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Poetry Terms

AlliterationThe repetition of initial consonant sounds.
OnomatopoeiaThe use of words that imitate sounds.
RhymeThe repetition of sounds at the endsof words.
ConsonanceThe repetition of final consonant sounds in a series of words.
MeterThe rhythmical pattern of a poem determined by the number of stresses, or beats, in each line.
SimileA figure of speech that uses like or as to make a direct comparison between two unlike ideas.
Figurative languageWriting or speech that is not meant to be taken literally.
MetaphorA figure of speech in which something is described as though it is something else.
ImageryThe use of words and phrases that appeal to the five senses.
PersonificationA type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics.
AllusionA reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art.
Extended metaphorThe use of several comparisons to compare a subject to something else.
Rhyme SchemeA regular pattern of rhyming words in a poem.
StanzaA formal division of lines in a poem.
RepetitionThe use, more than once, of any element of language - a sound, word, phrase, clause, or sentence.
RefrainA regularly repeated line or group of lines in a poem or a song.
SymbolAnything that stands for or represents something else.
ThemeThe central message, concern, or purpose of a literary work.
PoetryOne of the three major types of literature.
Free versePoety not written in regular rhythmical pattern or meter.
BalladA songlike poem that tells a story, often one dealing with adventure or romance.
Blank versePoetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter lines.
Concrete poemA poem with a shape that suggests its subject.
HaikuA three-line Japanese verse form. The first and third lines have five syllables while the second has seven syllables.
Lyric poemA short, highly musical poem that expresses the observations and feelings of a single speaker.
Narrative poemA story told in verse. These poems ofen have all the elements of a short story.
ProseThe ordinary form of written language.
RhythmThe pattern of beats, or stresses, in spoken or written language.

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