poetry terms and examples

symbol
Something that stands for or represents another thing.

Assonance
A partial rhyme in which the stressed vowel sounds are alike but the consonant sounds are unlike: hate, make

Allusion
A direct or indirect reference to something historical, literary, religious, or mythical in a work of poetry.

Idiom
An accpeted phrase or expression contrary to the usual patterns of the language or having a meaning different from the literal.

Simile
A figure of speech involving a comparison between unlike things using like, as, or as though.

Personification
A figure of speech in which a thing, quality of idea is represented as a person, or have qualities of a person.

Onomatopoeia
The formation of a word by imitating the natural sound associated with the object or action involved.

Metaphor
Figure of speech containing an implied comparison.

Hyperbole
A figure of speech involving exaggeration used for effect, not meant to be taken literally.

Alliteration
The repetition of an initial sound, usually of a consonant, in two or more words of a phrase or line of poetry.

Assonance example: A figure of speech involving exaggeration
I rose and told him of my woe

hyperbole example
…He is older than the hills, Our new school is large enough to have its own zip code, It’s raining cats and dogs

Metaphor example
All the world’s stage, and all the men and women merely players; Her home was a prison; He has a heart of gold.

Onomatopoeia example
Baa, baa, black sheep…

Personification example
The yellow leaves flaunted their color gaily in the breeze.

simile example
Life is like a box of chocolates, cute as a kitten, as blind as a bat, She hung her head like a dying flower.

Alliteration example
Becky’s beagle barked and bayed, becoming bothersome for Billy.

Symbol example
He is a rock, Life is a roller coaster, Time is money

Allusion example
I violated the Noah rule: predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does.

Idiom examples
He kicked the bucket = he died. She rubbed me the wrong way= I did not get a good impression of her. I jumped the gun = I started something too early

rhyme
the repetition of sounds at the ends of words

imagery
Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)

stanza
a group of lines in a poem

ode
a poem usually addressed to a particular person, object or event that has stimulated deep and noble feelings in the poet

limerick
a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet

ballad
a song or songlike poem that tells a story

sonnet
a verse form consisting of 14 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme

rhythm
the arrangement of spoken words alternating stressed and unstressed elements

syllable
A unit of speech heard as a single sound; one “beat” of a word or phrase.

haiku
a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.

connotation
the feelings or emotions surrounding a word

irony
witty language used to convey insults or scorn

parallelism
phrases or sentences of a similar construction/meaning placed side by side, balancing each other

homophone
two words pronounced the same way but differing in meaning or spelling or both (e.g. bare and bear)