Tone The writer’s attitude toward his or her audience and subject“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher” (Poe).The tone of this piece is sad and depressing
Mood The feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passageWhile reading Eclipse, Kevin chewed his fingernails as he waited nervously for Bella’s decision between Edward and Jacob.Kevin’s mood is nervous and apprehensive.
Cacophony (caco = bad; phon = sound) An arrangement of words (esp. in poetry) that produce sharp, jarring, disagreeable soundsFrom “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll: “Twasbrillig, and the slithytoves/Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;/All mimsy were the borogoves,/And the momerathsoutgrabe”From "Player Piano" by John Updike: "never my numb plunker fumbles."
Assonance Repetition of internal vowel sounds in nearby words that do not end the same, often used to emphasize important words in a lineOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
Consonance (con = together; son = sound) Repetition of consonant sounds anywhere in line (remember alliteration is at the beginning of words!) While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. `Tis some visitor, I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door - Only this, and nothing more.’ “The Raven”
Onomatopoeia Use of words that imitate sounds Within your ear, your nose would be an absolute catastrophe, for when you were obliged to sneeze, your brain would rattle from the breeze.Jack Prelutsky “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face”
Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant sounds“And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before”From “The Raven”
Figurative language Writing or speech not meant to be interpreted literally; often used to created vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimilar things
Metaphor A comparison between two unlike things“Hold fast to dreams/for if dreams die/life is a broken- winged bird/That cannot fly”From “Dreams” by Langston Hughes
Simile A comparison between two unlike things using like or as“It was Easter Sunday in Chicago, and my sister Amy and I were attending an afternoon dinner at the home of our friend John. The weather was nice, and hed set up a table in the backyard so that we might sit in the sun. Everyone had taken their places, when I excused myself to visit the bathroom, and there, in the toilet, was the absolute biggest turd I have ever seen in my life - no toilet paper or anything, just this long and coiled specimen, as thick as a burrito.”From “Big Boy” by David Sedaris
Personification Giving human characteristics to nonhuman items/subjectsThe door groaned as she opened it.The book hid behind the pile of dead insects.Its secrets whispered to her.
Oxymoron Two contradictory words are used together for effectFrom Romeo and Juliet“Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”
Punctuate Your Poems When reading poetry, you should NEVER pause at the end of a line UNLESS punctuation is present. No punctuation? Don’t stop! Punctuation controls the flow of the poem.
Enjambment When the end of a line of poetry has no punctuation, the poet is using enjambment. The flow of the line runs right into the next line."What had summerto do with sorrow in full spate?"
End-Stopped Lines When the end of a line of poetry has punctuation, the poet is using end-stopped lines. The line is not allowed to flow freely into the next line."What had summerto do with sorrow in full spate?"
Caesura When punctuation is present in the middle of the line, the poet has used caesura. This technique can really chop up a poem or slow it down for dramatic affect.Know then thyself II, presume not God to scan;The proper study of Mankind II is Man.Placd on this isthmus of a middle state,A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
Stanza A stanza is a group of lines within a poem. Poems may be one stanza long or many stanzas long. The following example has 2 stanzasBecause I could not stop for Death,He kindly stopped for me;The carriage held but just ourselves 1And Immortality.We slowly drove, he knew no haste,And I had put awayMy labor, and my leisure too, 2For his civility.
Line Poems are divided into lines, which make up stanzas. The following example has 8 lines.Because I could not stop for Death, 1He kindly stopped for me; 2The carriage held but just ourselves 3And Immortality. 4We slowly drove, he knew no haste, 5And I had put away 6My labor, and my leisure too, 7For his civility. 8