Glossary of Poetic Terms

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Jabberwocky Famous nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll which first appeared in Alice Through the Looking Glass (1872). It employed many made-up words or neologisms.
Jacobean Poets Group of poets including Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton who were writing during the reign of James I (1603-1625).
Japanese Forms There are a number of Japanese poetic forms which rely upon syllable counting rather than rhyme or meter. In general, these forms are short and attempt to create something which is greater than the sum of the parts. See haiku (hokku), naga-uta (choka), renga, senryu and tanka (Waka or uta).
Jazz Poetry Type of chanted poetry pioneered by the American poet (Nicholas) Vachel Lindsay. The form was further developed by Langston Hughes who became one of the first poets to recite his poetry to music. It also informed the work of US Beat Poets such as Kenneth Rexroth and UK poets such as Christopher Logue, Roy Fisher and Michael Horovitz.

See also performance poetry and underground poets.

Jingle Short, simple piece of rhyming verse e.g. nursery rhymes or adverts such as: 'Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes'.
Jintishi Chinese poetic term which literally means 'modern-form poetry'. It refers to a regulated style of poetry which developed from the 5th century onwards and employed four tones: the level tone and three deflected tones (rising, falling and entering). Tu Fu was the most accomplished exponent of jintishu. Compare to gushi.
Johnsonian In the manner of Samuel Johnson. This is normally a reference to his grandiloquent prose style rather than to his poetic output.
Jongleur Wandering minstrel hired by the French troubadour and trouvères poets to perform their compositions.
Juvenalia A poet's early or immature work.
Juvenalian In the satirical style of the Roman poet Juvenal.
Keatsian In the manner/style of John Keats. See also negative capability and mansion of many apartments.
Kenning A periphrastic compound whereby two or more nouns are used to replace another noun e.g. 'oar-steed' for ship or 'whale-road' for sea. Kenning was commonly used in Old English or Old Norse verse and is often metonymic in character.
Kinetic Poetry Poetry which gains momentum from the careful layout of the letters/words/lines on the page. See concrete poetry.
Kit-Cat Club 18th century literary club whose members included: Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, William Congreve, Sir John Vanbrugh and Sir Samuel Garth. They met at the house of a pastry cook called Christopher Kat (or Cat) in Shire Lane, London. Many of the members had their portraits painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller.
Kitsch Pretentious, low-quality work which is 'thrown together'.
Kyrielle Medieval French form written in rhyming couplets (though often arranged in quatrains) and featuring repeated lines or refrains. An example of a kyrielle is A Lenten Hymn by Thomas Campion.

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