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Poetry primer: Poetry from A-Z

Poet Alison Chisholm guides you through the language of poetry

In IRONY, words are used to convey an opposite meaning from the literal one, such as ‘lovely weather!’ when it’s pouring with rain.

IRREGULAR METRE occurs when the expected metrical pattern in a line of poetry has been changed, usually with the purpose of breaking up the regular beat so that it does not become monotonous. The two most common variants that adjust the metre of blank verse, the unrhymed iambic pentameters used in so much of English poetry – such as Shakespeare’s plays, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Tennyson’s Ulysses – are feminine endings and initial trochaic substitution.

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Earn from your writing and get published: Cash prize competitions, calls for submissions and writing opportunities in 20 pages of Writers' News Discover your inner writer Cut to the heart of your novel – without losing the plot Social skills: Learn to use your online time to the max 10 top tips to get your book published and keep it selling Reader successes: Readers share their success stories Meet our publishing deal competition winner Star interview: Prize-winning poet and author Kei Miller on writing without boundaries

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