Mr. Weed’s 27 Elements of Poetry (Definitions)

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Last updated: December 10, 2019

alliteration
The repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginnings of several words in a line of poetry.

allusion
A reference to something with which the reader is likely to be familiar, such as a person, place, or event from history or literature.

exaggeration
The obvious stretching of the truth.

figurative language
The tools that a poet uses to create a special effect or feeling.It includes metaphor, simile, alliteration, personification, and onomatopoeia.

free verse
Poetry that is written without a regular rhyme scheme, meter, or form.

idiom
A common phrase made up of words that can’t be understood by their literal, or ordinary, meanings.

imagery
Language that appeals to the five senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight.

lyric poem
A short poem that directly expresses the poet’s thoughts and emotions in a musical way.

metaphor
A direct comparison between two unlike things.It does not use the words “like” or “as.

mood
The feeling created in the reader by a poem or story.Words, phrases, repetition, rhyme, and exaggeration all work together to create this.

narrative poem
A poem that tells a story.Narrative poems have all the elements you would find in a short story: character, setting, conflict, and plot.

onomatopoeia
The use of words that sound like the noises they describe.

personification
A type of figurative language in which poets describe an animal, object, or idea through human qualities, such as if appearing to have the ability to hear, feel, talk, and/or make decisions.

repetition
To repeat something.It is the use of any element of language—a sound, word, phrase, sentence—more than once.

rhyme
The repetition of similar sounds.End rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds that come at the ends of the lines of poetry.Internal rhyme occurs within a line when two words have similar sounds.

rhyme scheme
A repeated regular pattern of rhymes usually found at the ends of lines in a poem.

rhythm
The musical quality created by a pattern of beats or a series of stressed and unstressed syllables.

simile
A comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as.”

stanza
A group of lines in a poem set off by blank lines.It usually develops one idea.Couplet = 2 linesTercet = 3 linesQuatrain = 4 linesQuintet = 5 linesSestet = 6 linesSeptet = 7 linesOctet = 8 lines

symbol
Something that stands for something else.Something that has a deeper meaning and/or value than the materials it is made out of.

tone and voice
The attitude the writer takes toward the audience, the subject, or a character.The speaker or character’s perspective that is taken on by a writer or poet.Often it is not identified by name.

prose
Writing that mimics that casual sound of everyday speech.

haiku
a Japanese poem based on a specific pattern of lines (3) and syllables (5-7-5)

limerick
An Irish poem with a specific amount of lines (5) and a specific ending rhyme pattern: A—A—B—B—A

assonance
likeness in sound, as in a series of words or syllables

refrain
The repetition of lines, phrases, or words in different stanzas of a poem.

oxymoron
Making a comparison by using opposites. The comparison’s true intent is implied but unclear.

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