Poetry Vocabulary


Figurative Language: In figurative language, words are used to mean something more than their dictionary meanings. (Opposite of Literal.)
  •  literal language uses words as they are defined in the dictionary: “He climbed the mountain.” 
  •  figurative language goes outside the dictionary meaning to make an unusual comparison: “There was a mountain of laundry on the bed.”
Types of Figurative Language:
  • Simile: Comparison between unlike objects using the words “like” or “as”

                     Example: He’s like a tiger when he plays football.

  • Metaphor: Comparison between unlike objects not using the words “like” or “as.” 

                     Example: That player’s a tiger on the field.

  •  Personification: Gives human qualities or characteristics to a nonhuman thing. 

                     Example: The wind was whistling outside.

  • Hyperbole: Exaggeration for literary effect

                     Example: The tree is a million miles high

Sound Effects in Poetry:

  • alliteration: The repetition of a consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words in a row

                      Example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

  • onomatopoeia: Words that sound like what they mean

                      Example: hiss, boom, sizzle, pow

  •  rhyme: words that end with the same sound
                      Example: cat, hat, fat, rat, sat
                      End rhyme: Words at the ends of lines rhyme
                      Internal rhyme: Words within the same line rhyme
  • meter & rhythm: the beat or pulse of poetry

                       Example: da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum

  • assonance: The repetition of vowel sounds inside two or more words in a row

                       Example: The flat black cap