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Poetry Terms Beginning With 'F'

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


Poetry Terminology by Letter


Fable

Definition

Short story or piece of verse conveying a moral e.g. Aesop's fables.

Fabliau

Definition

A short tale in verse originating from early French poetry. Fabliaux were often comic or ribald in tone. An English example is the Miller's Tale by Chaucer.

Falling Meter

Definition

Term used to describe front stressed meters such as trochaic and dactylic - as opposed to rising meter.

Fancy

Definition

Originally a term synonymous with imagination through the use of metaphors or conceits. It was later downgraded by Romantic critics to mean invention of a more superficial nature.

Feminine Caesura

Definition

See caesura.

Feminine Ending

Definition

Line of verse with an extra unstressed syllable at the end.

Feminine Rhyme

Definition

See Rhyme

Fescennine Verses

Definition

FESCENNINE VERSES (Fescennina carmina), one of the earliest kinds of Italian poetry, subsequently developed into the Satura and the Roman comic drama. Originally sung at village harvest-home rejoicings, they made their way into the towns, and became the fashion at religious festivals and private gatherings—especially weddings, to which in later times they were practically restricted. They were usually in the Saturnian metre and took the form of a dialogue, consisting of an interchange of extemporaneous raillery. Those who took part in them wore masks made of the bark of trees. At first harmless and good-humoured, if somewhat coarse, these songs gradually outstripped the bounds of decency; malicious attacks were made upon both gods and men, and the matter became so serious that the law intervened and scurrilous personalities were forbidden by the Twelve Tables (Cicero, De re publica, iv. 10). Specimens of the Fescennines used at weddings are the Epithalamium of Manlius (Catullus, lxi. 122) and the four poems of Claudian in honour of the marriage of Honorius and Maria; the first, however, is distinguished by a licentiousness which is absent in the latter. Ausonius in his Cento nuptialis mentions the Fescennines of Annianus Faliscus, who lived in the time of Hadrian. Various derivations have been proposed for Fescennine. According to Festus, they were introduced from Fescennia in Etruria, but there is no reason to assume that any particular town was specially devoted to the use of such songs. As an alternative Festus suggests a connexion with fascinum, either because the Fescennina were regarded as a protection against evil influences (see Munro, Criticisms and Elucidations of Catullus, p. 76) or because fascinum (=phallus), as the symbol of fertility, would from early times have been naturally associated with harvest festivals. H. Nettleship, in an article on “The Earliest Italian Literature” (Journal of Philology, xi. 1882), in support of Munro’s view, translates the expression “verses used by charmers,” assuming a noun fescennus, connected with fas fari.


Fibonacci

Definition

The number of syllables in each line must equal the sum of the syllables in the two previous lines. So, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, which is also 1, 2 comes next, then add 2 and 1 to get 3, and so on. Fibonnaci: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21... Poetry: 1 syllable, 1 syllable, 2 syllables, 3 syllables, 5 syllables, 8 syllables, 13 syllables, 21 syllables...

Example

I
like
to blog.
Frequently.
Theory matters.
Computer science (theory)
is my home and geometric algorithms are
sublime. Let P be a set of points in general position in the plane. Amen.

My
brain
can find
such solace
in this simple verse
made of certain syllable words.


Figurative Language

Definition

Language where the literal meaning of words or phrases is disregarded in order to show an imaginative relationship between diverse things. Figurative language makes poetry more vivid. Such figures of speech include: allegory, apostrophe, hyperbole, irony, litotes, metaphor, metonymy, personification, simile and synecdoche.

Figure Poems

Definition

See concrete poetry.

Figures of Speech

Definition

See 'Figurative Language' above.

Fleshly School of Poetry

Definition

Derogatory term coined by Robert Buchanan (writing as Thomas Maitland) to describe the work of D.G. Rossetti, A.C. Swinburne and William Morris who he saw as being immoral and overly sensual.

Flyting

Definition

A contest of invective between two poets e.g. the Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie.

Foot (Feet)

Definition

The units used in poetry- Feet are composed of syllables arranged in some kind of pattern of accented and unaccented syllables. There are five most commonly used sets of feet are iambic (iamb), trochaic (trochee), anapestic (anapest), dactylic (dactyl), and spondaic (spondee).

Foot (prosody)

Definition

In verse, many meters use a foot as the basic unit in their description of the underlying rhythm of a poem. Both the quantitative meter of classical poetry and the accentual-syllabic meter of most poetry in English use the foot as the fundamental building block. A foot consists of a certain number of syllables forming part of a line of verse. A foot is described by the character and number of syllables it contains: in English, feet are named for the combination of accented and unaccented syllables; in other languages such as Latin and Greek, the duration of the syllable (long or short) is measured. When scanning a line of verse, a poet looks at feet as the basic rhythmic unit rather than words. A foot can consist of multiple words and a single word can contain many feet; furthermore, a foot can and often does bridge multiple words, containing, for example, the last two syllables of one word and the first of the next. To scan for feet, one should focus on the stream of sound alone and set aside the actual meaning of the words.

Footle

Definition

A footle is a 2 line, 2 syllable trochaiac monometer poem with an integral title suitable for light, witty, pertinent, topical verse.

Example

Brian Strand, UK Experimental Verse ~ Footle* Acers warm glow fall show Go Slow heigh-ho furlough Bonnie & Clyde too snide both died

Form

Definition

A form of poetry or poetic form is a style or manner in which a poem is written. When a form is used, the poem adheres to a strict and organized way of being constructed. It can refer to the details of the poem, its shape, the characteristics of the text of the poem, its concept, stanza pattern, meter, and syllable count etc.

The structural components of a poem e.g. stanza pattern, metre, syllable count etc - as opposed to the content. T.S.Eliot said that: 'In the perfect poet they (form and content) fit and are the same thing'.  

Forms of Discourse

Definition

description, narration, exposition, and persuasion

Found Poetry

Definition

Poetry that is discovered 'ready-made' within the text of books, newspapers, advertisements etc. Several years ago I came across the following double haiku in the Eastern Daily Press:

Four Ages of Poetry

Definition

Title of a (light hearted) essay by Thomas Love Peacock in which he classified poetry in terms of four periods: iron, gold, silver and brass.

Four Meanings

Definition

Classification devised by I.A.Richards in his Practical Criticism (1930) which distinguishes the four different meanings in a poem, namely:

Fourteener

Definition

A line of poetry containing fourteen syllables. Usually refers to iambic heptameter e.g. Captain Stratton's Fancy by John Masefield.

Free verse

Definition

A term describing various styles of poetry that are not written using strict meter or rhyme, but that still are recognizable as 'poetry' by virtue of complex patterns of one sort or another that readers can perceive to be part of a coherent whole.

Example

Fog
by Carl Sandburg

THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


Free verse (vers libre)

Definition

A term describing various styles of poetry that are not written using strict meter or rhyme, but that still are recognizable as 'poetry' by virtue of complex patterns of one sort or another that readers can perceive to be part of a coherent whole.

Example

Fog
by Carl Sandburg

THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


French Forms

Definition

Intricate stanza forms devised by the French Provençal troubadour poets. These include: the ballade, the chant royal, the kyrielle, the lai, the rondeau, the rondeau redoublé, the rondel, the rondelet, the sestina, the triolet, the virelai and the villanelle. Many of these forms were subsequently used by the famous 15th century French poet François Villon. Henry Austin Dobson and A. C. Swinburne were two English poets who specialised in the use of French forms.