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ENG100H1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Dactylic Hexameter, Rhyme Scheme, Theodore Roethke

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Daniel Tysdal
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Poetry Exam Terms:
Free verse- relatively new invention, lines have irregular # of beats
- verse in which the lines are different widths
- no regular rhyme scheme
- invented by poets who had been brought up in the tradition of free
- admits an element of chance- may not adhere to the rigid structure of
the past, but can still have its own structure
Metrical verse- poems in counted lines, metrical lines and patterns, there can be
lines and stanza forms
- poems in counted lines are written in units called feet
- foot: one stressed syllable accompanied by 1 or 2 unstressed syllables
- iambic meter most common
stanza lengths (can be found in metrical or free verse):
couplets- pairs of lines
quatrains- 4 lines
sestets- 6
octave- 8
Tetrameter- whose woods/ these are/ I think/ I know (iambic)
Pentameter- the woods/ decay,/ the woods/ decay/ and fall/ (iambic)
Hexameter- I will/ arise/ and go/ now, and/ go to/ Innisfree (iambic)
*common meters have been trimester, tetrameter, pentameter
Rising rhythm:
- Iamb- unstressed, stressed u’
- Anapest- unstressed, unstressed, stressed uu
“Ah Sunflower”- Where the youth,/ pined away,/ with desire
(anapestic trimester)
Falling rhythm:
- Trochee- stressed, unstressed ‘u
“The Tyger”- Tyger!/ Tyger!/ burning/ bright (trochaic
- Dactyl- stressed, unstressed, unstressed ‘uu
This is the/forest prim/eval the/ murmuring/ pines and the/
hemlocks (dactylic hexameter)
To stress importance, or unimportance:
- Spondee- stressed, stressed
- Pyrrhic- unstressed, unstressed
End Stop- a grammatical pause at the end of a line of verse (can be a comma,
period, or semicolon).
Enjambment- when a sentence is on two lines, carries over to the next. May rely on
caesura. Ex. “They lie scattered// like inflated pebbles. Native//”
Caesura- a pause in the middle of a poem. Ex. My mistress, when she walks, treads
on the ground.
Rhyme scheme- pattern of rhyme
Alliteration- repetition of particular consonants
Assonance- repetition of vowels
Ballad Stanza
- first and third lines are unrhymed and have 4 beats
- second and fourth lines are rhymed and have 3 beats
Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet
- appeared first
- has an octave followed by a sestet
- octave: abbaabba
- sestet: cdecde
English (Shakespearean) Sonnet
- has three 4 line quatrains, rhyming: ababcdcdefef
- one couplet, gg
- volta: a turn that occurs around the 9th line and is a shift towards a
resolution (example: sonnet 18)
Villanelle- a French form, used by Theodore Roethke, Bishop
- 5 pentameter tercets (three lines); rhyming aba
- followed by 1 pentameter quatrain; rhyming abaa
- lines 1 and 3 of the first five tercets are repeated alternatively
- 19 lines
Poetry and Origins in Life (Private, Public, Nature and Time):
- private life: an event that is a private experience to an individual
expressed as a poem
ex. Brith, adolescence, marriage, death
- public life: moments or events that we can publicly relate to
ex. War, religion holiday, etc
Often have historic relevance, ex. Langston Hughes’ Harlem-
although it is written as though it is a moment in private life,
the larger historical context makes the reader realize the
poems greater relevance and connection to slavery and
freedom of rights movements. The poem suggests that private
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