Similes, Metaphors, Personification, Alliteration, imagery, tone/mood, direct characterization, Rhyme, Symbolism, and Repetition Figurative Language
Figurative Language • A writers tool • It helps the reader to visualize (see) what the writer is thinking • It puts a picture in the readers mind • Makes the writing come alive • Adds dramatic effect
Simile • A simile is used to compare two things • It uses the words “like” or “as” to make comparisons.
SimilesTwilight: After Haying-Jane Kenyon Yes, long shadows go outfrom the bales; and yes, the soulmust part from the body:what else could it do?The men sprawl near the baler, too tired to leave the field.They talk and smoke,and the tips of their cigarettesblaze like small roses in the night air. (It arrivedand settled among thembefore they were aware.)The moon comes to count the bales,and the dispossessed--Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will--sings from the dusty stubble.These things happen. . .the soul's blissand suffering are bound togetherlike the grasses. . .The last, sweet exhalationsof timothy and vetchgo out with the song of the bird; the ravaged fieldgrows wet with dew.
Metaphor • A metaphor is used to compare two things • Instead of saying something is “like” or “as” --- a metaphor states that it just IS.
Metaphor Mother To Son-By Langston Hughes Well, son, I’ll tell you:Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.It’s had tacks in it,And splinters,And boards torn up,And places with no carpet on the floor –Bare.But all the timeI’se been a-climbin’ on,And reachin’ landin’s,And turnin’ corners,And sometimes goin’ in the darkWhere there ain’t been no light.So boy, don’t you turn back.Don’t you set down on the steps‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.Don’t you fall now –For I’se still goin’, honey,I’se still climbin’,And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
MetaphorDemocracy-by Langston HughesDemocracy will not comeToday, this yearNor everThrough compromise and fear.I have as much right As the other fellow hasTo standOn my two feet And own the land.I tire so of hearing people say, Let things take their course.Tomorrow is another day.I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.FreedomIs a strong seedPlantedIn a great need.I live here, too.I want freedomJust as you.
Giving non human objects human like characteristics. Giving animals human like characteristics. Personification
Sylvia Plath MirrorI am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.Just as it is, un misted by love or dislikeI am not cruel, only truthful –The eye of a little god, four-cornered.Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so longI think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.Faces and darkness separate us over and over.Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.Searching my reaches for what she really is.Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.I see her back, and reflect it faithfullyShe rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.I am important to her. She comes and goes.Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old womanRises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. Personification
The repetition of consonant sounds to enhance the rhythm or to create a beat in poetry. Alliteration
Alliteration • Insomniac • There are some nights whensleep plays coy,aloof and disdainful.And all the wilesthat I employ to winits service to my sideare useless as wounded pride,and much more painful. Maya Angelou
Alliteration • Touched by an Angel-by Maya Angelou We, unaccustomed to courageexiles from delightlive coiled in shells of lonelinessuntil love leaves its high holy templeand comes into our sightto liberate us into life.Love arrivesand in its train come ecstasiesold memories of pleasureancient histories of pain.Yet if we are bold,love strikes away the chains of fearfrom our souls.We are weaned from our timidityIn the flush of love's lightwe dare be braveAnd suddenly we seethat love costs all we areand will ever be.Yet it is only lovewhich sets us free.
Repetition • Repeating certain lines, phrases or words to add emphasis to the importance of them and to draw the reader’s attention to them.
Repetition • Let Evening Come • Let the light of late afternoonshine through chinks in the barn, movingup the bales as the sun moves down.Let the cricket take up chafingas a woman takes up her needles and her yarn. Let evening come.Let dew collect on the hoe abandonedin long grass. Let the stars appearand the moon disclose her silver horn.Let the fox go back to its sandy den.Let the wind die down. Let the shedgo black inside. Let evening come.To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoopin the oats, to air in the lunglet evening come.Let it come, as it will, and don'tbe afraid. God does not leave uscomfortless, so let evening come. Jane Kenyon
Symbolism • Symbolism is something you can see that has taken on a meaning beyond what the object actually is. For instance, when you think of a symbol, think of something that is tangible, something you can hold or touch with your hand. If it is something you can not touch, eliminate it as a possible symbol
The Road Not TakenBy robert frost • The Road Not Taken • TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, • And sorry I could not travel both • And be one traveler, • long I stood • And looked down one as far as I could • To where it bent in the undergrowth; • Then took the other, as just as fair, • And having perhaps the better claim, • Because it was grassy and wanted wear; • Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay • In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. • I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: • Two roads diverged in a wood, • and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Symbolism • Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening • Whose woods these are I think I know.His house is in the village though;He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queerTo stop without a farmhouse nearBetween the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound's the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.The woods are lovely, dark and deep.But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.
Rhyme • Rhyming, whether it is internal, external, etc., creates a beat or rhythm to poetry. The songs you listen to are poetry set to music.
External Rhyme • A Dream-by Edgar Allen Poe • In visions of the dark night • I have dreamed of joy departed- • But a waking dream of life and light • Hath left me broken-hearted. • Ah! what is not a dream by day • To him whose eyes are cast • On things around him with a ray • Turned back upon the past? • That holy dream- that holy dream, • While all the world were chiding, • Hath cheered me as a lovely beam • A lonely spirit guiding. • What though that light, thro' storm and night, • So trembled from afar- • What could there be more purely bright • In Truth's day-star?
Imagery • Wild Geese by Mary OliverYou do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Imagery • By using adjectives, specific details, and vibrant descriptions, the writer can paint a picture with words. The images evoked create an overall mood and draw the reader in.
Imagery • The Summer Day by Mary Oliver • Who made the world?Who made the swan, and the black bear?Who made the grasshopper?This grasshopper, I mean--the one who has flung herself out of the grass,the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.I don't know exactly what a prayer is.I do know how to pay attention, how to fall downinto the grass, how to kneel in the grass,how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.Tell me, what else should I have done?Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?Tell me, what is it you plan to doWith your one wild and precious life?
MoodThe mood is the feeling or atmosphere of a piece. The mood can be many different things. Some examples included: A feeling of love. A feeling of doom. A feeling of fear. A feeling of pride. An atmosphere of chaos. An atomsphere of peace. MeaningWhat is the author trying to communicate. Tone/Mood
How to Achieve Mood and MeaningYou should be able to establish mood or purpose in poetry by: choice of words, summary terms, symbolic language, structure of the sentences, the length of each poetic line, and the punctuation marks chosen. Mood
Stark naked flower stalksStand shivering in the wind.The cheerless sun hides its black lightBehind bleak, angry clouds,While trees vainly tryTo catch their escaping leaves.Carpets of grass turn brown,Blending morosely with the dreary day.Winter seems the death of life forever.(poetry devices used: alliteration, personificationoxymoron, metaphor, hyperbole) Gloomy Mood: Winter garden
Stunningly dressed flower stalksStand shimmering in the breeze.The cheerful sun hides playfullyBehind white, fluffy, cotton-ball clouds,While trees whisper secretsTo their rustling leaves.Carpets of grass greenly glowBlending joyfully with the day.Spring brings life to death.(Poetry devices used: alliteration, personification,metaphor, simile) Example of cheerful mood: Spring Garden
DEFINITION OF IRONY As a figure of speech, irony refers to a difference between the way something appears and what is actually true. Part of what makes poetry interesting is its indirectness, its refusal to state something simply as "the way it is." Irony allows us to say something but to mean something else, whether we are being sarcastic, exaggerating, or understating. Irony defined
The whiskey on your breathCould make a small boy dizzy;But I hung on like death:Such waltzing was not easy.We romped until the pansSlid from the kitchen shelf;My mother's countenanceCould not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wristWas battered on one knuckle;At every step you missedMy right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my headWith a palm caked hard by dirt,Then waltzed me off to bedStill clinging to your shirt. My Papa’s Waltz-Theodore Roethke
The first stanza introduces what is a heavily ironic tone that persists throughout the poem. A waltz sounds like a pleasant enough diversion, but the whiskey, the dizziness, and especially the word death collectively undercut this assumption and make us understand that the situation is not entirely lighthearted. - lines Irony
1-2 - "The whiskey on your breath / Could make a small boy dizzy"These lines are ironic because, while it is possible that the smell of “the whiskey” alone would make the child dizzy, being swung roughly (and even drunkenly) about is probably to blame too. - line 3 - "I hung on like death"This line emphasizes the irony of line 4. Because the speaker’s father presents a certain danger, he “hangs on” to him here not necessarily “like death” but rather for dear life. The word death is thus ironic, but it makes the danger of the situation clear and offsets the notion that this is just a lighthearted waltz.
- line 4 - "Such waltzing was not easy"The waltz should be easy, on a literal level, because the speaker is just being swung around by his father. It isn’t easy because, apparently, their lives together aren’t easy. - lines 5-6 - "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf"Continuing the tone of the first stanza, the word romped here is ironic because it makes the waltz sound carefree, yet the effect of this romping is to cause a violent, crashing disruption in their domestic world.
Rhythm is a musical quality produced by the repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables. Rhythm occurs in all forms of language, both written and spoken, but is particularly important in poetry The most obvious kind of rhythm is the regular repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables found in some poetry. Writers also create rhythm by repeating words and phrases or even by repeating whole lines and sentences Rhythm