Poetry Terminology

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1. Pastoral

  • When the rhythm of a poem is soft and soothing like a piece of music
  • A poem that depicts rural life in a peaceful, idealised way.
  • A late 18th century-early 19th century movement that placed emphasis on the subjective personal experience of the individual. Nature used as a prominent theme.
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2. Caesura

  • A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line
  • The continuation of a complete idea from one line to the next without a pause
  • Finishing a line and the idea contained within it with or without puncuation

3. Assonance

  • The repetition or a pattern of similar sounds, especially vowels sounds
  • Repetition of the 's' sound
  • The repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginning of words

4. Litotes

  • A figure of speech in which a positive is stated by negating its opposites
  • A figure of speech in which understatement is used for emphasis
  • A figure of speech in which deliberate exaggeration is used for emphasis

5. Refrain

  • A line or group of lines that is repeated throughout a poem. usually after every stanza
  • A rhyme that occurs in the final unstressed syllable (eg. pleasure and leisure)
  • A rhyme that occurs in the final stressed syllable


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