Figurative language Review

Alliteration: The repetition of identical consonant sounds, most often the sounds beginning words, in close proximity. Example: pensive poets, fleeting fads, forward feeling... Metaphor-- an implied comparison between two things of unlike nature that yet have something in common: A monster fist; terrible news rising; half-hearted moon; America is a maximum-security prison, school is a thick satin quilt; make a broken mind fly
Simile--an explicit comparison between two things of unlike nature that yet have something in common: Blinks like a sad ambulance; counter girl was crisp as a pickle; rap music pours over me like a boiling Jacuzzi; a poem is a like cold beer; Personification: is a figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to an animal, object, or idea. Pulsating gleam, shiny flanks demure headlights; boiling clouds; hunger singing in my belly; the bed that lived under the piano; frame agony and hang it on the wall
HYPERBOLE--the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect: And open those eyes that must eclipse the day; my stomach a valley; boil clouds; rivers of bright merchandise; let your feet touch China Onomatopoeia are words that sound like the objects they name or the sounds those objects make. Boom, bang, slash, slurp, gurgle, meow, and woof , buzz, clatter, clang
OXYMORON -- the twinning of two terms which are ordinarily contradictory: icy fire, fully hollow; perish happily;
Symbol: Symbolism is the use of a person, an object, a place, or an idea to represent it self and something beyond itself at the same time. knights in white armor[chilvery]; Lone Ranger[hero]; rings [continuation or circles};seasons [Winter represents aging/decay/death]a dove for peace, the rose, purity;
What is Tone?
Tone ordinarily refers to all the ways in which a voice may enrich or modify the meanings of spoken words. "
  • Tone cannot be heard in one particular place since it reflects a general attitude, it pervades the whole poem."
  • "The poet's or persona's attitude in style or expression toward the subject, e.g., loving, ironic, bitter, pitying, fanciful, solemn, etc. are part of the tone of the poem.
  •  Tone can also refer to the overall mood of the poem itself, in the sense of an atmosphere intended to influence the readers' emotional response and foster expectations of the conclusion.

Exercises on Poetic Devices


Point of View: First person: The writer is in the poem and tells it from his/her perspective (I came upon two paths...).

Point of View: Third person: The writer tells the poem from an objective perspective (He came upon two paths...).

Point of View: Third person omniscient: The writer isn't in the poem, but knows and describes what all characters are thinking (John didn't want to choose, and Mary hated both paths...).

Stanza - One of the divisions of a poem; a grouping of two or more lines.

assonance deliberate repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds
apostrophe an address to a person absent or dead or to an abstract entity
diction poet's distinctive choices in vocabulary
echo repetition of key word or idea for effect
paradox seeming contradiction that surprises by its pithiness
personification attribution of human motives or behaviors to
impersonal agencies
rhyming couplet a pair of lines which end-rhyme expressing one clear thought
rhyme repetition of same sounds
rhythm internal 'feel' of beat and meter perceived when poetry is read aloud