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Poetry Terms Beginning With 'H'

Poetry Terms - H. This is a comprehensive resource of poetry terms beginning with the letter H.

See also Forms of Poetry...



Haibun

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Definition

Japanese form, pioneered by the poet Basho, and comprising a section of prose followed by haiku. They are frequently travelogues - as in Basho's The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel (1688). In the best examples, the prose and haiku should work together to create an organic whole.


Half Rhyme

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Definition

Half rhyme, sometimes known as slant, sprung or near rhyme, and less commonly eye rhyme (a term covering a broader phenomenon), is a rhyme in which the rhyme occurs only on the first syllable of the rhyming word, as in blue and truly or sum and trumpet.

Example

N/A


Harlem Renaissance

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Definition

African American literary movement which occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen were leading players.


Head Rhyme

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Definition

See alliteration.


Hemistich

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Definition

Half a line.


Hendecasyllabics

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Definition

Usually refers to a classical line in which the first foot is a trochee or a spondee, the second is a dactyl and the third and fourth are trochees. This meter was frequently used by the Roman poet Catullus.


Heptameter

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Definition

One or more lines of verse containing seven metrical feet (usually fourteen or twenty-one syllables).

Example

An example from Lord Byron's Youth and Age:

'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe,
All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and gray beneath.
O could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been,
Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd scene,-
As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish though they be,
So midst the wither'd waste of life, those tears would flow to me!


Heptastich

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Definition

A seven line stanza.


Heptasyllabic

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Definition

A seven syllable line.


Heroic line

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Definition

Another term for iambic pentameter. See meter.


Heroic Poetry

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Definition

(or Heroic Verse) See epic.


Heteronym

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Definition

Term coined by the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa to describe an alter ego through which poets/authors can create work.


Hexameter

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Definition

A literary and poetic form, consisting of six metrical feet per line.

Example

An example from Drayton:

Nor any other wold like Cotswold ever sped,
So rich and fair a vale in fortuning to wed.


Hexastich

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Definition

A six line stanza.


Hindi

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Definition

Hindi is the Fifth most spoken language in the world. About 500 million people speak Hindi, in India and abroad, and the total number of people who can understand the language may be 800 million. The constitution of India (Article 343) recognizes Hindi as the official language of India. Hindi is also the main language in many states of India such as Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal/ Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh. It is spoken by more than 487 million people in the world. The other dialects of Hindi are Brajbhasha, Bundeli, Awadhi, Marwari, Maithili, and Bhojpuri, to name only a few.


Hir a Thoddaid

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Definition

Welsh syllabic verse form.


Hokku

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Definition

See Haiku.


Homograph

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Definition

Two or more words which share the same spelling but are pronounced differently and have different meanings e.g. 'tear' and 'tear'.


Homonym

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Definition

Two or more words which share the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings e.g. 'pole' and 'pole'.


Homophone

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Definition

A word which is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning.

Example

Carat, caret, and carrot.


Homostrophic

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Definition

See ode.


Hook

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Definition

The most memorable or most catchy part of a song.


Horatian Ode

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Definition

See ode.


Hovering Accent

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Definition

See distributed stress.


Hudibrastic

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Definition

Verse written in the style of Samuel Butler's satirical poem Hudibras. Hudibras, a poem written in rhyming octosyllabic couplets, concerns the exploits of a Presbyterian knight called Sir Hudibras.


Huitain

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Definition

An eight line stanza.


Hymn

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Definition

Poem written in praise of God and usually sung in Christian worship e.g. Light Shining Out of Darkness by William Cowper. Cowper collaborated with John Newton to write the Olney Hymns (1771-72).


Hymnodist

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Definition

A writer of hymns.


Hyperbole

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Definition

A large exageration, usually used with humor.

Example

The fish was a football field and a granny long.


Hypercatalectic

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Definition

Line possessing an extra syllable after the last, normal foot of the meter. Such lines can also be known as hypermetrical or extrametrical.


Hysteron Proteron

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Definition

A figure of speech in which things are named in the reverse of their normal order.

Example

Examples: So he came, cart and horse. Night and day---Cole Porter. We never wondered how he garnered his butter and bread.