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Glossary of Forms, Poetic Terminology, and Literary Devices

Glossary of Forms, Poetic Terminology, and Literary Devices:

This is a beginner’s list of terminology used at BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond: you may want to visit http://literarydevices.net/ for more examples.   Another good source is http://www.volecentral.co.uk/vf/.

For more information about haiku please visit http://www.ahapoetry.com/haiku.htm.

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Acrostic Poem:

Poem in which the first word in each line spells a specific word.  For example, “armor”

And there it stood
Rigid as an old oak tree
Melancholic mystery
Of manhood from another age
Ready to give battle!

In a reverse acrostic poem, the last letter of each line spells a specific word.

Alliteration:

Shared consonant sounds.  For example: show, shudder, wishing, and fish all share the “sh” sound; a poem that uses all of these words is said to demonstrate alliteration.

Anapestic Dimeter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da da DA / da da DA /. Each “da da DA” is an anapest – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which two unstressed syllables are followed by one stressed syllable.  There are two “feet” in anapestic dimeter – two sets of “da da DA” – for a total of six syllables per line.

Anapestic Meter:

Meter in which the rhythm consists of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable.  For example, “da da DA / da da DA / da da DA ….” or “i am MON arch of ALL i sur VEY” (William Cowper, “Verses Supposed to Be Written by Alexander Selkirk”)

Anapestic Pentameter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da da DA / da da DA / da da DA / da da DA / da da DA. Each “da da DA” is an anapest – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which two unstressed syllables are followed by one stressed syllable.  There are five “feet” in anapestic pentameter – five sets of “da da DA” – for a total of fifteen syllables per line.

Anapestic Tetrameter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da da DA / da da DA / da da DA / da da DA. Each “da da DA” is an anapest – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which two unstressed syllables are followed by one stressed syllable.  There are four “feet” in anapestic tetrameter – four sets of “da da DA” – for a total of twelve syllables per line.

Anapestic Trimeter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da da DA / da da DA / da da DA. Each “da da DA” is an anapest – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which two unstressed syllables are followed by one stressed syllable.  There are three “feet” in anapestic tetrameter – three sets of “da da DA” – for a total of nine syllables per line.  For example, “i am MON arch of ALL i sur VEY” (William Cowper, “Verses Supposed to Be Written by Alexander Selkirk”).

It is frequently used in limericks.

American 767

The American 767 and it was created by Dennis L. Dean.

Here it is for you:

The American 767 is:

a tristich, a poem in 3 lines. (Cool thing to know!)

syllabic, 7-6-7 syllables per line.

unrhymed.

written with the name of a “bug” in it.

Baker Street:

Form invented by Blog It Or Lose It.  A string of 3-line stanzas in which each stanza follows a 2-2-1b pattern. Two syllables, two syllables, one syllable – with the one-syllable line having a repeated vowel or consonant sound.

Brevette:

Created by Emily Romano, the brevette consists of a subject (noun), verb, and object (noun), in this exact order. The verb shows an ongoing action – so the letters in the verb should be spaced out.  There are only three words in the poem.

Each of the three words may have any number of syllables, but it is desirable that the poem have balance in the choice of these words. Unlike haiku, there are no other rules to follow.

For example,

Rainbow
r a d i a t e s
spectrum

(c) Emily Romano

See: http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/brevette.html

Bop:

A fairly recently created poetic form called The Bop.  It was created by poet Afaa Michael Weaver, an American poet (born in 1951, author of several collections of poems and a full length play) during a summer retreat of the African-American poetry organization Cave Canem.

Form:

Not totally dissimilar to a sonnet … it consists of three un-rhymed stanzas with a repeated refrain after each stanza.

The first stanza is dedicated to the statement of a problem and it is 6 lines long.

The second stanza is dedicated to the elaboration of the problem and it is 8 lines long.

The third stanza is dedicated to the possible solution of the problem and it is also 6 lines long.

Canzone: Please Follow the link to the post.

Cavatina

Italian form in which

1. The author writes in any number of quatrains (4-line stanzas); and ends their poem with a couplet (2-line stanza);

2. The couplet expresses strong emotion or opinion;

3. The rhyme scheme is XAXA / XBXB / XCXC / … / DD, where “X” means the line doesn’t need to rhyme at all;

4. Each quatrain (four-line stanza) has 2 uneven couplets; 1st in iambic pentameter and 2nd in iambic dimeter;

5. The ending couplet has 2 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter.

Cherita:

A cherita is a six-line poem that tells a complete story.  It was created in 1997 by American poet Ai Li.  The name itself comes from Malay and means “story” or “tale

The cherita has three stanzas.  The first stanza has one line; the second stanza has two lines, and third stanza has three lines.  There is no specific rhyme or meter.  A cherita may be written by three poets working on one stanza each or it may be written by one solo poet.

Generally, however, lines in a cherita are fairly short and fairly uncomplicated.

See: http://www.aili.co.uk/

Cinquain:

A cinquain is a short, usually unrhymed five-line poem developed by Adelaide Crapsey.  It has a syllable count of 2/4/6/8/2, and it is similar to the elfje in that each line has a very specific role, as follows:

Line 1: Noun
Line 2: Description of Noun
Line 3: Action
Line 4: Feeling or Effect
Line 5: Synonym of the initial noun.

Choka:

Classical Japanese choka were long, elegiac poems that told an epic or commemorative tale and may have reached 100 lines long.  Today the choka is much shorter and it simply tells a story.

Choka are formed by writing 5/7 couplets and then ending the poem with an extra seven-syllable line.  The poet may write as many couplets as he or she desires.

Cinquenta:

A poem of 50 characters.

CinqTroisDecaLa Rhyme:

 a form created by Laura Lamarca, consisting of one 10-lined stanza. The rhyme scheme for this form is AABBCCCABC and a syllable count of each line is 15.

Clarity Pyramid:

An unrhymed, center-aligned, 7-line poem – two triplets and a single concluding line.

First triplet – stating the subject:

* The first line has one syllable and is the subject of the poem;
* The second line has two syllables and is a synonym or clarification of the first line;
* The third line has three syllables and is also a synonym or clarification of the first line;

Second triplet – a life event or memory featuring the subject:

* The fourth line has five syllables;
* The fifth line has six syllables;
* The sixth line has seven syllables;

Concluding line:

* The seventh line has eight syllables and redefines the first line / subject.  It is placed in quotation marks.

Common Measure:

  • alternating iambic tetrameter – trimester (that is 8 syllable beats (unstressed/stressed or iamb) with 6 syllable beats unstressed/stressed)
  • Metrics:
    daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM
    daDUM daDUM daDUM

Couplet:

Two-line stanza; a grouping of two lines in poetry.

Cut-Up Technique:

Cut-Up Poetry is an experimental poetic form in which a poem is created by taking an existing text, cutting the text into pieces, and then rearranging the pieces either at random or in an order that is pleasing to the writer.

Declamatory:

Expressing strong opinion or emotion.

Diamante:

A seven-lined contrast poem set up in a diamond shape.

Line 1: Noun or subject

Line 2: Two Adjectives describing the first noun/subject

Line 3: Three -ing words describing the first noun/subject

Line 4: Four words: two about the first noun/subject, two about the antonym/synonym

Line 5: Three -ing words about the antonym/synonym

Line 6: Two adjectives describing the antonym/synonym

Line 7: Antonym/synonym for the subject

Dinggedicht:

Dinggedicht or Object Poem. This poetic form was introduced by Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke in the early 1900s whilst he studied impressionistic paintings. They can either be an observation of man-made objects (especially the more recent Dinggedicht) or an observation of nature.

The Dinggedicht is:
• framed at the discretion of the poet.
• formed by acute observations of concrete images in the world around, expressing symbolically an event, social condition, mood or idea.

Double rhyme:

Words that contain two sets of rhyme.  For example, “happy”, “snappy”, and “sappy” share the “ap” sounds and the “ee” sounds.

Elfje:

A Dutch poem (“elven” or “fairy”) originally used to teach poetry to children.  There are eleven words in five lines.

Line one:  One word.  This is a symbol, color, or feature that gives the atmosphere of the poem.

Line two:  Two words. They are something, someone, or some idea that has the feature in line one.

Line three:  Three words.  More information about the thing, person, or idea in line two.

Line four:  Four words.  This line places the reader and/or author in relation to the subject of the poem.  (What you feel, see, think; where you are; etc.)

Line five:  One word.  “The Bomb”, or the essence of the poem.

This is probably the best-known elfje:

Yellow
the eyes
in the dark
Is there a cat?
Miauw.

— author unknown

See http://simplyelfje.wordpress.com/about/.

End rhyme:

Words that end with the same vowel sound, or the same combination of vowel-consonant sounds.  For example, “sloopy”, “sharpie” and “goatee” all end with the “ee” sound.  Also, “sixteen”, “velveteen”, and “protein” all end with the sound of “teen”.

Epitaph:

Let’s look at the Epitaph.  You may not think of an epitaph as poetry, but the form has great potential to be so.  What is an epitaph?  It is: “a note meant to appear on a tombstone. From the Greek, epitaph means “upon a tomb.” Since it has to fit on a tombstone, this note is usually brief and often rhymes. Some epitaphs are funny; most are serious. Most try to get the reader thinking about the subject of the tombstone” (Source).

Essence

Created by Emily Romano, the “Essence” consists of two lines of six syllables each.  There is an end rhyme (rhyme at the end of the line) and an internal rhyme (rhyme in the middle of the line).

Fibonacci:

he Fibonacci Sequence, a pattern found throughout nature, reads as follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 …  begin the sequence at 1 and cut the sequence off at 13 (or further as you like). There are two ways you can approach this form – either using syllable count or word count.

Free Verse:

Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. It thus tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.”

So, to round it up, free verse

Free verse poems have no regular meter and rhythm.

They do not follow a proper rhyme scheme as such; these poems do not have any set rules.

This type of poem is based on normal pauses and natural rhythmical phrases as compared to the artificial constraints of normal poetry.

It is also called vers libre which is a French word.

Ghazal:

1. Every verse is a 2-line couplet, (unless you’re Robert Bly) with around 4 to 15 couplets in total.
2. Each line must contain the same number of syllables (in Arabic, they must be the same length we use syllables).
3. Every verse (couplet)  ends in the same word(s) preceded by a rhyme.
The same repeating word(s) is/are called a radif, and the rhyme is called a qaafiya.
4. In the first couplet, both lines end with a qaafiya (rhyme) and radif (repeating word(s)).
5. Each verse is considered a separate mini-poem, so there is no need for any connection between couplets.
6. The last verse is traditionally a signature couplet in which you include your first or last name (or pen name).

Traditionally the preferred subject of a Ghazal is love …. though in our modern age it’s used for just about any subject.

Group Effect:

Five four line stanzas…with an added fifth haiku-type 5 syllable line at the end of each quatrain similar to the haiku “cutting phrase”, the fifth four line stanza, at the end of the poem is in free verse. Outside of the last 5 syllable line in each stanza there is no set meter or syllable count.

The rhyming pattern is particular: aabbc aabbc aabbc aabbc abcd, but the first and third stanzas rhyme on the last word – the second and the fourth stanzas rhyme on the first word, “the cutting phrases and the last 4 line stanza have no rhymes the last stanza being completely in free verse.

Haibun:

A Japanese writing form in which autobiographical prose (“paragraph”-style writing) is combined with one or more haiku.  Generally, the author is on a journey (physical or spiritual). For more details, see http://www.hsa-haiku.org/EducationalResources/Guidelines-for-Writing-Haibun.pdf.

Haiku:

A Japanese poetic form consisting of three lines, seventeen syllables, and (usually) a reference to nature.  Here are the guidelines for classical haiku:

1.  Seventeen syllables, broken into 5/7/5 (more or less) – modern haiku often ignores the 5/7/5 rule so long as no more than 17 syllables are used and the second line is (usually) the longest line;

2.  A season word (or kigo) – [THE FIVE HUNDRED ESSENTIAL JAPANESE SEASON WORDS];

3.  A cutting word or punctuation that divides the haiku into a short segment and a longer segment (called kireji);

4.  Interchangeable first line and third line;

5.  Often, a deeper spiritual meaning;

6.  A very brief moment in time, written in the “here and now”.

Hay(na)ku

A fairly recently created form (2003) by poet Eileen Tabios (born 1960)  an award-winning Filipino-American poet and writer well known for her prose poetry.   The Hay(na)ku has become pretty well-known in poetic circles (The name “hay(na)ku” was coined by Vince Gotera).

It’s a tercet with just 6 words – line one is one word, line two – two words and line three – three words.  That’s it. There’s no syllable count or rhyming requirements etc.

There are variations  –  for example a reverse hay(na)ku which has lines of three, two, and one word(s) for lines one, two, and three respectively or … if one so desires one can write a chained hay(na) ku for a longer poem and Ms. Tabios’ has created a variation, the “haybun,” which combines a single hay(na)ku tercet with prose.

After B&J’s November 28th post another variation has been added by Ms Tabios on her variations page, the reverse hay(na)ku with a shadorma ending.

 

The HexSonnetta:

created by Andrea Dietrich, consists of two six-line stanzas and a finishing rhyming couplet with the following set of rules:

Meter: Iambic Trimeter
Rhyme Scheme: a/bb/aa/b c/dd/cc/d ee

For more information and a history of the form click this link to LadyLee’s page!

Iambic dimeter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da DA / da DA /. Each “da DA” is an iamb – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable.  There are two “feet” in iambic dimeter – two sets of “da DA” – for a total of four syllables per line.  For example, “my HORSE! / my HORSE!”.  (Shakespeare, “Richard III”.)

Iambic pentameter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da DA / da DA / da DA / da DA / da DA. Each “da DA” is an iamb – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable.  There are five “feet” in iambic pentameter – five sets of “da DA” – for a total of ten syllables per line.  For example, “my HORSE! / my HORSE! / my KING / dom FOR / a HORSE!”.   ((Shakespeare, “Richard III”.)

Iambic tetrameter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  da DA / da DA / da DA / da DA. Each “da DA” is an iamb – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable.  There are four “feet” in iambic tetrameter – four sets of “da DA” – for a total of eight syllables per line.  For example, “there IS / a LA / dy SWEET / and KIND”.

Joseph’s Star:

Katauta:

One half of a sedoka.

A katauta is a haiku-like poem in 5/7/5 or 5/7/7.  Originally, a katauta was a love poem.  One katauta is considered “incomplete” so a solo poet will combine two complementary katauta to create a sedoka.

Unlike haiku, katauta and sedoka don’t need to contain nature, cutting words, season words, or have a deeper spiritual meaning.  Rhyming is neither required nor forbidden and the poet is allowed to use “I”.

However – each katauta must be able to stand on its own and the two katauta must complement one another.

Kyrielle Poem

A Kyrielle poem is made up of 4 stanzas with four lines each line having eight syllables (in metrics that is in tetrameter and people tend to write them in iamb feet* for those who are interested here’s the Link to our glossary). The capital being the refrain (which is born from the fourth line of the first stanza) – you’ll notice here that unlike the sonnet there is no fifth conclusive  2 line stanza created by the first and last line of the first stanza:

aabB
ccbB
ddbB
eebB

Kyrielle Sonnet:

A poem in which:

1.  There are 14 lines, and each line is 8 syllables long;

2.  There are three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and one couplet (two-line stanza);

3.  The first and last lines of the first quatrain also serve as the ending couplet;

4.  The last line of the first quatrain also serves as a refrain for each succeeding quatrain;

The rhyme scheme of the kyrielle sonnet is, therefore:

AabB / ccbB / ddbB / AB
or
AbaB / cbcB / dbdB / AB

Note that the capitalized, bold letters indicate repeated lines. “AB” is the ending couplet.
If your first quatrain is a sandwich, the ending couplet is the “bread” for your sandwich.

Kyoka:

1.    The syllable structure is 5-7-5-7-7 (or for those who follow the modern haiku rules – short long short long long lines with no more than no more than 31 syllables.)2. It divided in two parts, the 5-7-5 part is called kami-no-ku (“upper phrase”), and the 7-7 part is calledshimo-no-ku (“lower phrase”).
3. There is a subtle turn, often unexpected in the middle of the poem, usually after line two or three.
4. It has a thirty-one syllable count of  (or fewer are acceptable more isn’t).
5. It is humorous verse or a parody of a famous waka (or tanka).
6. It may contain internal rhyme but should avoid end rhyme.
7. Try to punctuate lightly or not at all.

Landay

From Afghanistan, a folk couplet that is oral in nature:

1. Twenty two syllables broken into two couplets (nine in the first, thirteen in the second);
2. Ends with a “ma” or “na” sound (this cannot be replicated in English);
3.  May contain end rhyme;
4.  Characterized by bawdiness, wit, and piercing truths despite the beauty of the language;
5.  Commonly, themes of war, separation, homeland, grief, and love.

Read more at The Poetry Foundation.

Lento:

A poetic form created by Lencio Dominic Rodrigues, the Lento is named after it’s creator, taken from his first name Lencio and rhymed to Cento, an existing form of poetry.

Form:

A Lento consists of two quatrains with a fixed rhyme scheme of abcb, defe as the second and fourth lines of each stanza must rhyme. To take it a step further, but not required, try rhyming the first and third lines as well as the second and fourth lines of each stanza in this rhyming pattern: abab, cdcd. The fun part of this poem is that as all the FIRST words of each verse should rhyme. There is no fixed syllable structure to the Lento, but keeping a good, flowing rhythm is recommended.

By “Shadow Poetry” click on the link for variations.

Limerick:

A short, humorous – and usually naughty – poem.

1.  Five lines;

2.  Rhyme scheme of AABBA;

3.  Anapestic meter (a rhythm that goes “da da DA / da da DA …”);

4.  First, second, and fifth lines are in anapestic trimeter ( da da DA / da da DA / da da DA);

5.  Third and fourth lines are in anapestic dimeter (da da DA / da da DA);

6.  The first line often has a place name.

Loop Poetry:

Loop Poetry is a poetry form created by Hellon and was featured as part of OctPoWriMo 2015, where we discovered it through J Lapis at Dark Light Harbor.

The Form:

1)  No restrictions on the number of stanzas or the syllable count for each line;

2)  For each stanza, the last word of the first line becomes the first word of line two,
the last word of line 2 becomes the first word of line 3,
and the last word of line 3 becomes the first word of line 4;

3)  The rhyme scheme is abcb.

Meter:

The rhythm pattern of a line of poetry.  For example, DA da DA da DA da DA… (“ONCE uPON a MIDnight DREARy) or da DA da DA da DA da DA … (“my HORSE! ,my HORSE! my KINGdom FOR a HORSE!”).

First example: Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
Second example: Shakespeare, “Richard III”.

Minute Poetry:

Rhyming verse form with 12 lines and a total of 60 syllables. The poem is split into 3 stanzas of 8,4,4,4 / 8,4,4,4/ 8,4,4,4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is as follows: AABB / CCDD / EEFF.

Monotetra:

A poetic form developed by Michael Walker which contains four lines in monorhyme. Each line is in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of eight syllables. Lines 1 through 3 have 8 syllables and The last line contains two metrical feet, repeated.  It can have one stanza or many stanzas. (For further examples  you can visit : All Poetry

The man went running in a flash
He’d hit a tree with a mighty crash
He shouted then he made his dash
He was so brash! Ha was so brash!

Naani:

A popular form of poetry in India, introduced by Dr. N. Gopi.  There are 4 lines for a total of 20-25 syllables.  The name “naani” means “an expression of one and all”.  Its subject relates to human relations or to current statements.

See also:  http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/naani.html

Oddquain:

An oddquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem with seventeen syllables in five lines: 1, 3, 5, 7, 1.
It was created by Glenda L. Hand.   The oddquain may stand alone, or it may be combined / modified as follows:

Oddquain Sequences – a longer poem made of several oddquains;

Crown Oddquain – a series of five oddquains;

Reverse Oddquain – an oddquain with a reverse pattern of 1-7-5-3-1;

Oddquain Butterfly – a nine-line stanza with 1-3-5-7-1-7-5-3-1.

Palindrome:

Also known as a mirror poem; a poem whose words spell out the same poem either forwards or backwards. There may be an un-mirrored extra line in the middle.

Pleiades: 

Invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman, the Pleiades is a seven-line poem that gets its name from the Pleiades star cluster in the constellation of Taurus.  Each line begins with the same letter and is six syllables long.

See: http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pleiades.html

Poetweet:

A free verse poem in exactly 140 characters – including punctuation and line breaks.  This makes the poem “tweetable” – publishable in one Twitter post (or “tweet”).

Prose Poem:

“…[It is a] controversially hybrid and (aesthetically and even politically) revolutionary genre… With its oxymoronic title and its form based on contradiction, the p. p. is suitable to an extraordinary range of perception and expression, from the ambivalent (in content as in form) to the mimetic and the narrative (or even anecdotal). … Its principal characteristics are those that would ensure unity even in brevity and poetic quality even without the line breaks of free verse: high patterning, rhythmic and figural repetition, sustained intensity, and compactness.

In the p. p. a field of vision is represented, sometimes mimetically and often pictorially, only to be, on occasion, put off abruptly; emotion is contracted under the force of ellipsis, so deepened and made dense; the rhapsodic mode and what Baudelaire called the “prickings of the unconscious” are, in the supreme examples, combined with the metaphoric and the ontological: the p. p. aims at knowing or finding out something not accessible under the more restrictive conventions of verse.”    Beaujour

Quatrain:

Four-line stanza; a grouping of four lines in poetry.

Refrain:

A line of poetry – or a part of a line of poetry – that is repeated several times within a poem.  (Think of a refrain in a song.)

Renga:

Related to the haiku (or, originally, the hokku) and the tanka.

Originally, one poet would write a “hokku” (today, called a haiku).  This is a poem in 5/7/5 syllables with a focus on nature.  Then a second poet would add two lines in 7/7 syllables.  A third poet would write another “hokku” (haiku) in 5/7/5.  The third poem is independent of the first two poems – and yet – it is an evolution of sorts.  The season and subject would change through one hundred verses. Eventually this was limited to 36 verses and called “Haikai No Renga”.

Today, several authors may take turns creating verses in [5/7/5][7/7][5/7/5][7/7].  The number of verses is not specified.  Or it may be completed by one author, in which case it is called “Solo Renga”.

See also: http://rengawriting.blogspot.it/2006/03/what-is-renga.html  and http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv7n1/renku/essay_art_solo.html

Reverse Acrostic Poem:

A poem in which the last letter of each line spells a specific word.

Rhyme:

Words and/or syllables that share vowel sounds (or the same combination of vowel and consonant sounds).  It’s slightly different from alliteration, in which words share the same consonant sound (show and shudder share consonant sounds and are, therefore, alliteration, not rhyme.)

* For example, “cat” and “hat” and “rat” rhyme (they all share the “at” pattern).

*  In the words “happy”, “snappy”, and “sappy”, there is double rhyme (“ap” and “ee” sounds are shared).

*  In “sloopy”, “sharpie” and “goatee” there is end rhyme (each word ends with an “ee” sound).

Rhyme Scheme:

Pattern of rhyming lines and non-rhyming lines in poetry. For example, “ABBA” indicates a four-line poem in which the first and last line rhyme with one another, and the second and third line rhyme with one another.

Rhythm:

The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.  See “meter” and “stress”.

Rondine

A poem that:

1.  Has twelve lines in three stanzas;

2.  A rhyme scheme of abba / abR / abbaR;

3.  A “refrain” (indicated by R); usually the first four syllables of the first line;

4 .  Lines that are about eight syllables long;

5.  Meter that is iambic tetrameter for the main lines and iambic dimeter for the refrains.

The rondine is very similar to the rondeau.

Sedoka:

A sedoka is a set of two complementary katauta.

A katauta is a haiku-like poem in 5/7/5 or 5/7/7.  Originally, a katauta was a love poem.  One katauta is considered “incomplete” so a solo poet will combine two complementary katauta to create a sedoka.

Unlike haiku, katauta and sedoka don’t need to contain nature, cutting words, season words, or have a deeper spiritual meaning.  Rhyming is neither required nor forbidden and the poet is allowed to use “I”.

However – each katauta must be able to stand on its own and the two katauta must complement one another.

Sestina: 

A six-line poem.  Also: sextet.

Shadorma:

A non-rhyming, six line poem (sestina) with the following syllable count:  3/5/3/3/7/5.

 

Shadorma Summation:

Similar to a haibun but it has nothing to do with mixing prose and haiku (which is a haibun of course) the Shadorma Summation is a Free Verse poem with a concluding stanza using the  Shadorma.

Sijo:

A song-like poetic form which originated in Korea during the Goryeo Kingdom (918–1392).  The Sejong Cultural Society says that “the sijo may tell a story (as the ballad does), examine an idea (as the sonnet does), or express an emotion (as the lyric does).” The sijo’s final line begins with a “twist”: “a surprise of meaning, sound, or other device” and concludes with a profound observation or highly emotional note.

1.   There are three lines which average 14-16 syllables. The final count is 44-46 syllables;

2.  Line one introduces the theme;
3.  Line two elaborates on the theme;
4.  Line three introduces a counter-theme and concludes with a “twist”;

5.  Each line has a pause – or caesura – roughly in the middle (commas are great for this);
6.  Each half line is 6-9 syllables long;

7.  There is no end rhyme;
8.  There is no title;
9.  Western sijo are often printed in six lines, breaking lines at the pause.
..…This is because a 16-syllable line is quite long – spilling beyond the space allotted to one printed line.

Stanza: 

A “paragraph” in poetry; a grouping of lines.

Stress:

Adding more force or emphasis to a syllable.  For example, in DA da DA da DA da DA, the “DA” is the stressed syllable.

Read this line of poetry aloud and you’ll hear stressed versus unstressed syllables:  “ONCE uPON a MIDnight DREARy”.  (Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”.)

The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables creates rhythm.

Tanaga:

A Filipino poem handed passed down through oral tradition.  Often, a tanaga contains a proverb or a moral lesson.

It consists of four lines with seven syllables each; the traditional rhyme scheme is AABB but modern tanagas may follow AABB, ABBB, ABAB, ABBA, AAAB, BAAA, ABCD rhyme patterns.

Tanka:

A five-line Japanese poem similar to the haiku.  The syllable count is 5/7/5/7/7.  Often, tanka does not have a strict requirement to follow the restrictions placed on haiku.  The extra two lines allow for author reflection.

Tetractys:

The Tetractys was invented by Ray Stebbing and consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20). The Tetractys can be written in more than one verse, but then must each line must be followed by an inverted syllable count (10,4,3,2,1 syllables).

The Twenty-Eight:

The Twenty Eight, created by J. Lapis of Dark Light Harbor.

Form:

Four lines with seven syllables each;
end-rhyme the first and fourth line (optional).

Alternate Form:

Seven lines with four syllables each

Tilus:

Created by Kelvin S.M., the tilus [tee-loo-hz] is a ten-syllable micro poem whose purpose is to use emotion to explore the relationship of nature and people.  It has two parts:

1.  Two lines with a 6-3 syllable count;

2.  A one-syllable word that completes the subject in the first two lines

See: http://kelvinsm.blogspot.com/2013/10/tilus.html

Triolet:

A poem with two four-line stanzas.  The line length and meter are negotiable.  Lines 1, 4, and 7 are the same. The rhyming scheme is abaa / abab.

Trinet:

Form:

7 lines with a word count of 2,2,6,6,2,2,2

Trochaic dimeter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  DA da / DA da /. Each “DA da” is a trochee – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable.  There are two “feet” in trochaic dimeter – two sets of “DA da” – for a total of four syllables per line.  For example, “TELL me / TRU ly”.

Trochaic Meter

Meter in which the rhythm consists of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable.  For example, “DA da DA da DA da DA da …”, or “ONCE uPON a MIDnight DREARy”.  (Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”.)

Trochaic pentameter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  DA da / DA da / DA da / DA da / DA da. Each “DA da” is a trochee – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable.  There are five “feet” in trochaic pentameter – five sets of “DA da” – for a total of ten syllables per line.  For example, “DO you / SEE this? / LOOK on / HER, look, / HER lips”.  (Shakespeare, “King Lear”.)

Trochaic tetrameter:

Lines of poetry in which the following rhythm is used:  DA da / DA da / DA da / DA da. Each “DA da” is a trochee – a poetic building block (or “foot”) in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable.  There are four “feet” in trochaic pentameter – four sets of “DA da” – for a total of eight syllables per line.  For example, “BY the / SHORES of / GITCH ee / GUM ee”.  (Longfellow, “Hiawatha”.)

Tyburn:

A six-line poem consisting of lines of 2, 2, 2, 2, 9, 9 syllables.  The first four lines rhyme and are all descriptive words (adjectives and adverbs). The last two lines rhyme and use the first, second, third, and fourth lines as the 5th through 8th syllables.

The Villanelle:

“A villanelle is an ancient Italian pastoral poem, probably originally from Sicily from around the 16th century.  French poets (and then English poets) picked it up in the 18th and 19th century but it never really made its splash until the 20th century when Dylan Thomas and others began to use the form.

The poem is composed of four tercets and then an ending closing stanza of four lines. The first and last refrains are repeated alternatively in the second, third and fourth tercet and then once again in the last stanza.  The first lines of the second through the fourth tercets and the beginning of the closing stanza must rhyme with the refrains … the second lines all throughout the poem rhyme with themselves … complicated to explain but easy to write, believe me … here’s a poem to get you started with color codes to show you how the refrains and rhymes work … there is no special meter or syllable count requirements”

An excellent example of the form is Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night”.

 

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22 comments on “Glossary of Forms, Poetic Terminology, and Literary Devices

  1. anmol(alias HA)
    November 29, 2014

    Great job, in cataloging these many literary terms and poetic forms. A wonderful space for gaining and sharing knowledge. 🙂

    • Bastet
      November 29, 2014

      We worked it out with Yves and thought it would be a nice addition for the community. I’m happy you like it and I’m sure Jen will be glad to know that too (she does most of the work on it).

    • Jen
      March 13, 2015

      Thanks HA — Georgia had the initial idea; I just compiled a good portion of it. Very glad you like it 😀

  2. C.C.
    March 13, 2015

    Whoa, somehow I missed this before….thanks for this awesome glossary….I will have to come back here and spend some more time ‘studying’ this more closely 🙂 You MLMM people are all so awesome—thank you for all that you do to keep this site so interesting, informative and inspiring. I really appreciate your hard work and the amazing stuff you put out each and every day!!!

    • Bastet
      March 13, 2015

      Thanks CC … this is a fantastic comment and reminds me I’ve got to update … most of this was first compiled by our Jen … the J of BJ … and I’ll send this comment around for her!

    • Jen
      March 13, 2015

      Hi CC 🙂
      So glad you’ll find this useful! Like I told HA, Georgia had the initial idea. 🙂
      What a wonderful, encouraging comment — thank YOU! 🙂

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  6. the secret keeper
    December 17, 2015

    I will need time to study all of what you have listed so proficiently. The poem & style at the top “ARMOR” – I did it using the complete A – Z alphabet. I would write a poem each week. I managed a short story. It lasted a fair number of weeks. But it became too much. I love the Haiku challenge and the 5 word challenge, having a variety of methods to use to execute the words. Discovering new poetry style is also exciting. I must tell you, I also write fiction separate from my blog, which I have need of giving attention. Balancing the two, is something I am working on sorting out. The poetry is essential. so I will never stop writing poems in the two challenges. I want to take a deeper look at your list but I feel it may take me forever. Hope you don’t mind. If you could recommend some like the ARMOR one or others I could learn on a gradual basis and also add to my list, it would be appreciated and helpful. In the same breath, I need to mention the need to write my own poetry separate from the challenges, also. Plus my new addiction to Blackout Poetry. Poetry and writing fiction and other forms are my focus in life, There just is not enough time for everything so I feel like I am always playing catch up. Never think I have forgotten you, I am just out there some place. I believe your list wowed me. Really. There’s a great deal to learn there. Thank you for sharing. -jk

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