Poetry And Poetic Devices � A Short Glossary
When you read poetry, there is a lot going on behind the words. Poets use poetic devices to get more closely at what they want to say. These devices can help them to better describe the image they see in their mind�s eye. It can also take ordinary language and add variety to it, making it more poetic. Here are some of the common devices used by poets.
Imagery refers to a set of mental images or pictures that represent something else. For example, if a poem says that our love has blossomed, it is using the image of a flower to describe the couple�s feeling. If you find yourself in an iron grip of desire, if the snowflakes outside are dancing on the windowpane, or if a pretty girl is a melody, these are all examples of imagery.
Metaphor is when we say something is something, but it�s really not! My father was a mountain, my legs are rubber, I am an island. Metaphor is used when two things have some characteristic in common; but they don�t use �like� or �as.�
Simile is like metaphor, but we use words like �like� and �as.� For example, he�s brave as a lion, I�m hungry as a wolf, and she�s sweet like maple syrup!
Alliteration is the repeating of consonant sounds in two words or more. You probably know she sells sea shells by the sea shore and Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers! These are examples of alliteration. They use the same consonant sounds, and this is considered pretty in poetry.
Not all poetry has to rhyme. Free verse means poetry that doesn�t rhyme and doesn�t have fixed stanzas. Walt Whitman was one of the first to write using free verse. He meant for his poetry to be read naturally, with each line being one complete breath.
Bam! Thump! Zing! Ding Dong! Baa Baa! Buzzzz! If you don�t already have an idea of what onomatopoeia is, here is a definition � It means words that represent the sound that an object makes, like a bee buzzing, a cat meowing, or things that go bump in the night.
Personification is when we give an inanimate object or idea human qualities. For example, opportunity knocks or a chance walks out the door. The flood swallowed the earth and the snowstorm swaddled the earth in a blanket of snow. My car is suffering from old age and my computer�s having a bad day! In all of these examples, we are turning a thing into a person because of some quality.
Prose simply means speech or writing that has no metrical structure, unlike a song or a poem. When someone writes a poem, they choose a meter so that it has a rhythm just like a piece of music. Prose is everything else you read, including novels, non-fiction books, articles in the newspaper or the content of websites.
The ode is a certain form in poetry. It�s a lyrical form and it�s made to glorify or praise something or someone. Odes are a classic form of poetry. The Greeks wrote odes to their leaders and gods. But an ode can be written for anything, like the setting sun, spring time, your grandmother or a piece of lint sitting on the desk!
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More on Poetic Device Poems
- Metaphor Poems A metaphor is an analogy between objects or ideas, expressed by using one idea in place of another. It is a popular poetic device to convey thoughts and images.
- Imagery Poems A picture is worth a thousand words; but, as these poems show, sometimes a few well-chosen words can draw a vivid illustration.
- Alliteration Poems are for those who love wordplay. Alliteration is a poetic device that uses repetition of a consonant sound.
- Free Verse Poems are free of conventions for rhyme scheme, meter, length. Some poets find free verse more difficult to write than defined forms such as the sonnet.
- Onomatopoeia Poems use a literary/poetic device in which the word which describes an object or action actually sounds like the thing it describes.
- Simile Poems A simile is the comparison of two things using the words like or as. This is one of the most popular techniques in poetry.
- Prose Poems are generally unrhymed, but often does have meter. It can be quite similar to free verse.
- Personification Poems use a literary device in which non-human or inanimate objects are described in human terms. It can produce quite vivid imagery.
- Ode Poems An ode is a type of lyric poetry written in praise of some person or object. The earliest odes, written in ancient Greek, were probably set to music and sung.