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POETIC DEVICES

Below you will find examples and definitions of common poetic devices.

(If there is one you want included, please email:                   )

 

 

Poetic Device

Definition

Effect or Example

Tone

feelings or meanings conveyed in the poem

Not so much what is being said but how it is said

Stanza

a grouping of two or more lines of a poem in terms of length, metrical form, or rhyme scheme.

Provides order and an expectation of closure

Simile

A comparison between two unlike things using like or as.

“My love is like a red rose.”

Metaphor

A comparison between two unlike things without using like or as. Something is something else

The doctor inspected the rash with a vulture's eye.

Personification

Giving human qualities or characteristics to animals or inanimate objects

My shoes are killing me.

Alliteration

Repetition of initial consonant sounds in a group or words close together

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Assonance

Repetition of a vowel sound

The eagle lived free and easy.

Hyperbole

Overstatement or exaggeration

I will just die if I do not go to the party.

Symbol

On object or idea that stands for something else. 

Common symbols for love are roses and hearts. A dove is a symbol for peace.

Onomatopoeia

The use of words which imitate sound

Buzz, tweet, ping

Imagery

Words that appeal to the senses.

Creates vivid mental pictures (sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound).

Speaker

The voice in the poem (not always the poet).

Provides focus.

Oxymoron

a seeming contradiction in two words put together

Jumbo shrimp

 

 

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