Poetic Devices
This list of terms describes methods by which a
poet emphasizes words or the relationship
between words and sounds or between words
and ideas.
Alliteration: repetition of constant sounds
Apostrophe: address to a person, quality, or object
Assonance: repetition of a vowel sound
Cacophony: harsh, discordant sounds
Caesura: a natural pause or break
Connotation: an implied meaning of a word
Consonance: the repetition of consonant sounds, but not
Denotation: the literal meaning of a word
Enjambment: a continuation of thought in several lines of
Euphony: soothing, pleasant sounds
Image: language that evokes one or all of the five senses
Irony: an implied discrepancy between what is said and what is
Hyperbole: exaggeration
Internal rhyme: rhyming within a line
Metonymy: substituting a word for another word closely
associated with it
Metaphor: comparison of unlike things
Onomatopoeia: a word that imitates the sound it represents
Personification: giving human qualities to animals or objects
Rhyme: a pattern of words that contains similar sounds
Rhyme Scheme: rhymed words at the ends of lines (labeled a,
B, etc)
Simile: a comparison using Like or As
Stanza: a unified group of lines
Symbol: an object or action that means something more than
its literal meaning
Verse: a line of poetry