Figurative Language Figurative Language is a tool that an author uses to help the reader visualize what is happening in a story or poem. Some common types of figurative language are: simile, metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, idiom, puns, and sensory language.
Metaphors & Similes • A simile is a comparison using like or as. It usually compares two dissimilar objects. The stars were like tiger eyes glaring down at us.
Willow and Gingko The willow is like an etching, fine-lined against the sky. The gingko is like a crude sketch, Hardly worthy to be signed. The willow’s music is like a soprano, Delicate and thin. The gingko’s tune is like a chorus With everyone joining in. The willow is sleek as the velvet-nosed calf, The gingko is leathery as an old bull. The willow’s branches are like silken thread; The gingko’s like stubby rough wool.
Metaphor • A metaphor states that one thing is something else. It is a comparison, but it does not use like or as to make the comparison. • Her hair is silk.
The Rose Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed. Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed. Some say love, it is a hunger, An endless aching need. I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed.
Extended Metaphor • An extended metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two unlike things at some length. An extended metaphor may introduce a series of metaphors representing different aspects of a situation. O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won… --- Walt Whitman, O Captain!, My Captain!
Fog The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. --Carl Sandburg, Fog
Alliteration • Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. Writers use it to give their writing a musical quality or for emphasis. And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing a spark Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet… -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Onomatopoeia • Onomatopoeia is the use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning. Crash, bang, hiss, whoosh, clink
Form The FORM of a poem includes the arrangement of words and lines on the page.
Imagery • Imagery consists of words or phrases that appeal to the reader’s five senses. Writers use imagery to help a reader imagine how things look, feel, smell, sound, and taste. After two days of gentle winter rains, the small pond behind my house is lapping at its banks, content as a well-fed kitten. -- Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
Personification • Personification is a figure of speech that gives human qualities to animals, inanimate objects, or ideas. Hope was but a timid friend-- She sat without my grated den, Watching how my fate would tend… -- Emily Bronte, Hope
Rhyme Rhyme is a repetition of sounds at the ends of words. The most common form of rhyme in poetry is end rhyme, in which the rhyming words are at the end of lines. Rhyme that occurs within a line is called internal rhyme. The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its Voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won… --Walt Whitman, O Captain! My Captain!
Couplets • Couplet-- a rhymed pair of lines in a poem. Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere… --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Narrative Poem Narrative Poetry tells a story. Like fiction, narrative poetry contains characters, settings, and plots. It might also contain such elements of poetry as rhyme, rhythm, imagery, and figurative language.
Ballad A ballad is a type of narrative poem that is meant to be sung or recited. They come from oral storytelling traditions and often feature: Simple language Straightforward stories Four-lined stanzas Repetition (refrain or a chorus) Mulitple characters (may have dialogue) Third person narration
The Cremation of Sam McGee There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee. ~Robert W. Service
Epic A long serious narrative poem that tells the story of a hero or of important events. Examples: Beowulf- Anglo Saxon (old English) The Iliad & The Odyssey- Greek (Homer) The Aeneid- Roman (Virgil)
Excerpt from Beowulf Lo! The Spear-Danes’ glory through splendid achievements The folk-kings’ former fame we have heard of, How princes displayed then their prowess-in-battle. Oft Scyld the Scefing form the scathers in numbers From many a people their mead-benches tore. “Peodcyninga prym gefunon. Hu da aepenlingas ellen fremedon! Oft Scyld Scefing sceapena preatum Monegum maegpum meodosetia ofteah”
Lyric Poems Poems that do not tell a story, but instead capture the speaker’s feelings or a moment in time. I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading- treading till it seemed That Sense was breaking through – ~Emily Dickinson
Elegy Elegy began in ancient Greece and is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group. It is a poem of mourning. It usually may have three parts– a lament, praise for the dead, a statement of consolation or solace. However, modern elegies don’t always follow this pattern.
In Memory of W.B. Yeats by W.H. Auden He disappeared in the dead of winter; The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the daying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was dark cold day.
Sonnet • A Sonnet is a 14 line poem written in a single stanza. Sometimes the first 8 lines (octave) discuss a question or problem that is resolved in the final six lines (sestet). • In a Shakespearean sonnet, the rhyme scheme is ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, and a final couplet GG.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with a passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee?
Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.
Ode A type of lyric poem that praises or glorifies an event, person, or thing that is not present. Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing. from Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Haiku Haiku is a traditional form or Japanese poetry. A haiku normally has 3 lines and describes a single moment, feeling, or thing. The first and third lines contain 5 syllables and the second line contains 7 syllables. An old silent pond… A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again.
Limerick A limerick is a poem with a five line stanza and the rhyme scheme AABBA. The first and fifth lines may end with the same word. The limerick has a lighthearted comic mood. There was an old man with a beard, Who said, “It is just as I feared!-- Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!”