Watch the video below to help you remember the key poetic terms and the forms and structure of poetry to help you achieve the top grades.
Below the video are the definitions of some of the most commonly used terms in poetry.
A poem in which the beginning, middle or last letters of each line form a word when read vertically
The repetition of the same consonant sound. It is used to highlight the feeling of sound or movement to intensify meaning:
“Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Pepper”
Repetition of identical vowel sounds in order to achieve a particular effect. Long vowel sounds can slow down a line, making it sound sad and weary:
"A four foot box, a foot every year"
A simple song written as a narrative poem which tells a story through dialogue. Most commonly written in four-line verse with a regular rhythm
A two line stanza
The Choice of Words or Language Used
A slow, thoughtful peom written for someone who has died
End Stopped Lines
A line of poetry with a pause or stop at the end
A running over of the sense and grammatical structure from one line to another, or between stanzas. The enjambed line has no punctuation at the end:
“Small round hard stones click
under my heels”
How a poem is structured or organised
Poetry written with lines of irregular verse and often without rhyme
A figure of speech which uses exaggeration to emphasise a point
Language that appeals to the senses. The use of pictures, figures of speech and description to suggest ideas, feelings, objects and actions which create a vivid picture in your mind
An image where one thing is said to be something else. Like the simile, it is based on a point of similarity, but this image identifies them completely:
“Stick is the whip”
Sounds of words which mime or resemble the sounds of the object being described
The effect created when a non-human object or quality is written about as if it were a human being
A play on words. Two different meanings are drawn out of a single word, usually for comedy
A popular song form which utilises several poetic devices, most notably play of language within a strict rhythmic scheme
A recurring line or phrase, especially at the end of a verse
Repeating a sound, a word, or a phrase for effect
The use of words with matching sounds, usually at the end of each line
The movement of syllables within a line or verse
A four line stanza (traditionally the most popular)
A comparison of one thing with another, where the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ are used
A fourteen line poem, written in iambic pentameter. Traditionally about the theme of love
A group of lines of verse, arranged in a particular way
The use of something to represent something else, but on a deeper symbolic level e.g. Red to symbolise passion, lust etc.
The subject, concerns, issues or ideas within a piece of literature
The feeling, mood, voice, attitude, manner or outlook of a piece of writing. Ask how the author is speaking to you; what would their voice sound like?
A three-lined stanza
The speaker in a poem - either the poet's own voice or a character created by the poet