Clare Finburgh - University of Essex

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Clare Finburgh

Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

University of Essex

Guidelines for Commenting on Figures for Sense and Sound

Read the definitions, and put the correct term from the box at the end of the sheet next to the correct defintion.

These poetic terms can be used to describe the formal features of a poem (form of the poem, as opposed to its themes and content)..

When analysing a poem, DON’T just provide an inventory of these poetic features. ONLY describe them if they are relevant to the overall meaning of the poem, or if the poet employs them to create a particular effect:

Find examples in a poem of as many of these terms as possible:

POETIC FIGURES AFFECTING SOUND

Verse A line in a poem.

________A fixed number of verse lines arranged in a definite metrical pattern, to form a unit of a poem.

________The arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables.

________The rhythmic arrangement of syllables in a verse.

________Single unit of sound in a word. Each one must contain a vowel. E.g. ‘difficult’ contains 3 syllables.

________Emphasis placed upon a syllable by pronouncing it more loudly than those that surround it. This emphasis constitutes a regular rhythmic beat in poetry.

________Two-time metre, where each unstressed syllable is followed by stressed:

(



).

________A pause, especially for sense, usually near the middle of a verse line. This pause divides the verse into 2 hemistitches. The hemistitches each end in a stressed syllable.

________Verse containing 3 stresses.

________Verse containing 4 stresses.

________Verse containing 5 stresses.

________Verse containing 12 syllables.

________Stanza containing 3 verses.

________Stanza containing 4 verses.

_________Repetition of word.

_________Repetition of phrase.

_________Repetition of particular vowel.

_________Repetition of particular consonant.

________The running over of a sentence from one line of verse into the next.

________The last syllable of the verse is stressed.

________The last syllable of the verse is unstressed.

________can be configured in varying ways : aa, bb, cc, OR ab, ab, cd, cd, OR abba, cddc, etc.

________Syllables at the end of both hemistitches within a verse rhyme.

________List comprising numerous components.

_________Poem comprising 14 lines: 2 quatrains and 2 tercets. Often first 2 stanzas expose problem, which is then solved in final 2 stanzas.

Stanza

Incremental repetition

Stress/accent

Syllable

Iambic

Rhythm

Enjambement

Tetrameter

Caesura

Quatrain

Metre Alliteration

Male rhyme

Internal rhyme

Alexandrine

Assonance

Trimeter Sonnet

Rhymes

Accumulation

Simple repetition

Tercet

Pentameter

Female rhyme

POETIC FIGURES AFFECTING MEANING (TROPES)

___________ Figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote, in order to imply a resemblance.

___________ The substitution of a word referring to an attribute for the thing that is meant. E.g. when crown is used to refer to the monarchy.

___________ A figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or a whole for a part.

E.g. 50 head of cattle for 50 cows.

___________ Words with contradictory meanings are used in conjunction.

________ Exaggeration.

________ Under-exaggeration.

Metaphor Metonymy Litote

Synechdoque Hyperbole

Oxymoron

Clare Finburgh

Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

University of Essex

Guidelines for Commenting on Figures for Sense and Sound

This terminology can be used to describe the formal features of a poem (form of the poem, as opposed to its themes and content)..

DON’T just provide an inventory of these poetic features. ONLY describe them if they are relevant to the overall meaning of the poem, or if the poet employs them to create a particular effect:

Examples from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’:

POETIC FIGURES AFFECTING SOUND

Verse A line in a poem.

Stanza A fixed number of verse lines arranged in a definite metrical pattern, to form a unit of a poem.

Rhythm The arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Metre The rhythmic arrangement of syllables in a verse.

Syllable Single unit of sound in a word. Each one must contain a vowel. E.g. ‘difficult’ contains

3 syllables.

Stress/accent Emphasis placed upon a syllable by pronouncing it more loudly than those that surround it. This emphasis constitutes a regular rhythmic beat in poetry.

Iambic Two-time metre, where each unstressed syllable is followed by stressed:

(



).

Caesura A pause, especially for sense, usually near the middle of a verse line. This pause divides the verse into 2 hemistitches. The hemistitches each end in a stressed syllable.

Trimeter Verse containing 3 stresses. ‘And he stoppeth one of three’.

Tetrameter Verse containing 4 stresses. ‘The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide’.

Pentameter Verse containing 5 stresses.

Alexandrine Verse containing 12 syllables.

Tercet Stanza containing 3 verses.

Quatrain Stanza containing 4 verses.

Simple repetition Repetition of word. ‘Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down’.

Incremental repetition Repetition of phrase. ‘Day after day, day after day’.

Assonance Repetition of particular vowel. ‘All in a hot and copper sky’.

Alliteration Repetition of particular consonant. ‘The furrow followed free’.

Enjambement The running over of a sentence from one line of verse into the next. ‘Unless perchance it were / Brown skeletons of leaves that lag’.

Male rhyme The last syllable of the verse is stressed. ‘The Sun now rose upon the right: / Out of the sea came he’.

Female rhyme The last syllable of the verse is unstressed.

Rhymes can be configured in varying ways : aa, bb, cc, OR ab, ab, cd, cd, OR abba, cddc, etc. ‘Ancient Mariner’ is abcb. Sometimes abcbdb.

Internal rhyme Syllables at the end of both hemistitches within a verse rhyme. ‘We were the

first that ever burst’.

Accumulation List comprising numerous components. Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, /

They coiled and swam; and every track / Was a flash of golden fire’.

Sonnet Poem comprising 14 lines: 2 quatrains and 2 tercets. Often first 2 stanzas expose problem, which is then solved in final 2 stanzas.

POETIC FIGURES AFFECTING MEANING (TROPES)

Metaphor Figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote, in order to imply a resemblance. ‘The bloody sun

Metonymy The substitution of a word referring to an attribute for the thing that is meant. E.g. when crown is used to refer to the monarchy. ‘A flash of golden fire’ to denote the sun.

Synechdoque A figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or a whole for a part. E.g. 50 head of cattle for 50 cows. ‘A sail! a sail!’.

Oxymoron Words with contradictory meanings are used in conjunction. ‘The wan stars’.

Hyperbole Exaggeration. ‘The very deep did rot’.

Litote Under-exaggeration

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