Glossary of Literary Terms and Devices



poetry in iambic pentameter that rhyme, second line is usually end-stopped

Tercet: three-line unit or stanza of poetry, often rhyming a a a or a b a

Terza Rima: three-line stanza form in which each stanza is linked with the next through repeated rhyme sounds:a b a, b c b and so on

Quatrain: a four-line stanza or poetic unitSestet: a six-line stanza or unit of poetry

Octave: an eight-line stanza or unit of poetry

Villanelle: a closed poetic form of nineteen lines, composed of five triplets and aquatrain—the form requires that whole lines be repeated in a specific order and that only two rhyme sounds occur throughout.

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