Poetry/Figurative Language-Definitions

20 terms by cbmcgann 

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Poetry quiz: postponed to April 26!

Simile

A comparison between two unlike objects using the words "like" or "as."

Ex. "Good coffee is like friendship: rich and warm and strong."

Metaphor

An implied comparison between two unlike objects (does not use "like" or "as").

Ex. The assignment was a breeze.

Hyperbole

An intentional exaggeration for emphasis or comic effect.

Ex. It was so cold that I saw polar bears wearing jackets!"

Understatement

A figure of speech that says less than what is intended.

Ex. "I have to have this operation. It isn't very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain."

Personification

Assigning human characteristics to an inanimate object, an idea, or an animal.

Ex..The run-down house appeared depressed.

Symbol

Something concrete that stands for something abstract. May be a person, place, thing or action. It may stand for an idea, belief, feeling or attitude.

Ex. A rose is just a flower, until it is one of a bunch given as a present. Then it means love.

Alliteration

The repetition of the BEGINNING consonant sounds in a group of words. *Note: refers to the SOUND, not the actual letter.

Ex. Alice's aunt ate apples and acorns around August.

Assonance

Repetition of VOWEL sounds that are at the BEGINNING, MIDDLE, or END of a word.

Ex."Try to light the fire."

Consonance

Repetition of CONSONANT sounds anywhere within a word.

Ex. lady lounges lazily

Imagery

Words or phrases that appeal to the five senses and conjure up mental images.

Ex. Her blue eyes were as bright as the sun, blue as the sky, and as soft as silk.

Allusion

A brief, indirect reference to a famous person, place, or event from literature or history.

Ex. It has rained so long that it seems as though it has rained for 40 days and nights. (This is reference to Noah's Arc which is a well-known event.)

Oxymoron

A word or phrase in which two seemingly contradictory elements are used together.

Ex. jumbo shrimp; extremely average ; same difference ; bad health; wise fool...

Onomatopoeia

A word or phrase in whose sound suggests its meaning.

Ex. The alarm clocked BUZZED loudly in the dark and silent room. DRIP went the faucet.

Denotation

The dictionary meaning of the word.

Ex. The word "home" has a denotation of a residence or place to live.
.

Connotation

Associations and emotional feelings that go along with or beyond the literal meaning of the word.

Ex. Connotation of "home" is cozy, loving, comfortable

Couplet

A stanza consisting of two successive lines in a poem. **Couplets in sonnets give a twist to the tone of the poem or to what comes before the couplet.

Rhythm

The recurrence of STRESSED and UNSTRESSED sounds.

Stanza

Two or more consecutive lines that form a single UNIT in a poem.

Free verse

Poetry that lacks established PATTERNS of meter, rhyme, and stanza.

Sonnet

A 14-lined, rhymed poem that sounds like a song when read aloud.

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