Poetry Unit Terms, definitions, techniques, and other helpful notes to aid your critical analysis of poetry
Poetry Terms to Know: Allegory—a story with layers of meaning. Usually allegorical stories have a primary, or surface meaning and a secondary, or underlying meaning. Alliteration—a poetic device where the beginning consonants, or stressed syllables are repeated. Assonance—a poetic device where similar vowel sounds are repeated in proximity. Ex. Down in some profound town wallowed Consonance—the close repetition of consonant sounds before and after different vowels. Ex. black:block, slip:slop, creak:croak
Poetry Terms to Know: Characterization—An author’s development of character based on the character’s thoughts, actions, decisions, etc… Flashback—a technique used to reveal events that happened at an earlier time. Hyperbole—A figure of speech which contains an exaggeration for emphasis Ex. “the shot heard around the world” Imagery—An author’s use of sensory images to represent objects, actions, feelings, thoughts, etc… Irony—situational, dramatic, verbal. A contradiction between what is said (or done) and what is meant.
Poetry Terms to Know: Metaphor—a comparison without the use of “like” or “as” Onomatopoeia—words that resemble the sounds that they represent. Ex. Buzz, boom, skitter Paradox—a statement that leads to an illogical conclusion. Ex. Hamlet: I must be cruel only to be kind. A paradox can also refer to a belief or custom. Personification—Giving human qualities to inanimate objects. Plot—The plan, design, or pattern of events
Poetry Terms to Know: • Point of View—The perspective of the narrative voice, from which the story is told. • Repetition—the repeating of a word in a sentence or poetical line in order to emphasize. • Rhyme—when words have similar sounds at the ends of the word. • Tail/End Rhyme-when the last words in the line rhyme with each other • Internal Rhyme-when words within a line rhyme with each other • Setting—Time, place, and circumstance
Poetry Terms to Know: Simile—Comparing things using “like” or “as” Speaker/Narrator—The person who is telling the story—may be a character within the story—is NOT necessarily the same as the AUTHOR. Stanza—The way lines are grouped together. A group of poetic lines is called a stanza. Symbol—Something (an object, picture, sound, word, etc…) that stands for something else by representation or association.