Poetry Terms and Definitions with examples

Poetry Terms and Definitions with examples

Alliteration

Definition: The repetition of the beginning consonant sounds of neighboring words within a line.

Example: “Some Song Sung” or “Heap” and “Recent”.

Assonance

Definition: The relatively close use of the same or similar vowel sounds but with different end consonants.

Example: “White and Shining” or “Heap and Recent”.

Consonance

Definition: The close repetition of the same end consonants, but with differing vowel sounds coming before.

Example: “Downtown and Unbound”.

Enjambment

Definition: The continuation of the sense of a sentence of phrase beyond the end of a line.

End Rhyme

Definition: A rhyme between the last word of syllable of one line of poetry with the last word or syllable of another line.

Example: “Life is filled with many blessings some beyond your wildest guessings”.

Internal Rhyme

Definition: Also called a middle rhyme, a rhyme occurring within the line. The rhyme may be with two (or more) words within the line.

Example: “At the sight of great light dawning” (sight and light).

Meter

Definition: A measure of rhythm (set rhythm) in a poem, organized into groups of syllables at regular intervals in a line of poetry.

Free Verse

Definition: Poetry that doesn’t rhyme or have a regular meter or rhythm.

Rhythm

Definition: A musical quality produced by the repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables (meter) or by the repetition of words and phrases or even whole lines or sentences.

Repetition

Definition: The repetition of sound, syllables, words, phrases, lines, and sound patterns.

Imagery

Definition: Words in a literary work that are designed to create images in your mind. Auditory images, tactile (touch) images, and visual images etc…

Example: “The dewey green grass shone reflected by the morning sun”.

Metaphor

Definition: A comparison that suggests that one thing is the same as another; metaphors often use a being verb, like “is” or “was” to equate the two things.

Example: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”.

Simile

Definition: A comparison that says one thing is like another’ a smile contains the word “like” or “as”.

Example: “I am a thief” or “music is like a dream”.

Onomatopoeia

Definition: Words that imitate sounds, like buzz, hiss, clang’ any word whose sound is suggestive of its meaning.

Example: “clang clash bang”.

Personification

Definition: A type of metaphor in which distinctive human characteristics, e.g. honesty, emotion, etc… are given to an animal, object, or idea.

Example: “The castle gate loomed harshly over the new servants”.


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