Sidelight: Although now often considered a learning exercise for children, abecedarii were associated with divinity in ancient cultures.(Compare Serpentine Verses)
Sidelight: Two degrees of accent are natural to many multi-syllabic English words, designated as primary and secondary.
Sidelight: When a syllable is accented, it tends to be raised in pitch and lengthened. Any or a combination of stress/pitch/length can be a metrical accent.
Sidelight: A semantic shift in accent can alter meaning. In the statement, "give me the book," for example, the meaning can be altered depending on whether the word "me" or the word "book," receives the more prominent stress. In metrical verse, the meter might help determine the poet's intent, but not always.
Sidelight: In English, when the full accent falls on a vowel, as in PO-tion, that vowel is called a long vowel; when it falls on an articulation or consonant, as in POR-tion, the preceding vowel is a short vowel. In the classical Greek and Latin quantitive verse, however, long and short vowels referred to duration, i.e., how long they were held in utterance.(See also Cadence, Ictus, Modulation, Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm, Wrenched Accent)
Sidelight: Most modern English poetry is a combination of accentual and syllabic verse.(Contrast Quantitive Verse )
Sidelight: An acephalous line might be an intentional variance by the poet or a matter of the scanning interpretation.(Compare Catalectic)
Sidelight: Strictly speaking, an acrostic uses the initial letters of the lines to form the word or message, as in the argument to Jonson's Volpone. If the medial letters are used, it is a mesostich; if the final letters, a telestich. The term acrostic, however, is commonly used for all three. When both the initial and final letters are used, it is called a double acrostic.(Compare Abecedarian Poem, Serpentine Verses)
Sidelight: The festival of Adonia was celebrated by women, who spent two days alternating between lamentations and feasting.(See also Sapphic Verse)
Sidelight: An adynaton can also be expressed negatively: "Not all the water in Lake Superior could satisfy his thirst."
(See also Helicon, Muse, Numen)
Sidelight: Though seldom appearing in English poetry, Alcaic verse was used by Tennyson in his ode, Milton.
Sidelight: The Alexandrine probably received its name from an old French romance, Alexandre le Grand, written about 1180, in which the measure was first used.
Sidelight: The last line of the Spenserian stanza is an Alexandrine.(See Poulter's Measure)
Sidelight: Though similar to both a series of symbols and an extended metaphor, the meaning of an allegory is more direct and less subject to ambiguity than a symbol; it is distinguishable from an extended metaphor in that the literal equivalent of an allegory's figurative comparison is not usually expressed.
Sidelight: The term, allegoresis, means the interpretation of a work on the part of a reader; since, by definition, the interpretation of an allegory is an essential factor, the two terms function together in a complementary fashion.
Sidelight: Probably the best-known allegory in English literature is Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene.(Compare Aphorism, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb)
Sidelight: Alliteration has a gratifying effect on the sound, gives a reinforcement to stresses, and can also serve as a subtle connection or emphasis of key words in the line, but alliterated words should not "call attention" to themselves by strained usage.(See also Euphony, Modulation, Resonance)
In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,
Wente wide in this world wondres to here.
--The Vision of Piers Plowman, by William Langland, 1330?-1400?
Sidelight: To facilitate maintaining the alliterative pattern, poets made frequent use of a specialized vocabulary, consisting of many synonymous words seldom encountered outside of alliterative verse.
Sidelight: By the 14th century, rhyme and meter displaced alliteration as a formal element, although alliterative verse continued to be written into the 16th century and alliteration retains an important function as one of a poet's sound devices.
Sidelight: An allusion can be used by the poet as a means of imagery, since, like a symbol, it can suggest ideas by connotation. Like allegories and parodies, its effectiveness depends upon the reader's acquaintance with the reference alluded to.
Sidelight: Ambiguity can result from careless or evasive choice of words which bewilder the reader, but its deliberate use is often intended to unify the different interpretations into an expanded enrichment of the meaning of the original expression.
(See also Denotation,
From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine,
Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float,
Sidelight: Anachronisms most frequently appear in imaginative portrayals with historical settings, such as a clock in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and a reference to billiards in Antony and Cleopatra.
(Compare Hysteron Proteron, In Medias Res)
Sidelight: Francis Scott Key's 1814 poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," was set to the tune of a popular song of the day, "To Anacreon in Heaven," composed by John Stafford Smith as a drinking song for London's Anacreontic Society. In 1931 it was officially adopted by the U.S. Congress as the national anthem.
(See also Procephalic)
(Compare Feminine Ending, Hypercatalectic)
(Compare Anaphora, Chain Rhyme, Echo,
Incremental Repetition, Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
Sidelight: Prevalent in literature, the use of an analogy carries the inference that if things agree in some respects, it's likely that they will agree in others.(Compare Simile, Symbol)
Sidelight: In English poetry, with the exception of limericks, anapestic verse is seldom used for whole poems, but can often be highly effective as a variation.(See also Meter, Rhythm)
(See also Epistrophe, Symploce)
(Compare Anadiplosis, Echo, Epizeuxis, Incremental Repetition,
Parallelism, Polysyndeton, Refrain, Stornello Verses)
Meadows trim, with daisies pied,(Compare Antistrophe, Chiasmus, Hypallage)
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide;
Sidelight: Since the play on senses can be used to create homonymous puns, antanaclasis is related to paronomasia.(See also Epanalepsis, Epizeuxis, Ploce, Polyptoton)
(See also Canon, Companion Poem, Cycle, Lyric Sequence, Sonnet Sequence)
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,An anticlimax also occurs in a series in which the ideas or events ascend toward a climactic conclusion but terminate instead in a thought of lesser importance. Bathos is an anticlimax which is unintentional.
Dost sometimes counsel take -- and sometimes tea.
(See also Purple Patch)
(Compare Burlesque, Hudibrastic Verse, Oxymoron, Parody, Satire)
(See also Epode)
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,Also, an antithesis is the second of two contrasting or opposing constituents, following the thesis.
(Compare Cataphora, Metonymy)
(Compare Homonym, Paronym, Synonym)
(See also Aphesis)
(Compare Allegory, Apologue, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Fable, Gnome, Proverb)
(Compare Aphaeresis, Syncope, Synaeresis, Synaloepha)
(Compare Allegory, Aphorism, Didactic Poetry, Epigram, Gnome, Proverb)
O solitude! Where are the charmsAn apostrophe is also a punctuation mark used to indicate the omission of letter(s) in an elision.
That sages have seen in thy face?
Sidelight: When the poet addresses a muse or a god for inspiration, it is called an invocation.(Compare Prosopopeia)
(See also Bucolic, Eclogue, Idyll, Madrigal)
Sidelight: Spenser's The Faerie Queene contains a number of archaisms. Syntactic inversions such as the hyperbaton can also provide an archaic effect.
Sidelight: In musical terminology, the arsis is the upbeat, the unaccented part of a measure; due to an early confusion which was later recognized but never reversed, the meaning of the term is the opposite when used in reference to the poetic foot.(Contrast Thesis)
Sidelight: The effective use of internal assonantal sounds is displayed throughout Byron's "She Walks in Beauty."(See also Euphony, Near Rhyme, Resonance, Sound Devices)
Sidelight: The dawn song is also known as an alba (Provençal), aube (Old French), and tagalied (German).(Compare Serenade)
(See Imagism, Impressionism, Objectivism, Realism, Symbolism)