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Writing an Essay Using Different Poetry Terms

When it comes to writing essays about poetry, it is important to understand various terms. Poetry has terminology that must be understood before writing essays. Sometimes this means reading about different terms and getting a grasp of how it affects the poem. This essay will discuss various terms and explain their importance.

The first term is alliteration. This is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in words. Poems often use alliteration to add to the tone such as a dime a dozen or sing the song of sixpence.

Another term is foot. A foot in poetry is the smallest repeated pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poetic line. Some terms linked to foot are iambic, anapestic, trochaic, dactylic, spondaic, and pyrrhic. All of these are related to the stress on syllables. An important term people relate to poetry is rhythm. This is the ordered or free occurrences of sound in poetry. Many people enjoy creating rhyming words in a poem. Many children’s books use rhyme to capture the young reader.

Some poems do not rhyme. A free occurrence of sound is called free verse. This is based on irregular cadence with different phrases, images and not the conventional use of meter. A famous poet known for free verse is Walt Whitman. Consider these lines:

“All truths wait in all things

They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,

 They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon.”

These lines gently flow without any type of rhyming words. Many people today use free verse when writing poetry.

Another type of poem that is a long narrative poem is called the epic. Many instructors assign epics as part of their courses. Epics record the adventures of heroes such as Iliad and Odyssey, and Aeneid.

Some people enjoy a lyric poem called the Elegy. An example of this type of poem is the “Funeral Blues.” There are many different types of poetry to be enjoyed depending on what an individual enjoys reading or writing, whichever may be the case.

Another important term in poetry is stanza. This is a division of poetry named for the number of lines it contains. For instance, two lines is a couplet. Three lines is a triplet. This continues. Eight lines are called an octave. Verse is naturally an important term and can be defined as a metric line of poetry. It is named according to the kind and number of feet it composes. A verse with one foot is a monometer and continues with Dimeter, Trimeter, Tetrameter, Pentameter, Hexameter, Heptameter, and Octometer. Quite simply, a verse can have a number of feet.

Poetry has many different terms and it is important to understand the terminology of poetry to understand a poem. What is recommended is to check the meaning of different terms and read about these terms. There are so many different terms that it can be quite confusing, but the Internet has many sites that define these terms and explain how they are used. Poets use many different techniques to capture the reader. When writing poetry it is important to understand the different terms. However, writing poetry can be as simple as putting a few words together in free verse or it can be as complicated as Shakespeare. 

Even though poetry may seem to have so many terms, poetry is loved by many people. Instructors enjoy having students write about various poets. When writing an essay about poetry, take a few minutes to learn the terms and understand how these terms affect the poem. Read the poem out loud. Listen to any rhymes, alliterationsFind Article, etc. How many verses are used? Are there any symbolic language? Answering these questions will help the reader understand the poem better and be able to write about the poems in essays.

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Tamara Klim is an academic essay writer and editor at

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