Anacoluthon (Greek, `not consistent'): interruption in sentence, begun again in different way
Anadiplosis (`double-back'): same words of phrase at beginning of line and preceding line’s end
Anaphora: successive lines starting with same word or phrase
Antistrophe: repletion of words at end of line
Antonomasia: epithet instead of proper name
Aphesis/Apocope: omission of first syllable of word/omission of last syllable
Aporia: narrator not sure where to begin, argues w/ self
Aposiopesis: interruption of thought, not begun again
Apostrophe: address the dead as if alive
Assonance: vowel rhyme
Asyndeton: unconnected by conjunctions
Aubade: lamenting arrival of dawn-poem
Bathos: unintentionally comic pathos
Catachresis (Gr: misuse): Exaggerated metaphor
Catalogue verse: use of catalog for encyclopedic, serious purpose
Complaint: Lament on Social Evils
Conceit: complicated intellectual metaphor
Content words vs. function words
Corona: sonnet where last line becomes first of next sonnet
Debat: two characters debate-poem
Deictic: uses particulars (lots of demonstrative pronouns)
Dirge: funeral hymn
Dythiramb: choral hymn to Dionysus (much of Whitman)
Dizain: poem of ten lines
Doggerel: bad verse, incomprehensible, irregular
Dramatic monologue: speech to silent listener
Dream vision: went to sleep, saw this . .
Ear poetry: concrete poetry
Eclogue:non-dramatic, brief pastoral poem set in idyllic rural place but discussing city issues
(see bucolics, idylls)
Elegy: lament for subject’s death, ending in consolation
Elision: “ere” for “ever”
Ellipses: omission of words easily understood by implication
End-stopped vs. enjambment
Envoy: closing lines, such as those in ballade or sestina
Epic: narrative poem about human or non-human hero, underworld, etc.
Epic simile: clusters of metaphor or prolonged metaphor
Epigraph: quote at beginning
Epistle: fake letter
Epistrophe: successive lines that repeat same words or phrase at end of line
Epitaph: “here lies . ..”
Epithalamion: lyric poem in praise of Hymen
Epizenxis: “hockey hockey hockey”
Exemplum: narrative that teaches a moral
Fabliau: bawdy, medieval verse narrative
Fixed and unfixed forms: Alcaics, Alexandrine, Asclepiad, Aubade, Ballad, Ballade, Carol, Choka, Cinquain, Clerihew, Dizain, Double Dactyl, Dramatic monologue, Eclogue, Elegy, Epic, Epistle, Epithalamion, Fabliau, Free verse, Haiku, Heroic couplet, Idyll, Limerick, Madrigal, Mock epic, Ode, Ottava rima, Pastoral, Pattern poetry, Quatrain, Quintain, Renga, Reverdie, Rondeau, Rondel, Sestina, Sixain, Sonnet, Spenserian stanza, Tanka, Tercet, Terza rima, Terzain, Triolet, Villanelle, and Virelay.
Flyting: poem of invective by two poets trying to out-humiliate each other
Types of Feet: iambic, trochaic, dactylic, anapestic, spondaic, and pyrrhic
Formula: oft-repeated phrase that is metrically distinct
Found poem: found prose turned into quasi-verse
Georgic poem: characterizes life of farmer
Gnomic verse: laced with aphorisms, proverbs, or maxims
Gruesome verse: “sick” verse
Hendiadys: two nouns linked with “and” substituting for adj-noun phrase
Hymn: praising god
Hyperbaton: inversion of word order
Idyll: either a pastoral poem about shepherds or an epyllion, a brief epic that depicts a heroic episode.
Image: describes any of five senses
Isocolon: lines with clauses of equal length
Kenning: name-replacing, metonymy
Litotes: deliberate understatement
Lyric: personal feelings “sung to lyre”
Macaronic verse: several language-poem
Metaphor: by verb, or by combination of adj. and n./n. and vb./etc
Dead metaphor: idiomatic, metaphor now forgotten
Mixed metaphor: awkwardly yoked metaphor
Metonymy: name change
Mock epic: “Rape of Lock”
Motif: belonging to collective unconsciousness
Objectification: treats abstraction as if thing/place
Occupatio: “I have neither to time nor space to say what I want to say but. . . .” (says it anyway)
Octave: eight-line stanza or poem
Ode: a poem of high seriousness with irregular stanzaic forms. (Pindaric, English, Horatian, Sapphic)
Ottava rima: Italian form, stanzas of eight eleven-syllable lines (“Among School Children”)
Oxymoron: “darkness visible”
Palinode: recounts previous argument/poem; recantation
Panegyric: poem in praise of someone
Paradox: “ascending rain”
Parallelism: two or more expressions that share traits, whether metrical, lexical, figurative, or grammatical,
and can take the form of a list.
Parataxis: linking clauses just by sequencing them, often without conjunction(s) and only by means of
associations that are implied, not stated.
Pastiche: work patched together from excerpts of other writers, or from passages clearly recognizable as
Pastoral: praising simple life; Also termed bucolic, eclogues, and idylls.
Periphrasis: using a wordy phrase to describe something for which one term exists
Personification: “O truck, you . . .”
Phonemic alphabet: the twelve vowel sounds and twenty-two consonant sounds
Pleonasm: redundancy, “"It was a dark and lightless night."
Polyptoton: repetition of the same word in different forms, achieved by varying the case, adding affixes, etc.
Refrain: one or more lines repeated before or after the stanzas of a poem.
Reverdie: a medieval song celebrating the coming of spring, s
Rhopalic verse (Greek, `like a club'): poems whose lines start short and get longer and longer
Rhyme royal, rime royale: a stanza of seven ten-syllable line
Sonnet types: Caudate, Curtal, English, Italian, Petrarchan, Reverse, Redouble, Sequence,Spenserian, Stretched, Submerged, Tail Rhyme.
Stichomythia (Greek `line-speech'): dialogue in alternate verse-lines.
Strophe (Greek, `turn'): the section of a Greek ode sung when the chorus turns from one side of the orchestra to the other.
Symbol (Greek, `to throw together'):Samuel Johnson (1755) termed it "A type; that which comprehends in its figure a representation of something else." Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren in Understanding Poetry (3rd edn., 1960), however, say that "The symbol may be regarded as a metaphor from which the first term has been omitted" (556).
Synecdoche (Greek, "a receiving together"): part stands for whole, e.g., “I’ve got wheels.”
Synesthesia: a blending of different senses in describing something.
Tautology: a statement redundant in itself, such as "The stars, O astral bodies!"
Travesty: a work that deflates something that is treated by another work with high seriousness.
Trope (`turn'): a semantic figure of speech or of thought that varies the meaning of a word or passage.
Examples include metaphor, metonymy, objectification, and personification.
Ubi sunt (French, medieval commonplace: `where are they?'): “the strong, the beautiful, the good?”
Zeugma (Greek `yoke'): many clauses, one verb: Of the smell of burning hair, that greeny smell,
[like a buttercup on its dancing head]—save that it’s green and woolen—I come, my sweet, to sing to you.