poetry
One of the three major types of literature. Makes use of highly concise, musical, and emotionally charged language.

speaker
The imaginary voice assumed by the writer of the poem, often not identified by name; can be a person, animal, thing, or abstraction.

line
A single string of words in a poem

stanza
A repeated grouping of two or more lines in a poem that often show a pattern of rhythm and rhyme.

quatrain
Four line grouping in a poem

octave
Eight line grouping in a poem. In sonnets, often poses a question or problem

sestet
A six-line grouping in a poem

enjambment
The running on of sense from the end of a line of verse into the next without a punctuated pause. Adds rhythmic diversity.

lyric poem
A highly musical verse that expresses the thoughts, observations, and feelings of a single speaker

narrative poem
A poem that tells a story

imagery
Descriptive language used to create word pictures – appeals to the senses. Can be a vivid description or figurative language.

allusion
Reference to something well known, creates connections.

rhythm
The patterns of beats, or stresses, in spoken or written language.

meter
The rhythmical pattern of a poem, determined by the number and types of stresses/beats in each line

scansion
Marking the stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.

feet
groups of stressed and unstressed syllables, divided by a line

iamb
A foot with one unstressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable (u/)

trochee
A foot with one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable (/u)

pentameter
a verse written in five-foot lines

rhyme
The repetition of sounds at the end of words; occurs due to a repetition of accented vowel sounds and any sounds following them in words close together in a poem

end rhyme
Occurs when rhyming words come at the ends of lines

internal rhyme
Occurs when rhyming words appear in the same line

slant rhyme
A.k.a. a half rhyme or a near rhyme, the rhyme is imperfect and approximate

rhyme scheme
A regular pattern of rhyming words in poem. Ex. is ABAB CDCD.

couplet
A pair of rhyming lines, usually of the same length and meter. Often used in English sonnets; links two ideas together.

alliteration
The repetition of similar initial consonant sounds.

assonance
The repetition of similar vowel sounds.

extended metaphor
a metaphor that is developed over several lines of writing or even throughout the entire poem

diction
A writer’s (or speaker’s) choice of words; contributes to style.

repetition
The return or recurring use of a word or phrase in a poem or piece of literature; used for effect.

connotation
All of the meanings, associations, and emotions that have come to be attached to some words.

denotation
The literal dictionary definition of a word

sonnet
A 14-line lyric poem, traditionally written in iambic pentameter and has one of several rhyme schemes.

English/Shakespearean sonnet
Lines of the sonnet are divided into 3 quatrains and 1 couplet. Rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

Italian/Petrarchan sonnet
Lines of the sonnet are divided into an octave and a sestet. Rhyme scheme is ABBA ABBA CDE CDE

volta/turn
the shift or transition in thought, emotion, or meaning in a sonnet.

free verse
Poetry that does not have a set/regular meter or rhyme scheme.

blank verse
Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter (meter, but no rhyme scheme). Most of Shakespeare’s plays are written in this form.

persuasive techniques
The devices a writer uses to influence the audience in favor of his/her argument.

parallelism
A type of repetition in which a grammatical structure or arrangement of words is repeated to create rhythm, momentum, and emphasis.

repetition
Restating an idea using the same words.

restatement
Expressing the same idea in different words to clarify and stress key points

analogy
Drawing a comparison that shows a similarity between two unlike things; similes and metaphors are types of this

rhetorical questions
Questions asked for effect rather than for a direct answer