iamb - A metrical foot consisting of two syllables, an unaccented or short syllable followed by an accented or long syllable, as in "today" ( ( , ). Reputed to be the most commonly used metrical foot in English, German and Russian verse. (See also metre, rhythm)

iambic - see iamb

iambic pentameter - Verse written in lines of five iambic feet ( ( , | ( , | ( , | ( , | ( ,). It has been the most popular form of verse from Chaucer to the nineteenth century and is still used by some more recent poets, e.g. Sylvia Plath’s early poetry and much of Dylan Thomas. It has become less common over the past 50 years.

iambus - see iamb

ictus - An accent mark ( , ) above a syllable indicating where a stress or accent is to be made. Also used as a generic term for the rhythmic accent in a poem. (See also arsis)

idealism - A portrayal of things as the writer would want them to be, as opposed to how they really are. (See also classicism, imagism, impressionism, realism)

idyll - A poem showing a picturesque and idealistic view of country life through a pastoral scene. In the longer form it is a narrative poem with descriptive pastoral scenes. As in Idylls of the King by Tennyson. (See also Arcadia, bucolic, pastoral)

imagery - The evocation of images and perceptions rooted in the senses and requiring the readers to access their own sensory memories to share the image and the emotions of the writer.

imagism - 20th century poetry movement using rhythmic effects and colloquial language in free verse to express images, ideas and emotions in a clear and uncluttered way. (See also symbolism)

impressionism - 19th century movement which attempted to show a subjective viewpoint through using imagery and symbols to show the poet’s impressions. (See also imagism, symbolism)

improvisatore (im-pruh-veeze-uh-TOR-ay) - A person able to improvise verse, usuaally as an entertainment.

incremental repetition - This occurs when each stanza in a poem contains a part which is slightly changed from the preceding stanza. (See also echo, refrain)

initial rhyme - Same as alliteration.

interior monologue - A view of events and other characters and their effect on a character by hearing of them through the character’s own thoughts. (See also dramatic monologue, soliloquy)

interlocking rhyme - Same as chain rhyme.

internal rhyme - A rhyme which occurs within a line.

invective - The use of abusive language in any piece which denounces or calls down ridicule on someone or something, e.g. James Stephen’s A Glass of Beer.

ionic - A four-syllable metrical foot. There are two types of ionic foot, the greater or major ionic, which is two long syllables followed by two short ( , , ( ( ), and the lesser or minor ionic which is two short syllables followed by two long ( ( ( , , ). (See also feet)

irony - In verbal irony words are used which are opposite in meaning to the thoughts of the speaker, as in "Work of this standard requires our highest award. You are sacked!" Dramatic (or Socratic) irony occurs in literature or on stage when a character in the play or story says something which the reader or audience knows to have a different meaning than the one understood by the character. Irony can also be expressed as an outcome, when the result of a set of circumstances is different than what might have been expected. (See also satire)

isocolon - (ice-uh-COAL-uhn) The use of a succession of phrases of equal syllabic length or structure.

isometric stanza - A stanza with lines of the same length and metre. (See also stanza, anisometric, heterometric)