Poetry & satire

The creation of a visual picture with words and phrases that appeal to the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell).

A direct comparison of two unlike objects using “like” or “as”. Ex.

: The salesperson was as persistent as a mosquito.

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A direct comparison of two unlike objects without using “like” or “as”. Ex.: The salesperson was a mosquito.

A form of comparison that gives human qualities to an animate or inanimate object. Ex.: The headlights of the car stared back at us.

An address to a person or personified object not present. Ex.: O’ world! Tell me thy pain.

Literary allusion
A reference to historical or fictional characters, places, or events.Ex.: Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn; The living record or your memory. (Shakespeare)

A deliberate exaggeration or overstatement for effect. Ex.: It was so hot we almost melted.

A form of under-exaggeration for effect.

Ex.: Hurricane Andrew was just a little storm.

When the opposite of what is expected occurs.

A statement that seems to be contradictory but that actually presents a truth. Ex.: Poor little rich girl/I am too tired to sleep.

A figure of speech that fuses two opposite or contradictory ideas.

Ex.: Living dead/pleasing pain/jumbo shrimp.

A figure of speech in which opposing or contrasting ideas are balanced against each other in grammatically parallel syntax. Ex.: Fair is foul; foul is fair.


When a part is used to signify the whole or the whole for a part. Ex.: All hands on deck (“hands” for sailors) / The tickets cost $10 a head (“head” for individual people).

Occurs when the name of a thing is substituted for the name of something closely associated with it. Ex.

: The pot is boiling. (Actually, the water is “boiling”.)

The repetition or duplication of approximate or exact sounds, usually in a pattern.

Single rhyme
Late, rate, bait, date

Double rhyme
Battle, rattle, tattle, cattle

Triple rhyme
Discovering, uncovering

Slant rhyme (aka eye rhyme or imperfect rhyme)
Appears to the eye to rhyme, but when spoken does not. Ex.: love, prove; cough, bough.

Internal rhyme
Appears within a line of verse. Ex.

: In this hollow (glade), our love shall never (fade).

Rhyme scheme
The pattern of rhyme that falls at the end of the lines of verse, which is represented by a letter. Ex.: AABB

End-stopped rhyme
Occurs when there is a pause at the end of each line of a stanza. This pause is indicated by punctuation. Ex.

:And it grew both day and night,Till it bore an apple bright;And my foe beheld it shine,And he knew that it was mine, (Blake)

Occurs when one line of poetry runs into the next. There is no pause at the end of each line; instead, the work is read sentence by sentence. Ex.:That time of year thou mayst in me beholdWhen yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hangUpon those boughs which shake against the cold (Shakespeare)

The repetition of initial consonant sounds in two or more words of a line. Ex.: Alliteration Lightly Links Stressed Syllables with Common Consonants.

The repetition of vowel sounds in two or more words of a line that end with different consonants. Ex.

: bright, white, tight/An Abbot on An Ambling pAd.

The repetition of consonant sounds at the end or in the middle of two or more words in a line. The consonant sounds are similar, but the vowels which precede them differ.

Ex.: add,read,bed/freeZing breeZes eaSily cauSes sneeZes.

A blending of consonant and vowel sounds designed to imitate or suggest a situation or action.

Ex.: Buzz, pop, boom, crunch

The use of compatible, harmonious sounds to produce a pleasing melodious effect.

The use of inharmonious sounds in close conjunction for effect.

Gives language order, arranging the stresses of pronunciation with regularity and variety.

Metric unit
A foot. A foot may consist of two or three syllables, where most contain one accented syllable and one or two unaccented syllables.

In a line f poetry, the number of feet are indicated by one of the following terms:1) One foot: monometer2) Two feet: dimeter3) Three feet: Dimeter4) Four feet: tetrameter5) Five feet: pentameter6) Six feet: hexameter7) Seven feet: heptameter8) Eight feet: octameter9) Nine feet: nonameter

Metric pattern
Stressed (indicated by an accent symbol ‘ or saying “dumm”) and unstressed (indicated by an unaccented symbol u or saying “de”) syllables withing the foot, or unit, include:1) Iambic = “de Dumm”2) Trochaic = “Dumm de”3) Anapestic = “de de Dumm”4) Dactylic = “Dumm de de”

The analysis of metrical mechanical elements within a poem. Feet are marked off by slashes and accented appropriately. Ex.:Because / I coud/ not stop / for Death

Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme. Heroic couplets are written in iambic pentameter and often complete or close a thought.

A three line stanza, usually with rhyme. Terza rima (first used by Dante Alighieri) links stanzas of three lines together by continuing the rhyme from one stanza to the nect until the end of the poem.

The rhyme scheme would be ABA BCB CDC DED EFE and so on.

A four line stanza. Ballad quatrain is a four line stanza with the rhyme scheme ABAB. The first and third lines are iambic tetrameter and the second and fourth lines are iambic trimeter.

A five line stanza.

A six line stanza; often a sestet is written in three sets of couplets.

A seven lined stanza. Rhyme royal is a seven line stanza (first used by Chaucer) usually in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ABABBCC.

Eight line stanza. Octava rima has a set rhyme scheme of ABABABCC.

Sonnet (Elizabethan/Shakespearean)
Fourteen lines of iambic pentameter with a set rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

Contains metric pattern and rhyme.

Blank verse
Contains metric pattern but no rhyme.

Free verse
Contains neither metric patter nor rhyme; instead, it has the natural cadence, or rhythm, of speech.

Narrative poetry
Tells a story. (epic, metrical romance, ballad, and fable)

Lyric poetry
The expression of an individual’s emotions or attitude. Usually short and musical. (ode, elegy, epitaph, epigram, pastoral, and dramatic).

Classical poetry
Formal and highly structured.

Romantic poetry
Imaginative and deals with nature, love, and adventure but with strict metrical patterns.

Realistic poetry
Candidly presents everyday life.

Psychological poetry
Concerned with man’s inner thoughts.

Abstract poetry
Highly symbolic and contains the poet’s personal views.

A term used to describe any form of literature that blends ironic humor and wit with criticism for the purpose of ridiculing folly, vice, stupidity, – the whole range of human foibles and frailties – in individuals and institutions.

(Satire aims at correction while sarcasm belittles).

It was in Rome where the art of satire was perfected at the hands of Horace and Juvenal whose works directly influenced the development of Satire in the western world. Formal satire (aka direct satire, characterized by the speaker addressing the audience using first person) may be divided into two major categories; each named for its distinguished practitioner. The easiest way to differentiate between the two is through an examination of tone.

Horatian satire
Characterized by a cheerful, tongue-in-cheek tone.

The writer of Horatian satire attempt to make readers smile at the foibles committed by the individuals under attack. The writer does not anger his/her readers nor make them feel moral indignation; he/she aims to correct by employing broadly sympathetic laughter.

Juvenalian satire
Exhibits a cutting, biting, bitter, and angry tone. This form of datire does not attempt to cheer of amuse the audience. It points with contempt and indignation to the corruption of human beings and institutions, and strives to produce in the reader both contempt and moral indignation.

Parody vs satire
While parody is often humorous and can deal with serious criticism of some defect in society, parody serves the purpose of expressing good-humored admiration rather than satiric critique.