English terms

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Alliteration

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Alliteration

the repetition at close intervals of the initial consonant sounds

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Anapest

a metrical foot consisting of two unaccented syllables followed by on accented syllable

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Apostrophe

something or someone absent or dead is addressed as if it were alive and present and could reply.

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Assonance

the repetition at close intervals of vowel sounds

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Asyndeton

the omission of conjunctions where they would normally be used

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Ballad

a poem or a song narrating a story in short stanzas.

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Ballad stanza

a four-line stanza in iambic meter in which the first and third unrhymed lines have four metrical feet and the second and fourth rhyming lines have three metrical feet.

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Blank Verse

poetry with meter, but not rhymed, usually in iambic pentameter

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Conceit

a kind of metaphor. Compares two very unlike things in a surprising and/or clever way

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Consonance

the repetition of consonants especially at the ends of words

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Couplet

two successive lines usually in the same meter, linked by rhyme

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Dactyl

a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables

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Dizian

a stanza of ten lines.

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Dramatic Monologue

a poem in the form of a speech or narrative by an imagined person, in which the speaker inadvertently reveals aspects of their character while describing a particular situation or series of events.

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Dramatic Poem

a highly emotional story written in verse and meant to be recited.

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Elegy

a poem or song expressing sorrow or lamentation usually for one who has died

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Enjambment

a line which has no natural speech pause at its end (no punctuation at end of line)

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English (Shakespearean) Sonnet

a sonnet written in three quatrains (4 line stanzas) and one couplet rhyming ababcdcdefefgg.

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Epic

a long narrative poem that is usually about heroic deeds and events that are significant to the culture of the poet.

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Free Verse

non-metrical verse

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Hyperbole

extreme exaggeration to make a point or show emphasis

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Iamb

a metrical foot consisting of one unaccented syllable followed by one accented syllable

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Italian (Petrachan) Sonnet

a sonnet written in one octave (8 line stanza) and one sestet (6 line stanza) rhyming abbaabbacdcdcd or abbaabbacdecde

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Juxtaposition

positioning opposites next to each other to heighten the contrast

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Lyric

a song like poem written mainly to express the feeling or emotions of a particular person

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Metaphysical Poetry

poetry featuring: philosophical exploration, common diction, ingenious conceits, irony, metrically flexible lines

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Meter

regularized rhythm; an arrangement of language in which the accents occur at apparently equal intervals in time

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Metonymy

some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole experience

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Monostich

a stanza consisting of a single line.

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Mood

reader’s feelings in response to literary work. Vibe

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Narrative Poem

a form of poetry that tells a story, often making the voices of a narrator and characters as well; the entire story is usually written in metered verse.

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Octet/Octave

a stanza of eight lines.

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Ode

a lyric poem of moderate length with a serious subject, elevated style and elaborate stanza pattern

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Onomatopoeia

a word whose sound is its meaning. For example: boom, slap.

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Polysyndeton

a literary technique in which conjunctions (e.g. and, but, or) are used repeatedly in quick succession, often with no commas, even when the conjunctions could be removed.

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Quaintrain

a stanza of four lines.

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Quintain

a stanza of five lines.

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Refrain

a repeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines

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Rhyme

the repetition of an identical or similarly accented sound or sounds

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Scansion

the process of measuring verse, of marking unaccented and accented syllables, dividing the lines into feet, identifying the metrical pattern, and noting significant variations from that pattern

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Sestet

a stanza of six lines.

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Septet

a stanza of seven lines.

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Soliloquy

an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character's innermost thoughts):

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Spenserian

a stanza of nine lines.

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Spondee

a metrical foot consisting of two equally accented syllables or almost equally accented syllables - for example true-blue

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Synecdoche

a part is used for the whole

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Tercet

a stanza of three lines.

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Theme

the main idea or underlying meaning of a literary work. (Topic plus message)

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Tone

the attitude of the writer towards his subject

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Trochee

a metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by one unaccented syllable - for example bar*ter

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