AP English: Poetry Terms Flashcards

Terms Definitions
octave
eight-line stanza
sestet
six line stanza
blank verse
unrhymed iambic pentameter
imagery
images of a work
conceit
an elaborate, extended metaphor comparing two very dissimilar things
sonnet
fourteen line iambic pentameter poem
symbol
something that is simultaneously itself and a sign of something else. For example, winter, darkness, and cold are real things, but in literature they are also likely to be used as symbols of death.
trochee
(heavy light) Ex- en-ter; went to
trope
a short, dramatic dialogue inserted into the church mass during the early middle ages
parallelism
similar grammatical structure within a line or lines of poetry
consonance
repetition of similar consonant sounds in a group of words
heroic couplet
two end-stopped iambic pentameter lines rhymed aa, bb, cc with the thought usually completed in the two-line unit. See the following example from Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock: But when to mischief mortals bend their will, How soon they find fit instruments of ill!
cacophony
a harsh, unpleasant combination of sounds or tones. It may be an unconscious flaw in the poet’s music, resulting in harshness of sound or difficulty of articulation, or it may be used consciously for effect, as Browning and Eliot often use it. See, for example, the following line from Browning’s “Rabbi Ben Ezra”: Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast?
Stanza
usually a repeated grouping or three or more lines with the same meter and rhyme scheme
rhythm
words that sound alike or similar (cat, hat; falling, calling; mirror, steer, dear)
rhyme scheme
the pattern of rhyme, usually indicated by assigning a letter if the alphabet sound to each rhyming sound
Foot
The basic unit used in the scansion/measurement of metrical verse, usually contains 1 accented syllable and 1/2 unaccented syllables
Apostrophe
Figure of speech in which someone absent or dead/nonhuman is addressed as if alive and could reply
personification
kind of metaphor that gives inanimate objects or abstract ideas human characteristics
paradox
situation or action or feeling that appears to be contradictory but turns out to be true
Refrain
A repeated word, phrase, line, or group of lines normally at some fixed position in a poem written in stanzaic form.
strategy
management of language for a specific effect
metaphor
a direct comparison of 2 unalike objects
haiku
a Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables; often reflect on some aspect of nature
rhyme royal
a seven-line stanza of iambic pentameter rhymed ababbcc, used by Chaucer and other medieval poets.
elegy
a sustained and formal poem setting forth the poet’s meditations upon death or another solemn theme. Examples include Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”; Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam; and Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.”
villanelle
a nineteen-line poem divided into five tercets and a final quatrain. The villanelle uses only two rhymes which are repeated as follows: aba, aba, aba, aba, aba, abaa. Line 1 is repeated entirely to form lines 6, 12, and 18, and line 3 is repeated entirely to form lines 9, 15, and 19; thus, eight of the nineteen lines are refraining. Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” is an example of a villanelle.
Rhyme
close similarity or identity of sound between accented syllables occupying corresponding positions in two or more lines of verse. For a true rhyme, the vowels in the accented syllables must be preceded by different consonants, such as “fan” and “ran.”
Narrative Poem
A non-dramatic poem which tells a story or presents a narrative, whether simple or complex, long or short. Epics and Ballads are examples
Her mind, adornd with vertues manifold
Edmund Spenser
"Sonnet 15"
oxymoron
form of paradox that combines pair of contrary terms into a single expressinon
terza rima
three line stanzy rhymed aba, bcb, cdc
Run-on-line
Line which has no natural speech pause at its end, allowing the sense to flow uninterruptedly into the succeeding line.
Iamb
A metrical foot of 2 syllables, one short (or unstressed) and one long (or stressed).
tetrameter
a line of poetry that has four metrical feet
carpe diem
a Latin expression that means "sieze the day"; these poems urge the reader (or the person to whom they are addressed) to live for today and enjoy the pleasures of the moment; a famous type of this poem by Robert Herrick begins "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may..."
Euphony
a style in which combinations of words pleasant to the ear predominate. Its opposite is cacophony. The following lines from John Keats’ Endymion are euphonious: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Lyke as a huntsman, after weary chace
Edmund Spenser
"Sonnet 67"
ballad
form of verse to be sung or recited and composed of quatrains in which lines of iambic tetrameter alternate with iambic trimeter
Au bade
A poem about dawn; a morning love song; poem about the parting of lovers at dawn
internal rhyme
rhyme that occurs within a line rather than the end
lyric poem
any short poem that presents a single speaker who expresses thoughts and feelings ex: sonnets, odes
hexameter
a line of poetry that has six metrical feet
metonymy
a figure of speech in which one word is substituted for another with which it is closely associated; for example, in the expression "The pen is mightier than the sword", the word pen is used for the written word, and the sword is used for military power
dramatic poem
a poem which employs a dramatic form or some element or elements of dramatic techniques as a means of achieving poetic ends. The dramatic monologue is an example.
Didactic Poem
a poem which is intended primarily to teach a lesson. The distinction between didactic poetry and non-didactic poetry is difficult to make and usually involves a subjective judgement of the author’s purpose on the part of the critic or the reader. Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism is a good example of didactic poetry.
Paraphrase
a restatement of an idea in such a way as to retain the meaning while changing the diction and form. a often an amplification of the original for purpose of clarity.
Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brooke
Edmund Spenser
"Sonnet 67"
So goodly wonne, with her owne will beguyld
Edmund Spenser
"Sonnet 67"
And in the heavens wryte your glorious name
Edmund Spenser
"Sonnet 75"
caesura
a pause or break in a line of verse, an important aspect of poetic rhythm
Quatrain
A 4 line stanza. 4 line division of a sonnet marked off by its rhyme scheme.
Synecdoche
A figure of speech in which a part is used to designate the whole or the whole is used to designate a part
These pretty pleasures might me move
Sir Walter Raleigh
"The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd"
But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray
Edmund Spenser
"Sonnet 75"
End-stopped
a line with a pause at the end. Lines that end with a period, a comma, a colon, a semicolon, an exclamation point, or a question mark are end-stopped lines. True ease in writing comes from Art, not Chance, As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance.
Twenty times better; but once in special
Sir Thomas Wyatt
"They Flee from Me"
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things
Sir Philip Sydney
"Leave me, O Love"
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