Monday, April 2, 2012

Glossary of Poetry Terminology

When digging deep into poetry, it can be helpful to have a vocabulary for discussing the differing aspects of how language is used to create a poem and give it its impact. Young people can enjoy learning these “big words” as they are learning more and more about poetry, too. But please don’t let this aspect dominate poetry study or get in the way of enjoying the poems WITHOUT discussing these aspects as well. That said, this list of a handful of key terms may provide a helpful starting point. It is based on a reference guide created for students by Paul Williams and used with permission.

The list begins:

Alliteration: The repetition of consonants for effect, particularly as the initial sound in a string of words

Ballad: A short narrative poem, originally a song and with strong links to the oral tradition

Couplet: Paired lines of verses, often rhyming

For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
And if you already have the book and would like to offer additions, corrections, or other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!

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