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The repetition of particular sounds, syllables, words or lines in poetry.

(See also Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition,
                 Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Rhyme, Stornello Verses

A form of poem in which a word or two at the end of a line appears as an echo constituting the entire following line. The echo, either the same word or syllable or a homophone, often changes the meaning in a flippant, cynical or punning response, as in Jonathan Swift's lines from, "A Gentle Echo on Woman:"
Shepherd. What most moves women when we them address? Echo. A dress. Shepherd. Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore? Echo. A door. Shepherd. If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre. Echo. Liar. Shepherd. Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her? Echo. Buy her.
(See also Close Rhyme)

ECLOGUE (EHK-lawg or EHK-lahg)
A pastoral poem, usually containing dialogue between shepherds.

(See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Idyll, Madrigal)

Either of two collections of mythological, heroic and aphoristic Icelandic poetry from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Sidelight: The first collection contains the mythology of the people; the second, selections from the poetry of the Skalds.
(See also Rune)

See Idyll

In modern usage, the vivid literary description of a specific work of art, which may be actual or imaginary, such as a painting, sculpture, tapestry, church, and the like. Originally, the term more broadly applied to a description in words of any experience, person, or thing,
Sidelight: The general term for the effective quality of sense impressions or mental images and the resulting arousal of emotion is enargia (en-AR-jee-uh).
(See also Imagery, Mimesis)

ELEGIAC (el-uh-JY-uk)
In classical prosody, verses written in elegiac meter, i.e., dactylic hexameter couplets, with the second line of each couplet having only an unaccented syllable in the third and sixth feet; also, of or relating to the period in which elegies written in such couplets flourished, about the 7th century BC; also, relating to an elegy.

See Heroic Quatrain

A poem of lament, praise, and consolation, usually formal and sustained, over the death of a particular person; also, a meditative poem in plaintive or sorrowful mood, such as, " Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," by Thomas Gray.
Sidelight: The pastoral elegy became conventional in the Renaissance and continued into the 19th century. Traditionally, pastoral elegies included an invocation, a lament in which all nature joined, praise, sympathy, and a closing consolation, as in John Milton's Lycidas.
(See also Dirge, Epitaph, Monody)

The omission of a letter or syllable as a means of contraction, generally to achieve a uniform metrical pattern, but sometimes to smooth the pronunciation; most such omissions are marked with an apostrophe. Specific types of elision include aphaeresis, apocope, syncope, synaeresis, and synaloepha, most of which can be found in Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard."
Sidelight: The opposite of elision is hiatus: the slight break in articulation caused by the occurrence of contiguous vowels, either within a word as "naive" or in the final and beginning vowels of successive words, as "the umbrella."
ELLIPSIS (ih-LIP-suss), pl. ELLIPSES (ih-LIP-seez)
The omission of a word or words necessary to complete a grammatical construction, but which is easily understood by the reader, such as "the virtues I esteem" for "the virtues which I esteem." Also, the marks (. . .) or (--) denoting an omission or pause.
Sidelight: Other terms involving omissions in grammatical construction include: asyndeton, which omits conjunctions; zeugma and syllepsis, which use one word to serve for two; and aposiopesis, which omits a word or phrase at the end of a clause or sentence for effect.
See under Pattern Poetry

The feeling or capacity for awareness, understanding, and sensitivity one experiences when hearing or reading of some event or activity of others, thus imagining the same sensations as that of those actually experiencing them.

A deliberate stress of articulation on a word or phrase so as to give an impression of particular significance to it by the more marked pronunciation. In writing, emphasis is indicated by the use of italics or underlining.

(Compare Accent)
(See also under Spondee)

ENALLAGE (en-AL-uh-jee)
The effective use of a grammatically incorrect part of speech in place of the correct form, e.g., present tense in place of past tense, plural for singular, etc., as in the Punch magazine's "you pays your money, and you takes your choice."

(See also Catachresis, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia)
(Compare Hypallage)

See under Ekphrasis

ENCOMIUM (en-KOH-mee-um)
A speech or composition in high praise of a person, object, or event.
Sidelight: Other terms for works involving praise and commendation include the panegyric, a more formal and elaborate type of encomium, and the eulogy, which applies to praise of the character and accomplishments of a person only; the epinicion is a celebration of victory in an ode, both the hymn and the paean embrace praise addressed to gods, while the epithalamium and prothalamium honor a bride and bridegroom.
A rhyme occurring in the terminating word or syllable of one line of poetry with that of another line, as opposed to internal rhyme.

(See also Feminine Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme, Perfect Rhyme)

Denoting a line of verse in which a logical or rhetorical pause occurs at the end of the line, usually marked with a period, comma, or semicolon.
Sidelight: While correctly used to refer to a single line, the term is most frequently used in reference to the couplet, especially the closed or heroic couplet.
(Contrast Enjambment, Open Couplet, Run-On Lines)

The continuation of the sense and therefore the grammatical construction beyond the end of a line of verse or the end of a couplet.
Sidelight: This run-on device, contrasted with end-stopped, can be very effective in creating a sense of forward motion, fine-tuning the rhythm, and reinforcing the mood, as well as a variation to avoid monotony, but should not be used as a mere mannerism.
(See also Open Couplet)

A poetic device in which a line, phrase, or stanza is repeated so as to enclose other material, as in Dryden's:
      What passion cannot Music raise and quell!
              When Jubal struck the corded shell,
          His listening brethren stood around,
          And, wondering, on their faces fell
          To worship that celestial sound.
      Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
              Within the hollow of that shell
              That spoke so sweetly and so well.
      What passion cannot Music raise and quell!
Sidelight: The term can apply to rhyme as well. The rhyme scheme abba in a quatrain is termed an envelope rhyme since the rhymes of the first and last lines enclose the other lines.
(Compare Chain Verse, Chiasmus, Rondeau)

A short final stanza of a poem, especially a ballade or sestina, serving as a concise summary, as in Villon's "Des Dames du Temps Jadis."
Sidelight: The Occitan troubadours' term for an envoi was tornada (return). They used tornadas in chant royales as well as ballades.

EPANADIPLOSIS ( ehp-an-uh-duh-PLOH-sus)
See Anadiplosis

EPANALEPSIS (ehp-uh-nuh-LEP-sis)
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is repeated after intervening matter, as "Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more," from Milton's Lycidas. More specifically, the repetition, placed at the end of a sentence, line, clause, or phrase, of the word or words at the beginning of the same sentence, line, clause or phrase.

(See also Antanaclasis, Epizeuxis, Ploce, Polyptoton)

EPANAPHORA (ehp-uh-NAF-or-uh)
See Anaphora

An extended narrative poem, usually simple in construction, but grand in scope, exalted in style, and heroic in theme, often giving expression to the ideals of a nation or race.
Sidelight: Homer, the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, is sometimes referred to as the "Father of Epic Poetry." Based on the conventions he established, classical epics began with an argument and an invocation to a guiding spirit, then started the narrative in medias res. In modern use, the term, "epic," is generally applied to all lengthy works on matters of great importance.
(See also Chanson de Geste, Cycle, Epopee, Epos, Heroic Quatrain)
(Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy)
(Contrast Mock Epic)

See under Simile

A pithy, sometimes satiric, couplet or quatrain which was popular in classic Latin literature and in European and English literature of the Renaissance and the neo-Classical era. Epigrams comprise a single thought or event and are often aphoristic with a witty or humorous turn of thought. Coleridge wrote the following definition:
What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole,
Its body brevity, and wit its soul.
(See also Monostich, Heroic Couplet)
(Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Fable, Gnome, Proverb)

A quotation, or a sentence composed for the purpose, placed at the beginning of a literary work or one of its separate divisions, usually suggestive of the theme.

A song in celebration of triumph; an ode in praise of a victory in the Greek games or in war.

(See also Encomium, Pindaric Verse)

EPIPHORA (ehp-ih-FOH-ruh)
See Epistrophe

EPISTROPHE (ehp-ISS-truh-fee)
Also called epiphora, the repetition of a word or expression at the end of successive phrases or verses, as in Lincoln's "of the people, by the people, for the people."

(See also Anaphora, Symploce)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Echo , Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition,
                 Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses

A brief poem or statement in memory of someone who is deceased, used as, or suitable for, a tombstone inscription; a commemorative lamentation.

(See also Dirge, Elegy, Monody)

A nuptial song or poem in honor of the bride and bridegroom.
Sidelight: Spenser's Epithalamion, is widely regarded as a treasure of English literature.
Sidelight: Sir John Suckling's "A Ballad upon a Wedding," is a parody of an epithalamium.
(Compare Prothalamium)
(See also Encomium, Fescennine Verses)

An adjective or adjectival phrase, usually attached to the name of a person or thing, such as "Richard the Lion-Hearted," Milton's "ivy-crowned Bacchus" in "L'Allegro," or Homer's "rosy-fingered dawn."
Sidelight: With epithets, poets can compress the imaginative power of many words into a single compound phrase.
Sidelight: An epithet may be either positive or negative in connotation or allusion and sometimes may be freshly coined, like a nonce word, for a particular circumstance or occasion.
(Compare Antonomasia, Kenning, Periphrasis)

EPITRITE (EP-ih-trite)
In classical poetry, a metrical foot consisting of three long syllables and one short syllable, and denominated first, second, third or fourth, according to the position of the short syllable.

(Contrast Paeon)

EPIZEUXIS (eh-puh-ZOOK-sis)
A rhetorical device consisting of the immediate repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis, as in Milton's:

O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon.
Sidelight: The placement of a word before a repetition in an epizeuxis is called a diacope, as in Shakespeare's:

Words, words, more words, no matter from the heart.
(See also Antanaclasis, Epanalepsis, Ploce, Polyptoton)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Incremental Repetition,
                 Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses

A type of lyric poem in which a long verse is followed by a shorter one, or the third and last part of an ode, or the third part of a triadic Greek poem or Pindaric verse following the strophe and the antistrophe.

EPOPEE (eh-puh-PEE) or EPOPOEIA (eh-puh-PEE-uh)
An epic poem, or the history, action, or legend which is the subject of an epic poem.

(See also Chanson de Geste, Epos, Heroic Quatrain)
(Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy)

EPOS (EH-pahs)
An epic poem; also a number of poems of an epic theme but which are not formally united.

(See also Chanson de Geste, Epopee, Heroic Quatrain)
(Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy)

A brief narrative work in classic poetry written in dactylic hexameter. It commonly dealt with mythological themes, often with a romantic interest, and was characterized by vivid description, scholarly allusion , and an elevated tone.

See under Perfect Rhyme

An ambiguous word or phrase capable more than one interpretation, thus susceptible to use for puns.

ETHOS (EE-thahs)
See under Persona

EULOGY (YOO-luh-jee)
A speech or writing in praise of the character or accomplishments of a person.

(See also Encomium)

EUPHEMISM (YOO-fuh-mizm)
The substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression to replace one that might offend or suggest something unpleasant, for example, "he is at rest" is a euphemism for "he is dead."

(Contrast Dysphemism)

EUPHONY (YOO-fuh-nee)
Harmony or beauty of sound which provides a pleasing effect to the ear, usually sought-for in poetry for effect. It is achieved not only by the selection of individual word-sounds, but also by their arrangement in the repetition, proximity, and flow of sound patterns.
Sidelight: The consonants considered most pleasing in sound are l, m, n, r, v, and w. The harsher consonants in euphonious texts become less jarring when in the proximity of softer sounds. Vowel sounds are generally more euphonious than the consonants, so a line with a higher ratio of vowel sounds will produce a more agreeable effect; also, the long vowels in words like moon and fate are more melodious than the short vowels in cat and bed. But the most important measure of euphonic strategies is their appropriateness to the subject.
(See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Modulation, Sound Devices)
(Compare Resonance)
(Contrast Cacophony, Dissonance)

EUPHUISM (YOO-fyuh-wizm)
An ornate Elizabethan style of writing marked by the excessive use of alliteration, antithesis and mythological similes. The term derives from the elaborate and affected style of John Lyly's 16th century romance, Euphues.

(See also Baroque, Conceit, Gongorism, Marinism, Melic Verse)

See Perfect Rhyme

A metaphor which is drawn-out beyond the usual word or phrase to extend throughout a stanza or an entire poem, usually by using multiple comparisons between the unlike objects or ideas.
Sidelight: Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar," demonstrates the effectiveness of this device: metaphorically, he compares a sandbar in the Thames River over which ships cannot pass until high tide, with the natural time for completion of his own life's journey from birth to death.
(See also Conceit)

See Sight Rhyme

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Whoever can endure unmixed delight, whoever can tolerate music and painting and
poetry all in one, whoever wishes to be rid of thought and to let the busy anvils of the
brain be silent for a time, let him read the "Faery Queen."

---James Russell Lowell

Read Homer once, and you can read no more;
For all books else appear so mean, so poor,
Verse will seem prose, but still persist to read,
And Homer will be all the books you need.

---Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire