Is there a specific term for the first stanza in a poem?

  • No. The first stanza may, by itself, serve this function in this poem and that function in that, and a reader may recognize that function and tag the stanza, mentally, as 'exposition' or 'establishing an atmosphere' or whatever; but there is no term which denotes the first stanza as such. Aug 17 '12 at 23:39

For some reason, opening springs to mind as a frequent and somewhat idiosyncratic description for the first unit of any unit of writing (and closing similarly for the last). E.g., opening stanza, opening verses, opening scene. But I have never seen a single term used generally. Note that not all poems are divisible into stanzas, so checking on particular established forms might turn up something. E.g., strophe (from ancient Greek poetry) is I think not quite what you're looking for but is the kind of overly specific term that I have in mind.


I believe it's just called the "introduction"

I've also heard several idiomatic terms like "hook", "clinger", or "catch" - all suggesting that the beginning of the poem (or any literary piece in the case of many of these terms) should be interesting enough to grab the reader's attention.

Otherwise you could just refer to it as "the first stanza". I'm sure anyone would understand this.

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