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Tinker

Glossary of Poetic Terms E - O

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Tinker

  Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Glossary Definitions are simplified and limited to their use within the scope of poetic study. I recommend the use of a good dictionary for more complete explanation.
Poetic terms defined A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
Genre, Devices,
Movements, Stanzaic Form & Verse Form
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z.
E Also See Poetic Genre and Verse Forms
eclogue A short custodial poem, a caring dialogue. A poetic genre.
eclogue débat A lyrical argument between 2 persons who care for one and another. A sub genre of eclogue.
ecphrastic or ekphrastic Greek (speaking out) A genre of verse that can be traced to ancient Greece and Homer’s Iliad. It is a poem inspired by another piece of art such as a painting or sculpture. This word painting should be a lucid self contained description of the inspiration. West Clare, August
Eisteddfod Annual Welsh Bardic Festival where a chief Bard is appointed every 3 years a tradition from ancient times and poetry contests are held. The ancient meters are still honored there.
elegy A sustained, formal verse genre composed as a lamentation or sad meditation on the occasion of a death or other solemn event.
elision Metric Pattern. (Latin= elisio = stem) Omission of a sound, syllable or running sounds together for meter. o'er
ellipsis Punctuation marks . . . or - - - inserted within or at the end of a line suggesting a pause or an omission.
emotive language Language charged with emotion.
encomium or panegyric A poetic genre, Greek choral lyric celebrating a person's achievements.
end-rhyme A sound element.  Words at the end of a line rhyming with words at the end of other lines.
end-stopped Strong pause at the end of a line directed by punctuation.
English Verse Forms Verse forms originating in England.
enjambment No stop or pause indicated by punctuation at the end of a line.
envelope rhyme  A sound element.  Rhyme enclosed or surrounded by other rhyme, such as abcba or abba or abccba.
envelope verse Any stanza or poem that begins and ends with the same word or line. It is a devise to bring the verse full circle. The ancient Celts called it dunadh and it is a defining feature of Celtic verse.
envoi or envoy In French or English, a half stanza at the end of a larger series of stanzas. It is meant to sum up the previous stanzas. It usually carries the same pattern as the verse form to which it is attached.
epic A long narrative verse which focuses on a single hero or heroic group and the impact that such heroes have on a historical event, mythical or real.
Epicedium Lyrical verse honoring the dead. In ancient Rome this genre was meant to be sung before the corpse and was usually composed in elegiac couplets.
epigram A short poem with a humorous twist.
epigraph A brief quotation which precedes and establishes a theme for a poem.
epilogue Concluding section at end of poem or other literary work.
Epinicion Epinicia Greek- Poetic genre, song or ode celebrating a victory in games or war.
epistle An instructive or didactic poem written in the form of a letter.
epistrophe Repetition of an end word in a successive line for emphasis.
Epithalamion or Epithalamium An ode celebrating the wedding night and the morning after written in 3 parts.
epithet An adjective or phrase that describes a attribute or characteristic of a person. eg. strong-willed or swift-footed
epitrite   Metric Pattern. Greek- metric foot that includes one short syllable followed by 3 long syllables or unstressed followed by 3 stressed syllables. sLLL or uSSS
epizeuxis Sound element  Figure of speech, when a word or phrase is repeated one or more times in a row, with no words in between. Done for dramatic emphasis and should be used sparingly. "Liar, liar, liar!" is an example.
epode The 3rd section of a formal verse such as an ode. Usually it is a coming together of the first 2 sections, written in a different structure or frame and often shorter than the previous 2.
Epyllion Greek -(little epic or scrap of poetry) is a short narrative poem in dactylic hexameter. These poems often included a love interest. This genre was a favorite of the Hellenistic era and featured vivid descriptions and a tendency to psychoanalyze.
equivalence Metric formula 2 short syllables equal 1 long syllable.
erotic poetry Poetry that includes adult themes with overt sexual images.
escondig Occitan - a genre of verse practiced by the troubadours, expressing a lover's apology.
Ethnopoetics Poetry, especially oral verse which is percieved as tribal or ethnic by Western standards. This can also refer to cross cultural boundries. eg Native American poetry
euphony  A sound element. A figure of speech, words that soften an image. The harmonious sound when sounds of words connect with the connotation in a way to please the ear and mind. The opposite of cacophony. eg "The seven days war that put the world to sleep." L2 from The Horses by Edwin Muir
exact rhyme A sound element.  Full or true rhyme when the sounds following the initial letters of the word are identical in sound.
Exemplum Latin - A poem giving an example, an illustrative or moralizing tale.
explication "unfolding" an in depth analysis of a poem, examining the entire poem in explained detail.
Exquisite Corpse A group poetry exercise. 1 person writes some words then folds the paper to hide all or part of the words, passes it to the next person who without unfolding, adds more words then folds again and passes it to another person and so on.
extended metaphor A metaphor that goes beyond the usual word or phrase but continues throughout a stanza or poem.
eye or sight rhyme Rhyme that has the same spelling but sound differently. e.g. laughter / daughter idea/flea
extempore poetry Impromptu poetry.
F Also see Poetic Genres and Verse Forms F
fable A narrative poem telling a fictional tale (often using animals as the characters) which ends with a moral.
fabliau 13th century French, the jongluers short narrative verse, most often comic, bawdy or satirical. Common subjects, cuckold husbands, bungling peasants and greedy clerics. Chaucer reinvented some of the French fabliaux in his Canterbury Tales. The genre fizzled out by the 16th century.
falling meter Metric Pattern. Trochaic or dactylic meters in which the first syllable is accented or stressed followed by one or more unaccented or stressed syllables. Accentual syllabic Su or Suu ~ Quantitative Ls or Lss
fancy Metaphors from the imagination. Sometimes associated with superficial phrases.
feminine ending Line with an extra unstressed syllable at the end. Also known as a hypermetrical line.
feminine rhyme A sound element. A rhyme of 2 or more syllables in which the stress is on other than the last syllable such as moral / quarrel or healthiest / wealthiest
figurative language A phrase, sentence or poem that says one thing but means or suggests something else. eg. metaphor, personification, symbol, simile etc.
fixed form Traditional verse form requiring predetermined elements of structure which can include # of lines, # of stanzas, measure of the line, rhyme etc.
foot Line measure. Unit of measure of the line, usually consisting of 2 or 3 syllables with at least 1 syllable accented.
form The construct or framework by which the poet expresses meaning. The elements of the structure of the verse. eg meter, rhyme, stanza length etc.
Forms Redoubled Any verse form, in which the original poem is used as the text or mote, each line is then glossed or expanded upon in the same form. eg. a Hutain redoubled means the original poem (8 lines) becomes the text, each line is then glossed or expanded upon in the same form, in this case another Hutain per line which finally results in 9 Hutains in all or a total of 8 x 8 = 64 lines plus the original poem of 8 lines for a grand total of 72 lines. The line of the original may begin or end the each octave. This can be done with any fixed form.
Four Ages of Poetry Term created by Thomas Peacock in which he classified the periods of love as either iron, gold, silver or brass.
Four Meanings of Poetry Poetry classified by either 1. Sense - literal interpretation, 2. Feeling - the emotion behind the poem, 3. Tone - attitude, 4. Intention - the purpose or effect intended. From IA Richards, Practical Critisism 1930.
Fourteener Line measure. A line written in 2 parts separated by caesura. It is patterned in iambic heptameter (7) and grew to popularity in 16th century English poetry. Most often the caesura occurs sometime after the 3rd foot.
frame rhyme or para-rhyme A sound element. Consonance occurring front and back of the word. back/bike boat/bait
French Verse Forms Verse forms originating in France.
G Also see Poetic Genres and Verse Forms G
Galician Verse Galician verse from the western region of what we now know as Spain was the first Hispanic lyrical poetry and dominated Hispanic literature from the 12th century to the 14th.
galliambic meter Line measure. Specialized metric line originally used to create a frenzied rhythm. 2 metric feet of ssLsLsLL / ssLssssL
Gap Occitan - Troubadour's boasting song which was presented in the manner of a challenge much like modern day sport's chants
Genethliamcum Poem in honor of a birth, ode or occasional verse.
Genre A tradition or classification of poetry based on its approach or intent rather than frame. It is a grouping derived from subject matter, theme, tone or style of the poem. Such as the Aubade - the parting of lovers at dawn, or Abstract poetry - communicating through word sounds as much as through their meaning, or Pastoral - descibing an idyllic country setting. Usually the frame or structure is left to the discretion of the poet.
Georgian Verse Verse originating in Georgia
Georgic A poem using the theme of rural or farming work as opposed to Pastoral or Idyllic verse which centers on the simplicity of country life or bucolics which is a more lofty aristocratic view of country life. Modern day Georgic verse is "how to" poetry instructions for the arts and sciences.
German Verse Forms Verse forms originating in Germany
Germanic lines Long lines written in a mimumum of 7 metric feet, Accentual meter and often composed as 2 short lines in 1 usually separated by caesura.
geste Old French-Romantic narrative verse telling of heroic exploits
Gleeman Old English minstral who recited his own verse as well as that of troubadours.
Glyconic Verse Verse named for Greek poet Glycon and best found in verse by Catullus and Horace. It is basic Aeolic meter. Line of verse 3 trochees followed by a dactyl.
Gnome or Gnomic Verse Greek-genomos earth dweller. Short verse stating a proverbial truth. An aphorism or pithy statement.
grammatical parallelism An independent clause presenting parallels or opposites in balance. The line employs the same grammatical elements for each side of the parallel. This pattern is often used in prose poetryor written in long lines broken into 2 short lines at the caesura. Its use dates to biblical times. Probably one of the best known example of "grammatical parallelism" is Matthew 5:3-11, commonly known as The Beatitudes, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Grand Style A phrase used to describe the lofty or elevated tone of poets such as Homer, Pindar, Dante and Milton by Mathew Arnold.
Greek Verse Forms Verse forms originating in Greece
Grub Street The name of a street in London which has also become a term associated with inferior verse.
H Also see Poetic Genres and Verse Forms H
Haikuization a technique in which the rhyming parts of an existing poem are kept, but the rest of the words are eliminated. John Drury gives the example from the last stanza of Yeat’s ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ removing all but the rhyme “Never take/any natural thing./Make/enameling/awake./Sing/of Byzantium/to come.”
half rhyme A sound element. Feminine or three-syllable words in which the initial stressed syllables rhyme but not the unstressed syllables e.g. clingy / singing
Hamd Urdu poetic genre written in praise of God.
Hazal Urdu poetic genre of funny or humorous poetry.
head rhyme A sound element. When rhyme appears at the beginning of the line in the first word or syllable rather than at the end of the line.
head and tail First and last, usually referring to the first and last word in a line.
headless iamb When in a metric line, the unstressed syllable of the first iambic foot is dropped, also known as an acephalous line.
hemistich Line measure. Half line, signaled at the end of each half by caesura.
hendeca Line measure.eleven - (hendecameter =11 metric feet in a line, (hendecasyllabic=11 syllables per line)(hendecastich=11 line poem)
hepta Line measure.seven (heptameter = 7 metric feet in a line) (heptasyllabic= 7 syllables in a line) (heptastich = 7 line poem)
heroic octave In English, a poetic unit of 8 iambic pentameter lines linked by rhyme. A Sicilian octave, Italian octave, Heroic Rispetto and the Ottava Rima are all heroic octaves.
heroic verse or meter Named for its use in Epic poetry, in which the "deeds of brave men are narrated", Isidore of Seville NPEOPP, verse written in elevated language. In English verse written in iambic pentameter lines linked by rhyme, in French it is analexandrine lineand in Greek and Latin it is the dactylic hexameter. Heroic verse is called the staple of English poetry.
heteronym Phrase for alter ego through which poets create.
hexa  Line measure. six (hexameter= 6 metric feet in a line) (hexasyllabic = 6 syllables per line) (hexastich= six line poem).
Hermann's Law or Bridge Metric Pattern: An unbroken word in the 4th foot of a hexametric line.  Named for the scholar who discovered the word pattern.
Hijv Urdu satirical poetic genre. Respected poets rarely use this genre because it is considered abusive and inferior to other poetry.
holorime or holorhyme A sound element. Rhyme that envelopes the entire line, phrase or stanza. Repeated sounds within and between lines, not just end rhyme. The tall tree falls. / The ball free crawls. (terrible but it shows how the rhyme pattern works)
homophonic A rhetorical device, sound alike words. sea/see.
homograph Words spelled the same that are pronounced differently. read (reed) / read (red)
homostrophic A poem made up of same structured stanzas created specifically for that poem.
hook A phrase that is memorable or catchy.
hovering accent Distributed stress, when it is uncertain which of 2 syllables should be stressed.
hymn Verse of praise meant to be sung.
hymnody Singing or composing hymns.
Hudibrastic A humorous, mocking verse named for the poem and character Hudibras published in England in 1663 by Samuel Butler.
hyperbole Figure of speech, an overstatement. "higher than the heavens"
hypercatalectic or hypermetrical A line with an extra unstressed syllable at the end beyond the last metric foot. eg a hypermetrical iambic pentameter line = In time/ I'll learn/ to write/ in met/ric patt/erns.
I Also see Poetic Genre and Verse Forms I
iambic Metric Pattern. Metric foot of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. eg. uS - today - daDUM
ictus Stress or beat.
identical rhyme A sound element. Perfect or same rhyme. Rhyme that is the same vowel and consonant sound of the stressed syllable.
identity rhyme A sound element. Ordinary rhyme beginning a step backward. The sounds start being matched before the last stressed vowel. All 3 sounds of the syllable are echoed in identity rhyme, as in foul/fowl as compared to ordinary rhyme growl/fowl. Identity rhyme, also called rime riche or rich rhyme is more commonly used in French prosody than in English.
image Mental picture as perceived through the senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch.
imagery The use of words to create an image.
Imagism Poetic movement founded by Ezra Pound which attempted to intensify an emotion through a precise and focused image.
imperfect rhyme A sound element. Shared similar consonant sounds but different vowel sounds as in season and raisin or sometimes only the last consonant sound such as fame and room. Also off rhyme, near rhyme, slant rhyme or consonance
implied metaphor A metaphor when no connective or verb "to be" is used. e.g. Jenny clucked over the red headed toddlers. "clucked" implies Jenny is a mother hen.
imprecation Poetic genre, verse requesting divine assistance against an enemy.
impromptu On the spur of the moment.
incantation Poetic genre, verse meant to be chanted or sung to perform a magical purpose.
incremental refrain When the words of a refrain change slightly each time it appears.
Indian Verse Form Verse forms originating in India.
Infinite Gloss My understanding is that this is "mind mapping" in verse. It is a technique where conceivably, verse in any form can be used but the smaller the form the less complicated the poem becomes. Basically the original poem is glossed both in structure and theme into several satellite poems. I think I get this concept but, when I tried it I found it harder than I thought… I am unsure how to implement this according to the parameters set by the creator The Dread Poet Robert, so I will stop here. Found at Poetry Base with no example, but the site seems to grasp the concept better than I.
inscape A term for a natural phenomena as "individually distinctively" described.
inspiration "Devine" thought or idea that prompts a poet to write.
interlaced rhyme A sound element. A word in the middle of one line rhymes with a word in the middle of another.
internal refrain A refrain that repeats within the stanza. The position generally remains the same from stanza to stanza.
internal rhyme A sound element. A word within a line rhymes with another word within the line whether or not it is at the end of the line.
Internet Poetry Sometimes called hypertext poetry, is verse that uses computer-aided techniques to create a unique visual appearance of poems using typography, background, colour, shape and/or sound. The terma can also be used to describe poetry published on on-line Poetry Magazines.
intertextuality The comparison of the text of one poem with another. Usually in parody or one poem inspiring another poem.
intonation musical recitation, the sound of a singing voice usually in monotone, uttered tones in a speaking voice
Invented Verse Forms Verse form whose structure has been developed revelatively recently for the express purpose of being emulated by contemporary poets. Sometime this is done for poetry workshops, classrooms and in on-line communities as challenges or as a teaching exercise.
inversion Metric Pattern.  Metric pattern reversal, when an expected stressed or unstressed syllable is switched to its opposite.
inverted refrain A rhetorical device or writing technique in which the syntax of the line is inverted. eg the Sapphic line - 'I know not what to do." also a verse form Inverted Refrain
invocation (from Latin invocare to invoke) is a prayer in verse that calls upon a higher being.
irregular meter Metric Pattern. Mixed metric patterns.
Irish Verse Forms Verse form originating in Ireland.
irony A figure of speech in which a contradiction of meaning is hidden beneath the surface of the language used. The literal meaning of the words is contradicted by the hidden meaning of the words.
isometric verse Verse in which every line is the same length and meter.
isostrophic verse Verse in which each strophe or stanza is the same pattern as the other strophes or stanzas.
isosyllabic Lines of the same or equal syllable count.
Italian Verse Forms Verse forms originating in Italy.
Italianate lines Any verse that uses a random combination of 7 syllable and 11 syllable lines.
Ivory Tower Metaphor for those who are detached from the real world.
J Also see Poetic Genres and Verse Forms J
Japanese Verse Forms Verse forms originating in Japan.
jingle A short, catchy, rhymed verse or lyric.
jongleur or juggler Middle Ages Occitan minstrel who merely performed another's composition. This is to be distinguished from the troubadour who was also the composer of verse.
Juxtaposed line A line that is near to or side by side to the previous line in loosely related images. eg 3rd line of Haiku.
juvenalia Early or immature work. Also verse written in the satirical style of Greek poet Juvenal.
K Also see Poetic Genres and Verse Forms K
Kafi (Arabic meaning group) is a genre of Sufi poetry meant to be a "dialogue between Soul and Creator." A descendant of the Qasida, the Kafi is popular in Pakistan and India and usually sung. It is described as a monorhymed ode with a refrain of one or two lines repeated throughout the poem.
kana Syllabic Japanese script which contrasts with the logographic Chinese characters.
Keatsian Verse written in the style of John Keats.
kenning Old Norse: A metaphor using 2 substitute nouns. Sea horse= ship, benja tar tears of wounds = blood
Kinetic Poetry Shape poetry that gains momentum from the designed layout of the letters/words/lines on the page, literally, words in motion. To write Kinetic poetry you need the soul of the poet, the mind of a computer geek and some training in computer graphics.
kireji Japanese (cutting word) to switch to a surprise or contradictive image - used in the 2nd unit or line of the haiku.
kitsch Yiddish, verse that is pretentious, thrown together.
Korean Verse Forms Verse forms originating in Korea.
Kulyat Persian - A poetry collection of a single poet's work.
L Also see Poetic Genres and Verse Forms L
Latin Verse Verse forms developed mostly by clerics in the early Christian church.
Latvian Verse Form Verse forms originating in Latvia.
Lay A short narrative verse. usually a historical tale, originally meant to be sung. The frame of the poem is at the poet's discretion. It is a descendant of, but not to be confused with the French verse form Lai.
Left Handed Poem Any poem that takes the reader in one direction then at the last moment makes a surprise switch to an entirely different conclusion. So named by American poet Johnn Schroeder who favored a single quatrain rhymed abab, making the abrupt change in L4.
leitmotif A theme that runs through a piece of work.
Leonine A line written with 2 syllable rhyme midway and at the end of the line. Originally employed to rhyme at a midway caesura and line end, found in ancient Latin writing. "They took some honey and plenty of money."---- Edward Lear, Owl and the Pussycat.
lexicon Particular words which appear throughout the work of a poet that mark the work as recognizably his/hers.
Libel Verse A Renaissance revival of classical Greek denunciatory or abusive language in verse. A poetic genre of very course, satirical, political verse which was shared among partisans but rarely published. Found at Kaleidoscope
light rhyme A sound element. The rhyming of a stressed syllable with an unstressed syllable, like some / ransom
Light Verse A short poem of any verse form which is meant to be light, humorous or satirical. e.g. Limerick, Little Willie etc.
ligne donnée A line of verse gifted to the poet by the gods or his/her muse.
line The basic component of a poem, the fundamental element of verse. Its purpose is to increase the density of the information and gives focus to the words.
linguistics The study of language and its structure.
linked or run over rhyme Sound Element  End word of one line rhyming with the first word of the next line in a chain like effect. Also a rhyme from one stanza being carried over into next stanza such as aba bcb cdc etc
Lipogram Technique or gimmick in which one or more letters are never used in a line, poem, sentence, paragraph.
literary The writing or study of literature, especially lieterature at its best.
litotes Figure of speech using ironic understatement which confirms by denying the opposite.
logaoedic Metric Pattern. A line of mixed meter using iambs, trochees, dactyls and anapests.
logopoeia A poem that combines Ezra Pound's notions of 'emotional correlations by sounds and rhythm of speech' and 'throwing a visual image on the mind'
log-rolling When authors/poets favourably review each other's work in order to boost sales.
love poetry Poetry that deals with all of the factors of "love", including the ups and the downs.
lullaby Goodbye, goodnight. A loving, soothing verse often sung to put a child to sleep.
lyre Ancient Greek stringed instrument used to accompany the recitation of poetry.
lyric Pertaining to a lyre, verse meant to be sung expressing the emotion of the writer.
Lyrical Verse One of the 3 groups or categories of poetry. Verse originally meant to be sung. Lyrical verse is usually written in the first person as an emotional or subjective (emphasizing the personal or individual) response to an experience. The other 2 divisions are Narrative and Dramatic Verse.
M Also see Poetic Genre and Verse Forms M
Macaronic Verse Verse written in a combination of 2 languages, one preferably in Latin. This technique originated by Italian poet Teofelo Folengelo (1491-1544), creates words beginning in one language and ending with the other language which could result in nonsense.
Madah Urdu poetic genre written in praise of patrons or royalty.
Madrigal A short secular verse using a combination of 2 types of rhythms in a line. It originated in 14th century Italy and is often composed around love or pastoral themes.
magnum opus An artist's great work.
Mal Mariée Old French, 13th to 16th centuries a genre of "Women's Poetry" in which the poet over hears a woman's complaints or laments, usually over the difficulties from her arranged marriage. Many verse forms were used and the genre spread into Italy and finally England.
Malaysian Verse Form Verse form originating in Malaysia.
Maldit (Occitan-curse) a troubadour's song complaining about a lady's character.
Maldit-comiat (Occitan - curse-dismissal) a popular Catalan troubadour's verse renouncing a lady or a lover but it can be taken another step to complaining about or rejecting someone other than a lady or lover, like a commander or employer.
Manqaabat Urdu poetic genre written in praise of the family of the Holy Prophet. A Sufi devotional poem.
mantra Vedic - A prayer song, but in a more complicated definition, it is a formula, comprising words and sounds which are believed to possess a magical or divine power. The mantra is meant to transpose the speaker to a spiritual union with the divine.
masculine line ending A line that ends on a stressed syllable.
masculine rhyme A sound element. Rhyme in a 1 syllable word or on the accented last syllable of a multi syllable word.
Mask or Persona Poem A poem in which the subject of the poem narrates the poem. The subject need not be a person, it could be an inanimate object such as a tomb speaking or an animal, a dog speaking, etc. Persona
meiosis Understatement.
melopoeia Ezra Pound's idea of 'emotional correlations by sounds and rhythm of speech'
metaphor Poetic device to transfer meaning or describe one thing by providing the image of another. The transfer is direct. Love is a rose.
meter  Metric Pattern. The rhythmic measure of a poetic line.
metonymy A figure of speech in which something is so closely associated with another thing that its name can be substituted for the name of the other. Suit = executive
Metrical Laws Metric Patterns: Laws are simply patterns of Greek meter observed by modern academics. They can be limited to genre, meter or author. They are the recognition of "the coordination of words within meter" and are often named for the scholar who discovered the pattern.  See Meyer's Law  and Herman's Law
Metrical Romance Any metrical verse whose theme is honor and or chivalry. The Chanson and Courtly Compliment fall under this category.
Meyer's Bridge or Law Metric Pattern - An unbroken word within a second metric foot of a hexameter.  Named for the scholar who discovered the word pattern.
mimesis Poetic imitation of reality.
Minnesingers Medieval German poet-singers mostly of noble birth, the German equivalent to the Provencal troubadors.
mirror image A poetic device or technique to reflect back an element of the poem's frame (line length, rhyme, # of lines etc.) as if looking in a mirror.
mixed metaphor 2 or more incompatible metaphors used in verse which contradict or confuse each other. e.g. He was such a tower of strength that he breezed through the battle. towers can't breeze
molosis Metric Pattern. Metric foot of 3 long or stressed syllables.
monody Greek "singing alone" An elegy meant to be sung by a single mourner. A genre of usually short verse that laments a death with the frame, meter, and rhyme at the discretion of poet.
monologue Old English verse, a single person's dramatic discourse, speaking to someone else. Half a conversation.
monometer  Line measure. 1 metric foot.
mono-rhyme A sound element. Verse with a single rhyme, rhyme scheme aaaa.
mote A sentence, often written in single line, especially when the sentence is short. It expresses a complete statement or thought, used at the beginning of a poem to be expanded upon in the body of the poem.
Munaajaat Urdu poetic genre written as a lyrical prayer.
muse Spirit of inspiration. In classic tradition, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who inspired artists and musicians. Calliope, Euterpe, Erato and Polyhymnia were specifically responsible for inspiring poets
N Also see Poetic Verse Form N
Naat Poetry Arabic -praise - Islamic poetry that praises the prophet Mohammad.
Narrative Verse The main focus of the verse is to tell a story. It is one of the 3 directions of poetry which includes Lyrical Verse and Dramatic Verse.
Nasher A satirical couplet of wrenched rhyme, creating puns, or twisted words to create a rhyme. The lines themselves may be of any meter or not at the discretion of the poet. The couplet is one among other couplets. The couplet is named for the 20th century American poet, Ogden Nash.
near rhyme A sound element. Shared similar consonant sounds but different vowel sounds as in season and raisin or sometimes only the last consonant sound. e.g. fame/room. Same as off rhyme, imperfect rhyme, slant rhyme or consonance.
negative capability Term describes the poet's ability of 'being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason', attributed to John Keats.
neologism The creation of new words.
nom de plume Pen name.
nonce A structured form unique to and developed for one specific poem.
nonometer  Line measure. 9 metric feet in the line.
Nonsense Verse The words are pretty self explanatory, verse that is nonsense. e.g. Madsong Stanza or Barzelletta and Frottola etc.
Norse Verse Verse form originating in Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark.
Nursery rhyme Rhymed verse meant for children. Some popular rhymes date back to 14th century England but it wasn't until the 18th century that they were written down. The early nursery rhymes were not just written to entertain children, many reflected the events of the times. The popular Ring Around the Rosey is thought to describe symptoms of the Black Plague of the Middle Ages. Most are written in accentual meter and often use the ballad stanza.
O Also see Poetic Genre and Verse Form O
objective correlative Concrete or specific situation/location/thing which evokes a particular emotion in the reader. The term is attributed to TS Eliot.
oblique rhyme A sound element. Near rhyme.
obsequy Funeral song.
Occasional Verse Verse are written in honor of a particular event or person. Occasional poetry may be written in any structural pattern including some of the Ode patterns.
Occitan The dominant language of southern France between 1000 A.D. and 1300. This is the language of the troubadours who had a major influence on French, Italian and Spanish verse.
octameter Line measure.  8 metric feet in the line.
octave or octet Any poem or stanza in 8 lines.
octastich A poem in 8 lines.
ode A lyrical poem that praises, exalts, elevates or favorably contemplates a subject.
off rhyme A sound element. Shared similar consonant sounds but different vowel sounds as in season and raisin or sometimes only the last consonant sound such as fame and room. Also near rhyme, imperfect rhyme, slant rhyme, or consonance.
onji Line measure. Japanese metric measure which translates "sound character without meaning" which is expressed in kana, syllabic Japanese script. The onji is impossible to emulate in English so we default to the closest English equivalent, the syllable. e.g. the Japanese word for Japan is Nippon, in English we count Nip-pon, 2 syllables, the Japanese would count ni-p-po-n, 4 onji, written in script is 日本, 2 kana.
onomatopoeia A sound element. A word that imitates the sound associated with its meaning such as "BooM" or "hiss".
OULIPO acronym for "Ouvrioir de litterature potentiell" ~ ourvrior is a "workroom in a convent". OULIPO was a 1960s French poetic movement of poets and methematicians that experimented with and explored rhetorical game like forms.
Open Form Verse that has no prerequisites in the frame or structure of the poem. Also see Free Verse.
open verse Lines with no end-stop.
oral poetry Poetry meant to be recited outloud.
organic form The form taken by poetry which develops naturally from its subject matter - as opposed to prescribed form such as a sonnet or villanelle etc.
oxymoron Expression or consecutive words that contradict each other. eg pretty ugly / clearly confused / living dead/ alone together.
oxytone Greek, words with the stress on the last syllable. eg. reward

Poetic terms defined A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Genres, Devices, Movements, Stanzaic Form & Verse Form - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

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