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    A glossary of common poetic terms.

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    A list of definitions of terms useful for writing or discussing poetry. Includes alliteration, assonance, end-stopped, enjambment, foot, free verse, metaphor, meter, nonce form, prose poem, rhyme, scansion, sestina, simile, sonnet, stanza, stress, tone, villanelle, and more.

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    Alliteration: repetition of an individual sound at the start of multiple words, as in the lines "The fair breeze flew, the white foam flew, / The furrow followed free" from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

    Assonance: repetition of vowel sounds; "doomed moon food."

    End-stopped: a poetic line ending with any punctuation that causes a pause when read aloud.

    Enjambment: a poetic line which continues into the next without final punctuation.

    Foot: the traditional base unit of accentual-syllabic meter, usually made up of two to four syllables. In scansion, they are separated by a single vertical line. Each type of foot, or arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables, has its own name.

    Name of foot /// Stress pattern

    iamb /// unstressed, stressed
    trochee /// stressed, unstressed
    anapest /// unstressed, unstressed, stressed
    dactyl /// stressed, unstressed, unstressed
    spondee /// stressed, stressed
    pyrrhic /// unstressed, unstressed

    Free Verse: a poem without a palpably regular meter or rhyme scheme. Free verse poems do, however, often depend on the manipulation of rhythm and rhyme. See a discussion about free verse on pages 61-67: like most freedoms, it's a little more complicated than it ...

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