Poetry Words to Know

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Last updated: November 26, 2019

metaphor
describes one thing as if it were something else

simile
uses like or as to compare two unlike things

personification
gives human qualities to a nonhuman thing

symbol
something that represents something else

alliteration
repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words

repetition
use of a sound, word, or group of words more than once

onomatopoeia
use of words that imitate sounds

rhyme
repetition of sounds at the ends of words

meter
arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables

poetry
A kind of rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed to appeal to our emotions and imagination

rhythm
The pattern or beat of a poem

stanzas
the paragraphs of poetry

figurative language
writing or speech not meant to be taken literally

assonance
the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words

consonance
the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words

narrative poetry
poetry that tells a story and has a narrator; presents dramatic events in a vivid, wild way; uses some of the same elements of short stories

haiku
a Japanese form of poetry without rhyme, consisting of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables

free verse
poetry with no strict structure: it has no regular meter, rhyme, fixed line length, or specific stanza pattern

lyric poetry
expresses the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker, often in highly musical verse

ballads
song-like poems that tell stories, often of adventure and romance

concrete poem
shaped to look like their subjects

limericks
humorous, rhyming, five-line poems with a specific rhythm pattern and rhyme scheme

rhyming couplets
pairs of rhyming lines, usually the same meter and length

imagery
The use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, thing, place, or experience

idiom
An expression that cannot be understood if taken literally (ex- “Get your head out of the clouds”).

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