Myles Hilbert, Poetry Unit Lit Term Cards

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: December 17, 2019

alliteration
Repetition of initial consonant soundsExample: “bugles blowin” in “Danny Deever” by Rudyard Kipling is an example of alliteration.

allusion
A brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.Example: “knight-at-arms” in “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats is an example of allusion because that was a term used in their culture in that certain time period.

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assonance
Repetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximityExample: The phrase, “continue cutting” is an example of assonance because the o and u sound in the poem “Reapers” by Jean Toomer.
connotation
An idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaningExample: The word “Universe” in the poem by Stephen Crane, invokes a feeling that makes me feel very small compared to everything else.
connotation

consonance
Repetition of a consonant sound within two or more words in close proximity.

Example: In the poem, “Reapers” by Jean Toomer, “steel on stones” is an example of consonance because the t sound after both of the s sound is repeated.

consonance

denotation
The dictionary definition of a wordExample: hag·gard?ha??rd/adjective1.

looking exhausted and unwell, especially from fatigue, worry, or suffering.

denotation

diction
A writer’s or speaker’s choice of wordsExample: In the poem “Theme for English B”, by Langston Hughes, the very personal word choice like I and adding the age, gives the poem its own meaning.
hyperbole
A figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humorExample: “I felt the life sliding out of me” is an extreme exaggeration, or hyperbole, in the poem “Making a Fist”, by Naomi Shihab Nye.
hyperbole

imagery
Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)Example: “The sound of steel on stones”, is an example using the sense sound, that was written by Jean Toomer in the poem “Reapers”
imagery

metaphor
A comparison of two unlike things without using “like” or “as”Example: The poem “Making a Fist” by Naomi Shihab Nye, uses the metaphore “My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

metaphor

onomatopoeia
A word that imitates the sound it represents.Example: Boom and Crash are examples of onomatopoeia.
personification
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, qualities or attitudesExample: In the poem by Stephen Crane personification is used when the universe is able to talk which is a human quality.
personification

repetition
Repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasisExample: The word “we” in the poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks is repeated 8 times which puts an emphasis on the word.
rhyme
Correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry.Example: In the English sonnets like the ones by William Shakespeare, the rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
rhyme

rhythm
Pattern of stressed and unstressed syllablesExample: In English sonnets like the ones by William Shakespeare, each line has 10 syllables which is an example of a steady rhythm.
simile
A comparison using “like” or “as”Example: “My mistresses eyes are nothing like the sun.” is an example of simile using like or as in the “Sonnet 130” by William Shakespeare.
speaker/persona
A term used for the author, speaker, or the person whose perspective (real or imagined) is being advanced in a speech or piece of writingExample: In “Theme for English B”, the speaker is Langston Hughes, the author, who is writing his theme.
speaker/persona

symbolism
Something that represents something elseExample: The fist in Naomis Shihab Nye’s poem “Making a Fist” is a symbol of holding on through life’s journeys.
theme
Central idea of a work of literatureExample: The theme in the poem by Stephen Crane is existence.
thematic statement
An interpretive statement articulating the central meaning or message of a textExample: Even if you are cool, you may not make the correct and best decisions. That is the thematic statement for “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks.
thematic statement

tone
A writer’s attitude toward his or her subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language, and organization on the sentence and global levels.Example: The tone in “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats goes from really joyfully to very Erie after the dream is explained.
tone

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