GLOSSARY OF POETIC TERMS
A B C D E F G
H I J
K L M N
O P Q R S T UV
- QUANTITIVE VERSE
- Verse which, rather than on the syllabic count or accent, is based on a
systematic succession of long and short
syllables, i.e., syllables which take a
longer or shorter quantity of time to pronounce. When the lines are properly read,
with the speed of articulation determined by varying vowel length and consonant
groupings, the rhythmic pattern develops naturally. The unit of measure in quantitive
verse is the mora.
Sidelight: Classical Greek and
Latin poetry were based on quantitive verse, while most modern English poetry
is a combination of accentual and syllabic versification.
(Compare Accentual Verse,
- QUATORZAIN (KAWT-ur-zayn or kat-ur-ZAN)
- A sonnet or any other poem of fourteen lines.
- A poem, unit, or stanza of four lines of verse, usually with a
rhyme scheme of abab or its variant, xbyb.
It is the most common stanzaic form.
Sidelight: The popular abab quatrain rhyme scheme,
as in Wordsworth's "She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways,"
is sometimes referred to as alternate rhyme or cross rhyme.
Its variant, xbyb, is found in folk ballads.
For In Memoriam, Tennyson used an abba scheme,
often called envelope rhyme. Two other rhyming possibilities are aabb,
which can produce an antithetical effect, and monorhymed or near-monorhymed quatrains, of which the
aaxa of Fitzgerald's The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám,
is an example. Sometimes two or more quatrains are interlocked by a chain rhyme, as in the
aaba, bbcb, ccdc, dddd of Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."
Sidelight: A curtal quatrain is a quatrain
in which the fourth line is shortened.
(See also Heroic Quatrain)
- QUEEN'S ENGLISH
- See King's English
- QUINTET or QUINTAIN
- A poem, unit, or stanza of five lines of verse.
(See also Cinquain)
I'm always saying something that's just the edge of something more.
Poetry is language that tells us, through a more or less
emotional reaction, something that cannot be said.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson
The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.