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The endeavor to portray an accurate portrayal of nature and real life without the imaginative representation of idealization.

(Compare Classicism, Imagism, Impressionism, Metaphysical,
                 Objectivism, Romanticism, Symbolism

See Ricochet Words

A stanza, line, part of a line, or phrase, generally pertinent to the central topic, which is repeated verbatim, usually at regular intervals throughout a poem, most often at the end of a stanza, as in Spenser's Prothalamion, or Villon's "Des Dames du Temps Jadis." Occasionally a single word is used as a refrain, as nevermore in Poe's "The Raven." Sometimes a refrain is written with progressive variations, in which case it may be termed incremental repetition.

(See also Burden, Repetend)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe,
                 Epizeuxis, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Stornello Verses

See under Haiku

REPETEND (REP-ee-tend)
The irregular repetition of a word, phrase, or line in a poem. It is a type of refrain, but differs in that it can appear at various places in the poem and may be only a partial repetition, as in Poe's "Ulalume."

A basic artistic device, fundamental to any conception of poetry. It is a highly effective unifying force; the repetition of sound, syllables, words, syntactic elements, lines, stanzaic forms, and metrical patterns establishes cycles of expectation which are reinforced with each successive fulfillment.
Sidelight: Repetition is so important to poetry that a large number of poetic devices are based on its different applications. Sometimes variations from the expected repetitions can also achieve a significant effect.
The quality of richness or variety of sounds in poetic texture, as in Milton's:
               and the thunder . . . ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
(See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance)
(Compare Euphony)

The recitation of a short epic poem or a longer epic abridged for recitation.

The art of speaking or writing effectively; skill in the eloquent use of language.
Sidelight: Rhetoric and poetry are inseparable companions.
A question solely for effect, with no answer expected. By the implication that the answer is obvious, it is a means of achieving an emphasis stronger than a direct statement, as in Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind:"
                                                       O, Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Having each succeeding unit in a poetic structure longer than the preceding one. Applied to a line, it means that each successive word is a syllable longer that its predecessor. Applied to a stanza, each successive line is longer by either a syllable or a metrical foot. Rhopalic verse is also called wedge verse.

In the specific sense, a type of echoing which utilizes a correspondence of sound in the final accented vowels and all that follows of two or more words, but the preceding consonant sounds must differ, as in the words, bear and care. In a broader poetic sense, however, rhyme refers to a close similarity of sound as well as an exact correspondence; it includes the agreement of vowel sounds in assonance and the repetition of consonant sounds in consonance and alliteration. Usually, but not always, rhymes occur at the ends of lines.
Sidelight: Originally rime, the spelling was changed due to the influence of its popular, but erroneous, association with the Latin word, rhythmus. Many purists continue to use rime as the proper spelling of the word.
Sidelight: Differences as well as identity in sound echoes between words contribute to the euphonic effect, stimulate intellectual appreciation, and serve to unify a poem. In addition, rhymes tend to heighten the significance of the words, provide a powerful mnemonic device, and complement the rhythmic quality of the lines.
Sidelight: Terms like near rhyme, half rhyme, and perfect rhyme function to distinguish between the types of rhyme without prejudicial intent and should not be interpreted as expressions of value.
Sidelight: Early examples of English poetry used alliterative verse instead of rhyme. The use of rhyme in the end words of verse originally arose to compensate for the sometimes unsatisfactory quality of rhythm within the lines; variations in the patterns of rhyme schemes then became functional in defining diverse stanza forms, such as, ottava rima, rhyme royal, terza rima, the Spenserian stanza, and others. Rhyme schemes are also significant factors in the definitions of whole poems, such as ballade, limerick, rondeau, sonnet, triolet, and villanelle.
(See Close Rhyme, End Rhyme, Feminine Rhyme, Internal Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme)
(See also Broken Rhyme, Disyllabic Rhyme, Mosaic Rhyme, Sight Rhyme, Triple Rhyme)

A stanza of seven lines of heroic or five-foot iambic verse, rhyming ababbcc. It probably received its name from its use by King James I of Scotland, who was also a poet. It was previously known as Troilus verse because Chaucer used it in Troilus and Criseyde.

The pattern established by the arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or poem, generally described by using letters of the alphabet to denote the recurrence of rhyming lines, such as the ababbcc of the Rhyme Royal stanza form.
Sidelight: The opening stanza of Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," with end rhymes of the words, cloud-hills-crowd-daffodils-trees-breeze, is described as having a rhyme scheme of ababcc; the two quatrains of the poem, "La Tour Eiffel," with end words of form-warm-storm-insouciance and earth-mirth-birth-France, have an interlocking or chain rhyme scheme of aaab cccb.
Sidelight: Capital letters in the alphabetic rhyme scheme are used for the repeating lines of a refrain; the letters x and y indicate unrhymed lines.
Sidelight: In quatrains, the popular rhyme scheme of abab, as in Wordsworth's "She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways," is called alternate rhyme or cross rhyme. Tennyson used an abba scheme, often called envelope rhyme, for In Memoriam. The rhyme scheme of Fitzgerald's The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is aaxa.
An inferior poet.

(See also Doggerel, Poetaster, Poeticule, Versifier)

A slang popular in Great Britain in the early part of the 20th century, in which a word was replaced by a word or phrase that rhymed with it, as loaf of bread for head. When the rhyme was a compound word or part of a phrase, the rhyming part was often dropped, so in the foregoing example, the word loaf alone would come to stand for head.
Sidelight: While most of the words derived from rhyming slang were likely to be understood only by those familiar with the idiom, some have continued in general English slang usage, as is the case with the above example.
An essential of all poetry, the regular or progressive pattern of recurrent accents in the flow of a poem as determined by the arses and theses of the metrical feet, i.e., the rise and fall of stress. The measure of rhythmic quantity is the meter.
Sidelight: A rhythmic pattern in which the accent falls on the final syllable of each foot, as in the iamb or anapest, is called a rising or ascending rhythm; a rhythmic pattern with the accent occurring on the first syllable of each foot, as in the dactyl or trochee, is a falling or descending rhythm.
Sidelight: From an easy lilt to the rough cadence of a primitive chant, rhythm is the organization of sound patterns the poet has created for pleasurable reading.
(See also Ictus, Modulation, Sprung Rhythm)
(Compare Caesura)

See under Perfect Rhyme

Hyphenated words, usually formed by reduplicating a word with a change in the vowel or the initial consonant sound, such as pitter-patter, chit-chat, riff-raff, wishy-washy, hob-nob, roly-poly, pell-mell, razzle-dazzle, etc.
Sidelight: There are a substantial number of ricochet words in both modern and ancient English. They usually convey an intensifying effect.
(See also Kenning, Tmesis)
(Compare Close Rhyme, Neologism, Nonce Word, Portmanteau Word)

An early form of open couplet, so named for its use by Chaucer to narrate the riding episodes of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales.

See Rhyme

RIME BRISÉE (reem bree-SAY)
See under Cross Rhyme

RIME ENCHAINÉE (reem ahn-sheh-NAY)
See under Chain Rhyme

See under Perfect Rhyme

Formerly a medieval tale in mixed prose and verse describing marvelous adventures of a hero of chivalry, it later came to mean a short lyric poem.

(Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Society Verse)

An 18th century movement revolting against the conventional strictness of neo-classicism and placing artistic emphasis on imagination and the emotions.

(Compare Classicism, Idealism, Imagism, Impressionism,
                 Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism, Symbolism

A fixed form used mostly in light or witty verse, usually consisting of fifteen octo- or decasyllabic lines in three stanzas, with only two rhymes used throughout. A word or words from the first part of the first line are used as a (usually unrhymed) refrain ending the second and third stanzas, so the rhyme scheme is aabba aabR aabbaR.
Sidelight: An example of the rondeau is the best-known poem from World War I, " In Flanders Fields," by Lt. Col. John McCrae.
Sidelight: The skillful writer of a rondeau, and similar forms, arranges the repetition of the refrain in such a way that it seems to come naturally, without being forced.
(Compare Rondel, Rondelet, Roundel, Triolet, Villanelle)
(See also Chain Verse, Envelope)

A variation of the rondeau in which the first two lines of the first stanza are repeated as the last two lines of the second and third stanzas, thus a rhyme scheme of ABba abAB abbaA(B). Sometimes only the first line of the poem is repeated at the end.

(Compare Rondelet, Triolet, Villanelle)

RONDELET (rahn-duh-LET)
A short variation of the rondeau consisting generally of one 7-line stanza with two rhymes. The first line has four syllables and is repeated as a refrain forming the third and seventh lines; the other lines have eight syllables each.

(Compare Rondel, Triolet, Villanelle)

A variation of the rondeau devised by A. C. Swinburne, demonstrated in his poem, "The Roundel." He shortened the stanzas and moved the first refrain from the second to the first stanza, thus revising the rhyme scheme to abaR bab abaR.

A poem with a refrain repeated frequently or at fixed intervals, as in a rondel.

See under Scansion

A Finnish or Old Norse poem.

(See also Edda, Skald)

See Open Couplet

Lines in which the thought continues into the next line, as opposed to end-stopped.
Sidelight: The occasional use of run-on lines, also called enjambment, provides a variation by making a pause in the thought appear at some place other than the end of a line, but they should not be over-used.
(See also Open Couplet)

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This is the truth the poet sings,
That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

---Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Truth is the highest thing that man may keep.

---Geoffrey Chaucer