Elements of Poetry

Figurative Language

Metaphor - Describe one thing as if it were something else.
Personification - Gives human qualities to something nonhuman.
Similes - Use like or as to compare two unlike things.

Sound Device

  • Alliteration - The repetition of constant sounds at the beginnings of words.
  • Repetition - The repeated use of a sound, word, or phase.
  • Assonance - The repetition of vowel sounds in stressed syllables that end with different consonant sounds.
  • Consonance - The repetition of final consonant sounds in stressed syllables with different consonant sounds.
  • Onomatopoeia - The use of words that imitate sounds.
  • Rhyme - The repetition of sounds at the ends of words.
  • Rhythm - The pattern of strong and weak beats, as well as pauses, in a poem.

Structure of Poetry

Building Blocks

  • Lines - Individual pieces of a poem.
  • Stanzas - Group of lines meant to form a shape and/or organize thoughts.
  • Meter - Rhythmical pattern; The arrangement of and number of stressed and unstressed syllables.
  • Rhyme Scheme - The pattern of rhyme in a poem.

Forms of Poetry

  • Lyric Poetry - Poetry that expresses the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker, often in very musical verse; Includes sonnets, odes, and elegies.
  • Sonnets - Fourteen line poems with a formal tone that follows a specific rhyme scheme. Meant to praise the chosen subject.
  • Odes - Poems with a formal tone that are made to celebrate or honor the chosen subject.
  • Elegies - Formal poems that reflect on death or other solemn, serious themes.
  • Narrative Poetry - A poem that tells a story in verse. Have short-story-esque elements. Includes epics and ballads.
  • Epics - Long, narrative poems that tell an exciting or inspiring story, usually about a hero.
  • Ballads - Songlike poems that tell a story, often dealing with adventure, tragedy, or romance.
  • Free Verse Poetry - A poem that has no strict structure (no regular meter, no intentional rhyme, no fixed line length, and no specific stanza pattern.)
  • Limerick - Humorous, five-line poems that have a specific rhythmic pattern and an aabba rhyme scheme.
  • Concrete Poems - Poem in which the words are arranged to form a shape that relates to the poem's subject.
  • Haikus - Short, unrhymed poems.