Poetic devices – SPM

Literary works use poetic devices not only aesthetically but also to enhance meaning to the poems. Here are some that are used by many writers.

Term Meaning Example
alliteration repetition of the initial consonant sounds terrible truths and lullaby lies
assonance repetition of vowel sound mystery disguised within
consonance repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowel sounds gloomy woman
imagery language that evokes sensory images drip of ruby teardrops (aural/sound)

to wake up where the green grass grows (visual/sight)

lips like cool sweet tea (oral/taste)

streaming through a velvet sky (tactile/touch)

the stench of the underworld (olfactory/smell)

internal rhyme rhyming that occurs within the line

(rather than at the end)

piece of me emerges
metaphor comparison of unlike things

(made without using like or as)

am the “Lone Star”
onomatopoeia a word that imitates the sound it represents Boo! Who?
personification giving human qualities or characteristics

to animals or objects

tears of amber fall from my soul
rhyme a pattern of words that contains similar sounds

at the end of the line

life for me

is wild and free

rhyme scheme a repeated pattern of rhymed words

at the end of the line

lusty eyes (A)

passionate cries (A)

rich blood, (B)

bitter sweat (C)

she/he loves (D)

and dies (A)

simile a comparison using like or as notes dance across the page like stars twinkle in the night sky
stanza a group of poetic lines (also called a verse) Like glistening sun
and moon like day and gloomy night
like pure earth and gentle clouds
transformation – life and death
symbol an object or action that means more

than its literal meaning

always open like a rosebud about to bloom

(a young girl)


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