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Terms of Poetry

A narrative poem composed of quatrains (iambic tetrameter alternating with iambic trimeter) rhyming x-a-x-a. Ballads may use refrains. Examples: "Jackaroe," "The Long Black Veil"
A line having no end punctuation but running over to the next line
two successive rhyming lines of iambic pentameter; the second line is usually end-stopped.
A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, composed of three quatrains and a couplet rhyming abab cdcd efef gg.
A group of poetic lines corresponding to paragraphs in prose; the meters and rhymes are usually repeating or systematic.
The pattern of rhyme, usually indicated by assigning a letter of the alphabet to each rhyme at the end of a line of poetry.
A six-line stanza or unit of poetry
The repetition of identical concluding syllables in different words, most often at the ends of lines. Example: June--moon.
an unstressed stressed foot.The most natural and common kind of meter in English; it elevates speech to poetry.
A closed form consisting of fourteen lines of rhyming iambic pentameter
An exact rhyme (rather than rhyming vowel sounds, as with assonance) within a line of poetry: "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary."
unrhymed iambic pentameter. Example: Shakespeare's plays
The first eight lines of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet, unified by rhythm, rhyme, and topic.
A measured combination of heavy and light stresses. The numbers of feet are given below. monometer (1 foot) dimeter (2 feet) trimeter (3 feet) tetrameter (4 feet) pentameter (5 feet) hexameter (6 feet) heptameter or septenary (7 feet)
A near rhyme in which the concluding consonant sounds are identical but not the vowels. Example: sun/noon, should/food, slim/ham.
two successive rhyming lines. Couplets end the pattern of a Shakespearean sonnet
The number of feet within a line of traditional verse. Example: iambic pentameter.