What is poetry?
What is poetry?

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What is poetry?

Glossary

BalladA simple narrative poem in short stanzas, usually sentimental in nature.
CaesuraA pause in a line of verse, usually in the middle.
CoupletA stanza of two lines.
ElegyA serious, mournful or reflective poem. Classical elegies feature either couplets of hexameter and pentameter lines, or two stanzas of four iambic pentameters, rhyming abab.
EnjambementWhere the sense continues over a line-break.
EnvoiThe concluding stanza of poems written in certain metrical forms.
EpicLong narrative poem that relates heroic events in an elevated style.
Free versePoetry that works against traditional conventions of metre, rhyme, line length, etc.
HaikuJapanese poem with three lines of five, seven and five syllables.
LimerickHumorous poem in a five-line form.
MetreThe pattern of groups of syllables within a poem.
MuseThe inspiration for a writer.
OctaveA stanza of eight lines.
OdeA poem intended to be sung, often of great length and generally addressed to someone or something.
OnomatopoeiaWhen a word sounds like its meaning, e.g. ‘hiss’.
PoemA composition in verse.
Prose poemA poem with few or no line-breaks.
QuatrainA stanza of four lines.
RhymeWhere words sound the same, usually at the ends of lines.
Rhyme schemeThe pattern of rhymed line-endings in a poem. These are described using letters, e.g. abab.
RhythmA regular pattern of sounds.
SestetA stanza of six lines.
SonnetA short poem of 14 lines, each containing 10 or 11 syllables.
StanzaA unit, or verse, in a poem.
TercetA stanza of three lines.
TropeA figure of speech in which a word or expression is used in other than its literal sense.
VerseA unit, or stanza, of a poem.
VillanelleA 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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