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This is a glossary of poetry terminology.
Measures of verse
Types of metre
Below, "short/long" definitions of a syllable of classical
languages correspond to "unstressed/stressed" of English language.
Amphimacer or cretic: long-short-long
Anapaest or antivdactylus: short-short-long
Choreus, choree same as Trochee: long-short
Pyrrhic or dibrach: short-short
tetrabrach or proceleusmatic: short-short-short-short
quartus paeon: short-short-short-long
tertius paeon: short-short-long-short
minor ionic, or double iamb: short-short-long-long
secundus paeon: short-long-short-short
first epitrite: short-long-long-long
primus paeon: long-short-short-short
second epitrite: long-short-long-long
major ionic: long-long-short-short
third epitrite: long-long-short-long
fourth epitrite: long-long-long-short
- Ballade: Three stanzas of "ababbcbC" followed
by a refrain of "bcbC". The last line of each, indicated by
the capital letter, is repeated verbatim.
- Chant royal: Five stanzas of "ababccddedE"
followed by either "ddedE" or "ccddedE". (The capital
letters indicate a line repeated verbatim.)
- Cinquain: "ababb".
- Clerihew: "aabb".
- Couplet: "aa", but usually occurs as "aa
bb cc dd ...".
- Enclosed rhyme (or enclosing rhyme): "abba".
- Ghazal: "aa ba ca da ...".
- Limerick: "aabba".
- Monorhyme: "aaaaa...", an identical rhyme
on every line, common in Latin and Arabic
- Ottava rima: "abababcc".
- Rhyme royal: "ababbcc".
- Rondelet: "AbAabbA".
- Rubaiyat: "aaba".
- Petrarchan sonnet: "abba abba cde cde"
or "abba abba cdc cdc".
- Shakespearean sonnet: "abab cdcd efef gg".
- Simple 4-line: "abcb"
- Spenserian sonnet: "abab bcbc cdcd ee".
- Onegin stanzas: "aBaBccDDeFFeGG" with
the lowercase letters representing Tanaga
- Spenserian stanza: "ababbcbcc".
- Tanaga: traditional Tagalog tanaga is aaaa
- Terza rima: "aba bcb cdc ...", ending
on "yzy z" or "yzy zz".
- Triplet: "aaa", often repeating like the
- Villanelle: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2, where
A1 and A2 are lines repeated exactly which rhyme with the a lines.
See all literary glossaries:
Published - January 2011
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