Characteristics of Poetry

Figurative Language

Metaphor: describes one thing as if it were something else

Personification: gives human qualities to something that is not human

Similes: uses like or as to compare two seemingly unlike things

Symbol: anything that represents something else

Sound Devices

Alliteration: the repetition of consonant sounds in the beginning of words

Repetition: the use of any element of language- a sound , word, phrase, clause, or sentence- more than once

Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds followed by different consonants in stressed syllables

Consonance: the repetition of similar consonant sounds at the end of accented syllables

Onomatopoeia: the use of words that imitate sounds

Rhyme: the repetition of sounds at the end of words

Meter: the rhythmical pattern in a poem

Forms of Poetry

Narrative: tells a story in verse; narrative poems often have elements similar to those in short stories, such as plot and characters

Haiku: a three-line Japanese verse poem; the first and third lines each have five syllables and the second line has seven

Free Verse: defined by its lack of structure; has no regular meter , rhyme, fixed line length, or specific stanza pattern

Lyric: expresses the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker, often in highly musical verse

Ballads: songlike poems that tell stories; they often deal with adventure and romance

Concrete: poems that are shaped to look like their subjects; the poet arranges the lines to create a picture on the page

Limericks: humorous, rhyming, five-line poems with a specific rhythm pattern and rhyme scheme. 

Rhyming Couplets: pairs of rhyming lines, usually of the same meter and length