Poetry Terms Beginning With 'W'

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

Poetry Terminology by Letter

War Poetry


Term (normally) applied to poetry produced during the First World War by poets such as Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Edmund Blunden and Robert Graves etc. Thomas and Owen were both killed in action.

Weak Ending


Where a word or syllable at the end of a line of verse is stressed metrically but is unstressed in ordinary speech.

Well Versed


Somebody proficient in the rules of prosody.

Welsh Forms


Wales has always had a rich bardic tradition and can boast 24 separate poetic forms: 12 awdl forms, 4  cywydd forms and 8 englyn forms. See also cynghanedd and Eisteddfod.



See bob and wheel.

Willing Suspension of Disbelief


Term coined by S.T.Coleridge in his Biographia Literaria which states that readers and/or theatre audiences need to overlook certain literary/theatrical conventions in order to fully engage with the work in question.



During the Renaissance wit was synonymous with intelligence and wisdom. During the 17th century it became more closely associated with fancy. One of the main themes of Pope's An  Essay on Criticism is wit and he concludes that:



In the manner/style of William Wordsworth. See also egotistical sublime.

Wrenched Accent


Occurs when the metrical stress or accent forces a change in the natural word accent. This can occur due to a poet's lack of skill, but is also characteristic of folk ballads.