Poetry Techniques – Definitions

Alliteration
“Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before”-Poe

Assonance
“Hear the mellow wedding bells,/Golden bells”- Poe

Consonance
“A Quietness distilled/As Twilight long begun”- Dickinson

Symbol
“on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go… ‘Good
fences make good neighbors'”-Frost

Imagery
“Stars shining bright above you/…Birds singing in the sycamore trees”-Schwandt

Irony
“You’ve killed somebody!…/Back we ran,
And–darn my skin!–but thar WAS a man
On the rail, dead,/ Smashed in the head!-Harte

Onomatopoeia
“He heard the clack on stone and the leaping,
dropping clicks of a small rock falling”-Hemingway

Setting
“Often you must have seen [birch trees]
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain.”- Frost

Personification
“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide”-Housman

Metaphor
“Hope is the thing with feathers–/That perches in the soul”-Dickinson

Simile
“the river flows like a stream of glass”-Dunbar

Hyperbole
“With torn and bleeding hearts we smile”- Dunbar

Allusion
“In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo”- Eliot

Cacophony
“Success is counted sweetest
By those we ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.”- Dickinson

Connotation
“I know why the caged bird sings”-Dunbar

Euphony
“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime”-Longfellow

versimilitude
“I remember the rabbits, George.” “The hell with the rabbits. All you can ever remember is them rabbits.” – Steinbeck

diction
“I weary for desires never guessed, / For alien passions, strange imaginings, / To be some other person for a day” – Lowell

juxtaposition
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” – Dickens

repetition
“I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay….
Water, water everywhere,
And nary a drop to drink” – Coleridge

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