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Poetry Terms Beginning With 'N'

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

See also Forms of Poetry...



Naga-Uta

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Definition

Longer Japanese form consisting of alternating five and seven syllable lines - as in a haiku - and concluding with two seven syllable lines - as in a tanka. The naga-uta is sometimes known as a choka. See Japanese forms.


Naive and Sentimental

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Definition

Term coined by Schiller to distinguish (what he saw as) two separate types of poets: 'Naive' - those like Homer, Shakespeare and Goethe who dealt with nature as it is and 'Sentimental' - those who, like himself, or Wordsworth dealt with it in a more detached or formal manner.


Nature Poets

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Term used to describe poets whose subject matter predominantly concerns animals, birds, insects and vegetation. Notable English nature poets include John Clare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, D.H.Lawrence and Ted Hughes.


Near Rhyme

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Term used to describe a number of devices which come close to full rhyme but don't create the perfect chiming sound associated with words such as 'cat' and 'mat'. These devices include: assonance, consonance, half-rhyme and unaccented rhyme.


Negative Capability

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Term coined by John Keats to describe the (true) poet's ability of  'being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason'.


Neo-Classical Poets

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Term used to describe the work of some late 17th century and 18th century poets such as Alexander Pope and John Dryden who deliberately imitated the classical Greek and Roman poets.  Their work was characterised by formality and restraint. Romanticism was a reaction against neo-classicism. The neo-classical poets are sometimes known as the Augustans.


Neologism

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The coining or use of new words e.g. in Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll


New Apocalypse

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Group of 1940s poets who reacted against the classicism of Auden. Their work was wild, turbulent and surrealist. James Findlay Hendry, Henry Treece and G.S.Fraser were key members. Other poets associated with the movement were: Dylan Thomas, Vernon Watkins and George Barker. The movement poets opposed the New Apocalypse.


New Criticism

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Group of (largely) American critics including: T.S.Eliot, I.A. Richards, William Empson, Yvor Winters, Allen Tate, Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren who advocated a 'close reading' of texts.


Nom de Plume

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Pen-name or literary pseudonym. Hugh MacDiarmid was the nom de plume of the Scottish poet Christopher Murray Grieve.


Nonce-Word

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Definition

See neologism.


Nonsense Verse

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Definition

A form of light verse where the emphasis moves from comedy to absurdity. This is often achieved by following a rhyme scheme to an illogical conclusion. Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and, more recently, Spike Milligan were all exponents of nonsense verse.


Numbers

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Definition

Alternative term for metrical feet. See meter.


Nursery Rhymes

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Definition

Jingles written for children e.g. Hickory, Dickory, Dock, Wee Willie Winkie or The Cat and the Fiddle. Many have been passed down orally.