Poetry Notes There are many literary devices commonly used to enrich the meaning and sound of poetry.
These literary devices enrich meaning by giving the reader several levels of connection: simile: a comparison of two unlike things which uses “like” or “as.” Example: The compliment lifted her like invisible wings. metaphor: a comparison of two unlike things which does not use “like” or “as.” Example: Shadows stalked the night, a black cat on all fours.
personification: attributing human feelings, thoughts, or actions to non-human things. Example: Slowly, silently, now the moon walks the night. symbol: a person, a place or a thing that has meaning in itself, but that stand for something else as well. Example: A flame burned between Romeo and Juliette as they sat around the fire.
imagery: concrete details that appeal to the senses; by using specific images, an author establishes mood and arouses emotion in his readers; creating a picture. Example: “Swamp” by Vince Freeman hyperbole: An obvious and intentional exaggeration; an extravagant statement, not meant to be taken literally Example: “I waited an eternity.”
concrete poetry: it visually presents something important about a poem’s meaning. Some poems are shapes filled in with words; in other poems words may outline a shape or imitate a movement.
These literary devices enrich sound by giving poetry a pleasing depth beyond the literal meaning of the words. onomatopoeia: The use of words whose sounds imitate or suggest their meaning. Example: buzz, rustle, boom, tweet. alliteration: The repetition of consonant sounds in worlds that are close together. Example: The sun was shining on the sea.
assonance: The repetition of vowel sounds in words that are close together. Example: Two mules went through the food. rhyme: The repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words that are close together in a poem. Example: Do you see what I mean? There is a hole in the screen internal rhyme: rhyme within lines. end rhyme: rhyme at the ends of lines.
Rhyme continued… types of rhyme: couplet: two lines that rhyme in one stanza triplet: three lines that rhyme in one stanza Rhyme Example: “The Road Not Taken”
tone: An author’s attitude toward his subject as expressed in a literary work Example: The tone of the Declaration of Independence is determined and confident. allusion: A reference within a literary work to a historical, literary, or biblical character, place, or event. Example:
idiom: A common expression that has acquired a meaning that differs from its literal meaning. Example: “It’s raining cats and dogs” or “That cost me an arm and a leg.”