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Poetry 2

POETRY TERMS: Talking about the language  used by poets. (And others!)

Poetic Devices: Broad or "generic" terms

FIGURE OF SPEECH:  Any way of saying something other than in an ordinary way.  "He takes abuse like an old welterweight," or "You're not the brightest bulb in the chandelier," and "That sleazy, slippery, slimy, so-and-so." Or, "The new clock on the dock is all the talk of those out for a walk in the town of Falk."

:  Language that uses 'figures of speech'. Using colourful, unusual, less-ordinary ways of speaking such as metaphor, simile, assonance, alliteration, puns, hyperbole etc.

IMAGERY: Language that "mirrors" the experiences we enjoy through our senses. (The term mirrors is a figure of speech. Test your understanding by choosing which one from the list of Poetic Terms below?)

Poetic Devices: Specific Terms

A list of common figures of speech

SIMILE: A comparison between two unlike things, connected by words such as: like, as, than,  and less commonly similar to, or resembles.
Quiet as a mouse,
crazy like a fox
Crazy as a Loon.
Nuttier than a fruitcake
"He takes abuse like an old welterweight."
Dumber than a post
You resemble 9 miles of bad road
You look similar to a dog's breakfast.

METAPHORAn implied comparison between unlike things.
I.e. Heís a dummy, but she's a peach,
"You're not the brightest bulb in the chandelier,"
"The lights are on but nobody's home."
"He's not the sharpest tool in the shed."
"He's a real clown."
"He's an idiot looking for a village."

ALLUSION: A reference to something in history or literature. I.e.
She had a Cinderella wedding
He's having a 9/11 day, 
He's as decisive  as Hamlet.
"He's had to endure the trials of Job."

ALLITERATION: The repetition of initial sounds.  I.e.
Seven steaks sizzled,
Lucy Lawless looks lovely lately
"That slippery, slimy, slack-jawed sleaze-ball!

CONSONANCE:  The repetition of  consonants and/or consonant sounds ( letters NOT vowels, in words.) 
i.e. first, last and foremost
rends and bends, odds and ends.
pitter, patter, skitter, scatter
stroke of luck, truck in the muck is stuck
"The chalk outline on the sidewalk is all the talk of those out for a walk in the town of Falk."

ASSONANCE: The repetition of vowel sounds. I.e. My words like silent raindrops fell,
sigh, why did I die, oh my.
"Hi guy how's the sty in your eye?"
OOH, it's you, woo hoo, its true! (Long o sound)

PERSONIFICATION: Giving human characteristics to an animal, object, or idea. I.e.
Time is moving like a slug on drugs.
The moose staggered drunkenly
The lone tree stood like a single soldier on guard in the meadow,
The dog stood sentry at the gate until John returned.
The stalled car barricaded the exit ramp

PARADOX: An apparent contradiction, which is nevertheless somehow true, as in a love-hate relationship or a youthful senior citizen.

ONOMATOPOEIA: ďSound wordsĒ; Words whose sound suggests their meaning. I.e. buzz, click, snap, chop, ding, bang, boom, boing, crack, pow, shwoosh, splat, schmack, slam, crash...

OXYMORON: The setting together, for effect, two words of opposite meaning. I.e.
burning cold,
screaming whisper,
numbing pain.
(In the more usual sense, two words which join opposites, often considered humourous,
like military intelligence, postal service, government accountability, pretty ugly, unreasonably rational, jumbo shrimp, mini-giant sized,

OVERSTATEMENT (or hyperbole): An extreme exaggeration used for effect. I.e.
Iíve told you a million times not to exaggerate!
Iím starving to death!
The suspense is killing me!
I'll just die!
I hate that worse than nature hates a vacuum!

SYMBOL: Roughly defined as something that means more than what it is.  I.e. A wedding ring is a symbol of commitment, love, honor, etc.  It is not just a ring.  Itís shape (a circle) is also symbolic; a circle never ends and therefore the love is not supposed to. An eagle could be a symbol of courage, independence, or freedom. The bull is often a symbol or power, strength, masculinity.

PUN: play on words. Caviar Emptor - Beware of the fish! The original Latin expression is Caveat Emptor, which means, "Let the Buyer Beware!" Puns rely on the similar sounds of two different words or the different meanings of a word. When the meanings are  switched, it may produce a different, even humourous meaning for the phrase.
Other Puns
: Prisoners like the period best of all punctuation marks, since it comes at the END of a sentence. If you write bad things about me, I'm libel to sue you. Trust your calculator. It's something to count on.

UNDERSTATEMENT: Saying much less than what is meant, for effect. "Yes. 420 lbs. at 5 feet 2 inches does make you a bit overweight!" or, "Yes, I think that there may be some small amount of steroid abuse in the Pro bodybuilding world." Understatement may often be given a tone of sarcasm..


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