Poetic Devices

PART 1

Auditory devices

poetic devices that effect the sound of the poem but not usually its meaning.

 

Rhyme

The repetition of vowel and consonant sounds at the end of words.

e.g. brown, town, clown, crown, renown

 

Alliteration

The repetition of consonant sounds usually at the beginning of words.

Bill Brown bats baseballs, Baby!

 

Consonance

The repetition of consonant sounds with different vowel sounds preceding it.

e.g. bake, duck, soak, pick, epic

 

Assonance

The repetition of vowel sounds with different consonantal sounds following.

e.g. meek, beam, peace, pier, reap; e.g. choke, goal, show.

 

Rhythm

A pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Boom, boom, pah = anapest

 

Part 2

Cognitive devices

- poetic devices that affect the meaning and understanding of the poem.

 

Denotation

The literal or dictionary meaning of the word.

Mother the female progenitor of the species

 

Connotation

The emotional meaning of the word

Mother a nurturing, warm, loving caretaker

 

Metaphor

A comparison of dissimilar items which lend additional meaning to the items compared.

e.g. Life is a dream. e.g. She is a tower of strength.

 

Simile

A comparison of dissimilar items using a comparative word:

like, as, such as, than resembles

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what youre going to get.

 

Figurative Language

Language which cannot be taken literally.

Hyperbole, personification, metaphors, simile

 

Personification

Human characteristics attributed to non-humans.

e.g. My car loves me.

 

 

Onomatopoeia

Words which sound like their meanings

sizzle, hiss, babbling brook, barbarian

 

Hyperbole

An extreme exaggeration to make a point.

Im so hungry I can eat a horse.

 

Tone

The attitude of the poet.

Unassuming, child-like, overbearing

 

Paradox

A seeming contradiction. Oxymoron is a paradox.

Jumbo shrimp, awfully good, poor little rich boy

 

Mood

The climate or atmosphere of the poem.

Cheerful, pensive, scary, humorous, etc.

 

Imagery

Language which appeals to the five senses.

Descriptive in nature.

 

Part 3

Types of Poetry

There are many, many different types. The following are a few of the most common.

 

Lyric Poetry

Poems that express personal feelings or emotions.

Used in songs.

 

Satire

To criticize with use of ridicule or humor in order to bring about change.

Saturday Night Live; some sit-coms

 

Narrative Poetry

Poetry that tells a story.

It contains the elements of short story: plot, setting, characters, theme, conflict, climax, etc.

 

Lament

A poem expressing sorrow or grief over

Death, a Situation or Circumstances


 

Blank Verse

Unrhymed lines with a pattern of 5 stressed and 5 unstressed syllables (iambic pentameter)

ta Dum, ta Dum, ta Dum, ta Dum, ta Dum

 

Sonnet

14 line poem; Iambic Pentameter

 

Shakespearean Sonnet

a.k.a. Elizabethan or English Sonnet

3 quatrains & a couplet

abab

cdcd

efef

gg

 

Petrachan Sonnet

a.k.a. Italian Sonnet

1 octave and a sestet

 

abbaabba

cdecde or cdcdcd or whatever

 

Spenserian Sonnet

Abab

bcbc

cdcd

ee