Alliteration
Repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginnings of words, to create smoothness and effect.

Assonance
Repetition of internal vowel sounds for aural effect.

Cinquain
Five lines, unrhymed with 22 total syllables in the following
scheme:
First line 2
Second line 4
Third line 6
Fourth line 8
Fifth line 2

Consonance
A variation on alliteration where the repeated consonant
sounds are embedded in the line of poetry, not always at the beginning of the words.

Couplet
Two consecutive, rhymed lines of poetry, rhyme pattern: A A

Enjambment
Continuation of meaning from one poetry line to the next.

End Rhyme
Rhyme that ends a line of poetry. Nursery rhymes are generally the first poems we learn, and most contain rhyme at the ends of the lines. These would also be true rhymes.

End-stop Line
The opposite of enjambment. When a line has a pause or period at the end, it is an “end-stopped line.”

Envoy
The closing tercet using all six words chosen for the sestinas and the final presentation of the three chosen words in the tritina.

Epic
Long, narrative poem, usually telling of heroic deeds, events of historic importance, or religious or mythological subjects.

Eye Rhyme
Rhyme that depends on words that have the same
spelling, but are pronounced differently. They “rhyme” by the looks, but not the sound.

Fixed Form
Poetry that is categorized by the pattern of its lines,
meter, rhythm, or stanzas. A sonnet is a fixed form of poetry because by definition it must have fourteen lines. Other fixed forms include limerick, sestina, and villanelle. However, poems written in a fixed form may not always fit into categories precisely, because writers sometimes vary traditional forms to create innovative effects.

Foot
A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. A foot is the smallest unit of poetic measurement. Lines of poetry are divided into metrical groups called feet. Each foot will have 2 or 3 syllables.
Monometer: one foot per line
Dimeter: two feet per line
Trimeter: three feet per line
Tetrameter: four
Pentameter: five
Hexameter: six
Heptameter: seven
Octameter: eight

Free Verse
Poetry without standard meter or rhyme, but rhythmical
arrangement of lines for effect. Such poetry derives its rhythmic qualities from the repetition of words, phrases, or grammatical structures, the arrangement of words on the printed page, or by some other means.

Haiku
Japanese unrhymed poetic form with one observation in
three lines, seventeen syllables.

Line
A line of poetry is characterized by its length and meter, which are created by the number of syllables and where their stresses fall.

Metaphor
Means, literally, transference. A type of figurative language where the writer transfers qualities of one thing to another thing. One thing “is” another.

Meter
The number of feet in a line of poetry.

Ode
Form of lyric poetry characterized by giving praise or showingappreciation. Odes are written to commemorate special occasions, both glorious and horrendous, or to praise someone or something.

Onomatopoeia
Words that sounds like what they represent.

Personification
A metaphor that gives human or physical qualities
to an object, animal, or idea.

Picture Poem
poems arranged into particular shapes to help express
what the poet is describing. Poets also play with different fonts, font sizes, and spacing. Also known as pictogram poems or concrete poetry.

Poem
Literature other than prose, often with rhythm, rhyme, and lines making up stanzas.

Quatrain
Poem or stanza containing four lines and many variations of rhyme schemes, line lengths, and rhythm patterns.

Refrain
Repetition of words or phrases at the end of each stanza in poetry or song.

Rhyme
Words that sound like another word or have similar-sounding parts; an element often used in poetry.

Rhyme Scheme
Assigning the same letters to lines of a poem that
have the same end rhymes.

Rhythm
recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds. (see foot & meter)

Scansion
The process of doing a complete rhythm analysis of a
poem (literally “scanning a poem”) by finding the stressed and unstressed syllables. Scansion also includes finding the rhyme scheme.

Sestina
Six-stanza poetic form plus a three-line ending, arranged in: a specific pattern. Six unrhymed stanzas of six lines each; repeat end words with these patterns:
First stanza: 123456
Second stanza: 612345
Third stanza: 364125
Fourth stanza: 532614
Fifth stanza: 451362
Sixth stanza: 246531
Three line ending

Simile
A kind of metaphor that uses “like” or “as” to compare two things.

Sonnet
Lyric poem expressing one idea, containing fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and set rhyme scheme. There are three kinds of sonnets Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Spencer.

Stanza
Group of lines of poetry, usually with a common form and spaced apart from each other, commonly called a verse.

Tercet
three-lined poem

Terza rima
is a tercet with the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, etc.

Triplet
a Tercet where all lines rhyme

Tritina
comes from the Latin for “three.” It’s a repetitive form of poetry that consists of three stanzas, plus an envoy.

True Rhyme
Rhyme where the vowel/consonants combinations
sound the same at the end of the words. The spellings are not always the same however. When you think of rhyming words, you are thinking of true rhymes.

Villanelle
Originally as French form, the villanelle passed to England during the 19 century (1800’s). American poets soon started writing in this form as well. The villanelle is a short poem consisting of 19 lines using repetition and rhyme in a complex pattern. It uses tercets plus a quatrain (four line stanza) at the end.