Poetry term definitions and examples

Topic: EnvironmentNatural Disasters
Sample donated:
Last updated: December 16, 2019
Verse/stanza definition
A section of lines within a poem

Theme definition
The main subject in a poem / what the poem is about

Theme example
War, childhood or nature

Subject matter definition
The topic being explored in a poem

Form definition
The shape of a poem / how the lines are arranged

Structure definition
The organisation or arrangement of verses within a poem

Imagery definition
The use of vivid language to represent ideas or to help the reader imagine something

Imagery example
“Bent double like old beggars under sacks”

Metaphor definition
A metaphor is a comparison between two things which suggests that one thing actually is another

Metaphor example
The moon is a balloon

Simile definition
A comparison between two things using the words like or as

Simile example
As quick as lightning

Personification definition
A thing or object is described as if it is a person

Personification example
The flowers danced in the breeze

Sound effects definition
When words in a poem create a particular sound, often using alliteration or onomatopoeia

Sound effects example
The snake slid softly through the grass

Alliteration definition
The same sound is repeated at the start of words

Alliteration example
The wind whipped through the windows

Assonance defintion
Repetition of vowel sounds in a line of poetry

Assonance example
Men sell the wedding bells

Onomatopoeia defintion
The word imitates the sound being described

Onomatopoeia example
Snap crackle pop

Sibilance definition
Repetition of the letter ‘s’ often producing a hissing effect

Sibilance example
The snake slid softly through the grass

Rhythm definition
The flow of words and phrases in a poem

Rhyme scheme definition
The ordered pattern of rhymes at the end of the lines in a poem

Tone definition
The general feeling or mood in a poem

Tone example
Tone can be happy, sad, angry etc

Diction definition
The choice and use of words or phrases in a poem

Speaker/voice/persona definition
When a poet writes in a particular role or character

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