KOLEC Lesson 22: Important Poetic Terminologies - Part 2

KOLEC Lesson 22: Important Poetic Terminologies - Part 2




In this section, the following poetic terms will be reviewed: 

  1. Ellipsis
  2. Tone
  3. Mood
  4. Atmosphere
  5. Attitude 
  6. Poet
  7. Poetic diction
  8. Addressee 
  9. Repetition
  10. Dramatic monologue 



The following are other poetic terms used in poetry and in literature in general:

(11) Ellipsis 

This is the act of leaving out some words which the writer or poet thinks are not important. The elliptic words may be filled up by the reader in his/her mind as he/she reads the work. In poetry, the ellipsis is mainly used to save space (for word economy). The words which are more likely to be elliptic are functional words such as prepositions, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, as well as determiners. It is an effective visual device to add interest to a poem. 

(12) Tone 

Tone refers to the attitude or state of the mind of the poet. This state of mind is expressed through the use of language. Thus, the tone of the poet may be angry, sad, ironic, or satirical tone. Tone helps the reader to know what the persona wants to advocate for. 

(13) Mood 

The mood is the overall atmosphere of the poem. The mood of a poem may create an atmosphere of fear, happiness, or other emotions to the reader. Thus, the mood of the poem is expressed in abstract nouns and it may be anger, sadness, or anxiety.  

(14) Atmosphere 

This is a mood or feeling in a work of art (it is also sometimes called mood). The atmosphere is usually created through descriptive language. For example, when a work of art is set in abandoned old houses, it may create an atmosphere of horror. 

(15) Attitude 

The attitude of a poem is closely related to the tone. The attitude of a piece can be thought of as a broader concept than tone. An attitude can comprise of the various tones within a work of art. For example, an attitude of criticism of a particular topic might be composed of a mixture of negative, persuasive, and objective tones that all combine to help convey the overall attitude. 

(16) Poet 

A poet is a person who composes poems. Or is a person who uses most of his time to communicate with society through poems. The female poet is called a poetess. 

(17) Poetic diction 

Poetic diction refers to the choice and arrangement of words in poetry. In its broadest sense, diction is defined as the choice of words used while syntax is the way those words are structured within writing or a speech. Poets are very keen on the choice of words to make them suit what they want to convey. For example, short, choppy sentences can contribute to a feeling of anticipation and tenseness, while long, flowing sentences can make the reader or listener feel relaxed and calm. 

(18) Addressee 

This refers to the audience of a poem. This is a person or people to whom the poet aims to speak to. For instance, an addressee can be the colonized person, peasants, and refugees, the oppressed or the humiliated. 

(19) Repetition 

Repetition refers to the recurrence of sounds, words, phrases, lines, or stanzas in a poem, speech, piece of writing. Writers use repetition to emphasize an important point, to expand an idea, to help create rhymes and rhythm, and to increase the feeling of unity in a work of art. 

(20) Dramatic monologue 

This is a form of dramatic poetry in which the speaker (persona, poet) describes a crucial moment in his or her life to a silent listener and in the process reveals much about his or her own character. The speaker may be a fictional or historical figure and is clearly distinct from the poet. Often the speaker will reveal the listener's identity and the dramatic situation in which the monologue is spoken. The poem, 'Song of Lawino' is an example of dramatic monologue.

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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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