E

echo - Repetition of sounds, from syllables, words or repeated lines in a poem. Sometimes used for the repetition of an idea in a slightly different context. (See also anadiplosis, anaphora, epistrophe, epizeuxis, parallelism, polysyndeton)

echo verse - In echo verse the words which end one line are used as the next line and taken in a different context and form. As in A Gentle Echo On Women (Jonathan Swift):

  • Shepherd: What most moves women when we them address?

    Echo: A dress.

    Shepherd: Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore?

    Echo: A door.

    Shepherd: If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre.

    Echo: Liar.

    Shepherd: Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her?

  • Echo: Buy her.

  • eclogue - A poem representing a dialogue between shepherds on a pastoral or love theme.

    Edda - Two volumes of ancient Icelandic myths, the first of which is in the form of poetry and the second in prose.

    elegy - A poem for someone who is dead or a poem of reflection and sorrow. Generally has a feeling of loss. (See also dirge, epitaph)

    elision - An elision is the purposeful omission of a letter or letters indicated by an apostrophe. Its purpose is to contract one or two words into a form which will achieve a pronunciation similar to that found in speech as in "aren’t", "don’t". There are several types of elision, such as aphaeresis, apocope, syncope, synaeresis, synaloepha. (See also aphaeresis, apocope, syncope, synaeresis, synaloepha)

    ellipsis - The omission of a word or words required to complete a sentence or grammatical sequence. Also used to describe the marks (...) used to show such an omission, as in "We shall fight them [...]," said Churchill. When surrounded by square brackets these points of ellipsis are used by a commentator to show that he has omitted part of a text; without the brackets we would know that the points were in the original quotation. (See also asyndeton, syllepsis, zeugma)

    emblem poem - A type of shaped poem which used the words to create a picture related to the words in the poem or to extend or reinforce its meaning. The term was in use in the 17th Century. (See also pattern poetry, shaped poems, concrete poetry)

    emphasis - In reading a poem, placing stress on a word or line to indicate its significance. In writing, emphasis can be placed by the use of different fonts. i.e.. italicising or Bold.

    enallage – (en-AL-uh-gee) The use of a part of speech incorrectly but in a way which is effective. (See also malapropism, solecism)

    encomium - A talk or speech praising a person or his deeds. (See also epinicion, panegyric, eulogy)

    end-rhyme - The final syllable of one line rhyming with the final syllable of a following line. (See also feminine rhyme, internal rhyme, masculine rhyme)

    end-stopped - This describes a line of poetry which ends in a comma, full stop or semi-colon. (See also enjambment, run-on )

    enjambment - This refers to the syntactic spilling-over from the end of a line of verse to the beginning of the next. For example:

  • Garlick and sapphires in the mud

    Clot the bedded axle-tree

  • The Four Quartets, Burnt Nation, T.S. Eliot
  • envelope - The repetition of a line, phrase or couplet to envelop other lines, as in

  • Death is the ultimate solitude

    The final enactment of being

    It waits amid dissolving memories

    In or out of pain or consciousness

    While we, worm fodder or fire fuel,

    Pretend to see dignity in corrupting flesh

    And all that was a life reduced to

    Grasping, gasping, rasping breath

    The conceit of life finally expelled in a sigh

    In a breath as light as chaos

    Eyes filled with light or blank unseeing

    A life ends as it always does, alone

    Death is the ultimate solitude

    The final enactment of being

    The Final Enactment of Being Jim Bennett

  • envoi - A final section of a poem, often short and giving a review of the author’s conclusions. Especially used in ballade and sestina forms.

    epanalepsis - (r) Used to describe repetition of a word or phrase, though separated by other words.

    epic - A long poem about a heroic event or deed. The best known examples are The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer.

    epigram - A short piece of verse (or prose), often a couplet or quatrain with a single satirical or aphoristic theme. The following definition by Coleridge is itself in the form of an epigram:

  • What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole,

    Its Body brevity, and wit its soul.

  • (See also didactic poetry)

    epigraph - A short opening to a longer work, often a quotation from prose or poetry which sets the scene by indicating the theme. Can be used with prose or poetry.

    epilogue - The final section of a speech or play; in the former it is called peroration.

    epinicion - An ancient Greek song of triumph praising victory in games or war. (See also encomium)

    episode - An incident in a longer narrative.

    epistrophe - (eh-PISS-truh-fee) The repetition of a word or phrase in successive lines of poetry, clauses or phrases. (See also anadiplosis, echo)

    epitaph - short poem or statement, sometimes an inscription on a grave or headstone, to the memory of a dead person.

    epithalamium - A wedding song or poem in honour of those being married. As in The Song of Songs in the Bible.

    epithet - A short phrase or a single word used as adjunct to a name which bestows or describes perceived qualities. As in Richard the Lion Heart.

    epitrite - A metrical foot of four syllables, three long and one short ( , , , ( ). Usually the position of the short syllable is indicated by the addition of the words first, second, third or fourth as in "fourth epitrite" (first: ( , , ,; second: , ( , ,; third: , , ( ,; and fourth: , , , ( ). (See also paeon)

    epizeuxis - (r) (ep-i-ZYOOK-sis) The immediate repetition of a word or phrase. As in "Rage, rage against the closing of the light." (Dylan Thomas) The splitting insertion of another word before a final repetition of a word, when three repetitions are used is called a diacope. As in "words, words, more words" – Shakespeare. (See also diacope)

    epode - The third part of a ode where a long verse is followed by a shorter one. (See also ode, strophe, antistrophe)

    epopee - The subject of an epic poem, often used to describe the epic poem itself. (See also epos, ballad, epic)

    epos - (EP-as) A word used to describe an epic poem, also applied to a series of poems which are unified by style. (See also epopee, ballad, epic)

    epyllion - A short narrative poem dealing with a romantic mythological theme. Events are detailed and vivid with scholarly allusions and tone.

    equivoque - Word or words which are used in a context where more than one interpretation is possible.

    eulogy - A poem or prose speech praising the character or achievements of a person. (See also encomium)

    euphemism - A word or phrase substituted for one less socially acceptable. As in "...now gone to his eternal rest" for "died".

    euphony - The sound of words when read aloud which work pleasantly together, used in poetry to develop the atmosphere and for contrast or mere beauty of sound. Balance in euphony is achieved by attention to syllable and vowel sounds, the mix of long and short syllable sounds and the flow of the sound pattern through a poem. (See also alliteration, assonance, resonance)

    euphuism - A word derived from Euphues, the 16th century romance by John Lyly. This came to epitomise the excesses of alliteration and mythological similes, which grew from an overelaborate style.

    exact rhyme - See perfect rhyme.

    exegesis - Analysis of a text.

    extended metaphor - The use of metaphor beyond one comparison, or using the same metaphor in a series of comparisons. (See also conceit)

    eye rhyme - The same as sight rhyme. Two words used because of their similarity in looks even though their pronunciation is different. As in "...mow the land, how deep and wide the furrow/ that opens up behind us like a grave." (No. 43 from Working Metaphors by Jim Bennett)