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Poetic Terminology

These poetic and figurative language terms help students to better understand what they are reading.

alliterationthe repetition of the same initial letter, sound, or group of sounds in a series of words
allusionreference to a well-known historical or literary figure or event
assonancerepetition without rhyme of vowel sounds in stressed syllables
connotationthe emotional meaning of a word, based on personal experience
consonancewords in which the final consonant sound agrees, but vowels differ
denotationthe exact definition of a particular word
hyperboledramatic exaggeration
imagerywords which arouse the 5 senses
metaphora comparison of one thing to another not normally related
onomatopoeiause of a word to describe or imitate a sound
paradoxan apparent contradiction, may actually be true
personificationgiving human characteristics to non-human things
quatrainstanza of 4 lines
refrainline repeated in a poem
rhymerepeating the same ending sound in words
meteremphasis on syllables in a regular pattern
simileusing "like" or "as" to compare items
stanzaline of grouped verse
tonepoet's attitude in a piece of writing

JMS Grade 6 Teacher
Eleanor N. Johnson Middle School
Walpole, MA

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