alliteration
repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginning of words, to create smoothness and effect

assonance
repetition of internal vowel sounds for aural effect

ballad
songlike, narrative poetry; usually simple, rhyming verse using abab rhyme scheme

cinquain
five-line poetic form, with twenty two total syllables divided according to a set pattern

couplet
two consecutive, rhymed lines of poetry; rhyme pattern: aa

dramatic poem
play written in verse

elegy
poetic form lamenting the death of a person or decline of a situation

enjambment
continuation of meaning from one poetry line to the next; run-on lines

envoy/envoi
conclusion in last stanza or lines in certain verse forms

epic
long narrative poem, usually telling of heroic deeds, events of historic importance, or religious or mythological subjects

figure of speech
use or arrangement of words for specific effects

foot
smallest unit of poetic measurement; lines are divided into metrical groups (feet), with from one to three syllables in each

grue
short, simple, gruesome rhyme, coined by writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson

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

limerick
poem (often humorous) with five lines and sing-song rhythm of three beats in first, second, and fifth lines, and two in the remainder; typical rhyme pattern: aabba

meter
rhythm of poetry; stressed and unstressed syllables in the lines

ode
form of lyric poetry characterized by giving praise or showing appreciation

onomatopoeia
words that sound like what they represent

pastoral
poem about country life (originally about shepherds)

iambic pentameter
poetic meter; ten-syllable lines, stressed on every second beat

poetic pictogram
poetry arranged in lines that form a shape or make a picture about the subject; sometimes called “shaped poem”

poem
literature other than prose, often with rhythm, rhyme, and lines making up stanzas

dramatic poetry
poetry with characters who speak and act

lyric poetry
short poetry usually expressing one emotion Ex: sonnets, elegies, odes, songs

narrative poetry
poetry that tells a story. included in this category are ballads, epic poetry, and metrical romances

quatrain
poem or stanza containing four lines

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; often used in poetry

sonnet
lyric poem expressing one idea, containing fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and set rhyme scheme

stanza
group of lines of poetry, usually with a common form and spaced apart from each other; commonly called a verse

blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter. Ex: Shakespeare’s tragedies

free verse
also called vers libre. Poetry without standard meter or rhyme, but rhythmical arrangement of lines for effect. Ex: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass