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Figures of speech- An expression in which the words are used in a non-literal sense

to present a figure, picture, or image. Imagery- Descriptive language intended to evoke sensory experience. Example: the roar of trees and crack of branches (Robert Frost) Simile- A direct comparison using like or as to indicate a similarity between two usually unrelated things. example: How public, like a frog (Emily Dickinson) Metaphor- An implied comparison between two usually unrelated things. Unlike a simile, a metaphor does not use like or as to indicate the comparison. example: All the world is a stage (William Shakespeare) Her fingers danced across the keyboard. Zeugma- A word that is used twice, bringing up two different connotations or a single word used to modify in two different ways. Example: Holes in my confidence, holes in the knees of my jeans (Paul Simon) Personification- The giving of human traits to inanimate objects, ideas, or animals. example: The wind whistled. Hyperbole- An exaggeration for the sake of emphasis and is not to be taken literally. examples: sweat to death, as old as dirt, million times a day Litotes- An understatement which states the opposite of what is meant or makes an affirmation by stating the fact in the negative. Opposite of hyperbole. example- calling a fat boy Skinny Antithesis- A balancing or contrasting of one term against another. example: Fair is foul, and foul is fair. (Shakespeare) Dust thou art, to dust returnest (Longfellow) Apostrophe- The addressing of someone or something, usually not present, as though present. examples: Oh Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done. ( Whitman) Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty ... (Donne) Irony- Using contradictory statements or situations to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true. There are three kinds of ironyverbal irony (when the speaker says one thing but means another), situational irony (for instance a family counselor having a dysfunctional family), and dramatic irony (when the reader knows something the characters do not yet know). Euphemism- The substitution of something that might be offensive or hurtful with something more innocuous. They are not always better. Example: She is at rest is a euphemism for she died.

Poetic Terms

Devices of Sound
Rhyme- The similarity or likeness of sound existing between two words. A true rhyme should consist of identical sounding syllables that are stressed, and the letters preceeding the vowel sounds should be different. example: fun and run Rhythm- The regular or progressive patterns of accents in lines or sentences. The measure of rhythm is meter. Example: Shall I compare thee to a summers day Thou art more lovely and more temperate (Shakespeare) Alliteration- The repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line of verse. example: The lingering aroma of lemons lightly leapt about the living room. Onomatopoeia- The use of a word to represent or imitate natural sounds. examples: crunch, boom, hiss Assonance- The similarity or repetition of a vowel sound in two or more words. Assonance is sometimes called partial or near-rhyme. Lake and stake are rhymes, lake and fade are assonance. example: base and cape Consonance- The repetition of consonant sounds within a line of verse. Consonance is similar to alliteration except that consonance doesnt limit the repeated sound to the initial letter of a word. example: But such a tide as moving seems asleep. Euphony- Lines that are musically pleasant to the ear. There is a harmony and a beauty to the language, which is what many poets are often after. example: Than Oars divide the Ocean, Too silver for a seam Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon Leap, plashless as they swim. (Dickenson) Cacophony- A jarring, jangling, juxtaposition of words. Cacophony is discordant language that can be difficult to pronounce. Example: My stick fingers click with a snicker And, chuckling, they knuckle the keys; Light-footed, my steel feelers flicker And pluck from these keys melodies. (John Updike) Repetition- A purposeful re-use of a word, phrase, image, or sound. When used purposefully, this can be very effective.