- The narration of an event or story, stressing details of plot, incident, and action. Along with
dramatic and lyric verse, it is one of the
three main groups of poetry
Sidelight: A narrative poem contains more detail than a
ballad and is not intended to be sung.
(See also Epyllion, Fable,
Fabliau, Lay, Tragedy)
(Compare Chanson de Geste,
- NEAR RHYME
- Also called approximate rhyme, slant rhyme, off rhyme, imperfect rhyme, or
half rhyme, a
rhyme in which the sounds are similar, but not exact,
as in home
and come or close and lose. Most near rhymes are types of consonance.
Sidelight: Due to changes in pronunciation,
some near rhymes in modern English were
perfect rhymes when they were originally written in Old English.
(See also Assonance)
- NEOLOGISM (nee-AH-luh-jizm)
- The use of new words or new meanings for old words not yet included in standard definitions,
as in the recent application of the word cool to denote, very good, excellent
or fashionable. Some disappear from usage; others like hip and feedback, for
example, remain in the language.
(Compare Nonce Word,
- NONCE WORD
- From the expression, for the nonce, a word coined or used for a special
circumstance or occasion only,
Sidelight: Sometimes a nonce word gains acceptance
in the general language, as gerrymander, which means to manipulate unfairly, such as to arbitrarily rearrange
the boundaries of a political district to give one party an unfair advantage. This word was coined in 1812, when a voting
district was formed with an irregular shape suggesting a resemblance to a salamander during the administration of
Elbridge Gerry, then governor of Massachusetts. A word thus adopted into standard usage then ceases to
be a nonce word.
Portmanteau Word, Ricochet Words)
- NONSENSE POETRY
- Poetry which is absurd, foolish or preposterous, usually written in a catchy
meter with strong rhymes. It often contains neologisms or
portmanteau words, as in Lewis Carroll's
"Jabberwocky," and may employ
unusual syntax as well.
(See also Amphigouri,
- Metrical feet or verse in general.
Sidelight: The term derives
from the quantitive verse of classic prosody,
in which the count of morae indicated the mathematical proportions in
- A spiritual source or influence, often identified with a natural object, phenomenon, or place.
(See also Afflatus,
- NURSERY RHYME
- A short poem for children written in rhyming verse and handed down in folklore.