Glossary of Lit Poetry Vocab

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a prose summary of what happens in a poem, used to often be provided by poets, now poets seldom provide them
first step poet readers take to interpret the poem, put into prose exactly what the poem says, line by line, in words that are different but as equivalent as possible
the main idea that a poem evokes, but it does not describe in full the meaning of the poem; poems make statements about a subject and define the degree and kind of their interest in it
its general or specific area of concern, usually something categorical such as death, war, suffering, love, rejection, or the simple life
the statement a poem makes about its subject; summarizing a paraphrase in one or two sentences often provokes the theme
a recurrent device, formula, situation which deliberately connects the poem with common patterns of previous thoughts
explication (exegesis)-
explains how all the elements in an individual poem or passage work; in explication, a critic analyses the various competent parts in order to interpret the poem’s statement; a step beyond paraphrase in attempting to uncover the meaning
message and moral-
once used to summarize the poem’s meaning, now usually considered outmoded and misleading because they tend to oversimplify and confuse statement with meaning
hidden meaning-
objectionable to many implies that a poem is a puzzle or that the artist is deliberately obscuring his/her point
the poem’s combination of motifs, themes, and statements about a subject or series of subjects and the emotions that it artfully evokes toward them by means of poetic devices and strategies; never the precise equivalent of the poem itself
Poetic devices/strategies-
means by which poems generate an effect
sum of the persuasive devices used to affect readers
may clarify the identity and properties of a person, place, or thing, but persuasive values may also be built in, depending on the objects of comparison
reference to something outside the poem, which has built in emotional associations
hyperbole (exaggeration)-
extravagant exageration
(understatement)- brings reader to be defensive of thing being underrated
affirms something by denying the opposite
periphrasis (circumlocution)-
deliberate avoidance of the obvious; writing around the subject
using part of something to signify the whole
naming something associated with what is being talked about rather than the thing itself
rearrangement of sentence elements for special effects
the foreshadowing of a future event as if it were already influencing the present
present an indication or a suggestion of something before it occurs
poems that advocate a particular ideology, argue for a specific cause, or try to teach us
mimetic (imaginative)-
concerned to present whether to persuade
writing for which the aim is to arouse readers towards immediate action
the individual that a poet chooses to speak through
speaker, persona
a created fictional character
pose (posture, mask)-
an author’s strategy of making a point effectively and persuasively by speaking in a his own voice except that it is more innocent, earnest and pure
place or time where the poem is set
saying one thing and meaning another, any matter of being oblique rather than straightforward and often involves exaggeration or understatement
structural irony-
the whole poem has irony
verbal irony-
using ironic words and phrases
irony that is stark, simple, snide, exactly inverted
dramatic irony-
speaker is unaware of something about himself that the reader is not
Socratic irony-
speaker poses as an innocent and ignorant person who then provokes a revelation through his apparently naïve assumptions or questions
the way words of a poem are (or should be) spoken when one reads it aloud; meaning is adjusted based on how poem is read
describes the prevailing sense of the author’s presence
interrelation between voice and tone
thing that pervades the poem and gives the reader a sense of what to expect
feelings and associations suggested by a word
mental pictures suggested by the verbal descriptions in a poem, visual descriptions in the poem itself, the figurative language (metaphors, similes, analogies) in the poem
synthetic imagery-
imagery which mingles different sense impressions
visual/sense impressions-
presumed effect on the reader of both description and imagery
imagery is the collective term for a group of individual images
image cluster-
a group of similar images concentrated in a short passage
controlling image-
when a single image seems to dominate a passage or even a whole poem making other images subservient to it
image pattern-
when one or more images recur in a passage or poem
direct comparison of two things, may extend throughout the poem
analogy- a simile that is elaborated throughout the poem
a simile that is elaborated throughout the poem
pretends that one thing is something else, making an implicit comparison between two things
when a metaphor compares two things that are radically unalike, but are developed into a striking parallel
primary object of attention
clarifies the object
extended/controlling metaphors-
metaphors that dominate or organize a poem
mixed metaphor-
terms from one metaphor are incorporated into another one, usually by mistake
dead metaphor-
one that has passed into such common usage that we forget its origins
when language becomes unnecessarily specialized and self-consciously unavailable to an outsider
when such language is used mindlessly
when jargon is slangy and lives a short life of fashion among a select in group
any expression or idea which has become commonplace, trite
personification (prosopopeia)-
giving inanimate objects human characteristics
something which stands for something else
symbolic poem-
a poem that persuasively uses symbols as a major strategy and when the poem is more committed to the things which the symbols represent than to everyday reality and uses symbolism
the action of the poem consistently and systematically describes another order of things beyond the obvious one; may operate on several levels
private symbols-
a poets set of specialized and personal symbols
symbols that are shared universally in a culture
myth criticism-
an attempt to discover archetypes
patterns of experience and action which are similar in different nations and cultures

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