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Poetry Terms Beginning With 'E'

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

See also Forms of Poetry...



Eclogue

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Definition

Short pastoral poem originally written by Virgil who was imitating the idylls of Theocritus. Eclogues may also express religious or ethical themes. A modern example of the form is Eclogue from Iceland by Louis MacNeice. The eclogue is sometimes known as the bucolic.

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Egotistical Sublime

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Term coined by John Keats to describe (what he saw as) Wordsworth's self-aggrandising style.

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Eisteddfod

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Welsh bardic festival where poets and musicians competed for prizes. See Welsh forms.

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Ekphrasis

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An Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) is a poem written about another form of art. Ecphrasis has been considered generally to be a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form, and in doing so, relate more directly to "you", the audience through its illuminative liveliness. A descriptive work of prose or one of poetry, a film, or even a photograph may thus highlight through its rhetorical vividness what is happening, or what is shown in, say, any of the visual arts, and in doing so, may enhance the original art and so take on a life of its own through its brilliant description. One example is a painting of a sculpture: the painting is "telling the story of" the sculpture, and so becoming a storyteller, as well as a story (work of art) itself. Virtually any type of artistic media may be the actor of, or subject of Ecphrasis, with some exceptions. One cannot make an accurate sculpture of a book to enhance the artistic impact of the book itself. One could, however, describe a sculpture in a book with successful synergy.

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Elegiac Stanza

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A quatrain written in iambic pentameters and rhyming a-b-a-b.

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Elegiacs

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Classical Greek verse form composed of alternating lines of dactylic hexameter and dactylic pentameter. See also distich.

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Elision

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The suppression of a vowel or syllable for metrical purposes. E.g. 'The sedge has wither'd from the lake' from La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Keats. The elision, in this case, ensures that the line remains octosyllabic. Modern poets no longer use elision. See also synalepha.

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Elizabethan Poets

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Group of poets including Shakespeare, Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson who were writing during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).

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Ellipsis

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Refers to any omitted part of speech that is understood; i.e. the omission is intentional. Analogously, in printing and writing, the term refers to the row of three dots (...) or asterisks (* * *) indicating such an intentional omission.

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"Four years later…,"


Emotive Language

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Language which is charged with emotion e.g. love, hate, fear etc. Sometimes associated with inferior poetry - especially that produced by angst-ridden teenagers.

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Encomiastic Verse

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Poems written to praise or glorify people, objects or abstract ideas e.g. Wordsworth's Ode to Duty.

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End Stopped Line

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A line of verse which ends with a grammatical break such as a coma, colon, semi-colon or full stop etc. Compare this with enjambment - see below.

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Englyn

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Poem of Welsh Celtic origin. There are 8 separate englyn forms including the cyrch, the milwr, the unodl union, the unodl crwc, the proest dalgon, the lleddfbroest, the proest gadwynog and the penfyr. The example below is a 30 syllable englyn arranged in lines of 10, 6, 7 and 7 - where the rhyme scheme is announced by the sixth syllable of the first line:

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Enjambment

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Enjambment (also spelled "enjambement") is the breaking of a syntactic unit (a phrase, clause, or sentence) by the end of a line or between two verses. Its opposite is end-stopping, where each linguistic unit corresponds with a single line. The term is directly borrowed from the French enjambement, meaning "straddling" or "bestriding".

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The following lines from Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (c. 1611) are heavily enjambed:

I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are; the want of which vain dew
Perchance shall dry your pities; but I have
That honourable grief lodged here which burns
Worse than tears drown.


Envoi

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A short stanza at the end of a poem used either to address an imagined or actual person or to comment on the preceding body of the poem.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Envoi


Epic Simile

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Extended or elaborate simile; sometimes known as the Homeric simile. See simile.

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Epilogue

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The concluding section of a poem or literary work e.g. Epilogue to Asolando by Robert Browning. See also prologue.

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Epistle

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Poem written in the form of a letter e.g. Epistle To Dr Arbuthnot by Pope.

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Epithet

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Adjective expressing quality or attribute. Homer frequently linked adjectives and nouns to create epithets e.g. 'swift-footed Achilles' or 'rosy-fingered dawn'.

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Epitrite

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Greek metrical foot containing one short/unstressed syllable and three long/stressed syllables. Variations include: first, second, third or fourth epitrites, depending on the position of the unstressed syllable.

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Epode

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The third stanza of a Pindaric ode. See ode.

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Equivalence

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In quantitative verse, the rule that two short syllables equal one long syllable. See mora.

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Erotic Poetry

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Explicit poetry dealing with sex or sexual love e.g. the work of Sappho or Anacreon, Venus and Adonis by Shakespeare or Rossetti's collection The House of Life. Love poetry, by contrast, deals with the more spiritual side of love.

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Ethos

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One of the three modes of persuasion in rhetoric (along with Pathos and logos). Ethos is appeal based on the character of the speaker. An ethos-driven poem relies on the reputation of the author.

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Euphony

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Harmony or beauty of sound which provides a pleasing effect to the ear, usually sought-for in poetry for effect. It is achieved not only by the selection of individual word-sounds, but also by their arrangement in the repetition, proximity, and flow of sound patterns. The consonants considered most pleasing in sound are l, m, n, r, v, and w. The harsher consonants in euphonious texts become less jarring when in the proximity of softer sounds. Vowel sounds are generally more euphonious than the consonants, so a line with a higher ratio of vowel sounds will produce a more agreeable effect; also, the long vowels in words are more melodious than the short vowels.

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Explication

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A close study of a poem to understand how poetic devices contribute to meaning and effect.

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Extempore

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An improvised poem e.g. Extempore Effusion upon the Death of James Hogg by Wordsworth. See also impromptu.

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Eye Rhyme

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A similarity in spelling between words that are pronounced differently and hence, not an auditory rhyme.

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slaughter : laughter.
sew : blew
brow : crow
said : laid