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  • Naga-uta

    Japanese form of indeterminate length that alternates lines of five and seven syllables and ends with an additional seven-syllable line.

  • Negative capability

    John Keats, in a letter of October 27, 1818, suggested that a poet, possessing the power to eliminate his own personality, can take on the qualities of something else and write most effectively about it.

  • Neoclassicism

    A "new classicism," as in the writings of early 18th-century writers like Addison and Pope who imitated classical Greek and Latin authors.

  • Neologism

    A newly-coined word, like Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky."

  • Nonsense verse

    Lines that read like word-salad, where individually the terms may be recognizable but in their order and grammatical relations make no sense, or where common words accompany neologisms in expressions intended to mystify and amuse. Examples are Noam Chomsky's (prose) "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" and Lewis Carroll's "All mimsy were the borogoves" from his "Jabberwocky."