The repetition of initial stressed, consonant sounds in a series of words within a phrase or verse line. Alliteration need not reuse all initial consonants; “pizza” and “place” alliterate.
A brief, intentional reference to a historical, mythic, or literary person, place, event, or movement.
A pithy, instructive statement or truism, like a maxim or adage.
A term meaning “the art of poetry,” an ars poetica poem expresses that poet's aims for poetry and/or that poet's theories about poetry.
The repetition of vowel sounds without repeating consonants; sometimes called vowel rhyme.
A love poem or song welcoming or lamenting the arrival of the dawn.
A popular narrative song passed down orally. In the English tradition, it usually follows a form of rhymed (ABCB) quatrains alternating four-stress and three-stress lines. Folk (or traditional) ballads are anonymous and recount tragic, comic, or heroic
Unrhyming iambic pentameter, also called heroic verse.
A quatrain that rhymes ABAB and alternates four-stress and three-stress iambic lines. It is the meter of the hymn and the ballad.
Concrete or Pattern Poetry
Verse that emphasizes nonlinguistic elements in its meaning, such as a typeface that creates a visual image of the topic
A resemblance in sound between two words, or an initial rhyme.
A pair of successive rhyming lines, usually of the same length.
A poem in which an imagined speaker addresses a silent listener, usually not the reader.
“Description” in Greek. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.
In traditional English poetry, it is often a melancholy poem that laments its subject's death but ends in consolation.
A letter in verse, usually addressed to a person close to the writer.
Nonmetrical, nonrhyming lines that closely follow the natural rhythms of speech. A regular pattern of sound or rhythm may emerge in free-verse lines, but the poet does not adhere to a metrical plan in their composition.
(Pronounciation: “guzzle”) Originally an Arabic verse form dealing with loss and romantic love. Consisting of syntactically and grammatically complete couplets, the form also has an intricate rhyme scheme.
A Japanese verse form of three unrhyming lines in five, seven, and five syllables.
These poems are largely concerned with the use of strong and evocative images to create a highly visual, imaginative reading experience.
An early 20th-century poetic movement that relied on the resonance of concrete images drawn in precise, colloquial language rather than traditional poetic diction and meter.
A comparison that is made without pointing out a similarity by using words such as “like,” “as,” or “than.”
A formal, often ceremonious lyric poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea. Its stanza forms vary.
Poets writing in English drew on the pastoral tradition by retreating from the trappings of modernity to the imagined virtues and romance of rural life. Its themes persist in poems that romanticize rural life or reappraise the natural world.
A dramatic character, distinguished from the poet, who is the speaker of a poem.
A prose composition that, while not broken into verse lines, demonstrates other traits such as symbols, metaphors, and other figures of speech common to poetry.
A phrase or line repeated at intervals within a poem, especially at the end of a stanza.
The repetition of syllables, typically at the end of a verse line.
A comparison (see Metaphor) made with “as,” “like,” or “than.”
A 14-line poem with a variable rhyme scheme. Literally a “little song,” the sonnet traditionally reflects upon a single sentiment, with a clarification or “turn” of thought in its concluding lines.
Poetry whose meter is determined by the total number of syllables per line, rather than the number of stresses.
A French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza repeating alternately in the following stanzas.