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Poetry Terms

Couplet
2 lines together that rhyme
Usually the two lines have the same meter.

Examples:
True wit is nature to advantage dress'd; What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd. Whether or not we find what we are seeking is idle, biologically speaking.

Stanza
A unit of lines within a larger poem.
Oh yeah, Ill tell you something I think youll understand When I say that something I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand

Oh, please, say to me Youll let me be your man and please, say to me
Youll let me hold your hand Now let me hold your hand I wanna hold your hand

Sonnet
A 14-line formal poem. Commonly used by William Shakespeare.

Mood
The feeling the reader gets when reading a piece of literature. Examples
Humor Horror Sadness

Metaphor
An analogy between 2 unlike things. Examples:
Its raining cats and dogs. Mike is a beast. If you got beef, lets grill it.

Simile
A comparison of two unlike things using like or as. Examples
Shes sleeping like a log. That is cold as ice. He runs like the wind.

Personification
Giving non-human objects human traits and qualities. Examples:
The sky is crying. My computer hates me. My imagination is running wild.

Imagery
Descriptive language that evokes the senses. Examples:
Visual - Sight Olfactory - Smell Tactile - Touch Auditory/Aural - Sound Gustatory - Taste

Theme
The works central idea. It will be universal. A repeated idea. Could be simple or deep and difficult to understand.

Tone
Tone, is the author or speaker's attitude toward the subject, character or the reader Examples:
pessimism optimism seriousness Bitterness joyful.

Paraphrase
A summary of a literary work. Usually a paraphrase is written in language that is easy to understand.

Free, Formal, and Blank Verse


Free verse
Poems without structured meter or rhymes.

Formal Verse
Poems that have structured meter, rhyme, and form.

Blank Verse
Poems with unrhymed lines with the same meter.

Rhyme
Repetition of identical or similar sounds in two or more different words and is most often used in poetry and song. Rhyme Scheme: the pattern of rhyming lines in a poem or song.
It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme.

Iambic Pentameter
A form of poetry that:
10 syllables a line/5 meters Commonly used by Shakespeare

Meter
Number of stressed/unstressed syllables Iambic pentameter 10 syllables a line/5 meters
EX: Walking down the street on Tuesday Morning.

Quatrain
A four line stanza

Irony
Three types
Dramatic: when the audience knows something the character does not Verbal: when someone says the opposite of what they mean Situational: when the outcome of a situation is the opposite of what you would expect

Allusion
A reference to another literary work, historical event, work of art, music, etc.

Alliteration
The repetition of the consonant sound at the beginning of a word
Ex: The big, black bug bit the big, black bear and the big, black bear bled blood. Ex: Sally sells seashells by the seashore.

Diction
The purposeful choice of words to create a desired effect.