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Elements of poetryVoiceSpeaker: By convention we refer to the speaking persona in poetry where specific characters are not indicated as "the speaker" (not "the narrator" as would be the case in fiction). In some poems, we may know that the speaking voice is actually the poet's, but in the great majority of poems we cannot assume that speaker and poet are the same individual, and quite often the speaker is clearly notthe poet himself or herself.Tone:As a literary term, tonerefers to the writer's attitude towards the subject of a literary work as indicated in the work itself. One way to think about tone in poetry is to consider the speaker's literal "tone of voice": just as with tone of voice, a poem's tone may indicate an attitude of joy, sadness, solemnity, silliness, frustration, anger, puzzlement, etc.Irony:The word "irony" has a number of different meanings, but in the most general terms irony involves a marked difference between what one says or expects and what is actually meant or what actually happens. More precisely, verbal ironyoccurs when there is an appreciable difference between what is said and what is actually meant, often where what is meant is the opposite of what is said.For example, a person who dreads going to the dentist might say with great irony, "I just lovehaving someone put needles and small power tools in my mouth. I wish I could get cavities filled every month."The tone of a poem is ironic if there is some apparent discrepancy between the literal substance of the speaker's words and the attitude actually conveyed. The tone is ironic in Alexander Pope's famous poem, The Rape of the Lock, for instance, where the speaker describes the relatively trivial cutting off of a lock of a frivolous young lady's hair as a matter of grand, tragic, and earth-shattering consequence.ImageryAs applied to poetry, imagery is the use of words to convey vivid, concrete sensory experiences. The word "image" suggests most obviously a visual image, a picture, but imagery also includes vivid sensory experiences of smell, sound, touch, and taste as well. Imagery goes beyond mere description to communicate an experience or feeling so vividly that it encourages the creation of images in the mind of the reader and readers experience for themselves the specific sensations that the poet intends.Visual imagery:visual descriptions so vivid they seem to come to life in the reader's mind's when they are read, as in the description of a very old fish in Elizabeth Bishop's poem titled"The Fish":Here and there his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wall-paper, and its pattern of darker brown was like wall-paper: shapes like full-blown roses strained and lost through age. He was speckled with barnacles, fine rosettes of lime, and infested with tiny white sea-lice, and underneath two or three rags of green weed hung down. (9-21)
Auditory imagery:descriptions of sound so vivid the reader seems almost to hear them while reading the poem. For