Poetry: Figurative Language Terms

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Last updated: December 3, 2019

Poetry:
An ancient writing form that expresses thought in verse.

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Mood:
The feeling or emotion created by a poem or story.

Hyperbole:
Obvious exaggeration used to emphasize a point or add excitement and humor to a story. (ex. I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.

)

Idiom:
An expression that means something different from what it says. (ex. “Shake a leg!” or “You let the cat out of the bag!”)

Imagery:
Words or phrases that appeal to the senses and create mental images, like the use of the five senses.

Assonance:
Repetition of similar vowel sounds (how, now, cow.)

Stanza:
A division of poetry or a part of a song or poem.

Free Verse:
Poetry with no rhyme or pattern.

Metaphor:
A comparison between two or more objects without the use of “like” or “as”.

Simile:
A comparison between two or more objects using the words “like” or “as”.

Personification:
Giving human qualities or actions to something that is non-human, like animals, inanimate objects, or ideas.

Symbol:
Something concrete that stands for something abstract. (ex. A nation’s flag is a symbol of national pride.)

Style:
The way the poem is written – free-style, ballad, haiku, etc. – includes length of meters, number of stanzas along with rhyme techniques and rhythm.

Theme:
The message, point of view and idea of the poem.

Voice inflection:
Modulation in pitch or tone of the voice for emphasis or emotion.

Alliteration:
The repetition of beginning consonant sounds in a group of words. (ex. Cows are craving cuisine crunch crops.)

Onomatopoeia:
A word whose sound suggests its meaning.

(ex. plop, buzz, snap.)

Rhyme:
The repetition of end sounds in words. (ex.

Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe. Get it done by half past two.)

Rhythm:
The pattern of beats or stresses in language. It helps create a mood of fast or slow, like “calm” or “frenzied”.)

Poetic Element:
A literary element that is found within a poem such as: alliteration, metaphor, onomatopoeia, repetitions, rhyme, rhythm, simile, etc.

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