Poetic Device Terms and Examples

Topics: LifeNight

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Last updated: November 23, 2019

theme
The main idea or meaning of a text.

Often, this is an insight about human life revealed in a literary work

imagery
Words and phrases that appeal to the five senses.

sound
The poet uses rhyme, rhythm, and/or repetition to help the listener to hear the poem.

rhythm
The beat of a poem.

lines
phrases or words in a stanza

form
What a poem looks like

figurative language
language employing one or more figures of speech (simile, metaphor, imagery, etc.)

simile
comparison using like or as

metaphor
comparison not using like or as

onomatopoeia
the use of words that imitate sounds

personification
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes

hyperbole
extreme exaggeration

rhyme scheme/rhyme
The pattern in which rhyme sounds occur in a stanza. Example- the pattern ababbcbcc.”

alliteration
The repetition of consonant sounds at the BEGINNING of words.

repetition
repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasis in a poem

stanza
The division in a poem named for the number of lines it contains.

stanza example
Super Samson Simpson (two stanzas)by Jack PrelutskyI am Super Samson Simpson,I’m superlatively strong,I like to carry elephants,I do it all day long,I pick up half a dozenand hoist them in the air,it’s really somewhat simple,for I have strength to spare.My muscles are enormous,they bulge from top to toe,and when I carry elephants,they ripple to and fro,but I am not the strongestin the Simpson family,for when I carry elephants,my grandma carries me.

alliteration example
Super Samson Simpsonby Jack PrelutskyI am Super Samson Simpson,I’m superlatively strong,I like to carry elephants,I do it all day long,I pick up half a dozenand hoist them in the air,it’s really somewhat simple,for I have strength to spare.

sound example
Drip Dropby Bruce LanskyDrip drop, drip drop,darned rain won’t stop.Dropping on my windowpane,it is driving me insane.

theme example
growing upWhatifby Shel SilversteinLast night, while I lay thinking here,some Whatifs crawled inside my earand pranced and partied all night longand sang their same old Whatif song:Whatif I’m dumb in school?Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?

imagery example
Where the Sidewalk Endsby Shel Silverstein (sight, smell, touch, taste)There is a place where the sidewalk endsand before the street begins,and there the grass grows soft and white,and there the sun burns crimson bright,and there the moon-bird rests from his flightto cool in the peppermint wind.

rhythm example
poem/song with a beatWe Will Rock Youby Queen

repetition example
Twaddletalk Tuckby Jack PrelutskyI’m Twaddletalk Tuck and I talk and I talkand I talk when I run and I talk when I walkand I talk when I hop and I talk when I creepand I talk when I wake and I talk when I sleepand I talk when it’s wet and I talk when it’s dryand I talk when I laugh and I talk when i cryand I talk when I jump and I talk when I landand I talk when I sit and I talk when I standand I talk and I talk into anyone’s earand I talk and I talk when there’s nobody nearand I talk when I’m hoarse and my voice is a squawkfor I’m Twaddletalk Tuck and I talk and I talk.-by Jack Prelutsky

hyperbole example
I’ve told you a million times.

personification example
The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.The ocean danced in the moonlight.

onomatopoeia example
KABOOM!Kaboom!Ka-blastWay in the pastthe miners mined for ore.They searched for copper, iron and salt,for that and much, much more.

metaphor example
He was a stainless steel ruler, tall, straight and always measured in response.

simile example

form example
epic, rhyme

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