Poetry is a form of writing that is often figurative and sometimes written in verse with a rhyme scheme. Some poetry includes figurative language, which is a word or words that have alternate meanings besides the standard definition; verse, which is a line of poetry that may have a specific rhyme scheme or meter; and rhyme scheme, which is a pattern of rhyming words or sounds in a poem. These are three basic poetry terms to describe the form and function of poetry, though many other terms exist that define the complexity of the poetic form.
Poetry is often written in different types of verse, including free verse, blank verse, and rhymed verse. Rhyme schemes can vary as well: internal rhyme consists of sounds or words that rhyme within a line of poetry; end rhyme consists of sounds or words that rhyme at the end of each line. The rhyme scheme is the pattern by which the lines rhyme. A stanza, or section of a poem, may have a rhyme scheme like this:
Each letter represents a different sound. The sound in line 1 (A) will rhyme with the sound in line 3 (A), while the sound in line 2 (B) will rhyme with the sound in line 4 (B). The sound in line 5 will not rhyme with any of the other lines.
Other poetry terms may be used to describe the genre of poetry, or the general mood of the poem. Renaissance poetry, modern poetry, and post-modern poetry are all poetry terms that describe a certain style of writing that was common during a certain time period. The characteristics of the poems created during these individual time periods may have certain distinguishing features that would make identifying them as a certain genre much easier for the reader.
Poetry terms that describe the type of meter used in the poem are perhaps most common. Iambic pentameter is the best-known meter; this type of meter consists of five iambs. An iamb is a combination of an unstressed and stressed syllable. A line of iambic pentameter might read like this:
"Perhaps I will not leave this place today."
The first syllable of the word "perhaps," or "per--," is unstressed, then the latter part of the word, or "--haps," is stressed or spoken with more force than the first part of the word. Other types of meter exist, though iambic pentameter is one of the most common.