Paraphrase
A restatement of the content of a poem designed to make its prose meaning s clear as possible

Theme
The central idea or unifying generalization implied or stated by a literary work

Denotation
The basic definition or dictionary meaning of a word

Connotations
What a word suggests beyond its basic dictionary definition; a word’s overtones of meaning

Imagery
The representation through language of sense experience

Figure of Speech
Broadly, any way of saying something other than the ordinary way; more narrowly a way of saying one thing and meaning another

Figurative Language
Language employing figures of speech; language that cannot be taken literally or only literally

Simile
A figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two things essentially unlike. The comparison is made explicit to by the use of some such word or phrase a like, as, than, similar to, resembles, or seems.

Metaphor
A figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is made between two things essentially unlike. It may take one of four forms: (1) that in which the literal term and the figurative term are both named; (2) that in which the literal term is named and the figurative term is implied; (3) that n which the literal term is implied and the figurative term is named; (4) that in which both the literal and the figurative terms are implied

Personification
A figure of speech in which human attributes are given to an animal, an object, or a concept

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

Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole

Metonymy
A figure of speech in which some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole experience

Symbol
Something that means more than what it is; an object, person, situation, or action that in addition to its literal meaning suggests other meanings as well

Allegory
A narrative or description that has a second meaning beneath the surface, often relating each literal term to a fixed, corresponding abstract idea or moral principle; usually, the ulterior meanings belong to a pre-existing system of ideas or principles

Paradox
A statement or situation containing apparently contradictory or incompatible elements

Overstatement
A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used in the service of truth

Understatement
A figure of speech that consists of saying less than one means, or of saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrants

Irony
A situation or a use of language involving some kind of incongruity or discrepancy

Verbal Irony
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant

Sarcasm
Bitter or cutting speech; speech intended by its speaker to give pain to the person addressed

Satire
A kind of literature that ridicules human folly or vice with the purpose of bringing about reform or of keeping others from falling into similar folly or vice

Dramatic Irony
An incongruity or discrepancy between what a character says or thinks and what the reader knows to be true (or between what a character perceives and what the author intends the reader to perceive)

Irony of Situation
A situation in which there is an incongruity between appearance and reality, or between expectation and fulfillment, or between the actual situation and what would seem appropriate

Allusion
A reference, explicit or implicit, to something in previous literature or history

Total Meaning
The total experience communicated by a poem. It includes all those dimensions of experience by which a poem communicates–sensuous, emotional, imaginative, and intellectual–and it can be communicated in no other in no other words than those of the poem itself

Prose Meaning
That part of a poem’s total meaning that can be separated out and expressed though paraphrase

Tone
The writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject, the audience, or herself or himself; the emotional coloring, or emotional meaning, of a work

Alliteration
The repetition at close intervals of the initial consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words

Assonance
The repetition at close intervals of the vowel sounds of accented syllables or important words

Consonance
The repetition at close intervals of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words

Rhyme
The repetition of the accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds in important or importantly positioned words

Masculine
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel sound is in the final syllable of the words involved

Feminine
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel is in either the second or third last syllable or the words involved

Internal Rhyme
A rhyme in which one or both of the rhyme-words occurs within the line

End Rhyme
Rhymes that occur at the ends of lines

Approximate Rhymes
A term used for words in a rhyming pattern that have some kind of sound correspondence but are not perfect rhymes

Refrain
A repeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines, normally at some fixed position in a poem written in stanzaic form

Rhythm
Any wavelike recurrence of motion or sound

Accented
A syllable given more prominence in pronunciation than its neighbors

Stressed
A syllable given more prominence in pronunciation than its neighbors, same as accent

Rhetorical Stresses
In natural speech, as in prose and poetic writing, the stressing of words or syllables so as to emphasize meaning and sentence structure

End-stopped Line
A line that ends with a natural speech pause, usually marked by punctuation

Run-on Line
A line which has no natural speech pause at its end, allowing the sense to flow uninterruptedly into the succeeding line

Caesuras
A speech pause occurring within a line

Free Verse
Nonmetrical poetry in which the basic rhythmic unit is the line, and in which pauses, line breaks, and formal patterns develop organically from the requirements of the individual poem rather than from established poetic forms

Prose Poem
Usually a short composition having the intentions of poetry but written in prose rather than verse

Meter
The regular patterns of accent that underlie metrical verse; the measurable repetition of accented and unaccented syllables in poetry

Foot
The basic unit used in the scansion or measurement of verse

Stanza
A group of lines whose metrical pattern (and usually its rhyme scheme as well) is repeated throughout a poem

Metrical Variations
Departures from the basic metrical pattern

Substitution
In metrical verse, the replacement of the expected metrical foot by a different one

Extrametrical Syllables
In metrical verse, extra unaccented syllables added at the beginnings or endings of lines; these may be either a feature of the metrical form of a poem or occur as exceptions to the form. In iambic lines, they occur at the end of the line; in trochaic, at the beginning

Truncation
In metric verse, the omission of an unaccented syllable at either end of a line

Grammatical Pauses
A pause introduced into the reading of a line by a mark of punctuation

Rhetorical Pauses
A natural pause, unmarked by punctuation, introduced into the reading of a line by its phrasing or syntax

Blank Verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter

Onomatopoeia
The use of words that supposedly mimic their meaning in their sound

Phonetic Intensives
A word whose sound, by an obscure process, to some degree suggests its meaning

Euphony
A smooth, pleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds

Cacophony
A harsh, discordant, unpleasant-sounding choice and arrangement of sounds

Synesthesia
Presentation of one sense experience in terms usually associated with another sensation

Structure
The internal organization of content

Form
The external pattern or shape of a poem, describable without reference to its content

Continuous Form
That form of a poem in which the lines follow each other without formal grouping, the only breaks being dictated by units of meaning

Stanzaic Form
The form taken by a poem when it is written in a series of units having the same umber of lines and usually other characteristics in common, such as metrical pattern or rhyme scheme

Fixed Form
A form of poem in which the length and pattern are prescribed by previous usage or tradition

Sonnet
A fixed form of fourteen lines, normally iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme conforming to or approximating one of two main types

Italian Sonnet
A sonnet consisting of an octave rhyming abbaabba and of a sestet using any arrangement of two or three additional rhymes

Octave
(1) an eight-line stanza (2) the fist eight lines of a sonnet

Sestet
(1) a six-line stanza (2)The last six lines of a sonnet structured on the Italian model

English Sonnet
A sonnet rhyming ababcdcdefefgg. Its content or structure ideally parallels the rhyme scheme, falling into three coordinate quatrains and a concluding couplet; but it is sometimes structured into octave and sestet, the principal break in thought coming at the end of the eighth line

Villanelle
A nineteen-line fixed form consisting of five tercets rhymed aba and a concluding quatrain rhymed abaa, with lines 1 and 3 of the first tercet serving as refrains in and alternating pattern through line 15 and then repeated as lines 18 and 19

Sentimentality
Unmerited or contrived tender feeling; that quality in a work that elicits or seeks to elicit tears through an over-simplification or falsification of reality

Rhetorical Poetry
Poetry using artificially eloquent language, that is, language too high-flown for its occasion and unfaithful to the full complexity of human experience

Didactic Poetry
Poetry, fiction, or drama having as a primary purpose to teach or preach