Common Poetry Devices

17 terms by yeaitwasme

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Consonance

repetition of consonant sounds anywhere in poem; creates hard or soft sounds; highlights motifs, symbols, or other devices

Assonance

repetition of vowel sounds anywhere in a poem; creates hard or soft sounds; highlights motifs, symbols, or other devices.

Ambiguity

any word of phrase that can be interpreted in more than one way; enhances characterization, creates irony, and is a strong form of diction; often reveals character struggles and lit themes

Allusion

a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize

Metonymy

A figure of speech in which something is referred to by using the name of something that is associated with it

Synecdoche

A figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (as hand for sailor), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer), the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword).

Oxymoron

an expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined

Paradox

a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

Stanza

a group of lines in a poem or song that constitute a division (in prose: paragraph)

End Rhyme

Rhyme that occurs at the end of two or more lines of poetry; creates a formal, pleasing tone

Internal Rhyme

Rhyme that occurs within a line, rather than at the end; creates a formal, pleasing tone

Refrain

The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at definite intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza; functions as the chorus; draws attention to the repeated lines/words

Free Verse

consists of lines of poetry that do not have a regular rhythm and do not rhyme; feels unstructured; allows poet to have freedom and control over elements of style.

Tone

the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author; affects a reader's mood; necessary to communicate appropriate message

Mood

atmosphere; feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage; author controls this with tone; readers overall reaction or impression to a lit piece

Diction

the articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience

Parallel Structure

the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures in a series of phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to draw importance to content; creates balance, cadence, rhythm and beauty

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