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Poetry Terms


POETRY TERMS Notecards – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Poetry Terms

Poetry Terms
  • Notecards

  • Sonnet - a lyric poem of 14 lines, usually in
    iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according
    to certain definite patterns. It usually
    expresses a single, complete thought, idea, or
    sentiment. There are three different forms
    Petrarchan (or Italian), English (or
    Shakespearean), and Miltonic.

Shakespearean sonnet
  • an 18 line stanza written in iambic pentameter,
    that employs the rhyme scheme abab, cdcd,
    efef,gg, and can be divided into three quatrains
    and a couplet.

  • A four line stanza (in poetry)

  • A two line stanza

Iambic pentameter
  • lines of poetry that can be divided into 5 metric
    feet with alternately unstressed and stressed
  • An iamb is a foot with one unstressed syllable
    followed by one stressed syllable as in the
    word deny or around

  • A foot is a unit of meter, to measure poetry,
    consisting of a combination of stressed and
    unstressed syllables
  • It is important to remember that feet and words
    need not coincide. The feet in John Heath-Stubbs'
    line, "A caterpillar among those mulberry
    leaves", from 'The Mulberry Tree' appear thus
    a CAT er PILL ar a MONG those MUL berry
    LEAVES u / u / u u /
    u / u /

Petrarchan Sonnet
  • Sonnet divided into an eight-line octave, rhyming
    abbaabba followed by a six-line sestet, rhyming
  • Often the octave poses a problem that is answered
    in the sestet

  • An eight line stanza

  • Six line stanza

Spenserian sonnet
  • Rhymes abab bcbc cdcd ee

Sonnet sequence
  • Sonnets linked by theme or person addressed

Aesthetic distance
  • degree of emotional involvement in a work of art
  • The most obvious example of aesthetic distance
    (also referred to simply as distance) occurs with
    paintings. Some paintings require us to stand
    back to see the design of the whole painting
    standing close, we see the technique of the
    painting, say the brush strokes, but not the
    whole. Other paintings require us to stand close
    to see the whole their design and any figures
    become less clear as we move back from the

  • Similarly, fiction, drama, and poetry involve
    the reader emotionally to different degrees.
    Emotional distance, or the lack of it, can be
    seen with children watching a TV program or a
    movie it becomes real for them. Writers like
    Dickens, the Bront? sisters, or Faulkner pull the
    reader into their work the reader identifies
    closely with the characters and is fully involved
    with the happenings. Hemingway, on the other
    hand, maintains a greater emotional distance from
    the reader.

  • the repetition of the same sound at the beginning
    of a word
  • such as the repetition of b sounds in Keats's
    "beaded bubbles winking at the brim" ("Ode to a
    Nightingale") or Coleridge's "Five miles
    meandering in a mazy motion ("Kubla Khan"). A
    common use for alliteration is emphasis. It
    occurs in everyday speech in such phrases as
    "tittle-tattle," "bag and baggage," "bed and
    board," "primrose path," and "through thick and
    thin" and in sayings like "look before you

Alliteration (continued)
  • Some literary critics call the repetition of any
    sounds alliteration. However, there are
    specialized terms for other sound-repetitions.
    Consonance repeats consonants, but not the
    vowels, as in horror-hearer. Assonance is the
    repetition of vowel sounds, please-niece-ski-tree.

  • allusion a brief reference to a person, event,
    place, or phrase.
  • The writer assumes will recognize the reference.
    For instance, most of us would know the
    difference between a mechanic's being as reliable
    as George Washington or as reliable as Benedict
    Arnold. Allusions that are commonplace for
    readers in one era may require footnotes for
    readers in a later time.

  • Ballad a relatively short narrative poem,
    written to be sung, with a simple and dramatic
    action. Ballads tell of love, death, the
    supernatural, or a combination of these.
  • Ballads often open abruptly, present brief
    descriptions, and use concise dialogue.

Ballad (continued)
  • Two characteristics of the ballad are incremental
    repetition and the ballad stanza.
  • Incremental repetition repeats one or more lines
    with small but significant variations that
    advance the action.
  • The ballad stanza is four lines commonly, the
    first and third lines contain four feet or
    accents, the second and fourth lines contain
    three feet

Ballads - types
  • folk ballad is usually anonymous and passed from
    generation to generation by word of mouth can
    be sung
  • literary ballad is written to deliberately
    imitate the form and spirit of a folk ballad
    authors are known and the work is meant to be
    read rather than sung. The Romantic poets were
    attracted to this form, as Longfellow with "The
    Wreck of the Hesperus," Coleridge with the "Rime
    of the Ancient Mariner.
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