Poetry Terms

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onomatopoeia
-Definition: words that sound like the objects they name or the sounds those objects make
-Facts/characteristics: writers, especially poets, use this device in which the words they use sound like the very thing being named or written about. Used a lot in comic books.
-Examples: Hiss, buzz, bang, zip, pop, sizzle, crash, splash, drip, bam, clank, clap, clatter, screech, thud, oink, purr, beep, ring
-Non-examples: hug, bug, flip, sip, clutter
hyperbole
-Definition: a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. (extreme exaggeration)
-Facts/characteristics: *the exaggeration is for effect and not meant to be taken literally *authors often use hyperbole to add extra drama or comedy to a situation or even for the purpose of propaganda.
-Examples: *I am so hungry i could eat a horse. *This backpack weighs a ton.
-Non-examples: *This house was big. *This book is heavy.
alliteration
-Definition: the repetition of an initial constant sound
-Facts/characteristics: aside from tongue twisters, alliteration is also used in poems, song lyrics, and even store or brand names
-Examples: Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers
-Non-examples: The fat cat sat wearing a brand new hat.
simile
-Definition: a figure of speech that compares two nouns (persons, places, or things) that are unlike, with “like” or “as”
-Facts/characteristics: *You can use similes to make descriptions more vivid. *Similes are very close to metaphors, but make a comparison instead of actually suggesting that two things are essentially the same.
-Examples: *She is as happy as a lamb. *He sleeps like a log.
-Non-examples: *My son is the light of my life. *The test was a piece of cake.
metaphor
-Definition: when you use two nouns and compare or contrast them to one another. Unlike simile, you do not use “like” or “as” in the comparison
-Facts/characteristics: The primary difference between a simile and a metaphor is that a simile uses the word like or as to compare two things, while a metaphor simply suggests that the dissimilar things are the same.
-Examples: *Sally is feeling blue today. *Aiden is the apple of my eye.
-Non-examples: *John is as cute as a button. *The little boy is as happy as a clam.
idioms
-Definition: a word or phrase that cannot be interpreted literally
-Facts/characteristics: *The word or phrase is a type of figurative language whose meaning is understood through common usage. *An Idiom does not always follow the normal rules of meaning and grammar.
-Examples: Beating around the bush, Raining cats and dogs, Break a leg, hit the hay, under the weather
-Non-examples: *I have a million things to do.
personification
-Definition: giving human traits (qualities, feelings, action, or characteristics) to non-living objects (things, colors, qualities, or ideas).
– Facts/characteristics: Authors use personification to make stories/ poems more dramatic and interesting or to convey a certain mood. Personification also helps us to relate more to the object or idea that is being personified because it is easier for us to relate to something with human attributes.
-Examples: *The tree danced in the wind. * The stars dance in the night sky.
-Non-examples: *The wind was blowing. *The stars were shining bright.
assonance
-Definition: the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences
-Facts/characteristics: *Assonance is often used in poetry *Assonance is used to reinforce the meanings of words or to set the mood.
-Examples: *Do you like blues?, the /u:/ (“0″/”ou”/”ue”sound) is repeated within the sentence. *A spoon is a tool you can use to dig a tomb.
-Non-examples: *Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers
lyric
-Definition: A poem in which a single speaker expresses personal emotions, feelings, or observations; also the words to a song
-Facts/characteristics: most common in music
-Examples: “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” “I feel alright, I’m gonna take on the world. Light up the stars I’ve got some pages to turn….”
-Non-examples:I LOVE PUPPIES!!!!!
meter
-Definition: pattern of the rhythm of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
-Facts/characteristics: sounds like music
-Examples: Whose words these are I think I know his house is in the village though
-Non-examples: none
stanza
-Definition: A group of lines in a poem- separated from the next group of lines
-Facts/characteristics: Paragraph of a poem
-Examples: The willow is like an etching fine-lined against the sky. The ginkgo is like a crude sketch hardly worth to be signed.
-Non-examples: none
rhyme
-Definition: words that sound alike either at the ends of poetry lines or the words themselves
-Facts/characteristics: none
-Examples: tree, bee, knee
-Non-examples: flag, bug, jump
consonance
-Definition: Repetition of the final constant sounds in lines of poetry
-Facts/characteristics: like alliteration but at the end
-Examples: Roses are pink, I like to eat a link, Doesn’t it make you think?
-Non-examples: I love the sea look at that tree
irony
-Definition: verbal-saying one thing but meaning another dramatic- when the audience/ reader knows something the character doesn’t
-Facts/characteristics: none
-Examples: 98 years old wins the lottery and dies the same day
-Non-examples: Kid gets on a bus after kissing his mom, bus blows up
oxymoron
-Definition: two contradictory ideas linked together
-Facts/characteristics: usually funny
-Examples: freezing fire; dry ice; icy hot
-Non-examples-burning fire
allegory
-Definition: when something smalls stands for or represents something huge or universal
-Facts/characteristics: none
-Examples: US President = entire US
-Non-examples: none
Categories: Poetry