An A-Z Of Poetic Terms (Nearly!!)
1. Alliteration: is when the same consonant is repeated in quick succession. E.G. In The Voice ‘faltering forward’ the consonant ‘f’ is repeated and if you say it mimics the difficulty he has in moving on in his life.
2. Comparison: Putting two or more ‘things’ together and finding similarities. You could for example compare verses in a poem or between poems. (See also Versification) Comparing the last verse of Stop All The Clocks with The Voice might lead you to discuss how different they are which brings us on to:
3. Contrast: Which is, as you may have guessed, putting two or more things together and finding things about them that are different. Again contrasting the last verses of each poem would lead you to discuss how different the poet’s reactions are to the death of the person they loved.
4. Effect: How a particular poetic technique influences your understanding or feeling about a poem. It is never advisable to spot alliteration, without talking about the effect it has on the poet’s message or your feelings about the poem.
5. Mood: (often referred to as atmosphere). The two are interchangeable (you can use one or the other) Simply put this is the feeling we get from reading a poem (or a story or play) We need to look carefully at the writer’s use of language to understand the mood or atmosphere of a piece of writing.
6. Onomatopoeia: A technique (method or writer’s trick) in which words are chosen that recreate what they are describing. At its simplest it a word like ‘buzz’ because it sounds like the sound that bees make. Hardy uses onomatopoeia to recreate the sound of breeze in its ‘listlessness’ (the sssssss help to create that feeling. This device is often used to draw the reader in to the poem to share the poet’s feelings or point of view.
7. Personification: is when inanimate or non-human things or objects are given human feelings. For example Auden personifies grief in...