Project 3, Exercise 2: poetic devices

Rhyme — Words that sound alike, usually at line endings

The Day is done and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
"The Day is Done," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Rhythm — A metered structure of syllables, consonants, breathing, or pauses

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
"A Visit from St. Nicholas," by Clement Clarke Moore

Repetition — Intentional repetition for reinforcement and effect

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
"Ash Wednesday," by T.S. Eliot

Alliteration — Two or more words in a line of poetry that begin with the same initial sound

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Assonance — Repeating vowel sounds without repeating consonants. In poetry, often used as an alternative to rhyme

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," by Robert Frost

Consonance — Repeating consonants without repeating vowels. Consonance gives melody to verse

’Twas later when the summer went
Than when the Cricket came—
And yet we knew that gentle Clock
Meant nought but Going Home—
’Twas sooner when the Cricket went
Than when the Winter came
Yet that pathetic Pendulum
Keeps esoteric Time.
"'Twas Later When the Summer Went," by Emily Dickinson

Onomatopoeia — A word that imitates the sound made by the thing being described

It’s a jazz affair, drum crashes and cornet razzes.
The trombone pony neighs and the tuba jackass snorts.
The banjo tickles and titters too awful.
The chippies talk about the funnies in the papers.
"Honky Tonk in Cleveland, Ohio," by Carl Sandburg

Personification — Ascribing human qualities to an object

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
"Loveliest of Trees," by A.H. Houseman

Simile — A figure of speech in which an image is evoked by likening one thing to another

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
"What Happens to a Dream Deferred?" by Langston Hughes

Metaphor — To describe something by giving it the identity of something else

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.

"Phenomenal Woman," by Maya Angelou

Imagery — Use of devices such as simile and metaphor to create images in the reader’s mind

His body was tubular
And tapered
And smoke-blue,
And as he passed the wharf
He turned,
And snapped at a flat-fish
That was dead and floating.
And I saw the flash of a white throat,
And a double row of white teeth,
And eyes of metallic grey,
Hard and narrow and slit.
Then out of the harbour,
With that three-cornered fin
Shearing without a bubble the water
He swam—That strange fish,
Tubular, tapered, smoke-blue,
Part vulture, part wolf,
Part neither—for his blood was cold.
"The Shark," by Edwin John Pratt