Literary Terms

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The Elements of Poetry
Chapter 21: Reading Poetry
* Metaphor—figure of speech that makes comparison between two unlike things, without using the word like or as Ex: From Catch by Robert Francis
“…tossing a poem together;”

* Anagrams—words made from the letters of other words
Ex: From Mountain Graveyard by Robert Morgan
“stone notes
slate tales”

* Narrative poem—a poem that tells a story
Ex: From Nighttime Fires by Regina Barreca
“When I was five in Louisville
we drove to see nighttime fires, Piled seven of us,
all pajamas and running noses, into the olds,”

* Clichés—ideas or expressions that have become tired and trite from overuse Ex: From Magic of Love by Helen Farries
“There’s a wonderful gift that can give you a lift,
It’s a blessing from heaven above!
It can comfort and bless, it can bring happiness—
It’s a the wonderful MAGIC OF LOVE”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter 22: Writing about Poetry
No terms
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter 23: Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone
* Formal diction—consists of a dignified, impersonal, and elevated use of language Ex: From The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy
“In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.” * Colloquially—a conversational manner that in this instance includes slang expressions not used by the culture at large Ex: From A Study of Reading Habits by Philip Larkin

“To know I could still keep cool,
And deal out the old right hook
To dirty dogs twice my size.”

* Jargon—category of language defined by a trade or profession Ex: From We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks
“Lurk late. We
Strike straight.”

* Persona—a speaker created by the poet
Ex: From The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell
“From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flack and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with hose.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter 24: Images
* Image—language that addresses the senses
Ex: From A Late Aubade by Richard Wilbur
“Wait for a while, then slip downstairs
And bring us up some chilled white wine,
And some blue cheese, and crackers, and some fine
Ruddy-skinned pears.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter 25: Figures of Speech
* Metaphor—make comparison between two unlike things, without using ‘like’ or ‘as’ Ex: From Presentiment—is that long shadow—on the lawn— by Emily Dickinson
“Presentiment—is that long shadow—on the lawn—
Indicative that Suns go down—

The notice to the startled Grass
That Darkness—is about to pass—“
* Pun—play on words that relies on a word having more than one meaning or sounding like another word Ex: From Pragmatist by Edmund Conti
“Apocalypse soon
Coming our way
Ground zero at noon
Halve a nice day.”

* Apostrophe—address either to someone who is absent and therefore cannot hear the speaker or to something nonhuman that cannot comprehend Ex: From To a Wasp by Janice Townley Moore
“Did you not see
Rising out of cumulus clouds
That fist aimed at both of us?”

* Hyperbole—exaggeration
Ex: From To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
“An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze,
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest:”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter 26: Symbol, Allegory, and Irony
* Didactic poetry—designed to teach an ethical, moral, or religious lesson Ex: From The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allan Poe
“In...
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