Glossary of Poetic Terms
No.1 on Google UK
|Longer Japanese form consisting of
alternating five and seven syllable lines - as in a
haiku - and concluding
with two seven syllable lines - as in a
The naga-uta is sometimes known as a choka. See
|Term coined by Schiller to distinguish (what he saw as)
two separate types of poets: 'Naive' - those like Homer,
Shakespeare and Goethe who dealt with nature as it is and 'Sentimental' - those who,
like himself, or Wordsworth dealt with it in a more detached or formal
|Verse which tells a story e.g.
of Bath's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer.
The Odyssey by Homer is another example.
Narrative verse is not very common today; story telling is now the
preserve of the novel.
|Term used to describe poets whose subject matter
predominantly concerns animals, birds, insects and vegetation. Notable
English nature poets include John Clare,
Gerard Manley Hopkins,
D.H.Lawrence and Ted Hughes.
|Term used to describe a number of devices which come
close to full rhyme but don't create the perfect chiming sound
associated with words such as 'cat' and 'mat'. These devices include:
|Term coined by John Keats to
describe the (true) poet's ability of 'being in uncertainties,
mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and
|Term used to describe the work of some late 17th century
and 18th century poets such as Alexander Pope and
John Dryden who
deliberately imitated the
Greek and Roman poets. Their work was characterised by formality
Romanticism was a reaction against neo-classicism. The neo-classical
poets are sometimes known as the Augustans.
|The coining or use of new words e.g. in Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
|Group of 1940s poets who reacted against the classicism
of Auden. Their work was wild, turbulent and surrealist. James Findlay
Hendry, Henry Treece and G.S.Fraser were key members. Other poets
associated with the movement were: Dylan Thomas,
Vernon Watkins and George Barker. The
opposed the New Apocalypse.
|Group of (largely) American critics including: T.S.Eliot,
I.A. Richards, William Empson, Yvor Winters, Allen Tate, Cleanth Brooks
and Robert Penn Warren who advocated a 'close reading' of texts.
Prize for Literature
|Nobel Prizes were instigated by the Swedish
chemist Alfred Bernhard Nobel. The first prize for literature was
awarded to Sully Prudhomme in 1901. Other poet recipients include:
T.S.Eliot, W.B.Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Pablo Neruda,
Seamus Heaney and
Derek Walcott. See full list of recipients
|Nom de Plume
|Pen-name or literary pseudonym.
Hugh MacDiarmid was the nom de plume of the
Scottish poet Christopher Murray Grieve.
|A form of
light verse where the emphasis moves from
to absurdity. This is often achieved by following a rhyme scheme to an illogical
conclusion. Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and, more recently,
Spike Milligan were all exponents of nonsense verse.
|The perfect rhyme of a word with itself e.g.
in the first and last line of an Edward Lear
|Alternative term for metrical feet. Pope
wrote 'But most by numbers judge a poet's song,/And smooth or rough with
them is right or wrong.' See
|Jingles written for children e.g. Hickory, Dickory,
Dock, Wee Willie Winkie or The Cat and the Fiddle.
Many have been passed down orally.