About Poetry
Poetry • Outline • Explication

Theme • Plot • Style
Character • Setting • Voice
Writer • Writer's block

Poetic diction

Imagery • Figures of speech
Metaphor • Simile
Homeric simile
Personification • Pathetic fallacy
Synecdoche  • Metonymy
Conceit • Extended metaphor
Allegory • Motif • Symbol
Pun • Double entendre
Ambiguity • Idiom


Alliteration • Assonance
Consonance • Rhyme
Repetition • Refrain


Line • Enjambment • Caesura
Foot • Meter • Verse • Stanza

Verse forms

Epic • Narrative • Lyric • Ode
Dramatic monologue • Ballad
Blank verse • Heroic couplets
Sestina • Sonnet • Villanelle
List of poetic forms

Modern poetry

Free verse • Prose poetry
Haiku in English • Tanka

Much, much more ...

Collaborative poetry
Glossary of poetry terms
How to - topics


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Poetry is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities, in addition to, or instead of, its apparent meaning.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to poetry.

Essence of poetryEdit

Main article: Poetry

Types of poetryEdit

Common poetic formsEdit

Verse forms

Elements of verseEdit

Main article: Verse (poetry)

Methods of creating rhythmEdit

Main article: Timing (linguistics)
See also Prosody (poetry) , Parallelism, inflection, intonation, poetry explication

Scanning meterEdit

Metrical feet
˘ ˘ pyrrhus, dibrach
˘ ¯ iamb
¯ ˘ trochee, choree
¯ ¯ spondee
˘ ˘ ˘ tribrach
¯ ˘ ˘ dactyl
˘ ¯ ˘ amphibrach
˘ ˘ ¯ anapest, antidactylus
˘ ¯ ¯ bacchius
¯ ¯ ˘ antibacchius
¯ ˘ ¯ cretic, amphimacer
¯ ¯ ¯ molossus
Number of feet per line
one Monometer
two Dimeter
three Trimeter
four Tetrameter
five Pentameter
six Hexameter
seven Heptameter
eight Octameter
See main article for tetrasyllables.
v · d · e
Main article: Scansion

The most common metrical feet are:

  • spondee – two stressed syllables together
  • iamb – unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
  • trochee – one stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable
  • dactyl – one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables
  • anapest – two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable

The number of metrical feet in a line are described in Greek terminology as follows:

Common metrical patternsEdit

Main article: Meter (poetry)

Tetrameter (4 feet)

  • Examples
  • Examples:

Pentameter (5 feet)

Hexameter (6 feet)

Octameter (8 feet

Rhyme, alliteration and assonanceEdit

Rhyming schemesEdit

Main article: Rhyme scheme

Stanzas and verse paragraphsEdit

Main article: stanza

Poetic dictionEdit

Main article: Poetic diction

History of poetryEdit

Main article: History of poetry

Periods, styles and movementsEdit

Famous poets and their poemsEdit

Main article: List of poets

Poetry listsEdit

Main article: Glossary of poetry terms

See alsoEdit


  1. The full text is available online both in Russian [1] and as translated into English by Charles Johnston.[2] Please see the pages on Eugene Onegin and on Nabokov's Notes on Prosody and the references on those pages for discussion of the problems of translation and of the differences between Russian and English iambic tetrameter.
  2. Two versions of Paradise Lost are freely available on-line from Project Guttenberg, Project Gutenberg text version 1 and Project Gutenberg text version 2
  3. The original text, as translated by Samuel Butler, is available at Wikisource.s:The Iliad
  4. See the Text of the play in French as well as an English translation, Phaedra at Project Gutenberg
  5. The full text of "The Raven" is available at Wikisource s:The Raven (Poe)

External linksEdit

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