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Poetic Terms

The following short list of terms is comprised of the words you will be responsible for knowing on the objective section of the comprehensive exam. You may be asked to identify these in terms of examples; for instance, you may be asked to scan lines in order to identify meter, line length, etc.

Figures of speech

Ambiguity
Analogy
Anaphora
Anastrophe
Antithesis
Apostrophe
Chiasmus
Epithet
Hyperbole
Irony
Kenning
Metaphor
Metonymy
Oxymoron
Paradox
Parallelism
Periphrasis (circumlocution)
Prosopopoeia (personification)
Rhetorical Question
Simile
Symbol
Synecdoche
Trope
Understatement

Terms of literary analysis

Alliteration
Alliterative verse
Allusion
Anacrusis
Archaism
Ascending and descending meter
Assonance
Ballad stanza
Basic stanzas: couplet, tercet, quatrain, sestet, octave
Blank verse
Cacophony
Caesura
Catalexis
Conceit
Consonance
Diction
Elegy
End rhyme, internal rhyme
End-stopped lines
Enjambment
Epigram
Euphony
Free verse
Heroic couplet
Image
Imagery
Line length: monometer, dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter, hexamater, etc.
Masculine and feminine rhyme
Metrical feet: iamb (iambic), trochee (trochaic),anapest (anapestic), dactyl (dactylic), pyrrhic, sponde(spondaic)
Ode
Onomatopoeia
Ottava rima
Persona
Prosody
Refrain
Rhyme royal
Riddle
Satire
Sestina
Sonnet (English)
Sonnet (Italian or Petrarchan)
Stichic versus strophic verse
Stanza
Stress
Substitution
Synaeresis
Syncope
Terza Rima
Tone
Villanelle
Voice
Wit

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