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Poetry Terms & Types

The repetition of similar sounds, usually vowel sounds. It is used to create a mood or enhance the tone of poetry or prose.
The continuation of a sentence or phrase across a line break - as opposed to an end-stopped line.
Verse that does not employ a rhyme scheme. However, it is not the same as free verse because it employs a meter e.g. Paradise Lost by John Milton which is written in iambic pentameters.
Figure of speech where contrasting words or ideas are placed in close proximity e.g. 'Hee for God only, shee for God in him' from Milton's Paradise Lost.
Either a definite number of lines of poetry or a general term for poetic composition.
Poem which is directly addressed to a person or thing (often absent).
Language which is charged with emotion e.g. love, hate, fear, etc.
Exaggeration for dramatic effect. E.g., “I am so hungry that I can eat a horse.”
A stanza comprising of six lines. It is also the last six lines of a sonnet - following the octave.
The use of words that imitate the sound that the poet is trying to describe
Is the regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that make up a line of poetry. It gives rhythm and regularity to poetry.
A foot consisting of two syllables where the first is short or unstressed and the second is long or stressed e.g. as in 'beSIDE'.
Figure of speech whereby inanimate objects or abstractions are given human characteristics
A stanza comprising of two lines.
The repetition, at close intervals, of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words.
One or more lines that make up the basic units of a poem - separated from each other by spacing.
A break in the flow of sound in a line of poetry e.g. in Hamlet's famous soliloquy: To be or not to be || that is the question
It reveals the attitude of the poet being studied e.g. anger, love, resignation, despair, fear, boredom etc.
The creation of images using words. Poets usually achieve this by invoking comparisons by means of metaphor or simile or other figures of speech.
A stanza comprising of eight lines
Term originally derived from the Greek word meaning 'for the lyre' and indicating verses that were written to be sung. However, more recently the term has been used to refer to short poems, often written in the 'I' form, where the poet expresses his or her feelings
The repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginning of words such as tongue twisters like 'She sells seashells by the seashore.'
The rhythmic or musical quality of a poem. In metrical verse, this is determined by the regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. However, free verse often features it.
Verse without formal meter or rhyme patterns. Instead, it relies upon the natural rhythms of everyday speech.
A line of poetry comprising of five metrical 'feet'. Shakespeare's plays were largely written in iambic ________.
A line of verse which ends with a grammatical break such as a coma, colon, semi-colon or full stop etc.
A stanza comprising of four lines
Two or more words which are pronounced the same but have different spelling and meaning e.g. 'saw' (to cut) and 'sore' (hurting). Many puns are based on it.
A line or phrase that recurs throughout a poem - especially at the end of stanzas.
Repetition of words and/or phrases at the beginning of a verse.
A fourteen line poem usually in iambic pentameters consisting of an octave and a sestet. The octave presents and develops the theme while the sestet reflects and brings the poem to a conclusion. The term derives from the Italian for 'little song'. It has the following rhyme scheme: a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a, c-d-e, c-d-e.