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50 Super Sweet Poetry Literary Terms

Alliteration
The representation of the same consonant sound in a sequence of words, usually at the beginning of a word or stressed syllable

Allusion
A brief reference to a person, place, thing, event, or a idea in history or literature

Anaphora
The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs

Assonance
The repetition of internal vowel sounds in a nearby words that do not end the same

Blank verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter

Carsura
A pause within a line of poetry that contributes to the rhythm of the line. It can occur anywhere within a line and need not be indicated by punctuation.

Cliché
An idea or expression that has become tired and trite from overuse

Connotation
Associations and implications that go beyond the word’s literal meaning and deriving from how the word has been commonly used and the associations people make with it

Consonance
A common type of near rhym that consists of identical consonant sounds preceded by different vowel sounds

Couplet
Two consecutive lines of poetry that usually rhyme and have the same meter

Diction (formal, informal, middle, poetic)
A writer’s choice of words, phrases, sentences structures, and figured of language, which combined to help create meaning

End rhyme
The rhyme comes at the end of the lines

End-stopped line
A poetic line that has a pause at the end. They reflect normal speech patterns and often marked by punctuation

Enjambment
When one line and without a pause and continues into the next line for its meaning. This is also called a run-on line

Exact rhyme/true rhyme
Words that share the same stressed vowel sounds as well as sharing it sounds that follow the vowel

Eye rhyme
Where is that look alike but do not rhyme at all

Figurative language
Ways of using language that deviate from the right literal, denotative meaning of words in order to suggest additional meanings or effects

Foot
The metrical unit by which a line of poetry is measured. A foot usually consists of one stresses or one or two on stressed syllables

Free verse
Refers to poems characterized by their nonconformity to established patterns of meter, rhyme, and stanza

Hyperbole
Of boldly exaggerated statement that adds emphasis without intending to be literally true

Iambic meter
Consists of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable

Imagery
Appeals to the five senses

Irony
Uses contradictory statements or situations to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true

Metaphor
Makes comparison between two unlike things WITHOUT using the words like or as

Meter
When a rhyme pattern of stresses recurs in the poem

Metonymy
A type of metaphor in which something closely associated with the subject is substituted for it

Mood
The feeling that that literary work conveys to a reader

Narrative Poem
A poem that tells a story

Onomatopoeia
Refers to the use of a word that resembles a sound it denotes

Paradox
A statement that initially appears to be contradictory but then, on closer inspection, turns out to make sense

Parallelism
A balance of two or more similar words, phrases, or clauses. It strebgthens connections among ideas and actions or sequences described.

Personification
Human characteristics are attributed to nonhuman things

Point of view
Refers to who tells us a story and how it is told

Prose poem
A kind of open form poetry that is printed as purpose and represents the most clear opposite of fixed form poetry

Pun
A play on words that relies on the word’s having more than one meaning or sounding like another word

Quatrain
Of four line stanza

Refrain
Line or lines that are repeated

Rhyme Scheme
Describes the patterns of and rhymes

Satire
The literary art of ridiculing folly or vice in order to expose or correct it

Simile
A comparison between two things using the words like or as

Slant rhyme
This sounds are almost but not exactly alike

Stanza
Refers to a group of lines set off by a space

Sonnet
A fixed form of lyric poetry that consists of 14 lines, usually written in iambic pentameter

Speaker
The voice used by an author to tell a story or speak a poem

Symbol
A person, an object, an image, a word, or an event that envokes a range of additional meaning beyond and usually more abstract than it’s a literal significance

Synecdoche
A kind of metaphor in which a part of something is used to signify the whole

Syntax
Sentence structure – the ordering of words into meaningful verbal patterns such as phrases, clauses, and sentences

Theme
The central meaning or dominant idea in a literary work

Tone
The author’s implicate attitude toward the reads or the people, places, and events in a work as revealed by the elements of the author’s style

Understatement
The opposite of hyperbole, understatement refers to a figure of speech that says less then is intended

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