KOLEC Lesson 23: Important Poetic Terminologies - Part 3

KOLEC Lesson 23: Important Poetic Terminologies - Part 3



In this section, the following poetic terms will be widely explained: 

  1. Parallelism
  2. Enjambment
  3. Melody
  4. Rhyme
  5. Rhyme scheme
  6. Imagery
  7. Alliteration
  8. Consonance 
  9. Assonance
  10. Onomatopoeia
  11. Rhythm
  12. Scansion 



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

(21) Parallelism 

Parallelism involves the use of a series of words, phrases, or sentences that have similar grammatical structures or that state a similar idea. Parallelism shows the relationship between ideas and helps emphasize thoughts. Also, parallelism or parallel structure helps make lines rhythmic and memorable and heightens their emotional effect. 

(22) Enjambment 

This is the continuation of a sentence from one line of a poem into another line. Poets often use enjambments to emphasize rhyming words. Enjambment also enables poets to create a conversational tone, breaking lines at points, where people would normally pause in the conversation, yet still maintaining the unity of thoughts. 

(23) Melody 

Melody involves the poet's use of devices that appeal to sounds in poetry. 

(24) Rhyme 

Rhyme refers to the repetition of accented vowel sounds in words that are close together in a poem. It is also defined as the repetition of identical sounds at the end of consecutive lines at similar intervals in the stanza. For example:  

Today is May, 

We are on the way, 

Trees will sway, 

This way and that way. 

In the stanza above, each line ends with -ay to give the sound /ei/. 

(25) Rhyme scheme 

This is the pattern of rhymed lines/verses. The rhyme scheme is done by assigning the different letters of the alphabet to each new rhyme. See the example below:  

behold dear friend.a 

salvation is coming.b 

the earth has come to end.a 

Jesus is coming.b.  

In the above stanza, the rhyme scheme is ab ab, but the previous stanza (in number 24 above) has a rhyme scheme of aa aa.  

(26) Imagery 

This refers to the use of language in such a way that it stimulates certain feelings that appeal to any of the five human senses; that is, senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Poetry is rich in imagery than any other literary genre. Imagery is employed by using several devices like; 

Simile. It conveys a direct tone and meaning (His house was like a prison); 

Metaphor. It conveys an evocative tone (His house was a prison); 

Personification. It creates a vivid tone, giving human qualities to inanimate objects conveys a warm tone ( His house kissed his body every day); and 

Hyperbole. It creates a humorous tone (His house was a continent of hell). 

(27) Alliteration 

This refers to the repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together. This use of the same consonant sounds at the beginning of each consecutive word in a line may happens in the poem as follows: 

Feel free friend Fredy

In the line above, consonant sound /f/ has been repeated at the beginning of each word. 

Like rhymes, alliteration adds music to a poem hence, good to listen to. 

(28) Consonance 

This is the repetition of consonant sounds, typically within or at the end of non-rhyming words, as in this succession of echoing /d/ sounds in William Butler Yeats' 'The Second Coming':

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed Or The boy blocked the ball by his boot. 

(29) Assonance 

This means the repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds in words that are close together. This also means the repetition of the same or similar vowel sounds in stressed syllables that end with different consonant sounds. For example; 

And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side. 

In the line above, vowel sound /ai/ repeats in various words. 

Like alliteration and consonance, assonance adds musicality and rhythmical effects to the poem. 

(30) Onomatopoeia 

This refers to the use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning. There are so many words of this kind, one of them are; buzz, splash, hiss, bark, bang, and so forth. In poetry, onomatopoeic words reinforce the meaning and create evocative and musical sound effects in the poem. 

(31) Rhythm 

This refers to the musical quality in language produced by repetition. Rhythm occurs naturally in all forms of spoken and written language. Poems written in meter also create rhythm by a strict pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. Writers also can create rhythm by repeating the grammatical structures, using pauses, varying line length, and balancing long and short words or phrases. 

(32) Scansion 

This refers to the analysis of the meter of a line of verse. To scan a line of poetry means to note the stressed and unstressed syllables and to divide the line into its feet, or rhythmical units. 


Like drama, poetry also has special features that distinguish it from other genres of literature. For example, verses, stanzas, refrains, and rhymes are not found in either play or novel. These special features of poetry are important for the understanding of poetry in general. They should be learned by heart because they are special and specific for poetry only.  


LE TEST 15: Important Poetic Terms and Other Elements of Poetry 

[1] Differentiate the following terms:  

(a) Repetition and parallelism  

(b) Meter and Foot  

(c) Imagery and poetic diction  

(d) Tone and mood  

(e) A Poem and a poet  

[2] Match the items in List A with those in List B:  

List A  

(1) The use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning. 

(2) Repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words that are close together in a poem. 

(3) Repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds in words that are close together. 

(4) The privilege which poets are given to break the grammatical rules of language. 

(5) The continuation of a sentence from one line of a poem into another line. 

(6) The repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together.  

(7) A character or person who speaks in or narrates in a poem. 

(8) A single metrical line in poetry or poem. 

(9) A word, phrase, line, lines or group of lines that are repeated at the end of each stanza. 

(10) A sum of verses that combine to form a block-like paragraph or group of lines called a stanza. 

List B 

A. Alliteration 

B. Persona 

C. Poetic license 

D. Rhyme 

E. Onomatopoeia  

F. Assonance 

G. Stanza 

H. Verse 

I. Refrain 

J. Enjambment 

[3] Explain the special artistic features of poetry. (7 points)

This course is prepared and offered by: 


Social Media: @mannykachele

Instagram: @manny.english

Call/WhatsApp: 0622009566/0765884936

Email: kacheleonline@gmail.com 

Website:  www.kacheleonline.co.tz

Copyright © 2022, KACHELE ONLINE. All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, shared or transmitted in any form without the written permission from KACHELE ONLINE.

ISBN     978-9912-9931-1-2

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.

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts

Previous Post Next Post