Poetry toolbox terms

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: December 9, 2019

Denotation
the literal or dictionary meaning of a word; more technical

connotation
suggestions or underlying implications a word may posses; stimulating an emotion

Visual imagery
appeals to your sense of sight

Aural imagery
appeals to your sense of hearing

Olfactory imagery
appeals to your sense of smell

tactile imagery
appeals to your sense of touch

gustatory imagery
appeals to your sense of taste

etymology
study of the origin of words

figurative language
language that means something other than the actual meanings of the words

metaphor
making a connection between normally unrelated things/ideas seeing one thing in terms of another without the verbal cue of like or as

Dead metaphor/cliché
a comparison that has been so overused that we hardly notice it as a metaphor (“hands of a clock”)

Simile
establishes the comparison of two unrelated things/ideas with the use of like or as

personification
type of metaphorical comparison in which abstract concepts or intimate objects are given human qualities (animal has human qualities)

symbolism
when a person, object, or idea stands for itself and something higher such as a dove standing fro peace

alliteration
the repetition of initial constant sounds “the day of his death was a dark cold day”

assonance
the repetition of a vowel “time out of mind”

onomatopoeia
when a word imitates a sound “buzz”

exact rhyme
a perfect rhyme in syllable count/sound

approximate rhyme
almost rhymes, slant rhyme (emily dickinson)

Speaker
a person who speaks or delivers the speech or lecture

diction
the choice or use of words and phrases in speech or writing

literal language
the use of words solely by their defined or primary meanings, as opposed to how we regularly use them

line breaks
the point at which two lies of text are split; at the end of a line

rhythm
a strong, regular, repeated pattern of sound or movement

meter
the measured arrangement of words, a group of lines

allusion
an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly, usually a reference to something form the past

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