LYRIC
A term currently used for any short poem presenting a single speaker (not necessarily the writer himself) who expresses a state of mind involving strong feeling or emotion. Originally, it was a term applied to a song to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre.

ELEGY
A type of lyric which expresses grief or lament, usually at the death of a particular person.

ODE
A form which deals with a serious subject and an exalted emotion expressed in an elevated or complex style, especially when addressed to some personified idea or when expressive of public feeling on some important occasion.

A SONNET
A form devoted to the expression of a single idea or movement of feeling.

NARRATIVE
A term applied to a poem which tells a story of some kind.

EPIC
A narrative poem which deals with great events or with the adventures of a hero on whose actions usually depends the fate of a nation or race. It is an elaboration of the ballad and is more formal. Examples: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; Milton’s Paradise Lost; Spenser’s Faerie Queen

BALLAD
A narrative poem which relates in simple language or verse the story of an adventure usually in the form of a song. It is repetitious, rapid in movement, and often anonymous.

DRAMATIC POETRY
Like narrative poetry, it tells stories. But with this type of poetry the poet lets one or more of the story’s characters act out the story.

DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE
A story told in the words of one character. Also known as a persona poem, it shares many characteristics with a theatrical monologue: an audience is implied; there is no dialogue; and the poet speaks through an assumed voice—a character, a fictional identity, or a persona. Because it is by definition one person’s speech, it is offered without overt analysis or commentary, placing emphasis on subjective qualities that are left to the audience to interpret.

FORM CONVENTIONS (METRICS)
These conventions guide the structure and formatting of poems. To create mood, tone, colour, texture, and sound effects, the poet uses many devices such as rhythm, stanzaic structure, rhyme and other techniques.

RHYTHM OR CADENCE
The regular recurrence of stress. An awareness of it is necessary to the enjoyment of poetry, for much of the effect of poetry is derived from its rhythmic patterns. It is not strange that rhythm should play such a vital role in poetry, because it is a basic principle of life. A baby is rocked in his cradle with an even motion. He enjoys the repeated to and fro movement of a swing. When he begins to walk, his steps assume a rhythmic pattern that later becomes a part of his individuality. As he grows older, if he is alert he will recognize the rhythm in a painting, in the beating of rain, in the drip of a leaky faucet, in the hum of a motor.

STRESSED SYLLABLES
These are spoken with more emphasis than unstressed syllables; they determine the rhythmical patter of a line.

METER
Measured rhythm, which follows a definite pattern. Poets often vary the pattern slightly to avoid monotony or to create a particular emotional or musical effect. In fact, if the poet feels that such a style best serves his purpose, he might use rhythm without a set pattern.

ACCENT MARK (,)
This designates stressed or accented syllables

THE BREVE (u)
Used to designate unstressed or unaccented syllables

FOOT
The smallest unit in a line of poetry, which usually consists of two or three syllables distinguished by the placing of stress or accent.

RISING RHYTHM
Rhythm with stress occurring regularly on the last syllable of each foot. This type of rhythm mimics the natural auditory sound of English; it moves easily, slides forward and carries on effortlessly. Most poems are written in this type of rhythm. Examples: iamb and anapaest

FALLING RHYTHM
Rhythm with stress occurring regularly on the last syllable of each foot. This type of rhythm tends to encounter auditory resistance – it ‘jutters’ and ‘drags.’ Examples: trochee, dactyl

DUPLE RHYTHM
Marked by two beats per foot. It tend to be more serious, as the rhythm can mimic that of a stately march, for example. Examples: iamb, trochee, pyrrhus, spondee

TRIPLE RHYTHM
Marked by three beats per foot. This type of rhythm in English tends to be comic or funny and is generally seen in forms such as limericks. Examples: anapaest, dactyl

SCANSION
The action of scanning a line of verse to determine its rhythm. Scansion is the human voice encountering words.

IAMBIC FOOT
This has two syllables. The stress falls on the second syllable:

ANAPAESTIC FOOT
Has three syllables. The stress falls on the third, or last syllable.

TROCHAIC FOOT
Has two syllables. The stress falls on the first syllable.

DACTYLIC FOOT
Has three syllables. The stress falls on the first.

SPONDAIC FOOT
Has two syllables, both of which are stressed. It is a substitute foot, meaning you wouldn’t normally find a line composed entirely of this type of foot.

PYRRHIC FOOT
Has two syllables, both of which are unstressed. It is a substitute foot, meaning you wouldn’t normally find a line composed entirely of this type of foot.

LINE LENGTH
Lines of poetry are named according to the number metrical feet each contains. Lines of more than eight metrical feet are uncommon.

MONOMETER
A line composed of one foot

DIMETER
A line composed of two feet

TRIMETER
A line composed of three feet

TETRAMETER
A line composed of four feet

PENTAMETER
A line composed of five feet

HEXAMETER
A line composed of six feet

HEPTAMETER
A line composed of seven feet

OCTAMETER
A line composed of eight feet

CAESURA
A term that labels the internal pauses in a passage. When it occurs at the end of a line, the line is said to be end-stopped. When the voice must continue to the next line without a pause, the line is said to be run on, or enjambed.

STANZAS
A group of lines arranged according to a definite scheme, combining rhythm, meter, and rhyme. They are of many structural varieties. S

CLOSED STANZA FORMS
Prescriptive. These may have a set meter, rhyme scheme, number of lines, etc. Examples: Limerick, sonnet.

OPEN STANZA FORMS
Forms that are less prescriptive. They may offer poets more ‘freedom’ to determine aspects such as meter, rhyme scheme, etc. Examples: Dramatic Monologue, Ode, etc.

COUPLET
A unit of two lines connected by rhyme. The rhyme scheme in a poem made up of this type of stanza is aa, bb, cc, etc.

CLOSED/HEROIC COUPLET
An iambic pentameter couplet presenting a complete thought. Example: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.”

TERCET
A unit of three lines.

TRIPLET
A unit of three lines usually connected by a rhyme pattern.

QUATRAIN
A unit of four lines. A common rhyme scheme might be abab, abcb, abba, aabb.

QUINTAIN/QUINTET
Any poem or stanza with five lines. It can follow any meter or line length.

SESTET
Any stanza of six lines.

SEPTET
A seven-line stanza.

OCTET/OCTAVE
Eight-line stanza.

SONNET
A short poem of fourteen iambic pentameter lines.

LIMERICK
A five-line poem in a humorous vein. It is anapestic in movement and has two rhymes — aabba.

BLANK VERSE
Unrhymed iambic pentameter, usually characterized by a dignified tone and rhythm. Many of Shakespeare’s plays are written in this verse form.

FREE VERSE
Often confused with blank verse, actually has neither rhyme nor meter although it has a certain indescribable rhythm and artistry distinguishing it from prose.

LAYOUT
The way a poem is presented and arranged on a page. Conventions include: the display of lines and stanzas, sections, line-breaks, etc.

PROSE POEM
Written in prose, in sentences rather than lines, which often go to the end of the page

CONVENTIONAL LAYOUT
Displays the rhyme scheme (lines are indented to indicate the patterns of rhyme)

SHAPE/PATTERN/CONCRETE POEM
Poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on.

LINEATION
The study of lines. Discerning the poet’s reasons for varying line lengths can be a loaded issue.

LINE-BREAK
A distinctive unit of poetry; it is the end of a line. This is a visual effect, but not necessarily a grammatical or syntactical one. The way lines work for the eye and ear are different.

ISOMETRIC STANZA
A stanza where all lines are the same length

HETEROMETRIC STANZA
Line lengths with in a stanza vary ( some are shorter than others, etc.)

BOB-LINE
A line that is shorter than others in the stanza; because this line is differentiated it is stressed, in therefore will take ‘more weight’ with regard to meaning.

PRONG-LINE
A line that is longer than the others in a stanza.

RHYME
Correspondence of sound in two or more words. It depends on two elements: the last stressed vowel and what comes after it.

FULL/PERFECT RHYME
This depends on the last stressed vowel and what comes after it (one or more syllables, a consonant, etc.) If both are same, it is deemed to be this type of rhyme. This rhyme pattern can be used to echo or confirm meaning. It provides consonance. Ex: hand/band

HALF/IMPERFECT RHYME
This occurs when both vowels rhyme, but what comes after them does not. Ex: hand/bang

PARARHYME
This occurs when the vowels are different, but the sounds after them (e.g. consonants) are the same. This rhyme pattern creates dissonance, and allows readers to question meaning. Ex: hand, bind

STRESSED RHYME
A type of rhyme where the last stressed vowel comes in the last syllable. These rhymes are solid and clear, and for this reason tends to be found in forms that require a solid beat (e.g. anthems and marching songs) Ex: hand/band

UNSTRESSED RHYME
A type of rhyme that ends with an unstressed syllable. This type of rhyme lacks definite ‘thump.’ Ex: handing/banding (the rhyme comes on the stressed syllable – hand/band – and the words end with unstressed syllables – ing)

MOSAIC RHYME
A type of rhyme that is made up of more than one word: ‘tanned hands,’ ‘band stand.’ It can readily become silly or comic if contrived (e.g. ‘hypotenuse, lot o’ news’)

EYE RHYME (PRINTER’S RHYME)
Words that look as though they rhyme on paper, but actually don’t. Ex: (ough) ‘boy with cough, sat under the bough eating a doughnut, until he’s had enough.’

WRENCHED RHYME
Forcing mispronunciation to emphasise rhyme (the rhyme can ‘wrench’ stress). Ex: hand, brigand

AUTO/NULL RHYME (REPETITION)
Rhyming a word with itself. It can be seen as most perfect kind of rhyme, or viewed as repetition, not rhyme. Ex: hand, hand

END or TERMINAL RHYME
The repetition of the same sounds at the ends of two lines of verse. When two or more syllables are used to make the rhyme, the accented vowel and all the letters following it are identical in sound.

INTERNAL/MEDIAL RHYME
Rhyme within a single line.

RHYME SCHEME
The pattern of rhymes in a stanza or throughout a poem.

MONORHYME
(aaaa) If you rhyme more than two lines in a row, it starts sounding silly.

SINGLE RHYME
(abac or abcb) The rhyming of two lines within a quatrain stanza.

COUPLET RHYME
(aabb) The rhyming of couplets arranged in quatrain.

CROSS RHYME
(abab) It has a tick-tock effect. It is used for narrative; it carries things forward.

ARCH RHYME
(abba) This type of rhyme starts, reverses, arches and comes back to itself – not good for narrative. This type of rhyme is good for meditation, for dwelling on something.

SEMANTIC RHYME
Words that rhyme that have similar meanings Ex: cake/bake

COUNTER SEMANTIC RHYME
Words that rhyme that have opposite meanings Ex: death/breath