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46 terms

AP English - Poetic Devices

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alliteration
the repetition of similar sounds, usually consonants or consonant clusters at the beginning of words.
allusion
a reference to a person, a place, an event, or a literary work that a writer expects the reader to recognize and respond to.
apostrophe
a figure of speech in which an absent or a dead person, an abstract quality, or something non-human is addressed directly
assonance
repetition of similar vowel sounds
blank verse
verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter
Cacophony
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.
caesura
a break or pause in a line of poetry
chiasmus
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
conceit
a kind of developed metaphor that makes a comparison between two startlingly different things
connotation
all the emotions and associations that a word or phrase may arouse
consonance
the repetition of similar consonant sounds in a group of words
couplet
any two consecutive lines that rhyme
denotation
the literal or dictionary meaning of a word
elegy
a poem of mourning, usually over the death of an individual
explication
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
haiku
a brief unrhymed, three line poem developed in Japan in the 1600s
hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion or create a comic effect
imagery
language that appeals to the senses
litotes
Deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying its opposite.
metaphor
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
metonymy
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")
onomatopoeia
the use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its meaning
oxymoron
a figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory ideas or terms
personification
a figure of speech in which something nonhuman is given human qualities
prose
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
pun
a play on the multiple meanings of a word or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings
quatrain
stanza or poem with four lines
refrain
a word, phrase, line, or group of lines repeated regularly in a poem, usually at the end of each stanza
rhyme
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
rhythm
the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in a language.
satire
the kind of writing that ridicules human weakness, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform.
simile
comparison made between two things through the use of a specific word of comparison such as like or as
sonnet
fourteen line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter that has one of several rhyme schemes.
stanza
a group of consecutive lines in a poem that form a single unit
symbol
a person place thing or event that stands itself and for something beyond itself
synecdoche
a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole
understatement
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker says less than what he or she means; the opposite of exaggeration.