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The Index of
World-Class Poetry Terms

Poetry Terms That Start with the Letter C


Cadence - The rhythm of a poem.

Caesura - A pause or break in a line of poetry that occurs naturally, or is forced for effect.
Example: The line “Would I? Indeed, would I be the glove” has two caesuras. Can you spot them?

Canzone - A lyric poem popular in medieval Italy. Consists of five or six stanzas and an envoy. Dante Alighieri and Petrarch mastered this form.

Carpe diem - “Seize the day” in Latin. Carpe diem is a type of poem that urges the reader to seize the day or live for the moment. The most famous poem of this type is Robert Herrick’s To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time.

Catalexis - A truncated poetic line or one that is missing one or more syllables.

Catharsis - An emotional purge within the reader after or while experiencing the work of a literature.

Classicism - The principles of beauty and idealism characteristic of Greek and Roman literature, art and architecture. A new type of poetry called Formalism is emerging and getting back to these classic ideals and focusing on traditional forms and styles of writing.

Conceit - A poetic description or metaphor that compares one thing to something else completely different, likening them as the same.
Example: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

Confessional Poetry - A type of poetry pioneered by Robert Lowell that expresses intimate details of the poet's life.

Consonance - Another one of the poetry terms related to alliteration. Similar to assonance except consonants are the focal point of the repetition, especially at the end of words.
Example: There’s not much to touch.

Couplet - Two lines that complete one thought and usually rhyme.

Find other poetry terms:
A B C D E F H I K L

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