Glossary

accent The stress on one or another syllable, especially when poetry is read aloud. accentual verse A system of verse throughout at least a portion of a poem that depends on a certain fixed number of stresses in a line of poetry; this system, however, allows for any number of unstressed syllables.

allegory Extended metaphor or symbol with at least two levels of meaning, a literal level and an implied, figurative level; an allegorical narrative tells a story and at the same time suggests another level of meaning. alliteration Repeating consonant sounds at the beginnings of words. allusion Making reference to something or someone, usually in an indirect manner. anapest A metrical foot consisting of two soft stresses followed by a hard stress. See meter. anaphora A word or phrase that is repeated at the start of successive lines of poetry. apostrophe A turn away from the reader to address another listener. assonance Repetition of like vowel sounds, often in stressed syllables in close proximity to each other. ballad A narrative in verse; the form derives from a narrative that was sung. blank verse Unrhymed iambic pentameter. cadence The rhythm in language, a pattern that can lend a musical order to a statement.

caesura A pause within a verse line, usually at approximately midpoint. canon A term originally derived from the Roman Catholic Church having to do with church law, this term also refers to a body of literature that is generally accepted as exhibiting what is best or important in terms of literary art. collagist poetry Poetry that employs the organizing element of collage or the bringing together of disparate material to create a new statement or vision. conceit Not unrelated to the term concept, an unusual supposition, analogy, metaphor, or image, often clever. connotation Meaning that is implied rather than stated directly as in denotation. consonance Repetition ofidentical consonant sounds, within the context of varying vowel sounds. couplet Two verse lines in succession that have the same end rhyme. When the two lines contain a complete statement in themselves, they are called a closed couplet. See also heroic couplet. dactyl A metrical foot consisting of a hard stress followed by two soft stresses. denotation The literal meaning of a word or statement, the opposite of connotation. diction Word choice, the actual language that a writer employs. dimeter A verse line consisting of two metrical feet. dramatic monologue An address to an interlocutor (another potential speaker) who is not present; a dramatic monologue has only one actual speaker.

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