Figurative Language Figurative Language is a tool that an author uses to help the reader visualize what is happening in a story or poem. Some common types of figurative language are: simile, metaphor, alliteration, onomatopoeia, idiom, puns, and sensory language.
Metaphors & Similes • A simile is a comparison using like or as. It usually compares two dissimilar objects. The stars were like tiger eyes glaring down at us.
Willow and Gingko The willow is like an etching, fine-lined against the sky. The gingko is like a crude sketch, Hardly worthy to be signed. The willow’s music is like a soprano, Delicate and thin. The gingko’s tune is like a chorus With everyone joining in. The willow is sleek as the velvet-nosed calf, The gingko is leathery as an old bull. The willow’s branches are like silken thread; The gingko’s like stubby rough wool.
Metaphor • A metaphor states that one thing is something else. It is a comparison, but it does not use like or as to make the comparison. • Her hair is silk.
The Rose Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed. Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed. Some say love, it is a hunger, An endless aching need. I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed.
Couplets • Couplet-- a rhymed pair of lines in a poem. Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere… --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Extended Metaphor • An extended metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two unlike things at some length. An extended metaphor may introduce a series of metaphors representing different aspects of a situation. O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won… --- Walt Whitman, O Captain!, My Captain!
Fog The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. --Carl Sandburg, Fog
Alliteration • Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. Writers use it to give their writing a musical quality or for emphasis. And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing a spark Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet… -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Onomatopoeia • Onomatopoeia is the use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning. Crash, bang, hiss, whoosh, clink
Form The FORM of a poem includes the arrangement of words and lines on the page.
Imagery • Imagery consists of words or phrases that appeal to the reader’s five senses. Writers use imagery to help a reader imagine how things look, feel, smell, sound, and taste. After two days of gentle winter rains, the small pond behind my house is lapping at its banks, content as a well-fed kitten. -- Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
Personification • Personification is a figure of speech that gives human qualities to animals, inanimate objects, or ideas. Hope was but a timid friend-- She sat without my grated den, Watching how my fate would tend… -- Emily Bronte, Hope
Rhyme Rhyme is a repetition of sounds at the ends of words. The most common form of rhyme in poetry is end rhyme, in which the rhyming words are at the end of lines. Rhyme that occurs within a line is called internal rhyme. The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its Voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won… --Walt Whitman, O Captain! My Captain!
Narrative Poem • Narrative Poetry tells a story. Like fiction, narrative poetry contains characters, settings, and plots. It might also contain such elements of poetry as rhyme, rhythm, imagery, and figurative language.
Ballad • A ballad is a poem that tells a story and is meant to be sung or recited.
Haiku • Haiku is a traditional form or Japanese poetry. A haiku normally has 3 lines and describes a single moment, feeling, or thing. The first and third lines contain 5 syllables and the second line contains 7 syllables.
Sonnet • A Sonnet is a 14 line poem written in a single stanza. Sometimes the first 8 lines (octave) discuss a question or problem that is resolved in the final six lines (sestet). • In a Shakespearean sonnet, the rhyme scheme is ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, and a final couplet GG.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with a passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee?
Limerick A limerick is a poem with a five line stanza and the rhyme scheme AABBA. The first and fifth lines may end with the same word. The limerick has a lighthearted comic mood. There was an old man with a beard, Who said, “It is just as I feared!-- Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!”