What is poetry?
What is poetry?

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What is poetry?


Ballad A simple narrative poem in short stanzas, usually sentimental in nature.
Caesura A pause in a line of verse, usually in the middle.
Couplet A stanza of two lines.
Elegy A serious, mournful or reflective poem. Classical elegies feature either couplets of hexameter and pentameter lines, or two stanzas of four iambic pentameters, rhyming abab.
Enjambement Where the sense continues over a line-break.
Envoi The concluding stanza of poems written in certain metrical forms.
Epic Long narrative poem that relates heroic events in an elevated style.
Free verse Poetry that works against traditional conventions of metre, rhyme, line length, etc.
Haiku Japanese poem with three lines of five, seven and five syllables.
Limerick Humorous poem in a five-line form.
Metre The pattern of groups of syllables within a poem.
Muse The inspiration for a writer.
Octave A stanza of eight lines.
Ode A poem intended to be sung, often of great length and generally addressed to someone or something.
Onomatopoeia When a word sounds like its meaning, e.g. ‘hiss’.
Poem A composition in verse.
Prose poem A poem with few or no line-breaks.
Quatrain A stanza of four lines.
Rhyme Where words sound the same, usually at the ends of lines.
Rhyme scheme The pattern of rhymed line-endings in a poem. These are described using letters, e.g. abab.
Rhythm A regular pattern of sounds.
Sestet A stanza of six lines.
Sonnet A short poem of 14 lines, each containing 10 or 11 syllables.
Stanza A unit, or verse, in a poem.
Tercet A stanza of three lines.
Trope A figure of speech in which a word or expression is used in other than its literal sense.
Verse A unit, or stanza, of a poem.
Villanelle A poem of 19 lines, comprising 5 tercets and a quatrain. It has two rhymes. Line 1 is repeated as lines 6, 12, and 18. Line 3 is repeated as lines 9, 15 and 19.

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