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the repetition of similar sounds, usually consonants or consonant clusters at the beginning of words.


a reference to a person, a place, an event, or a literary work that a writer expects the reader to recognize and respond to.


a figure of speech in which an absent or a dead person, an abstract quality, or something non-human is addressed directly


repetition of similar vowel sounds

blank verse

verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter


harshness or discordancy of sound; the opposite of euphony. Usually the result of awkward alliteration as in tongue‐twisters, it is sometimes used by poets for deliberate effect.


a break or pause in a line of poetry


is the figure of speech in which two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures in order to make a larger point


a kind of developed metaphor that makes a comparison between two startlingly different things


all the emotions and associations that a word or phrase may arouse


the repetition of similar consonant sounds in a group of words


any two consecutive lines that rhyme


the literal or dictionary meaning of a word


a poem of mourning, usually over the death of an individual


The act of interpreting or discovering the meaning of a text. Explication usually involves close reading and special attention to figurativelanguage.

figurative language

Figurative language is a word or phrase that departs from everyday literal language for the sake of comparison, emphasis, clarity, or freshness.

figure of speech

A Figure of Speech is where a word or words are used to create an effect, often where they do not have their original or literal meaning.

free verse

verse that has either no metrical pattern or an irregular pattern


a brief unrhymed, three line poem developed in Japan in the 1600s


a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion or create a comic effect


language that appeals to the senses


Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite.


a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things THAT DO NOT use like or as

implied metaphor

metaphor suggested by the use of words without an explicit statement of equivalent.

extended metaphor

a metaphor that is extended or developed over several lines

dead metaphor

metaphor that has become so common that we no longer even notice that it is a figure of speech

mixed metaphor

incongruous mixture of two or more metaphors


a figure of speech in which something very closely associated with a thing is used to stand for or suggest the thing itself. (the "crown" instead of the "king")


the use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its meaning


a figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory ideas or terms


a figure of speech in which something nonhuman is given human qualities


a literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greater irregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech


a play on the multiple meanings of a word or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings


stanza or poem with four lines


a word, phrase, line, or group of lines repeated regularly in a poem, usually at the end of each stanza


the repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words that are close together in a poem

end rhyme

Rhyme that occurs at the end of a line

internal rhyme

rhyme that occurs within the lines


the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in a language.


the kind of writing that ridicules human weakness, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform.


comparison made between two things through the use of a specific word of comparison such as like or as


fourteen line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter that has one of several rhyme schemes.


a group of consecutive lines in a poem that form a single unit


a person place thing or event that stands itself and for something beyond itself


a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole


A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means; the opposite of exaggeration.

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