poetic devices

Topics: LiteraturePoetry

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Last updated: November 25, 2019

rhyme
the repetition of sounds, typically at the end of a verse line
slanted rhyme
a type of rhyme formed by words with similar but not identical sounds
full rhyme
a type of rhyme in which the rhyming words have identical sounds
rhyme scheme
the pattern of end rhymes in a stanza
onomatopoeia
the use of words of which the sound of the word imitates the sense
alliteration
the repetition of initial stressed, consonant sounds in a series of words within a phrase or verse line
anaphora
the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive clauses
assonance
the repetition of vowel sounds without repeating consonants
consonance
a resemblance in sound between two words
iamb
a metrical foot consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable
trochee
a metrical foot consisting of an accented syllable followed by an unaccented syllable
dactyl
a metrical foot consisting of an accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables
spondee
a metrical foot consisting of two accented syllables
anapest
a metrical foot consisting of two unaccented syllables followed by an accented syllable
pentameter
a line made up of five feet
enjambment
the running-over of a sentence or phrase from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation
diction
the choice and use of words or phrases in speech and writing
figurative language
an expressive, nonliteral use of language
metaphor
a comparison made without using the words “like”, “as”, or “than”
simile
a comparison made using the words “like”, “as”, or “than”
synecdoche
a figure of speech in which a part of something stands for the whole
metonymy
a figure of speech in which a related term is substituted for the word itself
symbol
something that reveals or is a sign for something else
image
a representation of an idea using descriptive language
personification
a figure of speech in which a nonhuman thing is described as if it were a person
allusion
a brief reference that calls something to mind without mentioning it specifically
allegory
an extended metaphor in which the subject matter conveys figurative meaning
oxymoron
a figure of speech that brings together contradictory words for effect
paradox
a seemingly self-contradictory phrase or concept that illuminates a truth
understatement
the presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is
hyperbole
a striking exaggeration
tone
the general attitude toward the poem’s speaker, reader, and subject matter
irony
an implied distance between what is said and what is meant
narrative poetry
a form of poetry that tells a story
lyric poetry
a form of poetry that expresses feelings
metaphysical poetry
poetry that uses strange imagery, frequent paradoxes, and contains extremely complicated thought
romantic poetry
poetry that emphasizes strong emotion and intuition over reason
ballad
a poem narrating a story in short stanzas
couplet
a pair of successive rhyming lines of verse
triplet
a set of three rhyming lines of verse
dramatic monologue
a poem in which an imagined speaker addresses a silent listener
elegy
a poem of serious reflection, typically lamenting the dead
ode
a ceremonious lyric poem that addresses and often celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea
apostrophe
an address to a dead or absent person, or personification as if he or she were present
sonnet
a fourteen line poem with a variable rhyme scheme
found poem
a prose text or texts reshaped by a poet into quasi-metrical lines
stanza
a group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem
free verse
poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular meter

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