Literary Terms

Genre: a “kind”; a [literary] type or class

Ex: epic, tragedy, lyric, satire, melodrama

Verse: a line of metrical writing; a [stanza]; poetry in general

Stanza: a group of lines/verse; determined by no. of lines, no. of feet in each line; determined by metrical/rhyme-scheme

Hypotaxis: use of conjunctions to connect phrases within a text

Ex: He went to the store to buy milk, and then he went home.

Parataxis: coordination of clauses without the use of conjunctions

Ex: He went to the store; he bought milk. He went home.

OUTLINE OF TYPES OF FEET IN POETRY, WHERE EACH IS CONSIDERED ONE “FOOT”:

  • Iamb: unstressed, stressed in one “foot”; looks like:  (  u  / )
  • Trochee: stressed, unstressed:  (  / u  )
  • Anapest: unstressed, unstressed, stressed:          (  u u / )
  • Dactyl: stressed, unstressed, unstressed:          (  / u u  )
  • Spondee: stressed, stressed:  (  / /  )
  • Pyrrhic: unstressed, unstressed:  (  u u  )

Tetrameter: four feet per line

Pentameter: five feet per line

Heptameter: seven feet per line

Perfect Rhyme: identical last stress; Ex: fish/dish

Vowel Rhyme: different consonant following a stress; fish/finger

Eye Rhyme: based on spelling similarity; cough/dough, love/cove

Para-Rhyme: same ending consonant/phoneme sound; fish/dash

Off Rhyme: partial/imperfect rhyme; dry/died

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