Poetry Terms (Sound Pattern, Rhyme Scheme, Figurative Language, Allusion, etc.)

Allusion
Implied or direct reference to a person, place, event, literature, etc. These references are usually recognizable to the culture in which the literature is released.

Alliteration
Repeating initial (first letter) consonant sounds in two or more words that are near each other, usually in lines of poetry. Usually the words are consecutive but they can have small words between them.

Assonance
Repeating vowel sounds in words that are near each other, usually in lines of poetry. The words are often consecutive and the vowel sounds are usually somewhere in the middle of the words.

Couplet
Two rhyming lines together that usually form a complete thought or the answer to a question, as in a sonnet. (First twelve lines pose a question or state a dilemma while the final rhyming couplet provides the answer/solution.)

Enjambment
The continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, stanza. OR a line’s ending prior to the end of the sentence or thought.

Hyperbole
An exaggeration to add emphasis or state the importance of an idea – not to be taken literally.

Idiom
A group of words or a phrase whose figurative meaning does not come from the words’ literal meanings.

Internal Rhyme
A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next. Both rhyming words are contained in the same line of poetry.

Imagery
Language that appeals to the five senses. Any meaning that requires the reader to use sensory awareness. (Sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell)

Metaphor
The comparison of two unlike things/ideas without the use of the words like or as.

Meter
The measured arrangement of words in lines of poetry to create rhythm. Often, meter is created by using the same number of syllables in each line of poetry. It can also be created by placing similar emphasis on syllables in each line.

Mood
The feelings of the reader as he or she is reading. Mood tends to be universal, and is used to make the reader feel a certain way.

Onomatopoeia
The use of words whose sounds imitate or suggest their meaning.

Personification
The use of human characteristics to describe non-human things. This can also be a type of metaphor.

Poetic Diction
The linguistic style, vocab, and figurative language used in the writing of poetry. This is an elevated form of language.

Pun
The use of a dual-meaning words for humorous effect.

Repetition
Repeating a word or phrase multiple times to emphasize its importance. Sometimes the word of phrase is spaced out throughout a piece, but is different from refrain.

Rhyme Scheme
The use of letters (starting at the beginning of the alphabet) to map out the pattern of end rhyme in a lyric or a narrative poem. Letters are placed at the end of each line to signify that pattern.

Simile
The comparison of two unlike things/ideas using the words like or as

Slant Rhyme
The type of rhyme formed by two words with similar but not identical sounds. In most instances, either the vowel segments are different while the consonants are identical, or vice versa. Slant rhyme can be used to keep a rhyme scheme consistent.

Symbolism
The use of a noun or object to represent another person, place, thing, or idea that is much greater than what is literally mentioned.

Tone
The attitude of the author toward the subject that he or she is writing about.