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

meter
patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry

foot
unit of meter

types of metrical feet
iambic, trochaic, anapestic, dactylic, spondaic, pyrrhic

Iamb
two syllable foot with stress on second syllable
ex: below

trochee
trochaic foot with stressed then unstressed syllable
ex: gather

anapest
three syllables, stress on the last syllable
ex: intertwine

dactyl
three syllables with the stress on the first syllable
ex: murmuring

spondee
two stressed syllables
ex: heartbreak

monometer
one foot line

dimeter
two foot line

trimeter
three foot line

tetrameter
four foot line

pentameter
five foot line

hexameter
six foot line

heptameter
seven foot line

octameter
eight foot line

alexandrine
line of six iambic feet, iambic hexameter, ninth line of a Spenserian stanza

duple meter
meter in which majority of feet contain two syllables (iambic, trochaic)

triple meter
majority of the feet contain three syllables (over 25% of feet)

rhymed verse
verse with end rhyme and usually regular meter

blank verse
lines of iambic pentameter without end rhyme

free verse
lines without regular meter or rhyme

caesura
break or pause within line of poetry indicated by punctuation and used to emphasize meaning

enjambment
continuation of a sentence of clause over a line break

rhyme
similarity or likeness of sound existing between two words

end rhyme
consists of similarity occurring at the end of two or more lines of verse

internal rhyme
similarity between two or more words in the same line of verse

masculine rhyme
one syllable of a word rhymes with another word (bend/send)

feminine rhyme
last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word (lawful/awful)

triple rhyme
last three syllables of a word or line rhyme (victorious/glorious)

rhyme scheme
pattern or sequence in which rhyme occurs

approximate rhyme
words in a rhyming patterns that have some sound correspondence but aren’t perfect rhymes
(imperfect rhyme, near rhyme, slant rhyme, partial rhyme)

alliteration
repetition of initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line of verse

onomatopoeia
use of a word to represent or imitate natural sounds (buzz, crunch, tinkle)

assonance
similarity or repetition of a vowel sound in two or more words (partial/near rhyme)

consonance
repetition of consonant sounds within line of verse; doesn’t limit repeated sound to initial letter of a word

refrain
repetition of one or more phrases or lines at intervals in a poem, usually at end of a stanza

repetition
reiterating of a word or phrase within a poem

cacophony
harsh, discordant, unpleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds

euphony
smooth, pleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds

figure of speech
expression in which words are used in a nonliteral sense to present figure, picture, image; words or expressions used out of ordinary meaning

kinds of figures of speech
antithesis, apostrophe, hyperbole, litotes, metaphor, metonymy, personification, simile, symbol, synecdoche, understatement

antithesis
contrast of ideas expressed in rhetorically balanced statement

apostrophe
figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is addressed as if it were present and could reply

hyperbole
exaggeration for the sake of emphasis and not to be taken literally

litotes
figure of speech consisting of understatement in which affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite; opposite of hyperbole

metaphor
figure of speech in which implicit comparison is made between two things essentially unlike

metonymy
substitution of a word naming an object for another word closely related with it

personification
giving of human characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, animals

simile
figure of speech in which explicit comparison is made between two things essentially alike

symbol
word or image that signifies something other than what is literally represented

synecdoche
technique of mentioning a part of something to represent the whole

understatement
figure of speech that consists of saying less than what is really meant or saying something with less force than is appropriate

stanza
division of a poem based on thought or form

couplet
two line stanza

triplet/tercet
three line stanza

quatrain
four line stanza

quintet
five line stanza

sestet
six line stanza

septet
seven line stanza

octave
eight line stanza

heroic couplet
closed couplet, consists of two successive rhyming verses that contain complete thought within two lines; usually iambic pentameter

terza rima
three-line stanza form with interlaced or interwoven rhyme scheme (aba, bcb, cdc, ded, etc) usually iambic pentameter

limerick
five line nonsense poem with anapestic meter; usually aabba; first, second, fifth lines have three stresses; third and fourth lines have two stressed

ballad stanza
four lines with rhyme scheme abcb; first and third lines are tetrameter; second and fourth lines are trimeter

rime royal
stanza consisting of seven lines in iambic pentameter rhyming ababbcc; named after King James I of Scotland

ottova rima
consists of eight iambic pentameter lines with rhyme scheme abababcc; form borrowed from Italians

spenserian stanza
nine line stanza consisting of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by an alexandrine; ababbcbcc

sonnet
fourteen line stanza form consisting of iambic pentameter lines; major forms are Italian or Petrarchan and Elizabethan or Shakespearean

Italian or Petrarchan sonnet
fourteen line stanza form consisting of octave and sestet; abbaabba for octave and cdecde or cdcdcd for sestet; octave makes statement/states a problem and sestet is a summary/gives solution

English or Shakesperean Sonnet
fourteen line stanza consisting of three quatrains and a couplet; abab cdcd efef gg

volta
turn in thought in a sonnet that is often indicated by such initial words as but, yet, and yet

envoi
usually usually explanatory or commendatory concluding remarks to a poem, essay, or book; specifically used to mean a short, fixed final stanza of a poem pointing the moral and usually addressing the person to whom the poem was written

aubaude
poem about dawn; morning love song; poem about parting of lovers at dawn

dramatic monologue
type of poem that presents a conversation between speak and implied listener

elegy
poem that laments the dead or a loss

epic
lengthy elevated poem that celebrates exploits of a hero

epigram
brief witty poem; often used for satiric commentary

pastoral
poetry that imitates/celebrates the virtues of rural/country life

lyric
characterized by emotion, personal feelings, often involves an epiphany; usually short; usually imply rather than directly state single strong emotion

metaphysical poetry
refers to works of poets like John Donne who explore highly complex, philosophical ideas through extended metaphors (conceits) and paradox

narrative poem
poem that tells a story

ode
formal, lengthy poem that celebrates a particular subject

sestina
highly structured poetic form of 39 lines, written in iambic pentameter; depends upon repetition of six words from first stanza in each of six lines

villanelle
highly structured poetic form that comprises six stanzas: five tercets and one quatrain; repeats first and third lines throughout