Poetry Terms Figurative Language

Poetry Terms
Figurative Language
Figurative Language—Metaphor
between essentially
unlike things
without using the
words “like” or “as”
A Three Point Shot From Andromeda
By Paul Beatty
rain rusted orange
ring of saturn
in urban orbit
over an outdoor gym
What two things are being
Figurative Language—Simile
comparison between two essentially unlike
things using words such as "like," as," or "as
“Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
like a buttercup
upon its branching stem-”
William Carlos Williams, “Asphodel, that Greeny Flower”
Figurative Language—Hyperbole
for emphasis
Let’s come up
with some
The Storm
James K. McAlister
Wind rustled crunching leaves
That on the sidewalk lay.
There was a big storm coming
On a windy Autumn day.
Thunder rumbled overhead
And shook me through and through.
A jagged bolt of lightning struck!
The sky then cracked in two!
Rain washed down the dirty road.
It hissed, and gushed, and muttered.
The downpour swept dead leaves away
Into the bubbling gutter.
Figurative Language—Imagery
A word or sequence of words representing a
sensory experience (sight, sound, smell,
touch, and taste)
Example: Billy Collins, “Litany”
“You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.”
Figurative Language—Allusion
A reference to the person, event, or work
outside the poem or literary piece
Example: Dylan Thomas’s “Fern Hill”
And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
Figurative Language—Symbol
An object or
action that
for something
beyond itself
Green Light and Gamma Ways
By Thylias Moss
Miss Liberty is green, the horizon and sky
plus yellow skin.
She is a minority too, color
of ridiculous Martian fable
and not a man.
Handicapped, disabled.
Another immigrant.
Figurative Language—Personification
The attribution of
characteristics to
nonhuman like an
animal or
inanimate object
Autumn’s Season
By: Unknown Author
brushes her hair slowly Letting
the glorious colors
flow gently to the earth below.
Showing off vibrant colors
in contrast to summer's green
dress. Out doing the starkness,
of winter's white coat.
Autumn compares the mutable
shades of spring to her fall
Giving a sigh ,end of another
season. She packs her brush
as frost touches her tips.