thing said, which embodies the analogy brought to the subject, is called the vehicle. Sidelight: Both and similes are comparisons between things which are unlike, but a simile expresses the comparison directly, while a metaphor is an implied comparison that gains emphatic force by its connotative value. Sidelight: A word or expression like the leg of the table, which originally was a metaphor but which has now been assimilated into common usage, has lost its figuative value and is called a dead metaphor. Sidelight: Frequently, the term metaphor, as opposed to a metaphor, is used to include all figures of speech, so the expression, metaphorically speaking, refers to speaking figuratively rather than literally. (See also Allegory, Conceit, Extended Metaphor, Mixed Metaphor, Kenning, Personification, Synesthetic Metaphor) (Compare Analogy, Metonymy, Symbol, Synecdoche) METAPHYSICAL Of or relating to a group of 17th century poets whose verse was distinguished by an intellectual and philosophical style, with extended metaphors or conceits comparing very dissimilar things. (Compare Classicism, Idealism, Imagism, Impressionism, Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism) METER or METRE A measure of rhythmic quantity, the organized succession of groups of syllables at basically regular intervals in a line of poetry, according to definite metrical patterns. In classic Greek and Latin versification, meter depended on the way long and short syllables were arranged to succeed one another, but in English the distinction is between accented and unaccented syllables. The unit of measure is the foot. Metrical lines are named for the type of constituent foot and for the number of feet in the line: monometer (1), dimeter (2), trimeter (3), tetrameter (4), pentameter (5), hexameter (6), heptameter (7) and octameter (8); thus, a line containing five iambic feet, for example, would be called iambic pentameter. Rarely does a metrical line exceed six feet. Sidelight: In the composition of verse, poets sometimes make deviations from the systematic metrical patterns. This is often desirable because (1) variations will avoid the mechanical te-dum, te-dum monotony of a too-regular rhythm and (2) changes in the metrical pattern are an effective way to emphasize or reinforce meaning in the content. These variations are introduced by substituting different feet at places within a line. (Poets can also employ a caesura, use run-on lines and vary the degrees of accent by skillful word selection to modify the rhythmic pattern, a process called modulation. Accents heightened by semantic emphasis also provide diversity.) A proficient writer of poetry, therefore, is not a slave to the dictates of metrics, but

neither should the poet stray so far from the meter as to lose the musical value or emotional potential of rhythmical repetition. Of course, in modern free verse, meter has become either irregular or non-existent. Sidelight: Generally speaking, it is advisable for poets to delay the introduction of metrical variations until the ear of the reader has had time to become accustomed to the basic rhythmic pattern. Sidelight: In music, the term, rubato, refers to rhythmic variations from the written score applied in the performance. (See Common Measure, Scan, Scansion) (See also Accentual Verse, Quantitive Verse, Syllabic Verse) METONYMY (meh-TAHN-ih-mee) A figure of speech involving the substitution of one noun for another of which it is an attribute or which is closely associated with it, e.g., the kettle boils or he drank the cup. Metonymy is very similar to synecdoche. Sidelight: Some metonymic expressions, like paleface for white man or salt for sailor, have become so much a part of everyday language that they can no longer be considered as figurative in a poetic sense. (Compare Antonomasia, Cataphora) METRE See Meter METRICAL FOOT See Foot METRICAL PAUSE A rest or hold that has a temporal value, usually to compensate for the omission of an unstressed syllable in a foot. Sidelight: Neither a metrical pause itself nor its length can be scanned, but scansion will show the omission of the unstressed syllable(s) it replaces. Sidelight: Edgar Allan Poe described the metrical pause as a variable foot which is the most important in all verse, but some theorists disagree that a time value is valid in modern metrics. Sidelight: A pause that is non-metrical and expressed only in the performance is called a caesura. METRICS The branch of prosody concerned with meter. METRIST (MEH-trist, MEE-trist) A writer of verse. (See also Bard, Poet, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith.) MIDDLE RHYME See Internal Rhyme MILTONIC Pertaining to the poetry or style of the poet, John Milton, one of the most respected figures in English literature. MIMESIS (mih-MEE-sis) Literally, imitation or realistic representation -- but its poetic significance is more specific: it refers to the combination of sound in phonetic symbolism and onomatopoeia (sound suggestion) with the connotative, symbolic, and synesthetic

effects of the words themselves and their syntactic arrangement to resemble, reinforce, shape, and temper their lexical sense in a manner that mirrors the meaning. In An Essay on Criticism, Pope simplified with the precept,The sound must seem an echo to the sense. He wrote the following couplet to illustrate: Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows. (See also Ekphrasis, Sound Devices) MINNESINGERS Lyric poets of Germany in the 12th to 14th centuries, all men of noble birth who received royal patronage and who wrote mainly of courtly love. They were succeeded by the Meistersingers. Sidelight: The Minnesingers used the collective term, Minnesang, for their work on themes of courtly love. (See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Minstrel, Troubadour, Trouvere) MINSTREL In the Middle Ages, the general term for a performer who subsisted by reciting verse and singing, usually accompanied by a harp. Some minstrels were travelling entertainers; others were permanently employed by nobles. (See also Gleeman, Improvisatore, Jongleur, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Troubadour, Trouvere) (Compare Bard, Metrist, Sonneteer, Wordsmith) MINSTRELSY The art and occupation of minstrels; also, a collection of minstrel songs or a group of musicians or minstrels. MIXED METAPHOR A metaphor whose elements are either incongruent or contradictory by the use of incompatible identifications, such as the dog pulled in its horns or to take arms against a sea of troubles. Sidelight: The effect of a mixed metaphor can be absurd as well as sublime. (See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Oxymoron, Paradox, Synesthesia) MOCK-EPIC or MOCK-HEROIC A satiric literary form that treats a trivial or commonplace subject with the elevated language and heroic style of the classical epic. Sidelight: An outstanding example in English verse is Popes The Rape of the Lock, which he wrote to expose the absurdity of a threatened feud between two families over an incident in which a young baron cut a curl from the head of a society belle. (See also Hudibrastic Verse) (Compare Parody) MODULATION In poetry, the harmonious use of language relative to the variations of stress and pitch. Sidelight: Modulation is a process by which the stress values of accents can be increased or decreased within a fixed metrical pattern. (See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Euphony)

(Compare Cadence, Ictus, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm) MOLOSSUS (moh-LAH-sus) In Greek and Latin verse, a metrical foot consisting of three long syllables. MONODY (MAHN-uh-dee) A poem in which one person laments anothers death, as in Tennysons Break, Break, Break, or Wordsworths She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways. (See also Dirge, Elegy, Epitaph) MONOMETER (muh-NAH-muh-tur) A line of verse consisting of a single metrical foot or dipody. (See Meter) MONORHYME A poem in which all the lines have the same end rhyme. (See also Ghazal) MONOSTICH (MAHN -uh-stik) A poem or epigram of a single metrical line. (Compare Distich, Hemistich) MONOSYLLABLE A word of one syllable. Sidelight: Although the idea of a monosyllabic foot in English verse has been proposed, i.e., an accented syllable plus a hypothetical pause, the notion that pauses may constitute parts of feet is contrary to generally accepted metrical theories. (See also Disyllable, Polysyllable, Trisyllable) MOOD See Tone MORA (MOHR-uh) pl. MORAE The minimal unit of rhythmic measurement in quantitive verse, equivalent to the time it takes to pronounce an ordinary or average short syllable; two morae are equivalent to a long syllable. MOSAIC RHYME A rhyme in which two or more words produce a multiple rhyme, either with two or more other words, as go for / no more, or with one longer word, as cop a plea / monopoly. It is usually used for comic effect. Sidelight: Byrons Don Juan contains many examples of mosaic rhymes. (See also Disyllabic Rhyme, Triple Rhyme) MOTIF (moh-TEEF) A thematic element recurring frequently in literature, such as the dawn song of an aubade or the carpe diem motif. (See also Burden, Theme) (Compare Content, Diction, Form, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone) MUSE A source of inspiration, a guiding genius. Sidelight: In Greek mythology, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne were called the Muses, each of whom was identified with an individual art or science. While there are

historic inconsistencies in the records that have been handed down, a common listing is as follows: Calliope (kuh-LY-uh-pee): Muse of epic poetry Clio (KLY-oh or KLEE-oh): Muse of history Erato (EHR-uh-toh): Muse of lyric and love poetry Euterpe (yoo-TUR-pee): Muse of music, especially wind instruments Melpomene (mel-PAH-muh-nee): Muse of tragedy Polymnia (pah-LIM-nee-uh): Muse of sacred poetry Terpsichore (turp-SIK-uh-ree): Muse of dance and choral song Thalia (thuh-LY-uh): Muse of comedy Urania (yooh-RAY-nee-uh): Muse of astronomy (See also Afflatus, Helicon, Numen, Parnassian, Pierian) Poetry is a means to a certain kind of knowledge, and there is a certain kind of knowledge to which it is the only means. ---Archibald MacLeish . . . sweet food of sweetly uttered knowledge. ---The Defence of Poesie, Sir Philip Sidney NARRATIVE The narration of an event or story, stressing details of plot, incident and action. Along with dramatic and lyric, is one of the main groups of poetry. Sidelight: A narrative poem contains more detail than a ballad and is not intended to be sung. (See also Epyllion, Lay, Tragedy) (Compare Chanson de Geste, Epic, Epopee, Epos, Heroic Quatrain) NEAR RHYME Also called approximate rhyme, slant rhyme, off rhyme, imperfect rhyme or half rhyme, a rhyme in which the sounds are similar, but not exact, as in home and come or close and lose. Most near rhymes are types of consonance. Sidelight: Due to changes in pronunciation, some near rhymes in modern English were perfect rhymes when they were originally written in old English. NEOLOGISM (nee-AH-luh-jizm) The use of new words or new meanings for old words not yet included in standard definitions, as in the recent application of the word cool to denote, very good, excellent or fashionable. Some disappear from usage, others like hip and feedback, for example, remain in the language. (Compare Nonce Word, Portmanteau Word) NONCE WORD From the expression, for the nonce, a word coined or used for a special circumstance or occasion only, Sidelight: Sometimes a nonce word gains acceptance in the general language, as gerrymander, which was coined when a voting district was formed with an irregular shape suggesting a resemblance to a salamander during the administration of Elbridge Gerry, then governor of Massachusetts. A word thus adopted into standard usage then ceases to be a nonce word.

(Compare Neologism, Portmanteau Word, Ricochet Words) NONSENSE POETRY Poetry which is absurd, foolish or preposterous, usually written in a catchy meter with strong rhymes. It often contains neologisms or portmanteau words as in Lewis Carrolls Jabberwocky, and may employ unusual syntaxas well. (See also Amphigouri, Macaronic Verse) NUMBERS Metrical feet or verse in general. Sidelight: The term derives from the quantitive verse of classic prosody, in which the count of morae indicated the mathematical proportions in meter. NUMEN A spiritual source or influence, often identified with a natural object, phenomenon or place. (See also Afflatus, Helicon, Muse) NURSERY RHYME A short poem for children written in rhyming verse and handed down in folklore. (Compare Jingle) Blessings be with them, and eternal praise, Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares!-The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays. ---William Wordsworth

Poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom. ---Robert Frost OBJECTIVISM A type of 20th century poetry in which objects are selected and portrayed for their own particular value, rather than their symbolic quality or the intellectual concept of the author. (Compare Classicism, Idealism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism) OCCASIONAL POEM A poem written for a particular occasion, such as a dedication, birthday, or victory. The encomium, elegy, prothalamium, and epithalamium are examples of occasional poems. Sidelight: Occasional poems are sometimes configured as pattern poetry. (See Poet Laureate) OCTAMETER (ahk-TAM-uh-tur) A line of verse consisting of eight metrical feet. Sidelight: Seldom used in English poetry, Poes The Raven is written in trochaic octameter. (See Meter) OCTAVE A stanza of eight lines, especially the first eight lines of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet.

(See also Ballade, Ottava Rima, Sonnet) OCTET See Octave OCTOSYLLABLE A metrical line of eight syllables, such as iambic tetrameter, or a poem composed of eight-syllable lines. (See also Decasyllable, Dodecasyllable, Hendecasyllable) ODE A type of lyric or melic verse, usually irregular rather than uniform, generally of considerable length, and sometimes continuous, sometimes divided in accordance with transitions of thought and mood in a complexity of stanzaic forms; it often has varying iambic line lengths with no fixed system of rhyme schemes and is always marked by the rich, intense expression of an elevated thought, often addressed to a praised person or object. Sidelight: Two other important forms of the ode arose from classical poetry; (1) the Dorian or choric ode designed for singing, after which Pindaric verse was patterned, and (2) the Aeolic or Horatian Ode, of which Ode to a Nightingale, considered to be one of John Keats finest works, is an example. More commonly used in English poetry, however, is the irregular form described above and exemplified in Wordsworths Ode. Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. (See also Encomium, Epinicion, Sapphic Verse) ODEON or ODEUM A small roofed theater in ancient antiquity devoted to the presentation of musical and poetic works to the public in competition for prizes. Sidelight: The name is now applied to a hall or chamber for musical and dramatic performances. OFF RHYME See Near Rhyme ONOMATOPOEIA (ahn-uh-mah-tuh-PEE-uh) Strictly speaking, the formation or use of words which imitate sounds, like whispering, clang and sizzle, but the term is generally expanded to refer to any word whose sound is suggestive of its meaning. Sidelight: Because sound is an important part of poetry, the use of onomatopoeia is another subtle weapon in the poets arsenal for the transfer of sense impressions through imagery, as in Keats The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves, in Ode to a Nightingale. Sidelight: Though impossible to prove, some philologists (linguistic scientists) believe that all language originated through the onomatopoeic formation of words. (See also Mimesis, Phonetic Symbolism) OPEN COUPLET A couplet of the Romantic period with run-on lines, in which the thought was carried beyond the rhyming lines of the couplet. A good example appears in Endymion, Book I, by John Keats. (See Enjambment ) (See also Distich, Heroic Couplet)

(Contrast End-Stopped, Closed Couplet) OTTAVA RIMA (oh-TAH-vuh REE-muh) Originally Italian, a stanza of eight lines of heroic verse, rhyming abababcc. This verse form was used in Don Juan, by George Gordon, Lord Byron. (See also Octave, Spenserian Stanza) OXYMORON (ahk-see-MOR-ahn) The conjunction of words which, at first view, seem to be contradictory or incongruous, but whose surprising juxtaposition expresses a truth or dramatic effect, such as, cool fire, deafening silence, wise folly, etc. Sidelight: An oxymoron is similar to a paradox, but more compact, usually consisting of just two successive words. (See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Synesthesia) A poet soaring in the high reason of his fancies, with his garland and singing robes about him. ---John Milton In this mortal frame of mine which is made of a hundred bones and nine orifices there is something, and this something is called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind. This something in me . . . . has never found peace with itself, always wavering between doubts of one kind and another . . . . The fact is, it knows no other art than the art of writing poetry, and therefore, it hangs on to it more or less blindly. ---Matsuo Basho PAEAN (PEE-un) A hymn of praise, joy, triumph, etc. (See also Panegyric) PAEON (PEE-un) In ancient poetry, a metrical foot consisting of four syllables, one long and three short. The position of the long syllable can be varied in four ways, thus the foot can be called a primus, secundus, tertius or quartus paeon. (Contrast Epitrite) PALINDROME A word, verse, or sentence in which the sequence of letters is the same forward and backward, as the word, madam, or the sentence, A man, a plan, a canal: Panama. A variation in which the sequence of words is the same forward and backward is called a word-order palindrome. Sidelight: The invention of the palindrome has been attributed to Sotades, a third century Greek writer of lascivious verse, thus the term sotadic is used in reference to palindromes and/or poetry of a scurrilous nature. PALINODE (PAL-uh-node) or PALINODY (PAL-uhno-dee) A poem in which the poet contradicts or retracts something in an earlier poem.

PANEGYRIC (pan-uh-JEER-ik) A speech or poem of elaborate praise for some distinguished person, object or event, similar to, but more formal than, an encomium. (Compare Epinicion, Eulogy) (See also Hymn, Paean) PANTOUM A poem in a fixed form, consisting of a varying number of 4-line stanzas with lines rhyming alternately; the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated to form the first and third lines of the succeeding stanza; the first and third lines of the first stanza form the second and fourth of the last stanza, but in reverse order, so that the opening and closing lines of the poem are identical. Sidelight: The pantoum is derived from the Malayan pantun, which follows the same rhyme and line patterns but differs in some other respects. In the pantun, which is traditionally improvised, the theme or meaning is conveyed in the second two lines of each quatrain, while the first two lines present an image or allusion which may or may not have an obvious connection with the theme. PARADOX A statement which contains seemingly contradictory elements or appears contrary to common sense, yet can be seen as perhaps, or indeed, true when viewed from another angle, such as Alexander Popes statement in An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot that a literary critic could damn with faint praise. Sidelight: A paradox can be in a situation as well as a statement. The effectiveness of a paradox lies in the startling impact of apparent absurdity on the reader, which serves to highlight the truth of the statement. An oxymoron is similar to a paradox, but more compact. Sidelight: Sometimes an entire poem centers on a paradoxical situation or statement, as in Richard Lovelaces To Lucasta, Going to the Wars. (See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Synesthesia) (Compare Hudibrastic Verse, Satire) PARALLELISM The repetition of syntactical similarities in passages closely connected for rhetorical effect, as in Popes An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot: Happy my studies, when by these approved! Happier their author, when by these beloved! The repetitive structure lends wit or emphasis to the meanings of the separate clauses, thus being particularly effective in antithesis. (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses) PARNASSIAN Of or related to poetry, after Parnassus, a mountain in Greece with two summits; one summit was consecrated to Bacchus, the other to Apollo and the Muses, thus Parnassus was regarded as the seat of poetry and music. (See also Afflatus, Helicon, Numen, Pierian)

PARODY A ludicrous imitation, usually for comic effect but sometimes for ridicule, of the style and content of another work. The humor depends upon the readers familiarity with the original. Sidelight: A parody can also be intended as an affectionate tribute to the original work. Sidelight: Sir John Sucklings A Ballad upon a Wedding, is a parody of an epithalamium. (See also Antiphrasis, Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Irony, Lampoon, Mock-Epic, Pasquinade, Satire ) (Compare Cento, Pastiche) PARONOMASIA A play on words in which the same word is used in different senses or words similar in sound are used in opposition to each other for a rhetorical contrast; a pun. For an example, see Well-Versed. (Compare Antanaclasis, Syllepsis) PARONYM A word derived from or related to another word; also, the form in one language for a word in another, as in the English canal for the Latin canalis. Sidelight: In 1877, the Italian astronomer, Schiaparelli, charted a number of linear surface features he observed on the planet Mars. He thought them to be natural waterways formed by erosion due the action of a flowing liquid and termed them canali, Italian for channels. Translated into English as canals, this led to a popular conception of artificial irrigation canals constructed by Martian inhabitants to carry water from the polar caps to the rest of the planet, an idea which persisted until finally disproved by the Mariner spacecraft flights in the 1970s. (Compare Antonym, Homonym, Synonym) PASQUINADE (pas-kwuh-NAYD) A lampoon or satirical writing. Sidelight: The term is named for Pasquino, a 15th century Italian tradesman known for his caustic wit. It was once customary to affix satiric notices to a mutilated statue found near his shop. At the other end of Rome was an ancient statue called Marforio to which replies to the pasquinades were posted. (See also Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Parody) PASTICHE (pass-TEESH) An artistic effort that imitates or caricatures the work of another artist. (Compare Cento, Parody) PASTORAL ELEGY See under Elegy PASTORAL POETRY Poetry idealizing the lives of shepherds and country folk, although the term is often used loosely to include any poems with a rural aspect. Sidelight: Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd. In classical poetry, the pastoral conventions featured a shepherds meditations on themes such as nature or romance. From another recurrent theme, the expression of

grief over the death of a fellow shepherd, emerged the longenduring conventions of the pastoral elegy. (See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Eclogue, Georgic, Idyll, Madrigal) PASTOURELLE A form of pastoral poetry associated chiefly with French writers of the 12th and 13th centuries. Typically, the narrator, identified as a knight, recounts his love affair with a shepherdess. PATHETIC FALLACY The ascribing of human traits or feelings to inanimate nature for eloquent effect, especially feelings in sympathy with those expressed or experienced by the writer, as a cruel wind, a pitiless storm, or the lines from Shelleys Adonais: Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay, And the Wild Winds flew round, sobbing in their dismay. Sidelight: The term was coined in 1856 by John Ruskin, an English painter, art critic and essayist. While his intent was derogatory, the term is now applied in a neutral sense as a less formal type of personification. PATHOS An element in artistic expression evoking pity, sorrow or compassion. Sidelight: The use of understatement (meiosis) is often an effective way of achieving pathos. (Compare Bathos) PATTERN POETRY Poetry in which the letters, words, and lines are configured in such a way that the poems printed appearance on the page forms a recognizable outline related to the subject, thus conveying or extending the meaning of the words. Sidelight: Also referred to as altar poems, carmina figurata, and shaped verse, pattern poems are of ancient origin, dating back as far as the 3rd century B.C. In the 16th and 17th centuries they were popularly known as emblem poems, an example of which is George Herberts Easter Wings. Sidelight: Pattern poetry differs from concrete poetry mainly in that it retains its meaning when read aloud, apart from its typography. (Compare Occasional Poem, Visual Poetry) PAUSE See Caesura and Metrical Pause PENTAMETER (pen-TAM-uh-tur) A line of verse consisting of five metrical feet. (See Meter) PERFECT RHYME Also called true rhyme or exact rhyme, a rhyme which meets the following requirements: (1) an exact correspondence in the vowel sound and, in words ending in consonants, the sound of the final consonant, (2) a difference in the consonant sounds preceding the vowel, and (3) a similarity of accent on the rhyming syllable(s).

Sidelight: A rhyme in which the perfect correpondence of sound is extended to include the consonant preceding the vowel, thus resulting in an exactly identical pronunciation, as in bear and bare, is said to be enriched and is thus called rich rhyme or rime riche (reem REESH). It is also sometimes called identical rhyme, but these terms are misleading because, in a poetic sense, this is not considered to be a legitimate rhyme. (See also End Rhyme, Feminine Rhyme, Internal Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme) PERIPHRASIS (puh-RIF-ruh-sis) The substitution of an elaborate phrase in place of a simple word or expression, as fragrant beverage drawn from Chinas herb for tea. Other examples include James Thomsons the bleating kind for sheep, in The Seasons, and Miltons he who walked the waves for Jesus in Lycidas. Sidelight: A periphrasis may be used as a euphemism as well as an embellishment. It can also be used for humorous effect. (Compare Epithet, Kenning) PERSONA (pur-SOH-nuh) The speaker or voice of a literary work, i.e., who is doing the talking. Thus persona is the I of a narrative or the implied speaker of a lyric poem. Sidelight: Sometimes the author of a poem identifies a created character as the speaker-- but in the absence of a specfic attribution the term persona is applied in a neutral sense, since it should not be automatically assumed that a creative work directly reflects the personal experiences or views of the poet.The use of an identified persona precludes a potential ambiguity and enables poets to give expression to things they would prefer not to have attributed to their own person. Sidelight: In Robert Brownings My Last Duchess, the persona is the Duke of Ferrara. In John Keats Ode to a Nightingale, the persona is not identified, so it is up to the reader to infer whether it is the author himself or a speaker conceived by the poet for a particular effect. Sidelight: The term, voice, while often used synonymously with speaker or persona, can also refer to Aristotles ethos, the underlying moral quality intended by the poet behind the utterances of a speaker or persona. (Compare Content, Diction, Form, Motif, Style, Texture, Tone) PERSONIFICATION A type of metaphor in which distinctive human characteristics, e.g., honesty, emotion, volition, etc., are attributed to an animal, object or idea, as The haughty lion surveyed his realm or My car was happy to be washed or Fate frowned on his endeavors. Personification is commonly used in allegory. Sidelight: The Cloud is personified in Shelleys magnificent poem. (Compare Apostrophe, Pathetic Fallacy, Prosopopeia)

PETRARCHAN SONNET (pih-TRAR-kun) An Italian sonnet form perfected by Petrarch (1304-1374), characterized by an octave with a rhyme scheme of abbaabba and a sestet rhyming variously, but usually cdecde or cdccdc. The octave typically introduces the theme or problem, with the sestet providing the resolution. Sidelight: Longfellows Divina Commedia and Wyatts My Galley are examples of Petrarchan sonnets. (See Volta) PHONETIC SYMBOLISM Sound suggestiveness; the association of particular wordsounds with common areas of meaning so that other words of similar sounds come to be associated with those meanings. Also called sound symbolism, it is utilized by poets to achieve sounds appropriate to their significance. Sidelight: An example of word sounds in English with a common area of meaning is a group beginning with gl, all having reference to light, which include:gleam, glare, glitter, glimmer, glint, glisten, glossy and glow. (See also Mimesis, Onomatopoeia, Sound Devices) PICARESQUE The term applied to literature dealing sympathetically with the adventures of clever and amusing rogues. PIERIAN (py-EAR-ee-un) Of or relating to learning or poetry, after the region of Pieria in ancient Macedonia which once worshipped the Muses. (See also Parnassian) PINDARIC VERSE In Greek literature, a poem designed for song, of various meters and of lofty style, patterned after the odes of the classical Greek poet, Pindar. Though metrically complex, and varying from one ode to another, Pindaric verse, also called Dorian or choric odes, regularly consists of a similarly-structured strophe and an antistrophe, followed by an epode of different length and structure, as in Jonsons To the Immortal Memory and Friendship . . . Sidelight: Since the only examples of Pindars writing which survived intact were epinicions, his name is enduringly associated with that genre of poetry. (See also Horatian Ode, Melic Verse, Sapphic Verse) PLAY ON WORDS See Paronomasia, Pun PLEIAD or PLEIADE (PLEE-ud) Named after the open cluster in the constellation Taurus, a group of 16th century French poets who sought to restore the level of French poetry from its decline in the Middle Ages to classical standards as well as to enhance the richness of the French language. PLEONASM (PLEE-uh-nazm) Redundancy; the use of more words than necessary to express the sense of a thing, but which often stress or enrich the thought, such as, I touched it with my own hands or a tiny little acorn. (Compare Tautology)

PLOCE (PLOH-see or PLAW-see) The general term for a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated in close proximity within a clause or line, usually for emphasis or for extended significance, as A wife who was a wife indeed or there are medicines and medicines. Sidelight: To describe specific types of ploces: epanalepsis repeats a word after intervening words, epizeuxis repeats a word with no other words intervening, antanaclasis repeats a word with a shift in the meaning, and polyptoton repeats a word with a change in its grammatical form. POEM A rhythmic expression of feelings or ideas, often using metaphor, meter and rhyme. POEMS OF CHANCE Poetry created by adherents of the Dadaistic movement, composed by writing down, without alteration, an illogical chance association of words, free of the limitations of rational and artistic thought processes. POESY or POESIE (PO-uh-see) A poem or a group of poems, i.e., poetry. The term also refers to the art of writing poems, often used in the sense of trite or sentimentalized poetic writing. POET A writer of poetry. Sidelight: Since the composition of poetry is a difficult achievement, eminent poets are universally reverenced. (See also Bard, Metrist, Poetaster, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith) POETASTER (POH-it-aster) An inadequate writer of verses, an inferior poet. (See also Doggerel, Poeticule, Rhymester, Versifier) POETIC DICTION See under Diction POETIC LICENSE The liberties generally allowable for a poet to take with his subject-matter to achieve a desired effect or with his grammatical construction, etc., to conform to the requirements of rhyme and meter; but in a broader sense, it includes creative deviations from historical fact, such as anachronisms. POETICS Literary study or criticism on the nature and laws of poetic theory and practice; also, a treatise on poetry or aesthetics. POETICULE A dabbler in poetry; a poetaster. (See also Doggerel, Rhymester, Versifier) POET LAUREATE A poet honored for his artistic achievement or selected as most representative of his country or area; in England, a court official appointed by the sovereign, whose original duties included the composition of odes in honor of the

sovereigns birthday and in celebration of State occasions of importance. Sidelight: The term comes from an old custom of presenting laurel wreaths to university graduates in rhetoric and poetry. In France, distinguished writers are crowned with a wreath when honored by election to the Acadmie franaise. (See Occasional Poem) POETRY A literary expression in which language is used in a concentrated blend of sound and imagery to create an emotional response; essentially rhythmic, it is usually metrical and frequently structured in stanzas. Sidelight: Since concepts of the nature of poetry differ widely, no definition can adequately distinguish between what is poetry and what is not. POETS CORNER A portion of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey which contains the remains of many famous literary figures, including Chaucer and Spenser, and also displays memorials to others who are buried elsewhere. Sidelight: In 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to be buried there. At that time it was not designated for literary figures and Chaucer was so honored because he had been Clerk of Works to the palace of Westminster. Sidelight: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the first American poet to have a memorial bust placed in the Poets Corner. POLYPHONIC PROSE A type of free verse using characteristic devices of verse such as alliteration and assonance, but presented in a form resembling prose. (Compare Sprung Rhythm) POLYPTOTON (puh-LIP-tuh-tahn) A figure of speech in which a word is repeated in a different form of the same root or stem, as Shakespeares Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright or repeated with its word class changed into a different part of speech, as Tennysons My own hearts heart, and my ownest own, farewell. The juxtaposition of common roots with different endings in a polyptoton produces a rhyme-like effect -- although not a true rhyme, it is sometimes referred to as a grammatical rhyme. Sidelight: Similar to the polyptoton, but without involving repetition, is the anthimeria, frequently used by Shakespeare, which turns a word from one part of speech into another, usually in the making of verbs out of nouns, as in his Ill unhair my head. Cummings boldly turned a verb and an adjective into nouns in the line, they sowed their isnt they reaped their same. (See also Antanaclasis, Epanalepsis, Epizeuxis, Ploce) POLYRHYTHMIC VERSE A type of free verse characterized by a variety of rhythms, often non-integrated or contrasting.

POLYSYLLABLE A word consisting of several syllables. It is most often applied to words of more than three syllables. (See also Disyllable, Monosyllable, Trisyllable) POLYSYNDETON (pah-lee-SIN-duh-tahn) The repetition of a number of conjunctions in close succession, as in, We have men and arms and planes and tanks. (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Refrain, Stornello Verses) (Contrast Asyndeton) PORTMANTEAU WORD An artificial word made up of parts of others, so called because of two meanings combined in one word, as in Lewis Carrolls Jabberwocky, in which he combined lithe and slimy into slithy, or the word smog, formed from smoke and fog. (Compare Neologism, Nonce Word, Ricochet Words) POULTERS MEASURE A meter consisting of alternate Alexandrines and fourteeners, i.e., twelve-syllable and fourteen-syllable lines, a common measure in Elizabethan times. The name derives from the former practice of dealers in poultry products, then called poulters, of sometimes giving one or two extra eggs to the dozen. (See also Heptameter, Septenarius) PROCELEUSMATIC (PRAH-see-looz-MAT-ik) A metrical foot consisting of four short syllables. Sidelight: The proceleusmatic foot is sometimes called a tetrabrach. PROCEPHALIC (pro-see-FAL-ik) In ancient prosody, having an excess of one syllable in the first foot of a line of verse. (See also Anacrusis) (Contrast Hypercatalectic) PROLEPSIS (proh-LEP-sus) The application of an adjective to a noun in anticipation of the action of the verb, as in, while plows turn the furrowed field. (Compare Syllepsis) PROSE Ordinary language people use in speaking or writing, distinguished from the language of poetry primarily in that the line is not treated as a formal unit and it has no repetitive pattern of rhythm or meter. Sidelight: The cadence of artistic or rhythmical prose is not pre-established, but emerges from the rhythm of thought. PROSE POEM A genre in the poetic spectrum between free verse and prose. It is distinguished by the poetic characteristics of rhythmic, aural, and syntactic repetition, compression of thought, sustained intensity, and patterned structure, but is

set on the page in a continuous sequence of sentences as in prose, without line breaks. PROSODY (PRAH-suh-dee) The general term for the structure of poetry; the science of versification according to syllabic quantity, accent, etc.; the systematic study of poetic meter. All types of metrical feet, patterns of sound and rhyme, kinds of stanzaic forms, etc., fall within its domain. (See also Metrics) PROSOPOPEIA (pruh-soh-puh-PEE-uh) A figure of speech in which an imaginary or absent person is represented as speaking. (Compare Apostrophe, Personification) PROTHALAMIUM (pro-thuh-LAH-mee-um) or PROTHALAMION A song or poem in honor of a bride and bridegroom before their wedding, such as Spensers Prothalamion. (Compare Epithalamium) (See also Encomium, Fescennine Verses) PROVERB A brief, pithy popular saying or epigram embodying some familiar truth, practical interpretation of experience, or useful thought. (Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Fable, Gnome) PUN A word play suggesting, with humorous intent, the different meanings of one word or the use of two or more words similar in sound but different in meaning, as in Mark A. Nevilles: Eve was nigh Adam Adam was naive. (See also Ambiguity, Denotation, Equivoke, Paronomasia) (Compare Antanaclasis, Syllepsis) PYRRHIC (PEER-ick) Common in classic Greek poetry, a metrical foot consisting of two short or unaccented syllables, as in: The SLINGS | and AR- | rows of | out-RA | -geous FOR | tune As sweet and musical As bright Apollos lute, strung with his hair, And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. ---Loves Labours Lost, Shakespeare Much have I travelld in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen, Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. ---John Keats QUANTITIVE VERSE Verse which, rather than on the syllabic count or accent, is based on a systematic succession of long and short syllables,

i.e., syllables which take a longer or shorter quantity of time to pronounce. When the lines are properly read, with the speed of articulation determined by varying vowel length and consonant groupings, the rhythmic pattern develops naturally. The unit of measure in quantitive verse is the mora. Sidelight: Classical Greek and Latin poetry were based on quantitive verse, while most modern English poetry is a combination of accentual and syllabic versification. (Compare Accentual Verse, Syllabic Verse) QUATORZAIN (KAWT-ur-zayn or kat-ur-ZAN) A sonnet or any poem of fourteen lines. QUATRAIN A poem, unit or stanza of four lines of verse, usually with a rhyme scheme of abab or its variant, xbyb. It is the most common stanzaic form. Sidelight: The popular abab rhyme scheme, as in Wordsworths She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways, is sometimes referred to as alternate rhyme or cross rhyme. For In Memoriam,Tennyson used an abba scheme, often called envelope rhyme. Two other rhyming possibilities are aabb, which can produce an antithetical effect, and monorhymed or near-monorhymed quatrains, of which the aaxa of Fitzgeralds The Rubiyt of Omar Khayym, is an example. Sometimes two or more quatrains are interlocked by a chain rhyme, as in the aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd of Frosts Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. (See also Heroic Quatrain) QUEENS ENGLISH See Kings English QUINTET or QUINTAIN A poem, unit or stanza of five lines of verse. (See also Cinquain) Im always saying something thats just the edge of something more. ---Robert Frost

Poetry is language that tells us, through a more or less emotional reaction, something that cannot be said. ---Edwin Arlington Robinson REALISM The endeavor to portray an accurate representation of nature and real life without idealization. (Compare Classicism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Romanticism, Symbolism) REDUPLICATED WORDS See Ricochet Words REFRAIN A phrase or line, generally pertinent to the central topic, which is repeated verbatim, usually at regular intervals throughout a poem, most often at the end of a stanza, as in Spensers Prothalamion, or Villons Des Dames du Temps

Jadis. Occasionally a single word is used as a refrain, as nevermore in Poes The Raven. Sometimes a refrain is written with progressive variations, in which case it may be termed incremental repetition, (See also Burden, Repetend) (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Stornello Verses) REPETEND (REP-ee-tend) The irregular repetition of a word, phrase, or line in a poem. It is a type of refrain, but differs in that it can appear at various places in the poem and may be only a partial repetition, as in Poes Ulalume. REPETITION A basic artistic device, fundamental to any conception of poetry. It is a highly effective unifying force; the repetition of sound, syllables, words, syntactic elements, lines, stanzaic forms, and metrical patterns establishes cycles of expectation which are reinforced with each successive fulfillment. RESONANCE The quality of richness or variety of sounds in poetic texture, as in Miltons . . . and the thunder . . . ceases now To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep. (See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance) (Compare Euphony) RHAPSODY The recitation of a short epic poem or a longer epic abridged for recitation. RHETORIC The art of speaking or writing effectively; skill in the eloquent use of language. RHETORICAL QUESTION A question solely for effect, with no answer expected. By the implication that the answer is obvious, it is a means of achieving an emphasis stronger than a direct statement, as in Shelleys Ode to the West Wind, . . . O, Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? RHOPALIC (roh-PAL-ik) Having each succeeding unit in a poetic structure longer than the preceding one. Applied to a line, it means that each successive word is a syllable longer that its predecessor. Applied to a stanza, each successive line is longer by either a syllable or a metrical foot. Rhopalic verse is also called wedge verse. RHYME In the specific sense, a type of echoing which utilizes a correspondence of sound in the final accented vowels and all that follows of two or more words, but the preceding consonant sounds must differ, as in the words, bear and care. In a poetic sense, however, rhyme refers to a close similarity of sound as well as an exact correspondence; it includes the agreement of vowel sounds in assonance and the repetition of consonant sounds in consonance and

alliteration. Usually, but not always, rhymes occur at the ends of lines. Sidelight: Originally rime, the spelling was changed due to the influence of its popular, but erroneous, association with the Latin word, rhythmus. Many purists continue to use rime as the proper spelling of the word. Sidelight: Differences as well as identity in sound echoes between words contribute to the euphonic effect, stimulate intellectual appreciation, provide a powerful mnemonic device, and serve to unify a poem. Also, rhymes often serve to heighten the significance of the words. Terms like near rhyme, half rhyme, and perfect rhyme function to distinguish between the types of rhyme without prejudicial intent and should not be interpreted as expressions of value. Sidelight: Early examples of English poetry used alliterative verse instead of rhyme. The use of rhyme in the end words of verse originally arose to compensate for the sometimes unsatisfactory quality of rhythm within the lines; variations in the patterns of rhyme schemes then became functional in defining diverse stanza forms, such as, ottava rima, rhyme royal, terza rima, the Spenserian stanza and others. Rhyme schemes are also significant factors in the definitions of whole poems, such as ballade, limerick, rondeau, sonnet, triolet and villanelle. (See Close Rhyme, End Rhyme, Feminine Rhyme, Internal Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme) (See also Broken rhyme, Disyllabic Rhyme, Mosaic Rhyme, Sight Rhyme, Triple Rhyme) RHYME ROYAL A stanza of seven lines of heroic or five-foot iambic verse, rhyming ababbcc. It probably received its name from its use by King James I of Scotland, who was both king and a poet. It was previously known as Troilus verse because Chaucer used it in his Troilus and Criseyde. RHYME SCHEME The pattern established by the arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or poem, generally described by using letters of the alphabet to denote the recurrence of rhyming lines, such as the ababbcc of the Rhyme Royal stanza form. Sidelight: The opening stanza of Wordsworths I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, with end rhymes of the words, cloud-hills-crowd-daffodils-trees-breeze, is described as having a rhyme scheme of ababcc; the two quatrains of the poem, La Tour Eiffel, with end words of form-warm-storm-insouciance and earth-mirth-birthFrance, have an interlocking or chain rhyme scheme of aaab cccb. Sidelight: Capital letters in the alphabetic rhyme scheme are used for the repeating lines of a refrain; the letters x and y indicate unrhymed lines. Sidelight: In quatrains, the popular rhyme scheme of abab, as in Wordsworths She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways, is called alternate rhyme or cross rhyme. Tennyson used an abba scheme, often called envelope rhyme, for In Memoriam. The rhyme scheme of Fitzgeralds The Rubiyt of Omar Khayym, is aaxa.

RHYMESTER An inferior poet. (See also Doggerel, Poetaster, Poeticule, Versifier) RHYMING SLANG A slang popular in Great Britain in the early part of the 20th century, in which a word was replaced by a word or phrase that rhymed with it, as loaf of bread for head. When the rhyme was a compound word or part of a phrase, the rhyming part was often dropped, so in the foregoing example, loaf would come to stand for head. Sidelight: While most of the words derived from rhyming slang were likely to be understood only by those familiar with the idiom, some have continued in general English slang usage, as is the case with the above example. RHYTHM An essential of all poetry, the regular or progressive pattern of recurrent accents in the flow of a poem as determined by the arses and theses of the metrical feet, i.e., the rise and fall of stress. The measure of rhythmic quantity is the meter. Sidelight: A rhythmic pattern in which the stress falls on the final syllable of each foot, as in the iamb or anapest, is called a rising or ascending rhythm; a rhythmic pattern with the stress occurring on the first syllable of each foot, as in the dactyl or trochee, is a falling or descending rhythm. Sidelight: From an easy lilt to the rough cadence of a primitive chant, rhythm is the organization of sound patterns the poet has created for pleasurable reading. (See also Ictus, Modulation, Sprung Rhythm) (Compare Caesura) RICH RHYME See under Perfect Rhyme RICOCHET WORDS Hyphenated words, usually formed by reduplicating a word with a change in the radical vowel or the initial consonant sound, such as pitter-patter, chit-chat, riff-raff, wishywashy, hob-nob, roly-poly, pell-mell, razzle-dazzle, etc. Sidelight: There are a substantial number of ricochet words in both modern and ancient English. They usually convey an intensifying effect. (See also Kenning, Tmesis) (Compare Close Rhyme, Neologism, Nonce Word, Portmanteau Word) RIDING RHYME An early form of heroic verse, so named for its use by Chaucer to describe the riding of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. RIME See Rhyme RIME ENCHAINE (reem ahn-sheh-NAY) See under Chain Rhyme RIME RICHE (reem-REESH) See under Perfect Rhyme

ROMANCE Formerly a medieval tale in mixed prose and verse describing marvelous adventures of a hero of chivalry, it later came to mean a short lyric poem. (Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Society Verse) ROMANTICISM An 18th century movement revolting against the conventional strictness of neo-classicism and placing artistic emphasis on imagination and the emotions. (Compare Classicism, Idealism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism, Symbolism) RONDEAU (RAHN-doe) A fixed form used mostly in light or witty verse, usually consisting of fifteen octo- or decasyllabic lines in three stanzas, with only two rhymes used throughout. A word or words from the first part of the first line are used as a (usually unrhymed) refrain ending the second and third stanzas, so the rhyme scheme is aabba aabR aabbaR. Sidelight: An example of the rondeau is the best-known poem from World War I, In Flanders Fields, by Lt. Col. John McCrae. (Compare Rondel, Rondelet, Roundel, Villanelle) (See also Chain Verse, Envelope) RONDEL (RAHN-dul) A variation of the rondeau in which the first two lines of the first stanza are repeated as the last two lines of the second and third stanzas, thus a rhyme scheme of ABba abAB abbaA(B). (Sometimes only the first line of the poem is repeated at the end.) (Compare Rondelet, Villanelle) RONDELET (rahn-duh-LET) A short variation of the rondeau consisting generally of one 7-line stanza with two rhymes. The first line has four syllables and is repeated as a refrain forming the third and seventh lines; the other lines have eight syllables each. (Compare Rondel, Villanelle) ROUNDEL A variation of the rondeau devised by A. C. Swinburne, demonstrated in his poem, The Roundel. He shortened the stanzas and moved the first refrain from the second to the first stanza, thus revising the rhyme scheme to abaR bab abaR. ROUNDELAY (ROWN-duh-lay) A poem with a refrain repeated frequently or at fixed intervals, as in a rondel. RUNE A Finnish or Old Norse poem. (See also Edda, Skald) RUN-ON COUPLET See Open Couplet RUN-ON LINES Lines in which the thought continues into the next line, as opposed to end-stopped.

Sidelight: The occasional use of run-on lines, also called enjambment, provides a variation by making a pause in the thought appear at some place other than the end of a line, but they should not be over-used. (See also Open Couplet) This is the truth the poet sings, That a sorrows crown of sorrow is remembering happier things. ---Alfred, Lord Tennyson Truth is the highest thing that man may keep. ---Geoffrey Chaucer SAPPHIC VERSE After the odes of the Greek lyric poet, Sappho, a verse of eleven syllables in five feet, of which the first, fourth and fifth are trochees, the second a spondee, and the third a dactyl. The Sapphic strophe consists of three Sapphic verses followed by an Adonic. Sidelight: For an example of Sapphic verse in English poetry, see Isaac Watts The Day of Judgement. (See also Horatian Ode, Ode, Pindaric Verse) SATIRE A literary work which exposes and ridicules human vices or folly. Historically perceived as tending toward didacticism, it is usually intended as a moral criticism directed against the injustice of social wrongs. It may be written with witty jocularity or with anger and bitterness. Sidelight: Satiric poets often utilize irony, hyperbole, understatement, and paradox, as in Popes An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot . (See also Burlesque, Goliardic Poetry, Hudibrastic Verse, Lampoon, Mock-Epic, Parody, Pasquinade) (Compare Antiphrasis) SCAN To mark off lines of poetry into rhythmic units, or feet, to provide a visual representation of their metrical structure, as illustrated with the following lines from Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk, by William Cowper (written in anapestic trimeter): I am mon | arch of all | I survey, My right | there is none | to dispute; From the cen | ter all round | to the sea I am lord | of the fowl | and the brute. (See also Dipodic Verse, Meter, Rhythm) SCANSION The analysis of line rhythms performed by scanning the lines to determine their metrical categorization, e.g., iambic trimeter, etc., as a way of describing the rhythmical quality of the poem. Scansion will also show the variations in the meter and the deviations from it, if there are any. Sidelight: Scansion accounts for syllabic accents, but does not differentiate between the relative weights of stress, one of the means by which a skillful poet modulates the rhythm for effect.

Sidelight: Individual judgements often play a part in the scansion process, since the divisions between feet may be subject to differences of interpretation. SCOP An Old English poet or a poet troubadour of early Teutonic poetry. (See also Gleeman) SENRYU (SEN-ree-yoo) A three-line unrhymed Japanese poetic form structurally similar to the haiku, but dealing with human rather than physical nature, usually in an ironic or satiric vein. (See also Tanka) SENSE PAUSE See Caesura SEPTENARIUS (sep-tuh-NAR-ee-us) A verse consisting of seven feet. (See also Fourteener, Heptameter, Poulters Measure) SEPTET A stanza of seven lines. (See also Rhyme Royal) SERENADE A lovers song or poem of the evening. (Compare Aubade) SERPENTINE VERSES Verses ending with the same word with which they begin. Sidelight: The term alludes to the old representation of snakes with their tails in their mouths, which was symbolic of eternity, without beginning or end. (Compare Abcedarian Poem, Acrostic Poem) SESTET A stanza of six lines, especially the last six lines of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet. (See also Sonnet) SESTINA A fixed form consisting of six 6-line (usually unrhymed) stanzas in which the end words of the first stanza recur as end words of the following five stanzas in a successively rotating order and as the middle and end words of each of the lines of a concluding envoi in the form of a tercet. The usual ending word order for a sestina is as follows: First stanza, 1- 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 Second stanza, 6 - 1 - 5 - 2 - 4 - 3 Third stanza, 3 - 6 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 5 Fourth stanza, 5 - 3 - 2 - 6 - 1 - 4 Fifth stanza, 4 - 5 - 1 - 3 - 6 - 2 Sixth stanza, 2 - 4 - 6 - 5 - 3 - 1 Concluding tercet: middle of first line - 2, end of first line - 5 middle of second line - 4, end of second line - 3 middle if third line - 6, end of third line - 1 The poem, Wills Place, is an example of a sestina. SHAPED VERSE See Pattern Poetry

SIGHT RHYME Words which are similar in spelling but different in pronunciation, like mow and how or height and weight. Some words that are sight rhymes today did have a correspondence of sound in earlier stages of the language. Sidelight: Sight rhymes are sometimes used by poets for their correspondence in the visual aspect of poetry. (Contrast Homonym) SIGMATISM The intentional repetition of words with sibilant speech sounds closely spaced in a line of poetry, as in, She sells sea-shells by the sea shore (Compare Alliteration) SIJO A short Korean poetic form consisting of three lines, each line having a total of 14-16 syllables in groups ranging from 2 to 7 (but usually 3 or 4), with a natural pause at the end of the second group and a major pause after the fourth group. The third line often introduces a resolution, a touch of humor, or a turn of thought. Though there are no restrictions on the subject matter, favored ones include nature, virtue and rural life. The unique texture of the sijo derives from the blend of sound, rhythm and meaning. Western sijos are sometimes divided at the pauses and presented in six lines. SIMILE A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two essentially unlike things, usually using like, as or than, as in Burns, O, my luves like A Red, Red Rose, or Shelleys As still as a brooding dove, in The Cloud. Sidelight: Similes in which the parallel is developed and extended beyond the initial comparison, often being sustained through several lines, are called epic or Homeric similes, since they occur frequently in epic poetry, both for ornamentation and to heighten the heroic aspect. (Compare Analogy, Metaphor, Symbol, Synecdoche) SKALD An ancient Scandinavian poet or bard. (See also Edda, Rune) SKELTONICS Named for their inventor, John Skelton, short verses of irregular meter with two or three stresses, sometimes in falling and sometimes in rising rhythm and usually with rhymed couplets. SLANT RHYME See Near Rhyme SOCIETY VERSE A short lyrical poem written in an urbane manner or crisp, animated and typically ironic light verse dealing with contemporaneous topics. Sidelight: This term is often used in its French language form, vers de societe. (Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Romance) SOLECISM (SAH-luh-sizm) An impropriety of speech; a violation of the established rules of syntax.

(Compare Catachresis. Enallage, Malapropism) (Contrast Kings English) SOLILOQUY A talking to oneself; the discourse of a person speaking to himself, whether alone or in the presence of others. It gives the illusion of being unspoken reflections. (See also Dramatic Monologue, Interior Monologue) SONNET A fixed form consisting of fourteen lines of five-foot iambic verse. In the English or Shakespearean sonnet, the lines are grouped in three quatrains (with six alternating rhymes) followed by a detached rhymed couplet which is usually epigrammatic. In the original Italian form, such as Longfellows Divina Commedia, the fourteen lines are divided into an octave of two rhyme-sounds arranged abba abba and a sestet of two additional rhyme sounds which may be variously arranged. This latter form tends to divide the thought into two opposing or complementary phases of the same idea. Sidelight: A variant of the Shakespearean form is the Spenserian sonnet which links the quatrains with a chain or interlocked rhyme scheme, abab bcbc cdcd ee. Sidelight: A sonnet sequence is a seies of sonnets in which there is a discernable unifying theme, while each one retains its own structural independence. All of Shakespeares sonnets, for example, were part of a sequence, (See Quatorzain, Volta) (See also Anthology, Canon, Companion Poem, Cycle, Lyric Sequence.) SONNETEER A composer of sonnets; also, the term is sometimes applied to a minor or insignificant poet. (See also Bard, Metrist, Poet, Versifier, Wordsmith) (Compare Minstrel, Troubadour) SOTADIC or SOTADEAN See Palindrome SOUND DEVICES Resources used by writers of verse to convey and reinforce the meaning or experience of poetry through the skillful use of sound. Sidelight: Sound devices are often combined, as in Coleridges effective use of alliteration, assonance, and consonance in the opening line of Kubla Khan. Other devices that contribute to the sound are rhyme, onomatopoeia, cacophony, caesura, phonetic symbolism, rhythm and meter. (See also Mimesis) SOUND SYMBOLISM See Phonetic Symbolism SPEAKER See Persona SPENSERIAN SONNET See under Sonnet

SPENSERIAN STANZA A stanza devised by Spenser for The Faerie Queene, founded on the Italian ottava rima. It is a stanza of nine iambic lines, all of ten syllables except the last, which is an Alexandrine. There are only three rhymes in the stanza, arranged in a ababbcbcc rhyme scheme. SPLIT RHYME See Broken Rhyme SPONDEE (SPAHN-dee), SPONDAIC (spahn-DAY-ick) A metrical foot with two long or equally accented syllables together, as in BREAD BOX or SHOE-SHINE. Two unaccented syllables (a pyrrhic foot) often precede or follow a spondee. Sidelight: Verses entirely composed of spondees are rare; their principal use is as variations in iambic lines in which the successive accented syllables of a spondee are effective for the suggestion of gravity or emphasis, as in Christina Georgina Rossettis Song, Be the | GREEN GRASS | a-BOVE | me SPRUNG RHYTHM A poetic rhythm characterized by feet varying from one to four syllables which are equal in time length but different in the number of syllables. It has only one stress per foot, falling on the first syllable, or on the only syllable if there is but one, which produces the frequent juxtaposition of single accented syllables. Sidelight: Sprung rhythm is associated in modern poetry chiefly with the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins, as in his poem, The Windhover. According to Robert Bridges, in his notes to the 1918 edition of Hopkins Poems, sprung rhythm is the natural rhythm of English speech and written prose; it appeared in English verse up to the Elizabethan era as well as having been used in Greek and Latin verse. (See also Cadence, Ictus, Modulation) (Compare Polyphonic Prose) STANZA, STANZAIC A division of a poem made by arranging the lines into units separated by a space, usually of a corresponding number of lines and a recurrent pattern of meter and rhyme. A poem with such divisions is described as having a stanzaic form, but not all verse is divided in stanzas. Sidelight: A stanza having lines of the same length and meter, as is the case in most stanzaic poems, is said to be isometric. The exceptions, such as the stanzas in tail rhyme and Sapphic verse, in which the lines are not all of the same length and meter, are said to be anisometric or heterometric. Sidelight: The regularity of stanza patterns conveys an impression of order and the expectation of closure. Sidelight: A poem in which the lines follow each other without a formal pattern of stanzaic units is described as having a continuous form, in which there may be no line groupings at all or only irregular line groupings, dictated by meaning, as in paragraphs of prose. (See also Fit, Stave, Strophe) (Compare Canto, Couplet, Envoi)

STANZA FORMS The names given to describe the number of lines in a stanzaic unit, such as: couplet (2), tercet (3), quatrain (4), quintet (5), sestet (6), septet (7) and octave (8). Some stanzas follow a set rhyme scheme and meter in addition to the number of lines and are given specific names to describe them, such as, ballad meter, ottava rima, rhyme royal, terza rima and Spenserian stanza. Sidelight: Stanza forms are also functional in the categorization of whole poems described as following a fixed form. STAVE A verse, stanza or a metrical portion of a poem. STICH (stik) A line or verse of poetry. (Compare Distich, Monostich, Hemistich, Stichomythia) STICHOMYTHIA (stik-uh-MITH-ee-uh) or STICHOMYTHY (stik-AH-muh-thee) A dramatic dialogue of lively repartee in alternate verse lines. (When half-lines instead of whole lines are used for this technique, it is called hemistichomythia. STORNELLO VERSES Verses which include the repetition of certain words in changing order and varied placement. (Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain) STRAIN A passage or piece of poetry; a flow of eloquence, style or spirit in expression. STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS See Interior Monologue STRESS The relative force or prominence of word sounds or syllables in verse, i.e., the degree of accent. (See also Cadence, Ictus, Modulation, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm) (Compare Caesura) STROPHE (STROH-fee) In modern poetry, a stanza or rhythmic system of two or more lines arranged as a unit. In classical poetry , a strophe is the first division in the triadic structure of Pindaric verse, corresponding metrically to the antistrophe which follows it; also, the stanza preceding or alternating with the antistrophe in ancient lyric poetry. Sidelight: A poem consisting of just one stanza is monostrophic; a poem with the repetition of metrically identical stanzas is homostrophic; a poem not divided into strophic units or that is arranged in irregular stanzas is astrophic. (See also Epode)


STYLE The poets individual creative process, as determined by choices involving diction, figurative language, rhetorical devices, sounds, and rhythmic patterns. (Compare Content, Form, Motif, Persona, Texture, Tone) SYLLABIC VERSE A type of verse distinguished primarily by the syllable count, i.e., the number of syllables in each line, rather than by the rhythmical arrangement of accents or time quantities. Sidelight: The cinquain and haiku are examples of strictly syllabic verse, but most modern English poetry is a combination of accentual and syllabic versification. (Compare Accentual Verse, Quantitive Verse) SYLLABLE A word or part of a word representing a sound produced as a unit by a single impulse of the voice, consisting of either a vowel sound alone as in oh or a vowel with attendant consonants, as in throne. Sidelight: In modern English, word syllables are characterized as either accented or unaccented; in nonaccentual languages such as classical Greek and Latin, syllables are classified as either long or short, depending on the the quantity of time it takes to pronounce them due to varying vowel lengths and consonant groupings. Thus, the distinction between accented and long syllables on the one hand, and unaccented and short syllables on the other, represents the difference between accentual verse and quantitive verse. The basis for syllabic verse is the count of syllables in a line. SYLLEPSIS (suh-LEP-sus) A type of zeugma in which a single word, usually a verb or adjective, agrees grammatically with two or more other words, but semantically with only one, thereby effecting a shift in sense with the other, as in colder than ice and a usurers heart, or Popes Or stain her Honour, or her new Brocade. Sidelight: Because of the shift in sense, the syllepsis is related to the pun or paronomasia. (Compare Hendiadys, Prolepsis) SYMBOL An image transferred by something that stands for or represents something else, like flag for country, or autumn for maturity. Symbols can transfer the ideas embodied in the image without stating them, as in Robert Frosts Acquainted With the Night, in which night is symbolic of death or depression, or Sara Teasdales The Long Hill, in which the climb up the hill symbolizes life and the brambles are symbolic of lifes adversities. Sidelight: Symbols can be subject to a diversity of connotations, so both the poet and the reader must exercise sensible discretion to avoid misinterpretation. (See also Allusion) (Compare Allegory, Metaphor, Simile, Synecdoche) SYMBOLISM A late 19th century movement reacting against realism. Influenced by the connections between music and poetry, it

sought to achieve the effects of images and metaphors to symbolize the basic idea or emotion of each poem. (Compare Classicism, Idealism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Romanticism) SYMPLOCE (sim-PLOH-see or sim-PLAW-see) The repetition of a word or expression at the beginnings plus the repetition of a word or expression at the ends of successive phrases, i. e, a combination of both anaphora and epistrophe. SYNAERESIS or SYNERESIS (sin-EHR-uh-sus) A type of elision in which two contiguous vowels within a word which are normally pronounced as two syllables, as in seest, are pronounced as one syllable instead. (See also Aphaeresis, Apocope, Syncope, Synaloepha) SYNALOEPHA or SYNALEPHA (sin-uh-LEE-fuh) A type of elision in which a vowel at the end of one word is coalesced with one beginning the next word, as th embattled plain. (See also Aphaeresis, Apocope, Synaeresis, Syncope) SYNCOPATION (sin-koh-PAY-shun) In the quantitive verse of classical poetry, the suppression of one syllable in a metrical pattern, with its time value either replaced by a pause (like a musicians rest) or by the additional lengthening of an adjoining long syllable. SYNCOPE (SIN-koh-pee) A type of elision in which a word is contracted by removing one or more letters or syllables from the middle, as neer for never, or focsle for forecastle. (Compare Aphaeresis, Apocope, Synaeresis, Synaloepha) SYNECDOCHE (suh-NEK-duh-kee) A figure of speech in which a part of something stands for the whole or the whole for a part, as wheels for automobile or society for high society. Sidelight: Synecdoche is so similar in meaning to metonymy that the latter term is often used for both. (Compare Metaphor, Simile, Symbol) SYNESTHESIA or SYNAESTHESIA (sin-uss-THEEzhee-uh) The perception or description of one kind of sense impression in words normally used to describe a different sense, like a sweet voice or a velvety smile. It can be very effective for creating vivid imagery. (See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox) SYNESTHETIC METAPHOR A metaphor that suggests a similarity between experiences in different senses, as a gourmet of country music. (See also Conceit, Kenning, Mixed Metaphor) SYNONYM One of two or more words that have the same or nearly identical meanings. (Compare Antonym, Homonym, Paronym)


SYNTAX The way in which linguistic elements (words and phrases) are arranged to form grammatical structure. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learnd to dance, T is not enough no harshness gives offence,-The sound must seem an echo to the sense. ---Alexander Pope You write with ease to show your breeding, But easy writings curst hard reading. ---Richard Brinsley Sheridan TAGALIED (TAHG-uh-leet) See Aubade TAIL RHYME Also called caudate rhyme, a verse form in which rhyming lines, usually a couplet or triplet, are followed by a tail, a line of shorter length with a different rhyme; in a tail-rhyme stanza, the tails rhyme with each other, as in Michael Draytons Nymphidia or Sir John Sucklings A Ballad Upon a Wedding. TANKA (TAHNG-kuh) The classic form of Japanese poetry with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables to produce a concentrated essence of a single event, image or mood. (See also Haiku, Senryu) TAUTOLOGY The unnecessary and excessive repetition of the same idea in different words in the same sentence, as The room was completely dark and had no illumination, or A breeze greeted the dusk and nightfall was heralded by a gentle wind. (Compare Pleonasm) TELESTICH (TEL-ess-tik) See under Acrostic Poem TENOR See under Metaphor TENSION The artistically satisfying equilibrium of opposing forces in a poem, usually referring to the use of language and imagery, but often applied to other elements, such as dramatic structure, rhythmic patterns, and sometimes to the aesthetic value of the poem as a whole. TENSON (TEN-suhn) or TENZON A medieval competition in verse on the subject of love or gallantry before a tribunal between rival troubadours; also, a subdivision of a chanson composed by one of the competitors.

TERCET A unit or group of three lines of verse which are rhymed together or have a rhyme scheme that interlaces with an adjoining tercet. Sidelight: The sestet, or second part of a Petrarchan sonnet, often consists of two tercets. Sidelight: A tercet is used as an envoi in a sestina. (See also Terza Rima) TERZA RIMA (tert-suh REE-muh) A verse form consisting of tercets, usually in iambic pentameter in English poetry, with a chain or interlocking rhyme scheme, as: aba, bcb, cdc, etc. The pattern concludes with a separate line added at the end of the poem (or each part) rhyming with the second line of the preceding tercet or with a rhyming couplet, as in Shelleys Ode to the West Wind. Sidelight: The rhyme sound which carries from the middle line of each tercet to the opening line of the next tercet provides a strong sense of forward movement to the terza rima. TETRABRACH (TET-ruh-brak) See Proceleusmatic TETRAMETER (teh-TRAM-uh-tur) A line of verse consisting of four metrical feet, as in William Blakes Tyger! Tyger! or Byrons The Bride of Abydos. (See Meter) TEXTURE The feel of a poem that comes from the interweaving of technical elements, syntax, patterns of sound and meaning. (Compare Content, Diction, Form, Motif, Persona, Style, Tone) THEME The central idea, topic, or didactic quality of a work. Sidelight: Although theme is often used interchangeably with motif, it is preferable to recognize the difference between the two terms. (See also Burden) (Compare Content, Diction, Form, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone) THESIS The first part of an antithetical figure of speech; also, the unaccented or shorter part of a poetic foot. Sidelight: In classical prosody the thesis was the accented or longer part of a foot, but a misunderstanding which occurred in the definitions of poetic feet caused the meaning to become reversed. (Contrast Arsis) TMESIS (tuh-MEE-sus) The division of a compound word into two parts, with one or more words between, as what place soever for whatsoever. (See also Kenning, Ricochet Words)


TONE The poets or personas attitude in style or expression toward the subject, e.g., loving, ironic, bitter, pitying, fanciful, solemn, etc. Tone can also refer to the overall mood of the poem itself, in the sense of a pervading atmosphere intended to influence the readers emotional response and foster expectations of the conclusion. Sidelight: In spoken language we recognize tone by inflections of the voice and by the demeanor of the speaker; in poetry, tone is conveyed through the use of connotation, diction, figures of speech, rhythm and other elements of poetic construction. (Compare Content, Form, Motif, Style, Texture) TRAGEDY A medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great person; a drama, usually in verse, portraying a conflict between a strong-willed protagonist and a superior force such as destiny, culminating in death or disaster. (See also Lay, Ballad) (Compare Chanson de Geste, Epic, Epopee, Epos, Hamartia, Heroic Quatrain) TRAGIC HERO See under Hamartia TRIBRACH (TRY-brak) A metrical foot of three short syllables. TRIMETER (TRY-muh-tur) A line of verse consisting of three metrical feet or three dipodies. Sidelight: Many poems are written entirely in trimeters, as William Cowpers Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk, but frequently poems of longer metrical patterns vary them with trimeters, such as John Keats Ode to a Nightingale. (See Meter) TRIOLET (TRY-uh-lut) A poem or stanza of eight lines in which the first line is repeated as the fourth and seventh lines, and the second line as the eighth, with a rhyme scheme of ABaAabAB, as in Adelaide Crapseys Song. Sidelight: The capital letters in the rhyme scheme indicate the repetition of identical lines. TRIPLE RHYME A rhyme in which three final syllables of words have the same sound, as in glorious and victorious. Sidelight: Triple rhymes and disyllabic rhymes are used most frequently in humorous verse. (See also Mosaic Rhyme) TRIPLET See Tercet TRISYLLABLE A word of three syllables. (See also Disyllable, Monosyllable, Polysyllable)

TROBAIRITZ See under Troubadour TROCHEE (TROH-kee), TROCHAIC (troh-KAY-ick) A metrical foot with a long or accented syllable followed by a short or unaccented syllable, as in ON-ly or TO-tal, or the opening line of Poes The Raven, ONCE up- | ON a | MID-night | DREAR-y, | WHILE I | PON-dered, | WEAK and | WEAR-y, Sidelight: In English poetry, trochaic verse in long poems is infrequent since it can produce a monotonous effect, but this problem is avoided in short poems such as William Blakes The Lamb and Tyger! Tyger! Sidelight: In a trochaic line of verse, the last syllable is often omitted to end the line with an accented syllable. A line thus shortened is termed catalectic. (See also Meter, Rhythm) TROILUS VERSE See Rhyme Royal TROPE The intentional use of a word or expression figuratively, i.e., used in a different sense from its original significance in order to give vividness or emphasis to an idea. Some important types of trope are: antonomasia, irony, metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche. Sidelight: Strictly speaking, a trope is the figurative use of a word or expression, while figure of speech refers to a phrase or sentence used in a figurative sense. The two terms, however, are often confused and used interchangeably. (See also Imagery) TROUBADOUR One of a class of lyric poets and poet-musicians, often of knightly rank, who flourished from the 11th through the 13th centuries in Southern France and neighboring areas of Italy and Spain, and who wrote of courtly love. Sidelight: Female troubadours were called trobairitz. (See Tenson) (See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Minstrel, Scop, Trouvere) (Compare Bard, Metrist, Sonneteer, Wordsmith) TROUVERE (troo-VEHR) One of a school of poets of northern France who flourished from the 11th to 14th centuries and who composed mostly narrative works such as chansons de geste and fabliaux. (See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Minstrel, Troubadour) TRUE RHYME See Perfect Rhyme


As soon Seek roses in December, ice in June, Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff, Believe a woman or an epitaph, Or any other thing thats false, before You trust in critics. ---Lord Byron Any nose May ravage with impunity a rose. ---Robert Browning UNDERSTATEMENT See Meiosis VEHICLE See under Metaphor VERS DE SOCIETE (vehr duh soh-see-uh-TEE) See Society Verse VERSE A line of writing arranged in a metrical pattern, i.e., a line of poetry. Also, a piece of poetry or a particular form of poetry such as free verse, blank verse, etc., or the art or work of a poet. Sidelight: The popular use of the word verse for a stanza or associated group of metrical lines is not in accordance with the best usage. A stanza is a group of verses. (See also Stich) VERSE PARAGRAPH A line grouping of varying length, as distinct from stanzas of equal length. Seldom used in rhymed verse, they are the usual division in blank verse. VERSET (VUHR-sut, vuhr-SET) A short verse, especially one from a sacred book. VERSICLE A little verse; also, a short passage said or sung by a leader in public worship and followed by a response from the people. (Compare Ditty) VERSIFICATION The art of writing verses, especially with regard to meter and rhythm. The term versification can also refer to a particular metrical structure or style or to a version in verse of something originally written in prose. Sidelight: Edgar Allan Poes essay, The Philosophy of Composition, describes the conception, construction, and versification of his poem, The Raven. Sidelight: Classical versification was based on quantity, with the words arranged to form a systematic succession of long and short syllables, but this began to decline under the Roman Empire; the Romance Languages, being accentual in character, gave rise to accentual verse, which stressed certain syllables instead of giving time quantities to them. The classical names of the metrical feet are commonly applied to modern poetic meter, an accented syllable being

equivalent to a long syllable and an unaccented syllable equivalent to a short syllable. VERSIFIER A writer of verse, often applied to a writer of light or inferior verse. (See Bard, Metrist, Poet, Sonneteer, Wordsmith) (See also Doggerel, Poetaster, Poeticule, Rhymester) VERS LIBRE (vehr LEEBR) See Free Verse VILLANELLE A poem in a fixed form, consisting of five three-line stanzas followed by a quatrain and having only two rhymes. In the stanzas following the first, the first and third lines of the first stanza are repeated alternately as refrains. They are the final two lines of the concluding quatrain. Sidelight: The villanelle gives a pleasant impression of simple spontaneity, as in Edwin Arlington Robinsons The House on the Hill. (Compare Rondeau, Rondel, Rondelet) VIRELAY (VIHR-uh-lay) An ancient French verse form consisting of stanzas of indeterminate length and number, with alternating long and short lines and an interlaced rhyme scheme, as abab bcbc cdcd dada. Sidelight: Virelay is the Anglicized spelling of the French virelai, a variation of the lai. VISUAL POETRY Poetry arranged in such a manner that its visual appearance has an elevated significance of its own, thus achieving in an equivalence (or even more) between the sight and sound of the poem. Sidelight: While the term, visual poetry, is generally applied to the definition above, most poets consciously strive to influence the visual impact of their poems by their selection of line lengths, stanzaic structures, indentations, white space, punctuation, capitalization, and type styles. In traditional verse, though, these aspects are subordinate to the written text. (See also Concrete Poetry, Pattern Poetry, Sight Rhyme) VOICE See Sidelight under Persona VOLTA ( VAWL-tuh) The place at which a distinct turn of thought occurs. The term is most commonly used for the characteristic transition point in a sonnet, as between the octave and sestet of a Petrarchan sonnet. VOWEL LENGTH See under Accent VOWEL RHYME See Assonance

For dear to gods and men is sacred song. Self-taught I sing, by Heaven, and Heaven alone, The genuine seeds of poesy are sown. ---Alexander Pope O gracious God! how far have we Profand thy heavenly gift of poesy! ---John Dryden WEDGE VERSE See Rhopalic WELL-VERSED A state of familiarity with poetics accomplished by reading this Glossary. Sidelight: With the authors apologies, this is the only paronomastic entry. WHIMSY or WHIMSEY A fanciful or fantastic creation in writing or art. WORDSMITH A person who works with words; a skillful writer. (See also Bard, Metrist, Poet, Sonneteer, Versifier) (Compare Minstrel, Troubadour) WRENCHED ACCENT A forced change in the normal accent of a word syllable(s) to make the word conform to the prevailing metrical pattern. While it may result from faulty versification, it was conventional in the folk ballad and is sometimes used deliberately for comic effects. The poetry of earth is never dead. ---John Keats Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the best and happiest minds. ---Percy Bysshe Shelley ZEUGMA (ZOOG-muh) A figure of speech in which a single word, usually a verb or adjective, is used in the same grammatical and semantic relationship with two or more other words, as in My father wept for woe while I for joy, or Popes Obliged by hunger, and request of friends. (See also Syllepsis) (Compare Ellipsis, Hendiadys, Prolepsis ) . . . the simple fact is that would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem, this poem per se, this poem which is a poem and nothing more, this poem written solely for the poems sake. ---The Poetic Principle, Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry is rhythmical, imaginative language expressing the invention, taste, thought, passion, and insight of the human soul. ---Edmund Clarence Stedman Glossary of Poetic Terms from BOBS BYWAY Compiled, edited and cross-referenced by Robert G. Shubinski Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Last modified on June 11, 2002 [I am grateful to Bob Shubinski for his gracious permission to reproduce this list. The errors in this edition are mine, not his. Skip Nicholson]