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Thread: Poetic/Literary Devices

  1. #1
    The Guy in the Corner OedipusReD's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Canada, eh

    Poetic/Literary Devices

    i was trying to compile a list of such devices to use to tear apart poetry for a few classes, if anyone has any to add (or add/modify current ones) that'd be cool (plus it might be useful to have such a list here)

    Alliteration: repetition of a speech sound in a sequence of nearby words.

    Consonance: repetition of a sequence of two or more consonants, but with a change in the intervening vowel, hearer to horror

    Assonance: repetition of identical or similar vowels

    Allusion: passing reference, without explicit identification, to a literary person, place, or event.

    Anaphora: The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs; for example, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills” (Winston S. Churchill).

    Apostrophe: an address to a person absent or dead or to an abstract identity.

    Archaism: use of words and expressions that have become obsolete in the common speech of an era.

    Caesura: A pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics.

    Epistrophe: repetition of the ends of two or more successive sentences, verses, etc.

    Metaphor: a comparison not using like or as when one thing is said to be another.

    Metonymy: A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated.

    Onomatopoeia: use of word(s) that imitate the sound it denotes.

    Personification: attribution of human motives or behaviours to impersonal agencies (things).

    Reification: To regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence.

    Simile: a comparison using “like” or “as”

    Symbol: an object or action that means more than its literally meaning

    Synesthesia: description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another.

    most courtesy of, but i'm a bit iffy on some of the definitions

  2. #2
    Serious business Taliesin's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    The West Pole
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    We remember also (don't know if this is correct spelling) oxymoron - a short phrase that appears self-contradictory. i.e wise fool, old child, black light, et cetera. Love them.
    Didn't notice parallelism either there. We don't know if it's the correct term but it means saying the same thing over and over in different words.
    I watched the stars
    saw the night
    peeked the sky
    looked the moon

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Aug 2004
    You have compiled a nice list, Oedipus. Besides stanza, which I hope you know, another term to remember resembles a stanza called strophe (pronounced: "strow-fee"), which defines as: a stanza containing irregular (and often inconsistent) lines.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Jan 2005
    Theres an excellent website of poetic and literary terms here:

  5. #5
    You may want to add the term "rhyme" to your list. Some poems rhyme while others do not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    asyndeton - lack of conjuctions between phrases

    syllepsis - multiple use of a word/phrase which is understood differently each time it's used

    aposiopesis - the premature ending of a sentence for effect

    pleonasm - use of unnecessary extra words for emphasis

    anadiplosis - repetition of a word/phrase that ends one phrase to begin subsequent phrases

    catachresis - a metaphor that uses an unsuitable adjective for effect
    In dreams begin responsibilities.

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