Glossary of Poetic Terms
No.1 on Google UK
|Term devised by T.S. Eliot to describe a poet's attempt to find a
concrete or specific situation/location/thing which evokes a particular emotion in the reader
(as opposed to attempting to describe the
emotion itself.) In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Eliot writes:
'Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:' This could be taken as an objective
correlative signifying the loneliness and desolation of modern urban life.
|Group of poets including Carl Rakosi, George Oppen,
Charles Reznikoff, Basil
Bunting and Louis Zukofsky. Objectivism grew out of
The objectivists looked to Ezra Pound and
William Carlos Williams as mentors.
|Alternative term for
|Randonly scattered rhyme i.e. not in a set
|Verse written to celebrate an occasion such as
a coronation, a wedding or a birth. At national level, occasional verse would be
one of the
duties of the poet laureate.
|Is a line of poetry containing eight metrical 'feet'. Octameter is the
longest line included in the formal classification of lines. The
Raven by Edgar Allan Poe is written in trochaic
|A stanza comprising of eight lines;
sometimes known as an octet or octastich.
|A line containing eight syllables e.g. iambic tetrameter.
An example is Hudibras by Samuel Butler.
|Comes from the Greek word meaning song. Odes are
normally written in an exalted style and are classified as either Pindaric (after Pindar) or Horatian (after Horace).
Pindaric Odes have a triadic or three stanza structure - comprising a
strophe (first stanza), an antistrophe (second stanza) and an epode
(third stanza). When odes were originally sung and danced by a Greek chorus,
the strophe was chanted when the chorus danced to the left and the
antistrophe when it danced to the right. The epode was chanted when the
chorus stood still. An example of a Pindaric Ode is To the Immortal
Memory and Friendship of that Noble Pair, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H.
Morison by Ben
Jonson. Other examples include:
The Bard and The Progress
of Poesy by Thomas Gray.
Horatian Odes are almost always homostrophic i.e.
they repeat a single stanza shape through out (based upon the first
stanza). However, the shape of that stanza is at the discretion of the
Ode to a
Nightingale by John Keats and
Ode to a Skylark
by Shelley are both Horatian Odes but appear
very different. Another famous Horatian ode is
An Horatian Ode
upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland
by Andrew Marvell.
In the 17th century Abraham Cowley developed the irregular ode which
features stanzas with varying forms and lengths.
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
Wordsworth is an example of an irregular ode.
|Epic poem by Homer - written in
unrhymed dactylic hexameter and concerning the adventures of Odysseus.
|Work which is quirky or unconventional.
|The written and spoken language of England
from the first half of the 5th Century to the period just after the
Norman Conquest; often referred to as Anglo-Saxon. The two pre-eminent
texts from this period are Beowulf and The Dream of the Rood.
|The use of words that imitate the sound
that the poet is trying to describe e.g. the use of the word 'crackle' in Thistles
by Ted Hughes:
'Thistles spike the summer air
Or crackle open under the blue-black pressure.'
Other examples of onomatopoeia by Ted Hughes include: 'Owls hushing
the floating woods' from Pike and 'Wings snickering' from A
|A dramatic work set to music e.g. Aida
|A short or humorous opera.
|A musical composition or set of compositions
or an artistic work - usually on a grand scale. See also
|Poetry composed to be recited rather than
read. Oral poetry was a feature of many pre-literate societies. Much of
it was chanted to a musical accompaniment.
|The form taken by poetry which arises naturally
from its subject matter - as opposed to 'mechanic form' e.g. stanzaic or metrical patterns which can be imposed upon it.
|A poem, of Italian origin, consisting of
eight line stanzas with a rhyme scheme a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c.
e.g. Don Juan by Lord Byron.
|As pertaining to the Roman poet
|Figure of speech containing two seemingly contradictory
expressions e.g. 'Faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.' (Idylls of
the King by Tennyson)
|Word or line of verse where the accent falls
on the last syllable - as in iambic meter.