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Poetry Handbook

Dactyl, Dactylic
A metrical foot of three syllables, the first of which is long or stressed and the next two short or unstressed.

A line of verse consiting of ten metrical feet.

A verse line of ten syllables, or a poem composed with ten syllable lines.

The accepted meaning of a word as distinct from an associated idea or connotation.

Diaeresis, Dieresis
The pronunciation of two adjacent vowels as separate sounds. Also the mark indicating a separate pronunciation.

The use or choice of words, phrases, sentence structures, and figurative language in a literary work. The mode of verbal expression, with regard to clarity and accuracy.

Didactic Verse
Verse that is written with instructions rather than with imagination. It is clearly intended for the purpose of instruction of theoretical, moral, or practical knowledge, or to explain the principles of art and science.

Diiamb, Diamb
A metrical foot consisting of four syllables, with the first and third short and the second and fourth long.

A line of verse consisting of two metrical feet. See dipody.

A unit of two feet, or a double foot.

A poem of grave meditation, or lament. The dirge is a song of lamentation that is apt to be less meditative than the elegy. See elegy.

A metrical foot consisting of four long syllables. This is the equivalent to a double See spondee.

Harsh, inharmonious sounds which are grating to the ear.

Simply defined as a couplet most often used in classical elgiacs.

A two syllable foot, or a word of two syllables.

Disyllabic Rhyme
A rhyme in which the two last syllables of words share the same sound.

A lyric, irregular in structure and vehement in tone, suggesting the character of the choric hymn to Dionysus.

A poem that was meant to be sung.

A metrical foot consisting of five syllables, the first and fourth being short and the second, third and fifth long.

A line of metrical verse containing twelve syllables.

Crudely written poetry which lacks artistry in form or meaning. Trivial, poorly written verse that is sometimes intentionally, or unintentionally humourous.

Double Dactyl
A form of light verse containing two quatrians. The first three lines are dactyls, and the fourth a dactyl and macron. The first line is nonsense, the second a proper name, and the sixth line is a single double dactyl word. The fourth and eighth lines are truncated, lacking the final two unaccented syllables, and rhyme with each other. Foreign languages are allowable and titles as proper names is permissible.

Dramatic Monologue
In literature, a work that consists of a one-way conversation by a character or persone, usually directed to a second person or to an imaginary audience. It involves a critical moment of a specific situation, with the speaker's words unintentionally providing a revelation of his character.

Dramatic Poem
A composition of verse that portrays the story of life or character, involving conflict and emotions.

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