Poetry Unit Vocabulary

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Alliteration

The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words. Example: Rain races, ripping like wind in its restless rage.

Assonance

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words. It is used to reinforce the meanings of words or to set the mood. Example: "Fleet feet sweep by sleeping geese"

Couplet

A pair of rhymed lines that may or may not make up a separate stanza in a poem. Example:
"For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings."

Figure of speech

A verbal expression in which words or sounds are arranged in a particular way to achieve a particular effect.

Figurative Language

Language that uses figures of speech such as hyperbole, simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, etc. to gain impact, freshness of expression, or add pictorial (visual) effect.

Hyperbole

A figure of speech involving exaggeration. Example: This car goes faster than the speed of light. This example of hyperbole means the car is super fast but it is an exaggeration that it could be faster than the speed of light.

Idiom

An expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but must be learned as a whole. Example: A chip on your shoulder, this is an idiom that means being upset for something that happened in the past.

Imagery

A mental image we see using our senses of sight, hear, taste, smell, touch, or feel. Imagery in poetry is what the words of the poem make the reader 'see' in their imagination.

Metaphor

A comparison between essentially unlike things without 'like' or 'as'. An example is "My love is a red, red rose,"

Onomatopoeia

The use of words to imitate the sounds they describe. Words such as 'buzz' and 'crack' are onomatopoetic.

Personification

Giving objects or abstract concepts human or living qualities. An example: "In the morning breeze, the green oak leaves waved to the bowing sunflowers in the garden."

Poetic License

The freedom of poets to not follow the normal rules of written language in order to create an effect. This often occurs when poets use inventive figurative language

Poetry

A type of literature written in verse and contains rhythm.

Repetition

The simple repeating of a word in order to emphasize it.

Rhyme

The matching of final vowel or consonant sounds in two or more words.

Rhythm

The recurrence of accent or stress in lines of verse to create sound or a certain beat.

Simile

A figure of speech involving a comparison between unlike things using 'like', 'as', or 'as though.' An example: "My love is like a red, red rose."

Stanza

A division or unit of a poem that is repeated in the same form--either with similar or identical patterns or rhyme.

Symbol

Words or images that signify more than they literally represent.

Oxymoron

Figure of speech containing two seemingly contradictory expressions.
Example: alone in a crowd

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