Glossary of Language terms

Adjective: An adjective provides more information about a noun by describing its nature, condition or action.

Adverb: Words that describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

Synonym: A word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word.

A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.  

A figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between different kinds of things. It is usually formed with `like' or ‘as’.

Alliteration: Writing that uses the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a phrase or line of verse.

A figure of speech whereby an inanimate object is endowed with human qualities or abilities.

Onomatopoeia: The formation and use of words that mimic sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

The practice of representing things in writing by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning.

Types of Poetry

Free verse poems

A free verse poem is a fluid form of verse that can incorporate literary devices designed to evoke description or meaning, and is composed of variable and usually unrhymed lines that conform to no set pattern of meter.

For example:
The hollowness of life
Isolated and incomplete
Empty souls pining for a past life
While trapped in the horror of the present.
Decaying minds losing precious memories
Tied together by something pure
Yet slowly slipping apart.
He refuses to forget
She is already moving on
He will stay locked inside himself.
She will stay – but with regret.

This poem was written in response to: We inhabit the corrosive littoral of habit, 1940, James Gleeson by a Middle Years student

Whispers of icy breath,
Under surly skies
foreshadow the cruel spectacle
of nature.
A mother’s anguished cry
shatters the stillness.
In the snow,
A peaceful lamb, liberated,
Unaware of the ghoulish gaze of the mob,
A dark circle of malevolence.

This poem was written in response to Anguish, 1880 by Auguste Frederick Schenk:

Haiku poems
A Haiku poem is a form of Japanese poetry that combines form, content, and language in a concentrated way so that it captures the essence of nature, feelings or experiences.
It follows a particular pattern:
  • The first line has five syllables
  • The second line has seven syllables
  • The third line has five syllables.

For example:
A mother’s anguished
cry pierces the frozen gloom
The ravens gather.
The heart of winter
Frost flowers on my window
A fire burning bright.

Middle Years student

The rules for writing a limerick are very simple:
  • A limerick has five lines.
  • Lines 1, 2 and 5 must rhyme and contain 3 beats each
  • Lines 3 and 4 must also rhyme and contain 2 beats.
  • They are always funny.
Rondelet poems
A rondelet utilises the following format:
  • It has seven lines
  • Lines 1,3 and 7 have four syllables and are always the same.
  • Line 4 rhymes with line 1 and has eight syllables
  • Lines 2, 5 and 6 rhyme and have eight syllables each.

For example:
Silvery light
In nature’s theatre cranes perform
Silvery light
Dancing and diving like a kite
Bathed in stillness before the storm
An ancient tree smiles on the scene
Silvery light