Poetry Techniques



The first letter of the word is repeated in the words that follow e.g. "And measured motion like a living thin" (L28 from The Prelude Extract) 

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This is where the same vowel sound is repeated but the consonants are different e.g. "He passed her a sharp, dark glance and strode off"

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A rhythmical pause/break near the middle of a line. eg "It is for you we speak// not for ourselves".

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An idea or feeling which a word invokes in addition to its literal meaning. eg The colour "red" has a connotation of anger. 

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A stanza consisting of two successive lines that usually rhyme, eg "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,// Looking as if she were alive. I call//" (L1-2 from My Last Duchess).

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This is discordant combinations of sounds, eg, "the clash, spew and slow pang of grinding waves against the quay".

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The literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the ideas that the word suggests, eg. the denotation of "red" is that it is a colour but may connote "anger". 

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This is where a sentence continues beyond the end of the line or verse. This is often used to maintain a sense of continuation from one stanza to another.(eg Bayonet Charge)

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This is exaggerating for a purpose- it is not meant to be taken literally, eg. "there was about a million people packed into the tiny room." 

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This is where strong pictures or ideas are created in the readers' minds, they can be obtained through figurative language techniques such as similes, metaphors and personification.

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This is where words or ideas are used humourously or sarcastically, to imply the opposite of what they mean, eg "The blind leading the blind". 

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Where a word or phrase is used to imply a figurative resemblence, eg "he flew into the room" or "she is the sun". 

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A word that sound like the word it is describing, eg "splash", "bang", "hiss". 

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This is where two contradictory words appear in conjunction, eg "bitter sweet".

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Pathetic Fallacy

The attribution of human qualities and characteristics to inanimate objects of nature.

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Where a human quality is attributed to an inanimate object, eg "the sun happily peeked from behind the cloud". 

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A joke that exploits the different meanings of a term or similar sounding words with different meanings.

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Things such as objects, places and colours can act as symbolism due to their connotations opposed to their denotation(s), eg white symbolising innocence or purity. These can be used to express themes.

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This is the creation of a certain mood in the text, such as celebration and joy or anxiety and gloom. A writer will uses a variety of techniques to express these moods.

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