Poetic Devices The tools poets use to enhance their poetry

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  • Poetic DevicesThe tools poets use to enhance their poetry

  • Figurative LanguageThe use of any language that goes beyond the literal meaning of words in order to create new meaning. The most common figures of speech are simile, metaphor, and alliteration.

  • AlliterationThe repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words.

    Example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

  • HyperboleAn expression of extreme exaggeration.

    Example: I nearly died laughing!

  • IdiomExpressions that have a meaning apart from the meanings of individual words.

    Example:Its raining cats and dogs.

  • ImageryVivid descriptions of things seen, heard, smelled, touched, or tasted.

    Example:The golden sunlight flashing (visual imagery)

  • MetaphorA figure of speech that compares two unlike things, without the use of like or as.

    Example:My father is a rock.

  • MoodThe overall feeling the poem creates.

    Example:The mood of a poem can be playful, sad, lonely, angry, or joyful.

  • OnomatopoeiaWords that imitate sounds.


  • PersonificationAssigning human qualities to non-human things.

    Example:The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.

  • PunWords with a humorous double meaning, or a play on words.

    Example:A dog not only has a fur coat, but also pants.

  • RhymeThe basic definition is two words that sound alike. Rhyme is the most recognizable convention of poetry.

    Example:Whose woods these are, I think I know,His house is in the village though.

  • Rhyme SchemeA pattern of rhyme that is traced throughout the poem. To figure out the rhyme scheme of a poem, we assign letters to each line.When lines rhyme with each other, they are assigned the same letter.

  • Example:The itsy bitsy spider aWent up the water spout bDown came the rain cAnd washed the spider out b

    So, the rhyme scheme of this poem is a-b-c-b.

  • SimileComparing two unlike things using the words like or as.

    Example:Her skin is like porcelain.His feet are as big as boats.

  • SymbolUsing an object, animal, or color to represent an idea.

    Examples:Lions symbolize royalty.A heart symbolizes love.The color black symbolizes death.