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Transcript of Poetic Terminology
the way in which a poem is written. It includes the length of meters, number of stanzas, subject matter, rhyming technique, rhythm etc.
Haiku: A three-line poem in any language, with five syllables in the first and last lines and seven syllables in the second, usually with an emphasis on the season or a naturalistic theme.
Haiku, a poem
five beats, then seven, then five
ends as it began.
A subdivision of a poem consisting of lines grouped together, often in recurring patterns of rhyme, line length, and meter. Stanzas may also serve as units of thought in a poem much like paragraphs in prose
"WHY, William, on that old grey stone,
Thus for the length of half a day,
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away?
"Where are your books?--that light bequeathed
To Beings else forlorn and blind!
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
William Wordsworth, Expostulation and Reply
the act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas etc.
"The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night, Check'ring the Eastern clouds with streaks of light."
"Romeo and Juliet"
an image or action in a literary work that is shared by other works and that is sometimes thought to belong to a collective unconsciousness.
Good triumphing over evil is a common motif in Harry Potter novels
A figure of speech referring to a difference between the way something appears and what is actually true. It allows us to say something but to mean something else, whether we are being sarcastic, exaggerating, or understating.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
a pleasing harmony of sounds.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run
John Keats, To Autumn
omission of a consonant or a vowel, usually to achieve a metrical effect.
Ere = ever
T’was = It was
O’er = over
The primary, literal or explicit meaning of a word, phrase or symbol
Home: (noun) the place where one resides on a consistent basis, the dwelling where one lives.
In meter, a term to denote an audible pause that breaks up a line of a verse. In most cases, caesura is indicated by punctuation marks which cause a pause in speech: a comma, a semicolon, a full stop (period), a dash, etc. Punctuation, however, is not necessary for a caesura to occur.
Who since they went to their account / Have settled with the year!— Paid all that life had earned
Emily Dickinson, How Dare the Robin Sing
the representation of objects (especially a god) as having human form or traits
Greek gods appearing in human form
Arthur the Aardvark
is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.
The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.
Plato’s The Cave, Aesop’s fables
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary work. The controlling message or idea of a poem. It may be suggested by a title or repetition, but it is almost never explicitly stated.
A theme in Wordsworth’s poems are innocence and the loss of innocence
Something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible. Some symbols are widespread others are more fluid and change along with society.
Pumpkin representing Hallowe’en
Black indicating a sad, dark, morose feeling
Dove representing purity and peace
Lamb representing innocence and sacrifice
the arrangement of spoken words alternating stressed and unstressed elements
When IN / dis GRACE / with FOR / tune AND / men’s EYES
I ALL / a LONE / be WEEP / my OUT/ cast STATE
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 29
be similar in sound, especially with respect to the last syllable
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses, And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!
repeating a word or a phrase in a poem to give that word or phrase extra meaning or emphasis
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn....
T.S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday
an expression that uses a homonym (two different words spelled identically) to deliver two or more meanings at the same time. (it’s usually pretty punny)
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
The psychotic florist created many flower derangements.
conjoining contradictory terms; a paradox
using words that imitate the sound they denote
Pow, bam, kerplunk, splash
the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse
Monometer = One Foot
Dimeter = Two Feet
Trimeter = Three Feet
Tetrameter = Four Feet
Pentameter = Five Feet
Hexameter = Six Feet
Heptameter = Seven Feet
Octameter = Eight Feet
e.g., iambic pentameter: five feet in a line with the stressed/unstressed pattern
a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
Time is flying/running out/ is money
an iconic mental representation
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells
T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock
Extreme exaggeration or overstatement; especially as a literary or rhetorical device; deliberate exaggeration
I could eat a horse
I have a million things to do today
a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm
the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of verse into the next line without a pause
A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
The sun for sorrow will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
cacophony, or harsh-sounding language. Deliberately avoiding assonance
Also called cacophony
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Lewis Carroll, The Jabberwocky
the manner in which something is expressed in words
I have eaten
in the icebox
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
William Carlos Williams, This is Just to Say
Connotation is a subjective cultural and/or emotional coloration in addition to the explicit or denotative meaning of any specific word or phrase in a language, i.e. emotional association with a word.
Communism, poetry, December, college
a complicated intellectual metaphor. Metaphysical conceits were characterized by esoteric, abstract associations and surprising effects. John Donne and other so-called metaphysical poets used conceits in ways that fused the sensory and the abstract.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate. / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, / And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
someone's list of authors or works considered to be "classic," that is, central to the identity of a given literary tradition or culture.
Considered Western Canon:
Kafka, Joyce, Emerson, Newton, Chaucer, Einstein, Tolstoy, Dewey, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Proust, Freud
What do you notice is similar about this Western Canon? This problem plagues the majority of lists of “canon” works
the repetition of similar or identical vowel sounds (though with different consonants), usually in literature or poetry
“On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro‘ the field the road runs by
To many-tower’d Camelot…”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott
something in the world, and described in literature, that, according to the psychologist Karl Jung, manifests a dominant theme in the collective unconscious of human beings. Northrop Frye in his Anatomy of Criticism argues for a taxonomy of consciously literary archetypes in Western literature.
Archetypes include: the wise wo/man, a trickster, mentor, child, hero etc
an address to a dead or absent person or personification as if he or she were present.
Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us?
John Donne, The Sun Rising
is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, a place, event, literary work, myth, or work of art, either directly or by implication.
M.H. Abrams defined allusion as “a brief reference, explicit or indirect, to a person, place or event, or to another literary work or passage”.
It is left to the reader or hearer to make the connection where the connection is detailed in depth by the author, it is preferable to call it “a reference”
April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.
The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot
use of the same initial sound at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse
around the rock the ragged rascal ran
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Sally sells seashells by the seashore
How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
the mood a poem creates within the reader. Much of the tone depends on the interpretation of the poem.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.‘
Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
a figure of speech where the part stands for the whole; often treated as a part of metonymy
I’ve got wheels = I own a car
England won the World Cup
a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')
As pretty as a picture, as red as a rose, quiet as a mouse
an expression that endows inanimate things with human feelings.
"Nature must be gladsome when I was so happy“
Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre"
Angry clouds, harsh wind, happy sunshine
substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself
They counted heads
The White House
Italian for "turn" -- a shift at the end (or near the end) of a sonnet indicating a change of tone, subject, logic or emotion. Usually indicated by a "but", "yet", "although", "and yet".