Poetry Terms

Words are weapons. Your words can change the way people look at the world and even inspire action. Browse some ideas for ways you can use a poem to make a difference.

Alliteration is the repetition of the same first letter or sound in a group of words.

Title: What is Alliteration?

An allusion is an indirect reference to something.

Title: What is Allusion?

Anthropomorphism is when anything non-human, such as an animal or object, is given human qualities including emotions and actions.

Title: What is Anthropomorphism?

Assonance occurs in a sentence when two or more words near each other have the same vowel sounds but start with different consonants.

Title: What is Assonance?

Chiasmus is a figure of speech that has two phrases that are parallel and opposite.

Title: What is Chiasmus?

Connotation is the association you automatically make with a word, including how the word makes you feel.

Title: What is Connotation?

Deus ex machina is when an unlikely character, object, ability, or idea is introduced into a story in order to quickly end the conflict and solve any lingering problems.

Title: What is Deus Ex Machina?

Epistrophe is the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses, sentences, or verses.

Title: Epistrophe

Euphemism is when harsh words or phrases with more mild ones to soften the blow of something that could have a more negative connotation otherwise.

Title: What is Euphemism?

Hyperbole is when certain words are used in a phrase to exaggerate an idea.

Title: What is Hyperbole?

Imagery is the process of using vivid, descriptive words to give the reader a detailed picture of what is going on in your writing so that they can easily picture, or visualize, it in their own mind.

Title: What is Imagery?

Juxtaposition is when two (sometimes completely opposite) words are placed near one another, creating a comparison/contrast effect. 

Title: What is Juxtaposition?

A litote is a nice, almost secretive understatement saying something negative or unpleasant without any negative/unpleasant words used in the statement.

Title: What is a Litote?

Malapropism occurs when a word that fits the context of a sentence is substituted with another, incorrect word.


Title: What is Malapropism?

metaphor is when a word or phrase for one thing is used in place of another in order to make a comparison between two unlike things and suggest a similarity.

Title: What is a metaphor?

Metonymy occurs when a word or phrase is replaced with a different one which it is associated with.

Title: What is Metonymy?

Onomatopoeia occurs when the sound a word makes mimics what the word means.

Title: What is Onomatopoeia?

Oxymoron occurs when two contradictory words are placed next to one another.

Title: What is an Oxymoron?

Repetition is when a word or sentence is used more than once within a poem.

Title: What is Repetition?

Rhyme scheme refers to the particular lines in a piece of poetry that rhyme, usually by using words at the end of each line that sound similar.

Title: What Is Rhyme Scheme?

simile is a figure of speech using "like" or "as" to compare one thing to another thing of a different kind. 



Title: What is a Simile?

Synecdoche is when a part of something represents the whole, or vice versa.

Title: What is Synecdoche?

A synonym is a word with the same or close to the same meaning as another word.

Title: What is a Synonym?

Verisimilitude refers to when a piece of work appears true and realistic.

Title: What is Verisimilitude?