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Poetic Essentials

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oxymoron
a paradox reduced to two words used for effect to emphasize contrasts
irony
a mode of expression,through words or events, conveying a reality different from and usually opposite to appearance or expression
allegory
form of extended metaphor in which objects and persons in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself
allusion
a casual and brief reference to a famous historical or literary figure or event
symbol
something that is itself and yet also represents something else, like an idea
tone
the writer's attitude toward his readers and his subject
satire
manner of writing that mixes a critical attitude with wit and humor in an effort to improve mankind and human institutions
alliteration
the recurrence of initial consonant sounds
personification
metaphorical of an animal or inanimate object as having human attributes
assonance
the use of similar vowel sounds repeated in a successive or proximate words containing different consonants
euphemism
substitution of a mild or less negative word or phrase for a harsh or blunt one
understatement
expressing an idea with less emphasis or in a lesser degree than is the actual one
hyperbole
exaggeration used for emphasis, used to heighten effect, or to create a humorous perception
apostrophe
the direct address of a person or personified thing, either present or absent
metaphor
a comparison which imaginatively identifies one thing with another dissimilar thing, invoked by the "to be" verb
onomatopoeia
use of words which in their pronunciation suggests their meaning or sound
simile
a direct, expressed comparison using "like" or "as" between two things essentially unlike each other, but resembling each other in a way