Poetry Vocab - Fort Bend ISD

Poetry Vocabulary
 Oxymoron
 Paradox
 Pun
 Connotation
 Denotation
 Metaphor
 Personification
 Simile
 Irony
 Imagery
 Symbol
 Alliteration
 Onomatopoeia
 Allusion
a sudden turn from the general audience to address a
specific group or person or personified abstraction absent
or present.
 Ex: For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him.
apparent paradox achieved by the juxtaposition of words
which seem to contradict one another.
 EX: I must be cruel to be kind.
an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but
that may yet have some truth in it.
A statement that appears to contradict itself
 Ex: What a pity that youth must be wasted on the
young. ~George Bernard Shaw
a play on words or the humorous use of a word
emphasizing a different meaning or application.
Ex: “Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me
a grave man.” Mercutio
repetition of the same vowel sound in words close to each
 Ex: Tilting at windmills
 Thy kingdom come/ thy will be done
is the emotional and imaginative association surrounding
a word.
 Ex: Home- safe, warm, protected, family, relaxed
The most specific or direct meaning of a word
 Ex: Home-a house, apartment, or other shelter that is
the usual residence of a person, family, or household
an exaggeration used in speaking or
in writing to create an effect and
not meant to be taken literally.
 He is older than the hills.
 The garbage was piled so high it
almost touched the sky.
 My backpack weighs a ton!
a figure of speech that suggests a
likeness by speaking of one thing as
if it were another; a comparison
without the use of "like" or "as.“
Her hair is silk.
 His home was a prison.
 You are the sunshine of my life.
a figure of speech in which a thing
or idea is represented as having
human characteristics.
 The saw bit off my finger.
 “…the houses along Gilman Street
began to look more defensive…more
exhausted” (from A Separate Peace)
a figure of speech in which one
thing is compared to another
different thing by using the word
"like" or "as.“
 The pain engulfed him like a mighty
 Those girls are like two peas in a pod.
 His toes are as awkward as small
a method of humorous or sarcastic expression in which
the intended meaning of a word is the direct opposite of
its usual sense; or what happens in a story is the opposite
of what is expected to happen.
Verbal irony—words are used to suggest the opposite of
what is meant.
Dramatic irony—there is a contradiction between what a
character thinks and what the reader or audience knows
to be true.
Situational irony—an event occurs that directly contradicts
the expectations of the characters, the reader or the
words in poetry, etc., which produce
a mental picture.
Mary touches the
strings and plays
Mary touches the
strings and plays
harp-like morning-glory
some tenderness.
harp-like morning-glory
some tenderness.
the use of a person, place, event or
object that has a meaning in itself
but suggests other meanings as
well (symbol)
the repetition of beginning consonant
sounds in a line of poetry; a sound
Example: silence surged softly
Katy kicked the kicker.
 Monkey master.
 Tired Timmy taught the tired teacher.
 Cocky Ken kicked the can.
the use of words that sound like the
things they name or describe; a
sound device.
 The fly buzzed past.
 The arrow whistled in the still air.
 The wind whistled and wailed.
 Dave whooshed down the hill.
an implied or indirect reference, as
in a famous person's name used to
refer to someone with similar
character traits.
She was no Scrooge, but she seldom purchased
anything except the bare necessities.
The girl's love of sweets was her Achilles heel.
It’s a story as old as Cain and Abel.