Poetry Terminology

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  • Created by: Mahalia
  • Created on: 13-04-12 20:26

ABSTRACT NOUN

refers to ideas, processes, occasions, times, qualities that cannot be touched or seen.

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ADJECTIVE

gives more information about or describes a noun or pronoun

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ALLEGORY

a narrative in which people, objects and events represent moral or spiritual ideas.

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ALLITERATION

the repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginnings of words in a line / phrase: “What would the world be, once bereft / Of wet and wildness?” (Hopkins, ‘Inversnaid’)

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ALLUSION

Usually an implicit reference to another work of literature or art, a person or an event. Often an appeal to the reader to share some experience with the writer. An allusion may enrich the work by association and give it depth. When using an allusion, writers tend to assume an established literary tradition, a body of common knowledge, with an audience sharing that tradition and who then “pick up” the reference. Roughly, we can distinguish: (a) a reference to events and people, (b) reference to facts about the writer, (c) a metaphoric allusion, and (d) an imitative allusion.

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AMBIGUITY

words very often connote more than they denote; we recognise that there could be other meanings / verbal nuances / alternative reactions.

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ARCHAIC

of a much earlier period; out of date or old-fashioned; language no longer in everyday use.

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ASSONANCE

the repetition or a pattern of similar vowel sounds that occur close together:

“Thou still unravished bride of quietness, / Thou foster child of silence and slow time”

(‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’, John Keats).

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ASYNDETIC LISTING

the omission of conjunctions in sentence constructions

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BALLAD

a poem that tells a story similar to a folk tale or legend and often has a repeated refrain. For example, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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BLANK VERSE

poetry that is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in blank verse.

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