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Sound and Sense–Poetry Terms

Denotation
Dictionary meaning of a word

Connotation
Suggested associations with word

Imagery
Representation of sensory experience with words

Visual Imagery
Imagery describing sight

Auditory Imagery
Imagery describing sound

Tactile Imagery
Imagery describing touch

Olfactory Imagery
Imagery describing smell

Gustatory Imagery
Imagery describing taste

Organic Imagery
Imagery describing internal sensations

Kinesthetic Imagery
Imagery describing movement of the body

Figure of Speech
A way of saying one thing but meaning another.

Figurative Language
Language that should not be taken literally only. Includes metaphor, irony, ect.

Metaphor
A comparison that does not express comparison directly (does not use like, as, is, seems, resembles)

Simile
A comparison that is directly expressed (using like, as, is, seems, resembles)

Personification
Metaphor that gives human attributes to nonhuman subjects, including animals, objects or concepts.

Apostrophe
Addressing someone or something who is not present or cannot respond.

Synecdoche
Using part of an object to represent the whole (Check out my new wheels!)

Metonymy
Using a closely related object to represent another object (I drank a glass)

Dead Metaphor
A metaphor that has been so overused, or has become such a common figure of speech, that it no longer seems figurative (It’s raining cats and dogs)

Symbol
Something that means more than what it actually is, can have a variety of different meanings and functions both literally and figuratively (The journey down the river in Huck Finn = passage of time, gaining maturity, etc)

Allegory
Narrative or description with a second, deeper meaning, a series of symbols with more than one meaning (George Orwell’s Animal Farm)

Paradox
Apparent contradiction that is actually true, draws attention to the truthfulness of a statement (you can blow on your hands to warm them up, or blow on soup to cool it down)

Hyperbole
Saying more than the truth, overstatement or exaggeration

Understatement
Saying less than the truth

Irony
General discrepancy between content and meaning

Verbal Irony
Saying one thing, meaning another

Dramatic Irony
In poetry, having the poem saying one thing, but the total meaning saying another

Irony of Situation
Discrepancy between expected outcome and actual outcome

Allusion
Reference to something in history or previous literature, suggests a larger meaning in a little space. Often taken from the Bible, Shakespeare, or Classical Mythology

Total Meaning
The sum of all the parts of a poem as they relate to the poem, the experience the poem communicates

Prose Meaning
The story or actual words of a poem, can be rewritten in a paraphrase

Tone
Attitude of speaker towards subject matter, audience, or self

Alliteration
Repetition of initial consonant sounds (Streator stopped on the street)

Assonance
Repetition of vowel sounds anywhere in a word (go throw it over)

Consonance
Repetition of final consonant sound (Best/past)

Rhyme
Repetition of accented vowel and the sounds following it

Masculine Rhyme
Only one syllable rhymes (pact/tact)

Feminine Rhyme
Two or more syllables rhyme (season/treason)

Internal Rhyme
Two or more rhymes within a line

End Rhyme
Rhymes at the ends of lines

Approximate Rhymes
Words with any sound similarities, common in more modern poems

Refrain
Repetition of whole lines

Rhythm
Any wavelike occurrence in motion or sound in a poem

Rhetorical Stress
Emphasis on certain words that changes meaning ( *I* think vs. I *think* )

End Stopped Line
End of line corresponds to natural pause

Run On Line
Phrase continues onto the next line

Caesuras
Pauses within lines

Meter
The way the accents of a poem are arranged

Foot
Unit of meter with one accented syllable + one or two others

Iambic
unaccented, accented foot (most common– To-day)

Trochee
accented, unaccented foot (dai-ly)

Anapest
unaccented, unaccented, accented foot (in-ter-vene)

Dactyl
accented, unaccented, unaccented (most rare, mul-ti-ple)

Blank Verse
Unrhymed iambic pentameter, very common meter

Onomatopoeia
Use of sound words (crack, bang, boom)

Phonetic Intensives
Certain words with sounds that connect to their meanings (ex. ee sound for small/cute things)

Euphonious
Pleasant sounding

Cacaphonus
Harsh sounding

Structure
Pattern of a poem

Fixed Form
Type of structure imposed from outside (ex. sonnet, haiku)

Limerick
Humorous poem following aabba form

Sonnet
14 line form using iambic pentameter, used for serious subject matter

Italian (Petrachian) Sonnet
Composed of octave (abbaabba) and sestet (cdecde or cdcdcd), used to create a division of thought

English (Shakespearean) Sonnet
Composed of three quatrains (abab cdcd efef) and a couplet (gg), used to develop a thought then sum it up

Sentimentality
Provoking of emotion, not experience

Rhetorical
Using more embellished language than necessary

Didactic
Used to teach or preach

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