Limerick A light, humorous style of fixed form poetry. Its usual form consists of five lines with the rhyme scheme aabba; lines 1, 2, and 5 contain three feet, while lines 3 and 4 usually contain two feet. Limericks range in subject matter from the silly to the obscene, and since Edward Lear popularized them in the nineteenth century, children and adults have enjoyed these comic poems. See also fixed form.

Limited omniscience See point of view.

Line A sequence of words printed as a separate entity on the page. In poetry, lines are usually measured by the number of feet they contain. The names for various line lengths are as follows:

monometer: one foot
dimeter: two feet
trimeter: three feet

tetrameter: four feet

pentameter: five feet
hexameter: six feet

octameter: eight feet

The number of feet in a line, coupled with the name of the foot, describes the metrical qualities of that line. See also end-stopped line, enjambment, foot, meter.

Literary ballad See ballad.

Literary symbol See symbol.

Low comedy See comedy.

Lyric A type of brief poem that expresses the personal emotions and thoughts of a single speaker. It is important to realize, however, that although the lyric is uttered in the first person, the speaker is not necessarily the poet. There are many varieties of lyric poetry, including the dramatic monologue, elegy, haiku, ode, and sonnet forms.

arrow_up.gif (849 bytes) Top of Page