Literary Devices in Poetry

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: December 8, 2019

alliteration
repetition of BEGINNING CONSONANT sounds Exs: Betty bought butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought better butter to make the bitter butter better.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.The nose knows.Gnus never know pneumonia

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assonance
the repetition of vowel soundsExs:”Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground” – Pink Floyd”It’s hot and it’s monotonous.” – Sondheim”The crumbling thunder of seas” – Robert Louis Stevenson

connotation
the implied or symbolic meaning of a word

consonance
the repetition of FINAL CONSONANT soundsExs:Struck the peak of bad luck.First and lastodds and endsshort and sweet

couplet
two paired lines of rhymed verse

denotation
the literal meaning of a word; a dictionary definition

figure of speech
common devices used by a writer to convey a particular image

free verse
poetry having no regular metric pattern (rhythm) or rhyme scheme. These poems usually do not have end rhyme but the poet does use strong imagery and sound devices such as alliteration, assonance, hyperbole, etc.

hyperbole
an exaggeration or an overstatement to create an imaginative effect

iambic pentameter
the most common meter in English poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable (10 syllables, with an accent on every other one)

imagery
a poet’s imaginative use of words and phrases that appeal to the five senses

internal rhyme
rhyming words are within the line of poetryEx:My strategy has to be tragedy, catastropheAnd after this you’ll call me your majesty…

lyrical voice
– the most common voice used by poets wherein the poet expresses his or her emotions about a particular subject, often using first person pronouns (I, me, mine, we, our, ours, us). This voice tells the poet’s personal experience or comments on a personal perspective.

metaphor
a direct comparison of two essentially unlike things without the use of “like” or “as”In it’s simplest form: “The [first thing] is a [second thing].

“Exs:Her home was a prison.The assignment was a breeze.It’s going to be clear skies from now on.

narrative voice
the poet tells a story, acting as a reporter giving a play by play of a story. The poet DOES NOT COMMENTATE on the events of the story, nor offer an opinion.

The poet is not present in the story.

onomatopoeia
the use of words to represent or imitate natural sounds

personification
gives lifelike characteristics to non-human or inanimate things. essentially, another kind of metaphor

poetic license
the freedom a writer takes by breaking accepted rules of punctuation, spelling, capitalization, etc, in order to create a particular effect.

poetic voice
the point of view used by the poet to create a specific effect on the audience

rhyme scheme
the plan by which rhyme occurs within a poem, typically referring to rhyme at the end of the line.

Different letters are given to each different sent of rhyming words in order to show rhyme pattern.

simile
a comparison of two essentially unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

stanza
a group of lines in a poem that form a unit

symbolism
a tangible object that is used to represent something intangible such as a quality, condition, or idea

verse
– a single line of poetry- also, a term generally used for non-prose (aka: non-sentence & paragraph form) writing.

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