Poetry Terms Effects

Alliteration
To draw attention to a particular sound and/or movement, to intensify meaning, or to bind words in a sentence together.

Allusion
If many people can relate to it, it allows you to connect with the subject matter of the poem.

Ambiguity
To get the reader thinking about the different possibilities in the word/phrase – perhaps both are relevant to the poem.

Anthropomorphism
Connects us to an animal being described; makes us more sympathetic towards it.

Assonance
To draw attention to a particular sound and/or movement, to intensify or emphasize something, or to connect words in a sentence.

Connotation
To hint to the audience/readers that there is a bigger theme or idea behind the words. Perhaps to hint at what else might happen in the poem.

Enjambment
May be used to show excitement. Can also suggest movement – just as the line moves across and down the page, so too it may refer to the real movement it is describing. It also draws attention to the words at the start of the next line – perhaps these are important?

Euphemism
To communicate an awkward emotion, often suggests how someone feels about a traumatic event, for instance a death.

Imagery
To evoke ideas, feelings, objects, actions, states of mind…

Metaphor
To allow people to create a clear picture in their heads, by comparing the thing to something else that is striking.

Onomatopoeia
To further describe the scene by communicating to the reader/listener the sound that was heard.

Oxymoron
The poet can show us that two very different things were going on at the same time. They can make us think again about something we took for granted. It can suggest unpredictability; that things could change at any time.

Pathetic Fallacy
Emphasizes the emotion/mood felt by the poet/characters by making it seem as if everything in the poem is feeling that emotion, even the natural world.

Personification
Connects us to that thing being described; gives us more sympathy for it.

Pun
Sometimes for humorous effect, sometimes to allow the poet to communicate to us more than one meaning for this part of the poem.

Repetition
Emphasizes whatever is being repeated.

Rhyme
Links significant words together.

Rhythm
Can move the poem along at a certain pace. Often used when describing movement.

Simile
Allows us to build up a clear picture of the thing being described. Perhaps we already have certain ideas with the thing so this changes our view about the thing being compared.

Tone
Controls your emotional response to the poem.