Sidelight: Although now often considered a learning exercise for children, abecedarii were associated with divinity in ancient cultures.(Compare Serpentine Verses)
Sidelight: Two degrees of accent are natural to many multi-syllabic English words, designated as primary and secondary.
Sidelight: When a syllable is accented, it tends to be raised in pitch and lengthened. Any or a combination of stress/pitch/length can be a metrical accent.
Sidelight: A semantic shift in accent can alter meaning. In the statement, "give me the book," for example, the meaning can be altered depending on whether the word "me" or the word "book," receives the more prominent stress. In metrical verse, the meter might help determine the poet's intent, but not always.
Sidelight: In English, when the full accent falls on a vowel, as in PO-tion, that vowel is called a long vowel; when it falls on an articulation or consonant, as in POR-tion, the preceding vowel is a short vowel. In the classical Greek and Latin quantitive verse, however, long and short vowels referred to duration, i.e., how long they were held in utterance.(See also Cadence, Ictus, Modulation, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm, Wrenched Accent)
Sidelight: Most modern English poetry is a combination of accentual and syllabic verse.(Contrast Quantitive Verse)
Sidelight: An acephalous line might be an intentional variance by the poet or a matter of the scanning interpretation.(Compare Catalectic)
Sidelight: Strictly speaking, an acrostic uses the initial letters of the lines to form the word or message, as in the argument to Jonson's Volpone. If the medial letters are used, it is a mesostich; if the final letters, a telestich. The term acrostic, however, is commonly used for all three. When both the initial and final letters are used, it is called a double acrostic.(Compare Abecedarian Poem, Serpentine Verses)
Sidelight: The festival of Adonia was celebrated by women, who spent two days alternating between lamentations and feasting.(See also Sapphic Verse)
Sidelight: An adynaton can also be expressed negatively: "Not all the water in Lake Superior could satisfy his thirst."
(See also Helicon, Muse, Numen)
Sidelight: Though seldom appearing in English poetry, Alcaic verse was used by Tennyson in his ode, Milton.
Sidelight: The Alexandrine probably received its name from an old French romance, Alexandre le Grand, written about 1180, in which the measure was first used.
Sidelight: The last line of the Spenserian stanza is an Alexandrine.(See Poulter's Measure)
Sidelight: Though similar to both a series of symbols and an extended metaphor, the meaning of an allegory is more direct and less subject to ambiguity than a symbol; it is distinguishable from an extended metaphor in that the literal equivalent of an allegory's figurative comparison is not usually expressed.
Sidelight: The term, allegoresis, means the interpretation of a work on the part of a reader; since, by definition, the interpretation of an allegory is an essential factor, the two terms function together in a complementary fashion.
Sidelight: Probably the best-known allegory in English literature is Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene.(Compare Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb)
Sidelight: Alliteration has a gratifying effect on the sound, gives a reinforcement to stresses, and can also serve as a subtle connection or emphasis of key words in the line, but alliterated words should not "call attention" to themselves by strained usage.(See also Euphony, Modulation, Resonance)
In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,
Wente wide in this world wondres to here.
--The Vision of Piers Plowman, by William Langland, 1330?-1400?
Sidelight: To facilitate maintaining the alliterative pattern, poets made frequent use of a specialized vocabulary, consisting of many synonymous words seldom encountered outside of alliterative verse.
Sidelight: By the 14th century, rhyme and meter displaced alliteration as a formal element, although alliterative verse continued to be written into the 16th century and alliteration retains an important function as one of a poet's sound devices.
Sidelight: An allusion can be used by the poet as a means of imagery, since, like a symbol, it can suggest ideas by connotation. Like allegories and parodies, its effectiveness depends upon the reader's acquaintance with the reference alluded to.
Sidelight: Ambiguity can result from careless or evasive choice of words which bewilder the reader, but its deliberate use is often intended to unify the different interpretations into an expanded enrichment of the meaning of the original expression.
(See also Denotation,
From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine,(See also Macaronic Verse, Nonsense Poetry)
Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float,
Sidelight: Anachronisms most frequently appear in imaginative portrayals with historical settings, such as a clock in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and a reference to billiards in Antony and Cleopatra.
(Compare Hysteron Proteron, In Medias Res)
Sidelight: Francis Scott Key's 1814 poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," was set to the tune of a popular song of the day, "To Anacreon in Heaven," composed by John Stafford Smith as a drinking song for London's Anacreontic Society. In 1931 it was officially adopted by the U.S. Congress as the national anthem.
(See also Procephalic)
(Compare Feminine Ending, Hypercatalectic)
(Compare Anaphora, Chain Rhyme,
Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
Sidelight: Prevalent in literature, the use of an analogy carries the inference that if things agree in some respects, it's likely that they will agree in others.(Compare Simile, Symbol)
Sidelight: In English poetry, with the exception of limericks, anapestic verse is seldom used for whole poems, but can often be highly effective as a variation.(See also Meter, Rhythm)
(See also Epistrophe, Symploce)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Echo, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition,
Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
Meadows trim, with daisies pied,(Compare Antistrophe, Chiasmus, Hypallage)
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide;
Sidelight: Since the play on senses can be used to create homonymous puns, antanaclasis is related to paronomasia.(See also Epanalepsis, Epizeuxis, Ploce, Polyptoton)
(See also Canon, Companion Poem, Cycle, Lyric Sequence, Sonnet Sequence)
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,An anticlimax also occurs in a series in which the ideas or events ascend toward a climactic conclusion but terminate instead in a thought of lesser importance. Bathos is an anticlimax which is unintentional.
Dost sometimes counsel take -- and sometimes tea.
(See also Purple Patch)
(Compare Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Oxymoron, Parody, Satire)
(See also Epode)
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,Also, an antithesis is the second of two contrasting or opposing constituents, following the thesis.
(Compare Cataphora, Metonymy)
(Compare Homonym, Paronym, Synonym)
(See also Aphesis)
(Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb)
(Compare Aphaeresis, Syncope, Synaeresis, Synaloepha)
(Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Gnome, Proverb)
O solitude! Where are the charmsAn apostrophe is also a punctuation mark used to indicate the omission of letter(s) in an elision.
That sages have seen in thy face?
Sidelight: When the poet addresses a muse or a god for inspiration, it is called an invocation.(Compare Prosopopeia)
(See also Bucolic, Eclogue, Idyll, Madrigal)
Sidelight: Spenser's The Faerie Queene contains a number of archaisms. Syntactic inversions such as the hyperbaton can also also provide an archaic effect.
Sidelight: In musical terminology, the arsis is the upbeat, the unaccented part of a measure; due to an early confusion which was later recognized but never reversed, the meaning of the term is the opposite when used in reference to the poetic foot.(Contrast Thesis)
Sidelight: The effective use of internal assonantal sounds is displayed throughout Byron's "She Walks in Beauty."(See also Euphony, Near Rhyme, Resonance, Sound Devices)
Sidelight: The dawn song is also known as an alba (Provençal), aube (Old French), and tagalied (German).(Compare Serenade)
(See Imagism, Impressionism, Objectivism, Realism, Symbolism)
Sidelight: Many old-time ballads were written and performed by minstrels attached to noblemen's courts. Folk ballads are of unknown origin and are usually lacking in artistic finish. Meant to be sung, but often studied as poetry, the texts are independent of the melodies, which are often used for a number of different ballads. Because they are handed down by oral tradition, folk ballads are subject to variations and continual change. Other types of ballads include those transferred from rural to urban settings, and literary ballads, combining the natures of epic and lyric poetry, which are written by known authors, often in the style and form of the folk ballad, such as Keats' "La Belle Dame sans Merci" or Scott's "Jock o' Hazeldean."(See also Broadside Ballad, Lay, Tragedy)
Sidelight: The ballade was prominent in French literature from the 14th to the 16th century and was favored by many poets, including Francois Villon, for example, in poems such as "Des Dames du Temps Jadis." In the nineteenth century it was popular with poets like Verlaine and Baudelaire. In English literature, Chaucer wrote ballades and some late-nineteenth century English poets also used the form.(Compare Chant Royale)
Sidelight: Today the term is popularly applied to poets of significant repute as a title of honor, with William Shakespeare being known as "The Bard of Avon" and Robert Burns as "The Bard of Ayrshire."(See also Metrist, Poet, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith)
(Compare Ternary Meter)
The qua | lity | of mer | cy is | not strain'd,
It drop | peth as | the gen | tle rain | from heaven
Upon | the place | beneath; | it is | twice blest:
It bles | seth him | that gives | and him | that takes;
Sidelight: Blank verse and free verse are often misunderstood or confused. A good way to remember the difference is to think of the word blank as meaning that the ends of the lines where rhymes would normally appear are "blank," i.e., devoid of rhyme; the free in free verse refers to the freedom from fixed patterns of traditional versification.(See also Verse Paragraph)
(See also Crambo)
Sidelight: The rogue, Autolycus, in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, is a peddler whose wares include broadside ballads.
(See also Arcadia, Eclogue, Idyll, Madrigal)
(See also Motif, Theme)
(See also Hudibrastic Verse,
Lampoon, Mock Epic,
(Compare Antiphrasis, Irony, Purple Patch)
Sidelight: Sound devices are important to poetry. To create sounds appropriate to the content, the poet may sometimes prefer to achieve a cacophonous effect instead of the more commonly sought-for euphony. The use of words with the consonants b, k and p, to cite one example, produce harsher sounds than the soft f and v or the liquid l, m and n.(See also Dissonance)
Sidelight: Cadence differs from meter in that it is not necessarily regular, but rather a more flexible concept of rhythm such as is characteristic of free verse and prose poetry.(See also Accent, Ictus, Sprung Rhythm, Stress)
Sidelight: As a grammatical, rhythmic, and dramatic device, as well as an effective means of avoiding monotony, the caesura is a subtle but effective weapon in the skilled poet's arsenal.
Sidelight: Since caesura and pause are often used interchangeably, it is better to use metrical pause for the type of "rest" which compensates for the omission of a syllable.
Sidelight: A caesura occurring at the end of a line is not marked in the scanning process.
Sidelight: The classical caesura was a break caused by the ending of a word within a foot.(See Diaeresis)
Sidelight: Other literary groupings or collections include sonnet sequences, lyric sequences, cycles, companion poems, and anthologies.
Sidelight: The word "canzone" is derived from the Latin cantio (a song) and normally embraced subjects like love, heroic courage, or moral virtue. Milton's pastoral elegy, Lycidas, is an example in English poetry of a structure similar to the canzone.(Compare Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Romance, Society Verse)
(See also Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia)
Sidelight: In versification, poets sometimes use catalexis in lines of trochaic and dactylic verse to achieve a final accented syllable for a strong close or a rhyme, as did William Blake in the poem, "Tyger! Tyger!"(Compare Acatalectic, Acephaly, Hypercatalectic)
(Compare Antonomasia, Metonymy)
(Compare Parody, Pastiche)
Sidelight: Another type of chain rhyme, which is usually referred as rime enchainée, links consecutive lines, with the last word of one line rhyming with the first word of the following line.(Compare Anadiplosis, Envelope Rhyme)
(Compare Envelope, Rondeau)
(See Jongleur, Trouvere)
(See also Epic, Epopee, Epos, Heroic Quatrain)
(Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy)
Sidelight: The chant royale was originally used by 12th century troubadours and trouveres. Its 60-line length provided increased range for elaboration of the subject matter, which often dealt with satirical observations as well as elevated topics.
Sidelight: While the term, chiasmus, is usually used in reference to syntax and word order, it also includes the repetition in reverse of any element of a poem, including sound patterns.
Sidelight: An antimetabole (an-tye-muh-TAB-uh-lee) is a type of chiasmus in which the words reversed involve a repetition of the same words, as "do not live to eat, but eat to live," or Shakespeare's "Remember March, the ides of March remember." The distinction is not generally observed, however.(See also Anastrophe, Hypallage)
(See also Quintet)
(Compare Idealism, Imagism,
Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism)
Sir Humphrey Davy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
Sidelight: The term is usually applied to the point of supreme interest in a series of thoughts or events, often the turning point of a play or narrative.
(See also Distich, Heroic Couplet)
Sidelight: Close rhymes are a distinguishing characteristic of echo verse.(Compare Ricochet Words)
Sidelight: A meter of 4-line stanzas of tetrameter verse is called a long meter (L.M.). A meter of 4-line stanzas in which the first, second, and fourth lines are trimeter and the third tetrameter is called a short meter (S.M.). The meter of 8-line stanzas of which the first four lines are tetrameter and the last four are trimeter is called hallelujah meter (H.M.).
Sidelight: While essentially the same as ballad meter, common measure is more regularly iambic.
(See also Anthology, Canon, Cycle, Lyric Sequence, Sonnet Sequence)
Sidelight: The term is derived from concetto, Italian for "concept." Most modern conceits are written in a more condensed form.(See also Euphuism, Gongorism, Marinism, Melic Verse, Metaphysical)
(Compare Pattern Poetry, Visual Poetry)
Sidelight: Sometimes one of the connotations of a word gains enough widespread acceptance to become a denotation.(See also Allusion, Symbol)
Sidelight: Consonance most often occurs within a line. When used at line ends in place of rhyme, as in the words, cool and soul, in the third stanza of Emily Dickinson's "He Fumbles at your Spirit," it is sometimes referred to as consonantal rhyme to differentiate it from perfect rhyme and other types of near rhyme.
Sidelight: In a more general sense, consonance also refers to a pleasing combination of sounds; sounds in agreement with tone.(See also Euphony, Modulation, Resonance, Sound Devices)
(Compare Diction, Form, Motif, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: A knowledge of conventions, particularly from a historical aspect, aids the reader in the understanding, interpretation, and appreciation of literary works, particularly poems following the classical pastoral and epic conventions.
Sidelight: Conventions can change over time. Their very existence fosters the emergence of originality and serves as a comparative measure and contrast to new concepts.
Sidelight: If the couplet is written in iambic pentameter, it is called a heroic couplet.(See also Closed Couplet. Open Couplet, Distich, Elegiac)
(See also Bouts-Rimes)
Sidelight: Another name for the cretic foot is amphimacer.
Sidelight: Cross rhyming derives from long-line verse such as hexameter in which two lines have caesural words rhymed together and end words rhymed together, as in Swinburne's:Fate is a sea without shore, and the soul is a rock that abides;As written above, the rhyme pattern what the French call rime brisée; if the two long lines were to be split after the caesuras into four short lines, the rhyme pattern would become a cross rhyme.
But her ears are vexed with the roar and her face with the foam of the tides.
(Compare Envelope Rhyme)
Sidelight: After the death of Homer, a certain group of epic poets, between 800 and 550 BC, wrote continuations and additions on the subject of the Trojan War; chief among them were Agias, Arctinos, Eugamon, Lesches and Strasinos. Since their writing was confined to that single subject, they were referred to as cyclic poets.(See also Anthology, Canon, Companion Poem, Lyric Sequence, Sonnet Sequence)
Sidelight: Except for their use in humorous light verse, dactylic lines are now infrequent in English poetry.(See also Double Dactyl, Meter, Rhythm)
(See Poems of Chance)
(See also Dodecasyllable, Hendecasyllable, Heptasyllable, Octosyllable)
Sidelight: Many words have more than one denotation, such as the multiple meanings of fair or spring. In ordinary language, we strive for a single precise meaning of words to avoid ambiguity, but poets often take advantage of words with more than one meaning to suggest more than one idea with the same word. A pun also utilizes multiple meanings as a play on words.
Sidelight: In classical prosody, the diaeresis was a break or pause in a line of verse occurring when the end of a foot coincides with the end of a word.(Compare Caesura)
Sidelight: Poetic diction refers to words, phrasing, and figures not usually used in ordinary speech and often utilizes archaisms, neologisms, epithets, kennings, periphrases, connotations, and hyperbaton.
Sidelight: Poets often adapt diction to the form or genre of a poem, for example, elevated for odes, or folksy for ballads.(Compare Content, Form, Motif, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: Didactic poetry can assume the manner and attributes of imaginative works by incorporating the knowledge in a variety of forms, such as dramatic poetry, satire, and parody, among others. Allegories, aphorisms, apologues, fables, gnomes, and proverbs are so closely related to didactic poetry that they can be considered specific types of that genre.
Sidelight: Although the instructional purpose is its primary aim, didactic poetry often contains vivid descriptive passages, digressions, and thoughtful reflections bearing on the subject matter.(See also Georgic)
Sidelight: Sometimes heavy and light stresses alternate in the accented syllables of verse. When such alternations are frequent enough to establish a discernable pattern, the meter is scanned in units of two feet instead of one and termed dipodic verse.
Sidelight: In contrast to an elegy, the principle aim of the dirge is to lament the dead, rather than to console survivors.(See also Epitaph, Monody)
Sidelight: The term, dissonance, can also refer to any elements of a poem which are discordant in the context of their use.
Sidelight: Although often considered synonymous with cacophony, the term dissonance more strongly implies a deliberate choice.(Contrast Euphony)
Sidelight: If the end words of a distich rhyme, it is called a couplet.(See also Closed Couplet, Open Couplet, Heroic Couplet)
(See also Monosyllable, Polysyllable, Trisyllable)
Sidelight: In the above examples of disyllabic rhymes, fender and bender are also a feminine rhyme, while beguile and revile are also a masculine rhyme.(See also Mosaic Rhyme, Triple Rhyme)
Sidelight: John Dryden's "Alexander's Feast," bears a resemblance to the dithyrambic form.
Sidelight: Long ago, the word "ditty" served as a verb, meaning to sing a song or set words to music, but its use as such became obsolete by the 16th century.(Compare Versicle)
(See also Decasyllable, Hendecasyllable, Heptasyllable, Octosyllable)
(See Broadside Ballad)
(See also Poetaster, Poeticule, Rhymester, Versifier)
Doctor D. Livingstone
Scottish explorer of
Note, but of whom
Chiefly we know by the
Greeting by Stanley, who
said, "I presume."
(See also Conversation Poem,
Sidelight: Dramatic, lyric, and narrative are the three main groups of poetry. It is possible, however, for a poem to combine the characteristics of all three.
(See also Anadiplosis, Anaphora,
Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Rhyme, Stornello Verses)
(See also Close Rhyme)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 Arcadia, Bucolic, Idyll, Madrigal)
Sidelight: The first collection contains the mythology of the people; the second, selections from the poetry of the Skalds.(See also Rune)
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)
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)
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."
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 also under Spondee)
(See also Catachresis,
Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron,
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.
(See also Feminine Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme, Perfect Rhyme)
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)
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)
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)
Sidelight: The Occitan troubadours' term for an envoi was tornada (return). They used tornadas in chant royales as well as ballades.
(See also Antanaclasis, Epizeuxis, Ploce, Polyptoton)
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)
What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole,(See also Monostich, Heroic Couplet)
Its body brevity, and wit its soul.
(See also Encomium, Pindaric Verse)
(See also Anaphora, Symploce)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Echo , Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition,
Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
(See also Dirge, Elegy, Monody)
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)
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)
Sidelight: The placement of a word before a repetition in an epizeuxis is called a diacope, as in Shakespeare's:(See also Antanaclasis, Epanalepsis, Ploce, Polyptoton)
Words, words, more words, no matter from the heart.
(See also Chanson de Geste,
(Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy)
(See also Chanson de Geste,
(Compare Ballad, Narrative, Tragedy)
(See also Encomium)
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)
(See also Baroque, Conceit, Gongorism, Marinism, Melic Verse)
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)
Sidelight: Fables in which animals speak and act as humans are sometimes called beast fables. Beast Epics are longer narratives, often satirical, written in mock-epic form.(Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Gnome, Proverb)
(See Jongleur, Trouvere)
Of old, when Scarron his companions invited(Contrast Masculine Rhyme)
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united,
(See also Epithalamium, Prothalamium)
Sidelight: Some rhetoricians have classified over 200 separate figures of speech, but many are so similar that differences of interpretation often make their classification an arbitrary judgment. How they are classified, or "labeled," however, is secondary to the importance of construing their effect correctly.
Sidelight: Figures of speech are also a means of concentration; they enable the poet to convey an image with the connotative power of a few words, where a great many would otherwise be required.(See also Trope)
The other metrical feet are the amphibrach, antibacchius, antispast, bacchius, choriamb, cretic, diiamb, dispondee, dochmius, molossus, proceleusmatic, pyrrhic, and tribrach, plus two variations of the ionic, four variations of the epitrite, and four variations of the paeon. The structure of a poetic foot does not necessarily correspond to word divisions, but is determined in context by the feet which surround it.
Sidelight: A line of verse may or may not be written in identical feet; variations within a line are common. Consequently, the classification of verse as iambic, anapestic, trochaic, etc., is determined by the foot which is dominant in the line.
Sidelight: To help his young son remember them, Coleridge wrote the poem, "Metrical Feet."(See Dipody)
Sidelight: The form of a poem which follows a set pattern of rhyme scheme, stanza form, and refrain (if there is one), is called a fixed form, examples of which include: ballade, limerick, pantoum, rondeau, sestina, sonnet, triolet, and villanelle. Used in this sense, form is closely related to genre.
Sidelight: While familiarity and practice with established forms is essential to learning the craft, a poet needn't be slavishly bound by them; a great poet masters techniques, experiments, and extends his or her imaginative creativity to new boundaries.(Compare Diction, Motif, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: If two fourteeners are split into hemistichs to form a quatrain of alternating tetrameter and trimeter lines with a rhyme scheme of xbyb, they become ballad meter.(See Heptameter, Poulter's Measure, Septenarius)
Sidelight: Although as ancient as Anglo-Saxon verse, free verse was first employed "officially" by French poets of the Symbolist movement and became the prevailing poetic form at the climax of Romanticism. In the 20th century it was the chosen medium of the Imagists and was widely adopted by American and English poets.
Sidelight: One of the characteristics that distinguish free verse from rhythmical prose is that free verse has line breaks which divide the content into uneven rhythmical units. The liberation from metrical regularity allows the poet to select line breaks appropriate to the intended sense of the text, as well as to shape the white space on the page for visual effect.
Sidelight: Free verse enjoys a greater potential for visual arrangement than is possible in metrical verse. Free verse poets can structure the relationships between white space and textual elements to indicate pause, distance, silence, emotion, and other effects.
Sidelight: Poorly written free verse can be viewed simply as prose with arbitrary line breaks. Well-written free verse can approach a proximity to the representation of living experience.(See also Polyphonic Prose, Polyrhythmic Verse)
Sidelight: The term, genre, is frequently used interchangeably with "type" and "kind."
Sidelight: The poet, James Thomson, was called the "English Virgil" after his writing of The Seasons, which is similar in content and form to Virgil's Georgics.
(See also Canzone, Ode, Melic Verse, Romance, Society Verse)
(Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Proverb)
Sidelight: The unprincipled traits of Geoffrey Chaucer's Friar and the Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales were probably influenced by the Goliardic poet, Jean De Meun, in his portion of the 13th century extended allegorical poem, Roman de la Rose, in which the friar Faus-Semblant reveals his hypocrisy though his own words.
(See also Baroque, Conceit, Euphuism, Marinism, Melic Verse)
A field of tulips--
convulsions of vivid hues
bouncing on the breeze
Sidelight: Haiku derived from the hokku, which was the opening part of the renga, a lengthy Japanese poem usually composed by several poets writing alternating stanzas.
Sidelight: After World War II, haiku attracted an increasing interest among American poets and is now written in many other languages as well, often with experimental changes in the form. The original Japanese haiku was written in a one-line format(See also Senryu, Tanka, Cinquain)
Sidelight: The tragic hero is usually of high estate and neither entirely virtuous nor bad. Hamartia, rather than villainy, is the significant factor leading to his suffering. He evokes our pity because, not being an evil person, his misfortune is a greater tragedy than he deserves and is disproportionate to the "flaw." We are also moved to fear, as we recognize the possibilities of similar errors or defects in ourselves.
(See also Afflatus, Numen, Parnassian)
Sidelight: Alliterative verse was composed with two hemistichs on a single line, divided by a caesura.(Compare Stich, Monostich, Distich, Stichomythia)
(See also Decasyllable, Dodecasyllable, Heptasyllable, Octosyllable)
Sidelight: Shakespeare's works contain many examples of hendiadys, such as "sound and fury" (furious sound) in Macbeth, and "heat and flame" (hot flame) in Hamlet.(Compare Prolepsis, Syllepsis. Zeugma)
Sidelight: A heptameter is called a fourteener when it is iambic.(See Meter)
(See also Decasyllable, Dodecasyllable, Hendecasyllable, Octosyllable)
You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come.
Knock as you please--there's nobody at home.
Sidelight: Poems written in heroic couplets, such as Pope's The Rape of the Lock, are especially subject to the danger of metrical monotony, which poets avoid by variations in their placement of caesuras.(See also Couplet, Distich, Open Couplet)
Sidelight: The English form of the heroic quatrain is also called the elegiac stanza for its frequent use in elegiac verse, as in Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." The form has also been used by other poets without elegiac intent, as in Shakespeare's sonnets.(See also Chanson de Geste, Epopee, Epos, Quatrain, Rhyme Royal)
Sidelight: A hexameter is called an Alexandrine when it is iambic or trochaic in its English version.(See Meter)
Sidelight: Although often called homonyms in popular usage (indeed, in some dictionaries as well), homophones are words which are identical in pronunciation but different in meaning or derivation or spelling, as rite, write, right, and wright, or rain and reign. Heteronyms are words which are identical in spelling but different in meaning and pronunciation, as sow, to scatter seed, and sow, a female hog. Homographs are words which are identical in spelling but different in meaning and derivation or pronunciation, as pine, to yearn for, and pine, a tree, or the bow of a ship and a bow and arrow.(Compare Antonym, Paronym, Synonym)
Sidelight: John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale" is an example of a Horatian ode.(See also Sapphic Verse)
(See also Spondee, Sprung Rhythm)
(See also Burlesque, Parody,
(Compare Antiphrasis, Irony)
(See also Paean, Encomium)
With rainy marching in the painful field(Compare Anastrophe, Chiasmus)
---Shakespeare, Henry V, IV.iii
Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?
--- Shakespeare, Othello, IV.ii
While the cock . . .
Stoutly struts his dames before;
--- Milton, "L'Allegro"
Sidelight: The poetic use of hyperbaton is the principal difference in diction between poetry and prose. Poets utilize it to meet the needs of meter or rhyme, for emphasis or rhetorical effect, and to temper the flow of narrative.
Sidelight: A type of hyperbole in which the exaggeration magnified so greatly that it refers to an impossibility is called an adynaton.(Contrast Litotes, Meiosis)
(Contrast Acatalectic, Catalectic)
(See also Hypercatalectic)
(Compare Anachronism, In Medias Res)
Sidelight: The name of the iambic foot derives from the Greek iambos, a genre of invective poetry (now termed lampoon) with which it was originally associated.(See also Meter, Rhythm)
(See also Cadence, Modulation, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm)
(Compare Classicism, Imagism,
Objectivism, Romanticism, Symbolism)
Sidelight: Idyll is the anglicized version of the Greek Eidillion.
Probably because the adjectival form of the word "idyll," idyllic, is commonly used in a sense of tranquility, charm, innocence, and ideal virtues, the term is applied to poetry with wide latitude, as in Tennyson's Idylls of the King.(See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Eclogue, Madrigal)
Sidelight: Imaginative diction transfers the poet's impressions of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch to the careful reader, as in "The Chambered Nautilus," by Oliver Wendell Holmes, or "The Cloud," by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Sidelight: In addition to its more tangible initial impact, effective imagery has the potential to tap the inner wisdom of the reader to arouse meditative and inspirational responses.
Sidelight: Related images are often clustered or scattered throughout a work, thus serving to create a particular tone. Images of disease, corruption, and death, for example, are recurrent patterns shaping the tonality of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Imagery can also emphasize a theme, as do the suggestions of dissolution, depression, and mortality in John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale."(See also Ekphrasis, Figure of Speech, Trope)
(See also Avant-Garde)
(Compare Classicism, Idealism, Impressionism,
Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism)
(Compare Classicism, Idealism, Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism)
(Compare Minstrel, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Jongleur, Troubadour, Trouvere)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora,
Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
Sidelight: In contrast, ab ovo (from the egg) refers to starting at the chronological beginning of a narrative.(Compare Anachronism, Hysteron Proteron)
Sidelight: Interior monologue and "stream of consciousness" are often used interchangeably, but interior monologue may be limited to an ordered presentation of rational thoughts, while stream of consciousness typically includes sensory, associative, and subliminal impressions intermixed with rational thought.(See also Dramatic Monologue)
(See also Leonine Verse)
Sidelight: The use of irony can be very effective, providing it is reasonably obvious and not likely to be taken so literally that the reader is left with the opposite of what was meant to convey. It should also be noted that irony, of itself, is not bitter or cruel, but may become so when used as a vehicle for satire or sarcasm.(See also Antiphrasis)
(Compare Nursery Rhyme)
Sidelight: Prior to the 10th century, the term jongleur was applied to actors, acrobats, jugglers, and entertainers in general.(See also Gleeman, Improvisatore, Minstrel, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Troubadour)
Sidelight: Beowulf, the oldest known epic poem in English, contains numerous examples of kennings. Milton used the kenning, day-star, for sun, in Lycidas.(See also Ricochet Words, Tmesis)
Sidelight: The origin of the term is uncertain, but it appeared in Wilson's Arte of Rhetoricke, in 1553 and in Act 1, Scene 4 of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, in about 1597:(Contrast Solecism)
What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement,
and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any
body in the house, here will be an old abusing of
God's patience and the king's English.
(See also Lay, Virelay)
Sidelight: Before the term lampoon was coined, it was called invective and dates back as far as the origin of poetry itself. It now appears primarily in prose, however, except for its occasional use in epigrams.(See also Burlesque, Parody, Pasquinade)
(See also Tragedy)
Sidelight: Since internal rhyme is the most significant feature of Leonine verse, the two terms are often used synonymously.
Sidelight: the final line of Lear's limericks usually was a repetition of the first line, but modern limericks generally use the final line for clever witticisms.
Sidelight: As shown by these examples, limericks, while unsuitable for serious verse, lend themselves well to humor and word-play. Their content also frequently tends toward the ribald and off-color.
Sidelight: The line is fundamental to the perception of poetry, since it is an important factor in the distinction between prose and verse.
Sidelight: In metrical verse, line lengths are usually determined by genre or convention, as well as by meter. But otherwise, and especially in free verse, a poet can give emphasis to a word or phrase by isolating it in a short line.
Sidelight: In recitation aloud (performance), the line-end is a signal for a slight, non-metrical pause.
Sidelight: The traditional practice of capitalizing the initial line-letters contributes to the visual perception of the line as a unit; this practice is often not observed in modern free verse.(See also Stich)
Sidelight: Lyric is derived from the Greek word for lyre and originally referred to poetry sung to musical accompaniment.
Sidelight: A lyric sequence is a group of poems, mostly lyric verse, that interact as a structural whole, differing from a long poem by the inclusion of unlike forms and diverse areas of focus.(See Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Romance, Society Verse)
(See also Amphigouri)
Sidelight: The name of Sheridan's character, Mrs. Malaprop, was taken from the French expression for "inappropriate" or "out of place," mal à propos.(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox, Solecism, Synesthesia)
(See also Baroque, Conceit, Euphuism, Gongorism, Melic Verse)
(Contrast Feminine Rhyme)
Sidelight: While the two terms are usually used synonymously, meter suggests a predictable regularity, so measure is more aptly used in reference to the irregular rhythm of free verse.(See Accentual Verse, Quantitive Verse, Syllabic Verse)
Sidelight: Just as a hyperbole can underscore a truth by overstatement, the meiosis achieves the same effect with understatement.(See also Litotes)
Sidelight: Applicants had to study poetry and singing while learning their trade and pass examinations through degrees of "scholars," "schoolmen," "singers," and "poets," to eventually become Meistersingers (Mastersingers). The most famous of the Meistersingers was Hans Sachs (1494-1576), to whom about 6,000 poems are attributed.(See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Minstrel, Troubadour, Trouvere)
Sidelight: Melic verse was the forerunner of lyric verse.(Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Ode, Pindaric Verse, Romance, Society Verse)
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.
--- Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
--- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind"
. . . The cherished fields
Put on their winter robe of purest white.
--- James Thomson, The Seasons
Sidelight: While most metaphors are nouns, verbs can be used as well:Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
--- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Cloud"
Sidelight: The poetic metaphor can be thought of as having two basic components: (1) what is meant, and (2) what is said. The thing meant is called the tenor, while the thing said, which embodies the analogy brought to the subject, is called the vehicle.
Sidelight: Both metaphors and similes are comparisons between things which are unlike, but a simile expresses the comparison directly, while a metaphor is an implied comparison that gains emphatic force by its connotative value.
Sidelight: A word or expression like "the leg of the table," which originally was a metaphor but which has now been assimilated into common usage, has lost its figurative value; thus, it is called a dead metaphor.
Sidelight: Frequently, the term metaphor, as opposed to a metaphor, is used to include all figures of speech, so the expression, "metaphorically speaking," refers to speaking figuratively rather than literally.(See also Allegory, Conceit, Extended Metaphor, Mixed Metaphor,
(Compare Classicism, Idealism,
Objectivism, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism)
The metrical element of sound makes a valuable contribution to the mood and total effect of a poem.
Sidelight: In the composition of verse, poets sometimes make deviations from the systematic metrical patterns. This is often desirable because (1) variations will avoid the mechanical "te-dum, te-dum" monotony of a too-regular rhythm and (2) changes in the metrical pattern are an effective way to emphasize or reinforce meaning in the content. These variations are introduced by substituting different feet at places within a line. (Poets can also employ a caesura, use run-on lines and vary the degrees of accent by skillful word selection to modify the rhythmic pattern, a process called modulation. Accents heightened by semantic emphasis also provide diversity.) A proficient writer of poetry, therefore, is not a slave to the dictates of metrics, but neither should the poet stray so far from the meter as to lose the musical value or emotional potential of rhythmical repetition. Of course, in modern free verse, meter has become either irregular or non-existent.
Sidelight: Generally speaking, it is advisable for poets to delay the introduction of metrical variations until the ear of the reader has had time to become accustomed to the basic rhythmic pattern.
Sidelight: In music, the term, rubato, refers to rhythmic variations from the written score applied in the performance.(See Common Measure, Scan, Scansion)
Sidelight: Some metonymic expressions, like paleface for white man or salt for sailor, have become so much a part of everyday language that they can no longer be considered as figurative in a poetic sense.(Compare Antonomasia, Cataphora)
Sidelight: Neither a metrical pause itself nor its length can be scanned, but scansion will show the omission of the unstressed syllable(s) it replaces.
Sidelight: Edgar Allan Poe described the metrical pause as "a variable foot which is the most important in all verse," but some theorists disagree that a time value is valid in modern metrics.
Sidelight: A pause that is non-metrical and expressed only in the performance is called a caesura.
(See also Bard, Poet, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith)
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,(See also Ekphrasis, Sound Devices)
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows.
Sidelight: The Minnesingers used the collective term, Minnesang, for their work on themes of courtly love.(See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Minstrel, Troubadour, Trouvere)
(See also Gleeman,
(Compare Bard, Metrist, Sonneteer, Wordsmith)
Sidelight: The effect of a mixed metaphor can be absurd as well as sublime.(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Oxymoron, Paradox, Synesthesia)
Sidelight: An outstanding example in English verse is Pope's The Rape of the Lock, which he wrote to expose the absurdity of a threatened feud between two families over an incident in which a young baron cut a curl from the head of a society belle.(See also Hudibrastic Verse)
Sidelight: Modulation is a process by which the stress values of accents can be increased or decreased within a fixed metrical pattern.(See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Euphony)
(See also Dirge, Elegy, Epitaph)
(See also Ghazal)
(Compare Distich, Hemistich)
Sidelight: Although the idea of a monosyllabic foot in English verse has been proposed, i.e., an accented syllable plus a hypothetical pause, the notion that pauses may constitute parts of feet is contrary to generally accepted metrical theories.(See also Disyllable, Polysyllable, Trisyllable)
Sidelight: Byron's Don Juan contains many examples of mosaic rhymes.(See also Disyllabic Rhyme, Triple Rhyme)
(See also Burden, Theme)
(Compare Content, Diction, Form, Persona, Style, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: In Greek mythology, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne were called the Muses, each of whom was identified with an individual art or science. While there are historic inconsistencies in the records that have been handed down, a common listing is as follows:(See also Afflatus, Helicon, Numen, Parnassian, Pierian)Calliope (kuh-LY-uh-pee): Muse of epic poetry
Clio (KLY-oh or KLEE-oh): Muse of history
Erato (EHR-uh-toh): Muse of lyric and love poetry
Euterpe (yoo-TUR-pee): Muse of music, especially wind instruments
Melpomene (mel-PAH-muh-nee): Muse of tragedy
Polymnia (pah-LIM-nee-uh): Muse of sacred poetry
Terpsichore (turp-SIK-uh-ree): Muse of dance and choral song
Thalia (thuh-LY-uh): Muse of comedy
Urania (yooh-RAY-nee-uh): Muse of astronomy
Sidelight: A narrative poem contains more detail than a ballad and is not intended to be sung.(See also Epyllion, Fable, Fabliau, Lay, Tragedy)
Sidelight: Due to changes in pronunciation, some near rhymes in modern English were perfect rhymes when they were originally written in Old English.(See also Assonance)
(Compare Nonce Word, Portmanteau Word)
Sidelight: Sometimes a nonce word gains acceptance in the general language, as gerrymander, which means to manipulate unfairly, such as to arbitrarily rearrange the boundaries of a political district to give one party an unfair advantage. This word was coined in 1812, when a voting district was formed with an irregular shape suggesting a resemblance to a salamander during the administration of Elbridge Gerry, then governor of Massachusetts. A word thus adopted into standard usage then ceases to be a nonce word.(Compare Neologism, Portmanteau Word, Ricochet Words)
(See also Amphigouri, Macaronic Verse)
Sidelight: The term derives from the quantitive verse of classic prosody, in which the count of morae indicated the mathematical proportions in meter.
(See also Afflatus, Helicon, Muse)
(Compare Classicism, Idealism,
Metaphysical, Realism, Romanticism, Symbolism)
Sidelight: Occasional poems are sometimes configured as pattern poetry.(See Poet Laureate)
Sidelight: Seldom used in English poetry, Poe's "The Raven" is written in trochaic octameter.(See Meter)
(See also Ballade, Ottava Rima, Sonnet)
(See also Decasyllable, Dodecasyllable, Hendecasyllable, Heptasyllable)
Sidelight: Two other important forms of the ode arose from classical poetry; (1) the Dorian or choric ode designed for singing, after which Pindaric verse was patterned, and (2) the Aeolic or Horatian Ode, of which "Ode to a Nightingale," considered to be one of John Keats' finest works, is an example. More commonly used in English poetry, however, is the irregular form exemplified by Wordsworth's "Ode. Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood."
Sidelight: The irregular ode retains the lofty Pindaric style, but allows each stanza to establish its own pattern, rather than follow a regular strophic structure.(See also Anacreontic, Encomium, Epinicion, Sapphic Verse)
Sidelight: The name is now applied to a hall or chamber for musical and dramatic performances.
Sidelight: The use of onomatopoeia is common to all types of linguistic expression, but because sound plays such an important role in poetry, it provides another subtle weapon in the poetic arsenal for the transfer of sense impressions through imagery, such as Keats' "the murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves," in "Ode to a Nightingale."
Sidelight: Though impossible to prove, some philologists (linguistic scientists) believe that all language originated through the onomatopoeic formation of words.(See also Mimesis, Phonetic Symbolism)
Sidelight: The open couplet originated in Chaucer's riding rhyme and later enjoyed much popularity in the romantic period.
(See also Distich, Heroic Couplet)
(Contrast End-Stopped, Closed Couplet)
Sidelight: The 8-line ottava rima permits more room for narrative elaboration than quatrains and the repeated rhymes in the first six lines can prepare the reader for an epigrammatic closure in the final couplet.(See also Octave, Spenserian Stanza)
Sidelight: An oxymoron is similar to a paradox, but more compact, usually consisting of just two successive words.(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Synesthesia)
(See also Panegyric)
Sidelight: The invention of the palindrome has been attributed to Sotades, a 3rd century Greek writer of lascivious verse, thus the term sotadic is used in reference to palindromes and/or poetry of a scurrilous nature.
(Compare Epinicion, Eulogy)
(See also Hymn, Paean)
Sidelight: The pantoum is derived from the Malayan pantun, which follows the same rhyme and line patterns but differs in some other respects. In the pantun, which is traditionally improvised, the theme or meaning is conveyed in the second two lines of each quatrain, while the first two lines present an image or allusion which may or may not have an obvious connection with the theme.
Sidelight: A paradox can be in a situation as well as a statement. The effectiveness of a paradox lies in the startling impact of apparent absurdity on the reader, which serves to highlight the truth of the statement. An oxymoron is similar to a paradox, but more compact.
Sidelight: Sometimes an entire poem centers on a paradoxical situation or statement, as in Richard Lovelace's "To Lucasta, Going to the Wars."(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Synesthesia)
Happy my studies, when by these approved!The repetitive structure, which is commonly used in elevated prose as well as poetry, lends wit or emphasis to the meanings of the separate clauses, thus being particularly effective in antithesis.
Happier their author, when by these beloved!
Sidelight: Sometimes the use of parallel structures is extended throughout an entire poem.(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis,
(See also Afflatus, Helicon, Numen, Pierian)
Sidelight: Sir John Suckling's poem, "A Ballad upon a Wedding," is a parody of an epithalamium.(See also Allusion, Antiphrasis, Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse,
(Compare Antanaclasis, Syllepsis)
Sidelight: In 1877, the Italian astronomer, Schiaparelli, charted a number of linear surface features he observed on the planet Mars. He thought them to be natural waterways formed by erosion due the action of a flowing liquid and termed them canali, Italian for "channels." Mistakenly translated into English as "canals," this led to a popular conception of artificial irrigation canals constructed by Martian inhabitants to carry water from the polar caps to the rest of the planet, an idea which persisted until finally disproved by the Mariner spacecraft flights in the 1970's.(Compare Antonym, Homonym, Synonym)
Sidelight: The term is named for Pasquino, a 15th century Italian tradesman known for his caustic wit. It was once customary to affix satiric notices to a mutilated statue found near his shop. At the other end of Rome was an ancient statue called Marforio to which replies to the pasquinades were posted.(See also Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Parody)
Sidelight: In a pastiche, the imitation of another work is an end in itself. Imitation with the intent to mock the original is a parody.(Compare Cento)
Sidelight: "Pastor" is the Latin word for shepherd. In classical poetry, the pastoral conventions featured a shepherd's meditations on themes such as nature or romance. From another recurrent theme, the expression of grief over the death of a fellow shepherd, emerged the long-enduring conventions of the pastoral elegy.(See also Arcadia, Bucolic, Eclogue, Georgic, Idyll, Madrigal)
Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay,
And the Wild Winds flew round, sobbing in their dismay.
Sidelight: The term was coined in 1856 by John Ruskin, an English painter, art critic and essayist. While his intent was derogatory, the term is now applied in a neutral sense as a less formal type of personification.
Many and many a day he thither went,
And never lifted up a single stone.
Sidelight: The use of understatement (meiosis) is often an effective way of achieving pathos.(Compare Bathos)
Sidelight: Also referred to as altar poems, carmina figurata, and shaped verse, pattern poems are of ancient origin, dating back as far as the 3rd century BC. In the 16th and 17th centuries they were popularly known as emblem poems, an example of which is George Herbert's "Easter Wings."
Sidelight: Pattern poetry differs from concrete poetry mainly in that it retains its meaning when read aloud, apart from its typography.(Compare Occasional Poem, Visual Poetry)
Sidelight: A rhyme in which the perfect correspondence of sound is extended to include the consonant preceding the vowel, thus resulting in an identical pronunciation, but with different meaning and spelling, as in bear and bare, is said to be enriched and is called rich rhyme or rime riche (reem REESH). If the sound and spelling are the same, but the sense differs, as in blow (air movement) and blow (a sudden shock), it is called equivocal rhyme or rime equivoque (reem eh-kwee-VOHK). Both of these are types of identical rhymes. However, the terms rich rhyme, equivocal rhyme, and identical rhyme are misleading because, in a poetic sense, they are not considered to be legitimate rhymes.(See also End Rhyme, Feminine Rhyme, Internal Rhyme, Masculine Rhyme)
Sidelight: A periphrasis may be used as a euphemism as well as an embellishment. It can also be used for humorous effect.(Compare Epithet, Kenning)
Sidelight: Sometimes the author of a poem identifies a created character as the speaker-- but in the absence of a specific attribution the term persona is applied in a neutral sense, since it should not be automatically assumed that a creative work directly reflects the personal experiences or views of the poet. The use of an identified persona precludes a potential ambiguity and enables poets to give expression to things they would prefer not to have attributed to their own person.
Sidelight: In Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess," the persona is the Duke of Ferrara. In John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," the persona is not identified, so it is up to the reader to infer whether it is the author himself or a speaker conceived by the poet for a particular effect.
Sidelight: The term, voice, while often used synonymously with speaker or persona, can also refer to a pervasive presence behind the fictitious voices that speak in a work, or to Aristotle's "ethos," the element in a work that creates a perception by the audience or reader of the moral qualities of the speaker or a character.(Compare Content, Diction, Form, Motif, Style, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: "The Cloud" is personified in Shelley's magnificent poem.(Compare Apostrophe, Pathetic Fallacy, Prosopopeia)
Sidelight: Longfellow's "Divina Commedia" and Wyatt's "My Galley" are examples of Petrarchan sonnets.(See Volta)
Sidelight: An example of word sounds in English with a common area of meaning is a group beginning with gl, all having reference to light, which include: gleam, glare, glitter, glimmer, glint, glisten, glossy and glow.(See also Mimesis, Onomatopoeia, Sound Devices)
(See also Parnassian)
Sidelight: Since the only examples of Pindar's writing which survived intact were epinicions, his name is enduringly associated with that genre of poetry.(See also Horatian Ode, Melic Verse, Sapphic Verse)
(See also Accent)
Sidelight: Closely related figures of speech include epanalepsis: the repetition of a word after intervening words, epizeuxis: the repetition of a word with no other words intervening, antanaclasis: the repetition of a word with a shift in the meaning, and polyptoton: the repetition of a word with a change in its grammatical form.
(See also Poet, Poetry)
Sidelight: The successful poet must be a diligent student of language -- sensitive to sounds and rhythms -- and a student of technique, through the knowledge of what forms of expression have worked effectively for other poets, past and present, in order to develop, master, and expand his or her art.
Sidelight: In "The Philosophy of Composition," Poe wrote, "The fact is, that originality (unless in minds of very unusual force) is by no means a matter, as some believe, of impulse or intuition. In general, to be found, it must be elaborately sought. . . . "
Sidelight: The poet does not have to be the speaker of a poem, but can create a persona which is perceived to be distinct from the writer.(See also Bard, Metrist, Poetaster, Sonneteer, Versifier, Wordsmith)
(See also Doggerel, Poeticule, Rhymester, Versifier)
Sidelight: The ultimate measure of poetic license is determined by its effectiveness.
(See also Prosody)
(See also Doggerel, Rhymester, Versifier)
Sidelight: The term comes from an old custom of presenting laurel wreaths to university graduates in rhetoric and poetry. In France, distinguished writers are crowned with a wreath when honored by election to the Académie française.(See Occasional Poem)
Sidelight: Since concepts of the nature of poetry differ widely, no definition can adequately distinguish between what is poetry and what is not.
Sidelight: Although the potential readership for poetry has always been limited, the composition of poetry is recognized as a difficult achievement and eminent poets are universally esteemed.
Sidelight: In 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to be buried there. At that time it was not designated for literary figures and Chaucer was so honored because he had been Clerk of Works to the palace of Westminster.
Sidelight: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the first American poet to have a memorial bust placed in the Poets' Corner.
(Compare Sprung Rhythm)
The juxtaposition of common roots with different endings in a polyptoton produces a rhyme-like effect -- although not a true rhyme, it is sometimes referred to as a grammatical rhyme.
Sidelight: Similar to the polyptoton, but without involving repetition, is the anthimeria, frequently used by Shakespeare, which turns a word from one part of speech into another, usually in the making of verbs out of nouns, as in, "I'll unhair my head." Cummings boldly turned a verb and an adjective into nouns in the line, "they sowed their isn't they reaped their same."(See also Antanaclasis, Epanalepsis, Epizeuxis, Ploce)
(See also Disyllable, Monosyllable, Trisyllable)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora,
Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis,
Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
(Compare Neologism, Nonce Word, Ricochet Words)
The name derives from the former practice of dealers in poultry products, then called poulters, of sometimes giving one or two extra eggs to the dozen.(See also Heptameter, Septenarius)
Sidelight: The proceleusmatic foot is sometimes called a tetrabrach.
(See also Anacrusis)
Sidelight: The cadence of artistic or rhythmical prose is not pre-established, but emerges from the rhythm of thought.
(Compare Apostrophe, Personification)
(See also Encomium, Fescennine Verses)
(Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Fable, Gnome)
Eve was nigh Adam
Adam was naive.
Sidelight: Clench is an obsolete word for pun. John Dryden (1631-1700), in "An Essay on Dramatic Poesy," wrote (referring to Shakespeare): "He is many times flat, insipid; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast."(See also Ambiguity, Denotation, Equivoke, Paronomasia)
(See also Anticlimax)
Another name for the pyrrhic is dibrach.
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, Syllabic Verse)
Sidelight: The popular quatrain abab 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)
(See also Cinquain)
Objectivism, Romanticism, Symbolism)
(See also Burden, Repetend)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Echo, Epistrophe,
Epizeuxis, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Stornello Verses)
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.
and the thunder . . . ceases now(See also Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance)
To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
Sidelight: Rhetoric and poetry are inseparable companions.
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
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)
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.
(See also Doggerel, Poetaster, Poeticule, Versifier)
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.
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)
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 Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Society Verse)
(Compare Classicism, Idealism,
Metaphysical, Objectivism, Realism, Symbolism)
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)
(Compare Rondelet, Triolet, Villanelle)
(Compare Rondel, Triolet, Villanelle)
(See also Edda, Skald)
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)
Sidelight: For an example of Sapphic verse in English poetry, see Isaac Watts' "The Day of Judgment."(See also Horatian Ode, Ode, Pindaric Verse)
Sidelight: Satiric poets often utilize irony, hyperbole, understatement, and paradox, as in Pope's An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot .
Sidelight: Satire is direct when the author is clearly expressing his own opinion, as in Pope's example above, and indirect when embodied in a hypocritical character such as the Pardoner in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.(See also Burlesque, Goliardic Poetry, Hudibrastic Verse, Lampoon, Mock-Epic, Parody, Pasquinade)
I am mon | arch of all | I survey,(See also Dipodic Verse, Meter, Rhythm)
My right | there is none | to dispute;
From the cen | ter all round | to the sea
I am lord | of the fowl | and the brute.
Sidelight: Scansion accounts for syllabic accents and slacks, but does not always differentiate between the relative "weights" of stress, one of the means by which a skillful poet modulates the rhythm for effect.
Sidelight: The scanning process employs symbols on and above the lines to identify the foot divisions, their arsis and thesis, and any internal caesuras the line may contain. Unfortunately, the symbols for the arsis and thesis cannot be shown in this example:One shade / the more, || one ray / the less,
Had half / impair'd / the name / less grace
Sidelight: By definition, scansion entails the scanning of one line at a time. Roving over, a term suggested for the scanning of Hopkins' sprung rhythm, is a process in which scansion is continued from one line to the next without interruption.
Sidelight: Individual judgments often play a part in the scansion process, since the divisions between feet may be subject to differences of interpretation.
(See also Gleeman)
(See also Tanka)
(See also Fourteener, Heptameter, Poulter's Measure)
(See also Rhyme Royal)
Sidelight: The term alludes to the old representation of snakes with their tails in their mouths, which was symbolic of eternity, without beginning or end.(Compare Abecedarian Poem, Acrostic Poem)
First stanza, 1- 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6The poem, "Will's Place," is an example of a sestina.
Second stanza, 6 - 1 - 5 - 2 - 4 - 3
Third stanza, 3 - 6 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 5
Fourth stanza, 5 - 3 - 2 - 6 - 1 - 4
Fifth stanza, 4 - 5 - 1 - 3 - 6 - 2
Sixth stanza, 2 - 4 - 6 - 5 - 3 - 1
middle of first line - 2, end of first line - 5
middle of second line - 4, end of second line - 3
middle if third line - 6, end of third line - 1
Sidelight: Since the definition of an exact rhyme requires identity of sound, sight rhyme is so named only in the broader sense of the word.
Sidelight: Sight rhymes may occasionally be used for their contribution to the visual aspect of poetry.(Contrast Homonym)
Sidelight: Similes in which the parallel is developed and extended beyond the initial comparison, often being sustained through several lines, are called epic or Homeric similes, since they occur frequently in epic poetry, both for ornamentation and to heighten the heroic aspect.(Compare Analogy, Metaphor, Symbol, Synecdoche)
(See also Edda, Rune)
Sidelight: This term is often used in its French language form, vers de societe.
(Compare Canzone, Ghazal, Melic Verse, Ode, Romance)
(Contrast King's English)
(See also Dramatic Monologue, Interior Monologue)
Sidelight: A variant of the Shakespearean form is the Spenserian sonnet which links the quatrains with a chain or interlocked rhyme scheme, abab bcbc cdcd ee.
Sidelight: The English language contains fewer rhyming possibilities than Italian, so the Shakespearean adaptation relieved English poets from the greater difficulty of rhyming in the Italian sonnet format.
Sidelight: A sonnet sequence is a series of sonnets in which there is a discernable unifying theme, while each one retains its own structural independence. All of Shakespeare's sonnets, for example, were part of a sequence,(See Quatorzain, Volta)
(See also Bard, Metrist,
(Compare Minstrel, Troubadour)
Sidelight: Sound devices are often combined, as in Coleridge's effective use of alliteration, assonance, and consonance in the opening line of "Kubla Khan." Other devices that contribute to the sound are rhyme, onomatopoeia, cacophony, caesura, phonetic symbolism, rhythm, and meter.(See also Mimesis)
Sidelight: The longer length of the Alexandrines in the last lines provides emphasis and a sense of closure to the stanzas.
Two unaccented syllables (a pyrrhic foot) often precede or follow a spondee.
Sidelight: Verses entirely composed of spondees are rare; their principal use is as variations in iambic lines in which the successive accented syllables of a spondee are effective for the suggestion of gravity or emphasis, as in Christina Georgina Rossetti's "Song:"
Be the | GREEN GRASS | a-BOVE | me
Sidelight: As the name suggests, sprung rhythm springs loose from the regularly alternating accents associated with metrical verse.
Sidelight: Sprung rhythm is associated in modern poetry chiefly with the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins, as in his poem, "The Windhover." According to Robert Bridges, in his notes to the 1918 edition of Hopkins' Poems, sprung rhythm is the natural rhythm of English speech and written prose; it appeared in English verse up to the Elizabethan era as well as having been used in Greek and Latin verse.(See also Cadence, Ictus, Modulation)
Sidelight: A stanza having lines of the same length and meter, as is the case in most stanzaic poems, is said to be isometric. The exceptions, such as the stanzas in tail rhyme and Sapphic verse, in which the lines are not all of the same length and meter, are said to be anisometric or heterometric.
Sidelight: The regularity of stanza patterns conveys an impression of order and the expectation of closure.
Sidelight: A poem in which the lines follow each other without a formal pattern of stanzaic units is described as having a continuous form, in which there may be no line groupings at all or only irregular line groupings, dictated by meaning, as in paragraphs of prose.(See also Fit, Stave, Strophe)
Sidelight: Stanza forms are also a factor in the categorization of whole poems described as following a fixed form.
(Compare Distich, Monostich, Hemistich, Stichomythia)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Anaphora,
Echo, Epistrophe, Epizeuxis,
Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain)
(See also Cadence, Ictus,
Sidelight: A poem consisting of just one stanza is monostrophic; a poem with the repetition of metrically identical stanzas is homostrophic; a poem not divided into strophic units or that is arranged in irregular stanzas is astrophic.(See also Epode)
(Compare Content, Form, Motif, Persona, Texture, Tone)
Sidelight: The cinquain and haiku are examples of strictly syllabic verse, but most modern English poetry is a combination of accentual and syllabic versification.(Compare Accentual Verse, Quantitive Verse)
Sidelight: In modern English, word syllables are characterized as either accented or unaccented; in non-accentual languages such as classical Greek and Latin, syllables are classified as either long or short, depending on the quantity of time it takes to pronounce them due to varying vowel lengths and consonant groupings. Thus, the distinction between accented and long syllables on the one hand, and unaccented and short syllables on the other, represents the difference between accentual verse and quantitive verse. The basis for syllabic verse is the count of syllables in a line.
Sidelight: Because of the shift in sense, the syllepsis is related to the pun or paronomasia.(Compare Hendiadys, Prolepsis)
Sidelight: Symbols can be subject to a diversity of connotations, so both the poet and the reader must exercise sensible discretion to avoid misinterpretation.(See also Allusion, Analogy)
(Compare Classicism, Idealism,
Metaphysical, Objectivism, Romanticism)
(See also Aphaeresis, Apocope, Syncope, Synaloepha)
(See also Aphaeresis, Apocope, Synaeresis, Syncope)
(Compare Aphaeresis, Apocope, Synaeresis, Synaloepha)
Sidelight: Synecdoche is so similar in meaning to metonymy that the latter term is often used for both.(Compare Metaphor, Simile, Symbol)
(See also Catachresis, Enallage, Malapropism, Mixed Metaphor, Oxymoron, Paradox)
(See also Conceit, Kenning, Mixed Metaphor)
(Compare Antonym, Homonym, Paronym)
Sidelight: Poetic syntax often departs from conventional use, employing devices such as hyperbatons and ploces, among others.
(See also Haiku, Senryu)
Sidelight: The sestet, or second part of a Petrarchan sonnet, often consists of two tercets.
Sidelight: A tercet is used as an envoi in a sestina.(See also Terza Rima)
Sidelight: Because the cadence of ternary meters can provide an effect quite different from that of binary meters, they are often considered for a different range of subjects, especially those of a frolicsome or humorous nature.(Compare Binary Meter)
Sidelight: The rhyme sound which carries from the middle line of each tercet to the opening line of the next tercet provides a strong sense of forward movement to the terza rima.
(Compare Content, Diction, Form, Motif, Persona, Style, Tone)
Sidelight: Although theme is often used interchangeably with motif, it is preferable to recognize the difference between the two terms.(See also Burden)
Sidelight: In musical terminology, the thesis is the downbeat, the accented part of a measure; due to an early confusion which was later recognized but never reversed, the meaning of the term is the opposite when used in reference to the poetic foot.(Contrast Arsis)
(See also Kenning, Ricochet Words)
Sidelight: Another use of tone is in reference to pitch or to the demeanor of a speaker as interpreted through inflections of the voice; in poetry, this is conveyed through the use of connotation, diction, figures of speech, rhythm and other elements of poetic construction.(Compare Content, Form, Motif, Style, Texture)
Sidelight: Standardized topics such as the poet's invocation if the Muse or of a dear departed "having gone to a better world" are examples of topoi, as well as are many metaphors.(Compare Motif)
(See also Lay, Ballad)
(Compare Chanson de Geste, Epic, Epopee, Epos, Hamartia, Heroic Quatrain)
Sidelight: Many poems are written entirely in trimeter, as William Cowper's "Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk," but frequently poems of longer line patterns are varied by the interposition of occasional trimeter lines, such as John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale."(See Meter)
Sidelight: The capital letters in the rhyme scheme indicate the repetition of identical lines.(Compare Rondeau, Rondel, Rondelet, Roundel, Villanelle)
Sidelight: Triple rhymes and disyllabic rhymes are used most frequently in humorous verse.(See also Mosaic Rhyme)
(See also Disyllable, Monosyllable, Polysyllable)
Sidelight: In English poetry, trochaic verse in long poems is infrequent since it can produce a monotonous effect, but this problem is avoided in short poems such as William Blake's "The Lamb," and "Tyger! Tyger!"
Sidelight: In a trochaic line of verse, the last syllable is often omitted to end the line with an accented syllable. A line thus shortened is termed catalectic.(See also Meter, Rhythm)
Sidelight: Strictly speaking, a trope is the figurative use of a word or expression, while figure of speech refers to a phrase or sentence used in a figurative sense. The two terms, however, are often confused and used interchangeably.(See also Imagery)
Sidelight: Female troubadours were called trobairitz.(See Tenson)
(See also Improvisatore, Jongleur, Meistersingers, Minnesingers, Minstrel, Troubadour)
Sidelight: The ubi sunt motif was popular in medieval poetry, such as Villon's "Des Dames du Temps Jadis"
Sidelight: The popular use of the word verse for a stanza or associated group of metrical lines is not in accordance with the best usage. A stanza is a group of verses.(See also Stich)
Sidelight: While verse paragraphs are seldom used in rhymed verse, Lycidas, by John Milton, is a noteworthy exception.
Sidelight: Edgar Allan Poe's essay, "The Philosophy of Composition," describes the conception, construction, and versification of his poem, "The Raven."
Sidelight: Classical versification was based on quantity, with the words arranged to form a systematic succession of long and short syllables, but this began to decline under the Roman Empire; the Romance Languages, being accentual in character, gave rise to accentual verse, which stressed certain syllables instead of giving time quantities to them. The classical names of the metrical feet are commonly applied to modern poetic meter, an accented syllable being equivalent to a long syllable and an unaccented syllable equivalent to a short syllable.
(See Bard, Metrist,
(See also Doggerel, Poetaster, Poeticule, Rhymester)
Sidelight: The villanelle gives a pleasant impression of simple spontaneity, as in Edwin Arlington Robinson's "The House on the Hill."(Compare Rondeau, Rondel, Rondelet Triolet)
Sidelight: Virelay is the Anglicized spelling of the French virelai, a variation of the lai.
Sidelight: While the term, visual poetry, is generally applied to the definition above, most poets consciously strive to influence the visual impact of their poems by their selection of line lengths, stanzaic structures, indentations, white space, punctuation, capitalization, and type styles. In traditional verse, though, these aspects are subordinate to the written text.(See also Concrete Poetry, Pattern Poetry, Sight Rhyme)
Sidelight: With the author's apologies, this is the only punning entry.
(See also Bard, Metrist,
(Compare Minstrel, Troubadour)
Poetry is rhythmical,
imaginative language expressing the
invention, taste, thought, passion, and insight of the human soul.
---Edmund Clarence Stedman
Glossary of Poetic Terms from BOB'S BYWAY
Copyright © 1996 - 2014, by Robert G. Shubinski