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Poetic Terminology

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

AB
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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