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allegory

A literary work in which characters, objects, or actions are used as symbols

alliteration

the repetition of initial sounds in successive or neighboring words

analogy

a comparison between similar things, often in the form of "A is to B as C is to D"

antithesis

the balancing of rhetorical opposites

aphorism

A brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life.

apostrophe

a technique by which a writer addresses an inanimate object, an idea, or a person who is either dead or absent.

assonance

the repetition of vowel sounds in words close to one another

ballad

a song or song-like poem that tells a story and has a regular refrain

caesura

a pause or break within a line of poetry

chiasmus

a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.")

closed form

A type of form or structure in poetry characterized by regularity and consistency in such elements as rhyme, line length, and metrical pattern.

conceit

A fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects

connotation

the implied or associative meaning of a word

denotation

the literal meaning of a word

consonance

repetition of consonant sounds

diction

word choice

double entendre

a word or phrase having a double meaning, especially when the second meaning is risque

dramatic monologue

A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we become that silent listener.

elegy

a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead

end-stopped

A term that describes a line of poetry that ends with a natural pause usually indicated by a mark of punctuation.

enjambment

a run-on line of poetry in which logical and grammatical sense carries over from one line into the next; there is no punctuation at the end of the line

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