Poetry Handout 1: Figurative Language Flashcards

Terms Definitions
narrative
a long story told in verse form; an epic is an example
lyric
a brief, personal poem that is especially musical (uses many sound devices, as well as rhythm and meter) and is filled with emotion; sonnets, odes, and elegies are types of lyrics
ballad
a type of poem that is actually meant to be sung and is both lyric and narrative in nature
figure of speech
a word or phrase that describes one thing in terms of another and is not mean tto be taken on a literal level (a.k.a. "figurative language")
simile
two dissimilar things that are compared using words such as "like," "as," "than," or "resembles"
metaphor
two dissimilar things that are compared without using words such as "like," "as," "than," or "resembles"
direct metaphor
directly compares two things with a verb such as "is"
implied metaphor
suggests a comparison without using "is"
extended metahor
a metaphor that is developed over several lines of writing
personification
giving human or animate qualities to nonhuman or inanimate objects
apostrophe
addressing something nonhuman as if it were human
literary allusion
a reference to a person, place, or thing from previous literature
the three most popular sources for literary allusions
Bible, mythology, Shakespeare
hyperbole
using exaggeration for emphasis, not to be taken literally; overstatement
irony
verbal = meaning the opposite of what is said
antithesis
the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in parallel grammatical structures; balancing or contrasting one thing against another for effect
synecdoche
using a part of something to represent the whole thing
metonomy
the substitution of one word for another closely associated word
paradox
an apparent contradiction which proves, upon examination to be true
paradox
a situation or statement that seems like it does not make sense, but somehow, when you think about it, it does
paradoxical
in this kind of a statement, the contradiction usually stems from one of the words being used figuratively, or in more than one sense
symbol
something concrete used to represent something abstract; means what it is PLUS something more
alliteration
the repetition of the initial consonant sound in two or more words in a line of verse
consonance
the repetition of consonant sounds that are NOT at the beginning of words in a line of verse (may be at the middle or end)
assonance
the similarity or repetition of vowel sounds in two or more words with different consonant sounds (can be anywhere)
onomatopoeia
the use of words that imitate the sounds they define
repetition
repeating a word or a phrase within a poem
the three reasons to use repetition
to emphasize an important idea, easier to remember, give structure to the poem
refrain
the repetition of one or more phrases or lines at definite intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza
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