P o e t r y t e r m s
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p o e t r y t e r m s. alliteration. definition the repetition of identical consonant sounds at the beginnings of words. . example s Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Sally sells seashells by the seashore. Veni , vidi , vici . allusion. definition

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  • definition

  • the repetition of identical consonant sounds at the beginnings of words.

  • examples

  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

  • Sally sells seashells by the seashore.

  • Veni, vidi, vici.


  • definition

  • unacknowledged reference and quotations that authors assume their readers will recognize.

  • examples

  • “I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the Planet Earth.“ –Barack Obama

  • "I violated the Noah rule: predicting rain doesn't count; building arks does.“ –Warren Buffett


  • definition

  • the repetition of identical vowel sounds in different words in close proximity.

  • examples

  • “Seen in the deep green sea”

  • “Kicking around on a piece of ground in my hometown” –Pink Floyd, “Time”

  • “Addicts at ambulances”


  • definition

  • Repetition of internal or ending consonant sounds of words close together in poetry.

  • examples

  • Example: I dropped my Pop-Tart on the pile of maps.

  • “Back in black, I hit the sack, it’s been too long, I’m glad to be back.” –AC/DC, “Back in Black”


  • definition

  • two successive rhyming lines

  • examples

  • “I stand here waiting for you to bang the gong To crash the critic saying, "is it right or is it wrong?" --Lady Gaga, “Applause”

Internal rhyme
internal rhyme

  • definition

  • An exact rhyme (rather than rhyming vowel sounds, as with assonance) within a line of poetry.

  • examples

  • "Once upon a midnightdreary, while I pondered, weak andweary.“ –”The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe


  • definition

  • A comparison using “is” or “was.”

  • examples

  • “Juliet is the sun.” –Shakespeare

  • “Baby, you’re a firework.” –Katy Perry

  • “My heart’s a stereo.” –Maroon5


  • definition

  • The measured pattern of rhythmic accents in poems.

  • Stressed syllable: '

  • Unstressed syllable: ˘

  • examples

  • “Roses are red

    ' ˘ ˘ ' Violets are blue”

    ' ˘ ˘ '


  • definition

  • The use of words to imitate the sounds they describe. 

  • examples

  • “Tick Tick Boom” by The Hives


  • definition

  • Giving inanimate objects or abstract concepts human or living qualities.

  • examples

  • “The trees reached out, stretching their branches toward the sun”

  • “The rain whispered to the grass”

Shakespearean sonnet
Shakespearean sonnet

  • definition

  • A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, composed of three quatrains and a couplet rhyming ababcdcdefefgg.

These tags I’ll pop, and boast in rhyming verse

that what I wear puts swagger in my gait;

though twenty shillings have I in my purse,

my self-esteem and manhood both inflate

when lofty furs I purchase for a cent.

Thy grandpa’s clothes are worthy salvage, though

they smell a trifle musty. Still, I spent

much less to dress myself from head to toe.

To save or not to save? The question’s moot.

I’ll never give my coin to high-street crooks.

These dusty shelves will yield their hidden loot

to those, like me, more frugal in their looks.

Like ancient coins washed up on distant shores,

I’ll find my treasures in these thrifty stores.


  • definition

  • The repetition of identical concluding syllables in different words, most often at the ends of lines. 

  • examples

  • End/friend

  • June/moon

Slant rhyme
slant rhyme

  • definition

  • a rhyme in which the vowel sounds are shared or the consonant sounds are shared (not both)

  • b-rhymes.com

  • examples

    “Hides the eyes beneath the bill of the cap

    Walks amongst the flies that hover over the mat”--Atmosphere, “Party For the Fight to Write”


  • definition

  • A comparison using “like” or “as.”

  • examples

  • “A day without you is like a year without rain” –Selena Gomez


  • definition

  • A group of poetic lines corresponding to paragraphs in prose; the meters and rhymes are usually repeating or systematic.

  • example:

    I do not like them in a house.

    I do not like them with a mouse.

    I do not like them here or there.

    I do not like them anywhere.

    I would not eat them in a box.

    I would not eat them with a fox.

    I do not like green eggs and ham.

    I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.


  • definition

  • The grammatical order of words in a sentence or line of verse or dialogue; the organization of words and phrases and clauses in sentences of prose, verse, and dialogue.

  • examples

  • “Because I stay inside, I know I’ll stay alive.”

  • “Whose woods these are, I think I know.”--Robert Frost

  • “So many times I’ve triedBut I’m still caged inside”--Three Days Grace, “Animal I Have Become”