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Poetry Terms

Elements of Poetry

TermDefinition
Alliteration The repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together. Ex: The sneaky, slippery snake.
Allusion A reference to someone or something that is known from history, literature, religion, politics, sports, science, or some other branch of culture.
Context Clues Using words surrounding unknown words to determine their meeting.
Couplet Two consecutive lines of poetry that work together.
Drawing Conclusion Use written cues to figure out something that is not directly stated.
Free Verse Poetry that does not conform to a regular meter or rhyme scheme.
Haiku Presents a vivid picture and the poet's impression, sometimes with suggestions of spiritual insight. The traditional haiku is three lines long: the first line is five syllable, the second line is seven syllables, and third line is five syllables.
Hyperbole A figure of speech that uses incredible exaggeration, or overstatement, for effect. Ex: I could eat s thousand hamburgers right now.
Imagery The use of language to evoke a picture or a concrete sensation of a person, a thing, a place, or an experience.
Inferring Giving a logical guess based on the facts or evidence presented using prior knowledge to help "read between the lines."
Irony In general, it is the difference between the way something appears and what is actually true.
Meaning What is the poem about.
Metaphor A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things without the use of like or as. Ex: Education is a life raft in the ocean of America.
Mood The feeling created in the reader by the poem or story.
Onomatopoeia The use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning. Ex: Boom! Smash! Pow! Psst. Ssshh!
Pattern A combination of the organization of lines, rhyme schemes, stanzas, rhythm, and meter.(There are an innumerable variety of patterns in poetry.)
Personification A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes. Ex: My computer stared at me, deciding if it wanted to cooperate.
Rereading Gives the reader more than one chance to make sense of challenging text.
Rhyme/Rhyme Scheme THe repetition of vowel sounds in accented syllables and all succeeding syllables. The pattern of rhymes in a poem is called a rhyme scheme.
Rhythm A rise and fall of the voice produced by the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in language.
Setting The time and place of the action.
Simile A figure of speech that makes an explicit comparison between two unlike things, using the words like or as. Ex: My shoes were like falcons, enabling me to fly across the basketball court.
Sonnet A fourteen-line lyric poem, usually written in rhymed iambic pentameter.
Speaker The imaginary voice assumed by the writer of a poem.
Stanza A group of lines in a poem considered as a unit. Stanzas often function like paragraphs in prose. Each stanza states and develops a single main idea.
Summarizing Guide the reader to organize and restate info, usually in written form.
Symbols A person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself and that also stands for something more than itself. Ex: The eagle is a bird , but it is also the symbol for American freedom, liberty and justice.
Theme The central message or insight into life revealed through the poem.
Tone The attitude a writer takes toward the subject of a work, the characters in it, or the audience.
Created by: Ryan.Hinson