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    GCSE AQA Anthology – Relationships – Poem Definitions

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    A word that describes something, e.g. “big”, “fast”, “annoying”.
    Where words that are close together start with the same letter. It’s often used in poetry to give a nice pattern to a phrase, e.g. “hummed harmonics”.
    Where a word or phrase has two or more possible meanings.
    When words share the same vowel sound but the consonants are different, e.g. “thumb”/”lung”.
    Describing something that happened in the poet’s life.
    A form of poetry that tells a story and often sounds quite musical.
    Blank verse
    Poetry written in iambic pentameter that doesn’t rhyme, but has a regular rhythm.
    A pause in a line, e.g. around a full stop in “I’m a hostage. I’m marooned.”
    Sounding like everyday spoken language, e.g. “the usual stuff”.
    When words have the same consonant sounds but different vowel sounds, e.g. “hurt”/”heart”.
    All the letters in the alphabet that aren’t vowels.
    When two things are described in a way which emphasises how different they are, e.g. a poet may describe two different places or two different people.
    A variation of a language. People from different places might use different words or sentence constructions, e.g. the non-standard grammar in “She runned away”.
    Something that makes you feel a particular emotion.
    When someone feels like they understand what someone else is experiencing and how they feel about it.
    Finishing a line of poetry with the end of a phrase or sentence.
    When a sentence runs over from one line or stanza to the next.
    First person
    When someone writes about themselves, or a group which includes them, using personal pronouns like “I”, “my”, “me”.
    The type of poem, e.g. a sonnet or ballad, and its features, like number of lines, rhythm, rhyme and metre.
    Free verse
    Poetry that doesn’t rhyme and has no regular rhythm.
    Iambic pentameter
    Poetry with a metre of ten syllables – five of them stressed, and five unstressed. The stress falls on every second syllable, e.g. “My soul can reach when feeling out of sight”.
    Iambic tetrameter
    Like iambic pentameter but with a metre of eight syllables – four stressed and four unstressed. The stress falls on every second syllable, e.g. “She does the work about the house.”
    Language that creates a picture in your mind. It includes metaphors and similes.
    Internal rhyme
    When a word in the middle of a line rhymes with the last word of the line, e.g. “Next time, you speak after the tone. I twirl the phone”.
    When words are used in a sarcastic or comic way to imply the opposite of what they normally mean. It can also mean when there is a big difference between what people expect and what actually happens.
    The choice of words used. Different kinds of these choices of words have different effects.
    The way a piece of poetry is visually presented to the reader, e.g. line length, whether the poem is broken up into different stanzas, whether lines create some kind of visual pattern.
    A way of describing something by saying that it is something else to create a vivid image, e.g. “the parachute silk of his punctured lung”.
    The arrangement of syllables to create rhythm in a line of poetry.
    One person speaking for a long period of time.
    The feel or atmosphere of a poem, e.g. humorous, threatening, eerie.
    Writing that tells a story, e.g. the poem ‘Brothers’.
    The voice speaking the words that you’re reading, e.g. a poem could be written from the point of view from a young child, which means the young child is speaking the words of the poem.
    A phrase which appears to contradict itself, because the words have meanings that don’t seem to fit together, e.g. “comeliest corpse”.
    A fictional character or identity adopted by a poet. Poets often create one so they can describe things from a different person’s point of view, e.g. a male poet might use a female identity.
    A special kind of metaphor where you write about something as if it’s a person with thoughts and feelings, e.g. “Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks”.
    Rhyme scheme
    A pattern of rhyming words in a poem, e.g. in ‘Nettles’, the 1st line rhymes with the 3rd, and the 2nd rhymes with the 4th.
    Rhyming couplet
    A pair of rhyming lines that are next to each other, e.g. the last two lines of ‘Hour’.
    A pattern of sounds created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables.
    Repetition of ‘s’ and ‘sh’ sounds.
    A way of describing something by comparing it to something else, usually by using the words “like” or “as”, e.g. “flying like a hare”.
    A form of poem with fourteen lines, and usually following a clear rhyme pattern. There are different types of them, often about love.
    A group of lines in a poem, and can also be called verses.
    The order and arrangement of ideas and events in a piece of writing, e.g. how the poem begins, develops and ends.
    A single unit of sound within a word, e.g. “all” has one, “always” has two and “altogether” has four.
    When an object stands for something else, e.g. a candle might stand for hope, or a dying flower could stand for the end of a relationship.
    An idea or topic that’s important in a piece of writing, e.g. a poem could based on the idea or topic of friendship.
    The mood or feelings suggested by the way the narrator writes, e.g. confident, thoughtful.
    The personality narrating the poem. Poems are usually written either using the poet’s personality, as if they’re speaking to you directly, or the personality of a character.
    The letters “a”, “e”, “i”, “o” and “u”.

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    GCSE AQA Anthology – Relationships – Poem Definitions. (2018, Jan 02). Retrieved from

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