Poetry Toolbox:

“Figurative Language
Tricks and Techniques”
 Using
metaphors, similes, imagery,
idioms, hyperbole and personification to
describe things
 Flowery
 “It’s
raining cats and dogs!”
 “The
sky opened up and cried when it
found out you left me.”
 Precise, realistic
 “It
is raining out. “
 “I was sad when you left.”
 Two
lines that end in the same sound
(does not need to be spelled the same!)
 Hickory
Dickory DockThe mouse ran up the clock.
 Think: where
are your internal organs?
 This
rhyme is inside the middle of one
line of poetry
 Hickory
 Faded
Dickory Dock,
jaded jazz floats out of a cafe
 Plan
for rhyme- might be couplets (aabbcc)
 Or another plan like a limerick:
There was a young lady of Niger A
Who smiled as she rode on the back of a tiger A
They returned from a ride B
With the lady inside B
And a smile on the face of the tiger A
 “No
rules just right”
 No rhymes at the end, sounds and looks
more like speech
You can’t order a poem
like you order a taco
Walk up to the counter and say “I’ll take
and get them handed back to you
on a shiny plate.
(Naomi Shihab Nye)
“…The road was a ribbon
of moonlight…”
(Alfred Noyes)
picture in
one’s mind
“So much depends
The red wheelbarrow
Glazed with rainwater
The white chickens”
(william carlos williams)
 Giving
non-human objects human-like
personality traits or actions
“…and then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils”
“Rikki –Tikki-Tavi” (Rudyard Kipling)
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
(William Wordsworth)
 Comparing
 Comparing
things using LIKE or
things WITHOUT
using like or as”
 “moon
was a ghostly
galleon” (A. Noyes)
 “hair
like moldy hay”
(A. Noyes)
 “You
are my sunshine,
my only sunshine”
 When
the EXACT sound is repeated in
the beginning of two words
 (spelling does not matter)
“dazzling diamonds”
Prickly Pear
 When
a consonant is repeated in a line of
She sells seashells down by the seashore
The sailor sings of ropes and things
vowel sounds are repeated
(not always about the letter because in
English we pronounce vowels many
different ways!)
 “daylight
 Lucy
faded gracefully away”
 When
whole words or phrases are
 “…Tap, tap, tapping
on my chamber door”
(Edgar Allen Poe)
 One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish
(Dr. Seuss)
 Words
that mimic what they represent
 Tap, knock, boom, crash, whisper, zip, buzz,
 (Story
(The only word in the English language without a
 The
measured beat of poetry
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to
 or
 There once was a student named Andy (3)
Who said “Oh no, I would never eat candy!” (3)
He refused to eat sweets (2)
On his phone he would tweet (2)
I feel fine and my teeth are just dandy! (3)
 Now
you will be able to construct poems
of great magnificence and charm.
 Take
care of your toolbox!

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