Poetic terms and literary devices

Report
POETIC TERMS AND
LITERARY DEVICES
Revised
January 2012
POETIC DEVICES
Literature is developed
through the use of what
we call “literary
elements.” A lot of
these will sound familiar
to you, but we’re going
to introduce some new
poetic terms that you’ll
need to know
throughout high school.
TYPES OF IMAGERY
Imagery in literature, whether it’s poetry
or prose, is the use of words to “paint a
picture” or to create a certain effect on
the reader.
Imagery is developed through particular
WORD CHOICE, also known as diction .
TYPES OF IMAGERY
Imagery helps the author to create a
certain mood or tone in his writing.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
“The weather was foggy.”
TYPES OF IMAGERY
Imagery helps the author to create a
certain mood or tone in his writing.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
“The fog curled about the
street like a cat, unfurling its
limbs and spreading out.”
TYPES OF IMAGERY
Imagery is developed through
some old friends:
SIMILE
METAPHOR
PERSONIFICATION
HYPERBOLE
 “When I’m gone, I’ll miss you like a child
misses her blanket.”
-Fergie
 “She’s as cold as ice, willing to sacrifice our
love.”
SOME OLD FRIENDS:
SOME FAMOUS SIMILES
 “I love you like a fat kid loves cake.”
-50 cent
THE SIMILE
Comparing two things
using “like” or “as”
 “You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess.
It’s a love story, baby, just say yes.”
-Taylor Swift
 “Baby, you’re a firework! Come on, let your
colors burst.”
-Katy Perry
SOME OLD FRIENDS:
SOME FAMOUS METAPHORS
 “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish
bowl year after year.”
-Pink Floyd
METAPHOR
Comparing two things
without using like or as.
 “We take sour sips from life’s lush lips.”
-Fall Out Boy
 “This heart will start a riot in me.”
-Paramore
SOME OLD FRIENDS:
SOME FAMOUS PERSONIFICATION
 “I get 1 ,000 hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs
as they try to teach me how to dance.”
-Owl City
PERSONIFICATION
Giving things or
animals humanlike
traits.
 “Cause, baby, I’d walk 1 ,000 miles if I could
just see you.”
-Vanessa Carlton
 “Your soul is an appalling dump -heap,
overflowing with the most disgraceful
assortment of rubbish imaginable!”
-from The Grinch
SOME OLD FRIENDS:
SOME FAMOUS PERSONIFICATION
 “Stronger than 10 regular men, definitely.”
-Genie, about Aladdin
HYPERBOLE
Exaggeration using words
to emphasize a trait.
SOUND DEVICES…
 You’ve heard, of course,
of rhyming and
alliteration. These
devices are used in
poetry and prose to
create a certain sound
for the reader.
 In these cases, the
important part isn’t
what the words mean,
but how they sound—by
themselves AND in
connection with the
words that surround
them.
SOUND DEVICES…
Sound devices ,
then, are literary devices
that contribute to the way
that a poem sounds when
it is read.
But what’s the purpose?
… to sound fun?
… to make things
dif ficult?
THE PURPOSE OF SOUND DEVICES
Just like with imagery,
certain sound devices have
their own purposes in
literature.
They are meant to
contribute to the effect
that the poem has on the
reader—the overall picture,
image, mood, or tone
created by a piece.
PURPOSE
 Used to create a faster rhythm in a poem or
story
 Used to mimic the action taking place
 Used to create an image of “choppiness” in the
piece
SOUND DEVICES
EXAMPLES
 “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
 “Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled
peppers.”
ALLITERATION
Repetition of first letter of
the word. Creates a sort
of “tongue twister.”
PURPOSE
 Used to create a smoother rhythm in a poem
or story
 Used to mimic the action taking place
 Makes the poem feel more mesmerizing, like a
song or lullaby—gives a dreamy (or creepy, or
ominous) mood.
SOUND DEVICES
EXAMPLE
 He clasps the crag with crooked hands
Close to the sun in lonely lands
Ringed with the azure world, he stands
 “Hear the mellow wedding bells.”
ASSONANCE
Repetition of vowel
sounds in words.
PURPOSE
 Used alongside rhyme or sometimes as a kind
of replacement for rhymes
 Used to mimic the action taking place —in the
case above, makes the rhyming more ef fective
SOUND DEVICES
EXAMPLE
 Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile
Whether Jew or Gentile, I rank top percentile,
Many styles, More powerful than gamma rays
My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays
CONSONANCE
Repetition of consonant
sounds in words.
PURPOSE
 To give the reader a vivid picture of the way
the action in the poem or story sounds.
 Helps reader to imagine the scene more
accurately.
SOUND DEVICES
EXAMPLE
 The bee buzzed throughout the house.
 I heard the plop of the potato as it hit the
water. VS. I heard the swish of the diver as she
hit the water. (T WO DIFFERENT IMPRESSIONS,
made more specific by the onomatopoeia).
ONOMATOPOEIA
Words that sound like
their meaning.
PURPOSE
 To lend emphasis to the statements being
repeated.
 To give the impression that something can be
many things at once.
SOUND DEVICES
EXAMPLE
 “I would not eat them in a house
I would not eat them with a mouse
I would not eat them in a chair
I would not eat them anywhere.”
 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of
times, it was the era…”
-From A Tale of Two Cities
ANAPHORA
Repetition of a certain word
at the beginning of lines.

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