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ALLITERATION

The repetition of initial stressed, consonant sounds in a series of words within a phrase or verse line.


ALLUSION

A brief, intentional reference to a historical, mythic, or literary person, place, event, or movement.


HYPERBOLE

A figure of speech composed of a striking exaggeration.


IMAGERY

Elements of a poem that invoke any of the five senses to create a set of mental images. Specifically, using vivid or figurative language to represent ideas, objects, or actions.


METAPHOR

A comparison that is made directly or less directly, but in any case without pointing out a similarity by using words such as “like,” “as,” or “than.”


MOOD

A literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions.


ONOMATOPOEIA

A figure of speech in which the sound of a word imitates its sense (for example, “choo-choo,” “hiss,” or “buzz”).


PARADOX

As a figure of speech, it is a seemingly self-contradictory phrase or concept that illuminates a truth.

 

PERSONIFICATION

A figure of speech in which the poet describes an abstraction, a thing, or a nonhuman form as if it were a person.


RHYME

The repetition of syllables, typically at the end of a verse line. Rhymed words conventionally share all sounds following the word’s last stressed syllable.


RHYTHM

An audible pattern in verse established by the intervals between stressed syllables.


SIMILE

A comparison made with “as,” “like,” or “than.”


SYMBOLISM

Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.


THEME

Main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work, which may be stated directly or indirectly.


TONE

The poet’s attitude toward the poem’s speaker, reader, and subject matter, as interpreted by the reader.


Definitions taken from The Poetry Foundation and Literary Devices.

 

Mr. Casey Brough | South Portland High School | 637 Highland Avenue | South Portland, Maine | 04106