Home About Glossary Poets Poets A-J Poets K-R Poets S-Z Lessons Standards Cleveland Poetry Chronology

1. stanza: a division of a poem consisting of a series of line arranged together in a usually repeating pattern of rhythm and rhyme

2. simile: a figure of speech in which things are different in kind or quality are compared by the use of the word like or as

3. metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase meaning one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a similarity between them

Our feet became hot potatoes roasting in the sand.

4. alliteration: repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of several words of a line of poetry or sentence

Pieces out of picture puzzles

(“Hector the Collector” by Shel Silverstein)

5. assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds

Till the shining scythes went far and wide
And cut it down to dry.

(“The Hayloft” by R. L. Stevenson)

6. free verse: poetry written without a regular rhyme scheme, meter, or form

7. imagery: language that appeals to the five senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight)

an asphalt sea
I swerve, I curve, I
Sway; I speed to whirring
Sound an inch above the
Ground; I’m sailor
And the sail …

(“The Sidewalk Racer” by Lillian Morrison)

8. personification: (figurative language) poets give an animal, object, or idea human qualities, such as the ability to hear, feel, talk, and make decisions

Summer grass aches and whispers

(“Summer Grass” by Carl Sandburg)

9. rhyme: the repetition of similar sounds

10. rhythm: the musical quality created by a pattern of beats or a series of stressed and unstressed syllables

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!

(“First Fig” by Edna St. Vincent Millay)

11. onomatopoeia: the use of words that sound like the noises they describe

zing, wham, sip, smack, click

12. idiom: a common phrase made up of words that can’t be understood by their literal or ordinary meanings

raining cats and dogs (idiom) = raining very hard

13. narrative poem: tells a story; usually has all of the elements you find in a short story

14. mood: the feeling created in the reader by a poem or story

15. repetition: the use of any element of language – a sound, word, phrase, or sentence – more than once

16. tone: the attitude a writer takes toward the audience, subject, or character

from Write Source 2000: A Guide to Writing, Thinking, and Learning