Introduction to Poetic Devices for ESL Classes II

Alliteration - The repetition of beginning consonant sounds.

Example:

Silently seeking the silky sounds.

Assonance - The repetition of vowel sounds.

Example:

Elaine waited in plain train.

Rhyme - The similarity of ending sounds existing between two words.

Example:

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play

Meter - The recurrence of a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.

Example:

We caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot's house.

(by: Oscar Wilde)

Onomatopoeia - The use of words which imitate sound.

Example:

He crashed into the car as he heard the screech of the wheels.

Repetition - the repeating of words, phrases, lines, or stanzas.

Example:

Hear the sledges with the bells --
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!

(by: Edgar Alan Poe)

Imagery - Words or phrases that use the senses or a combination of senses.

Example:

His could almost taste his fear as he smelt the fright of the bolting horse.

Personification - A figure of speech which endows animals, ideas, or inanimate objects with human traits or abilities.

Example:

The window winked at me.

Poetic Devices - Point of View

Point-of-view - The author's point-of-view concentrates on the speaker, or "teller", of the story or poem.

Example:

Walking through the streets at night,
Looking at stars that shine so bright,
It hurts to consider things not to be.

Things not to had by me.

1st person: the speaker is a character in the story or poem and tells it from his/her perspective (uses "I")

Example:

Then, turning to my love, I said,
`The dead are dancing with the dead,
The dust is whirling with the dust.'

(by: Oscar Wilde)

3rd person: the speaker is not part of the story, but tells about the other characters.

Example:

His story is old,
His heart is young,
He the strong, noble one.

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