The linguistic franca, English, has changed significantly since the fifth century. Due to the numerous cultures and individuals that had an impact on English throughout history, changes and revisions were constant.
Numerous literary phrases and grammatical ideas were added as a result of these alterations in order to facilitate communication and create varied compositions.
Poems are a type of communication that employ several “Poetic Devices” to convey a message, tell a story, or express emotions and feelings in a rhythmic and beautiful way. This blog will outline the many types of more than 50 poetic devices used in English literature along with their definitions and examples.
How do Poetic Devices With Examples Work?
Simply said, poetic devices are a category of literary devices employed in poetry. Similar to how they were employed above, they are used as various elements in verbal, visual, structural, rhythmic, metric, and other aspects of a poem. These poetic devices are tools that poets employ to deepen the meaning of a poem, improve its rhythm, or amplify the primary emotion, mood, or sentiment it expresses.
Commonly Used Poetic Devices
Here are some of the most popular and intriguing poetic devices in English literature that you should be aware of:
Types of Poetic Devices With Examples
There are various poetic devices with example that can be used in a poem to enhance its depth of meaning and imagery. The three main types of poetic devices are founded on:
- To enhance word sounds
- To deepen the significance of words
- Put the words in a specific order or sequence
- To use words to convey visuals
English Poetic Devices With Examples Used to Create Rhythm/Sound
Here are poetic devices with examples.
This literary technique is defined as the development of a word that describes the sound of an object. Examples of words that sound similar to their meanings include roar, clap, moo, etc. In order to give children’s rhymes a rhythmic and simple-to-remember structure akin to a jingle, it is one of the most common poetic methods utilized in this genre.
Examples include “bang,” “fwoosh,” “splash,” and “buzz.”
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In a literary context, assonance is the term for when two or more words that are close to one another repeat the same vowel sound. They do, however, start with different consonant sounds.
Examples include Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The collapsing thunder of oceans” and “Strips of tinfoil twinkling like persons” (Sylvia Plath)
is one of the most common literary methods. It is a phonetic pattern that involves using the same sound or letter in the first syllable of a word repeatedly. It is thought to be the first form of poetic device and is typically employed when a poem contains two or more words. Since it lends charm and power to a poem, most writers consider alliteration while constructing a particular poem. In tongue twisters, alliteration can occasionally suit nicely.
Examples: “She sells seashells by the sea-shore.”
The most significant poetic device, this is frequently employed to frame poetry. They significantly contribute to the poem’s charm and tone. It is a tool that adds music and a suitable rhythmic pattern to the poem.
Examples include Skin-Grin, Night-Bright, and Frog-Log.
Euphony is the repetitive use of soothing, melodic tones that are pleasing to read or listen to. This is produced with vibrating consonants like s, sh, and th as well as soft consonant sounds like m, n, w, r, and f.
Examples: “This lives as long as mankind can breathe, or as long as eyes can see, and this gives life to thee.” (Shakespeare)
This poetic method, which may be found on the list, is employed in both prose and poetry. It is best described as the recurrence of the sounds made by the consonants in a phrase or sentence. The repeating of vowel sounds in assonance is somewhat at odds with this. This term can occasionally create a rhythmic tone in writing.
Examples include: Throw the glass, boss; Dawn sets; Don’t spook or beep while grandpa is sleeping.
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We employ the repetition approach to heavily emphasize our writing style. English uses these poetic tropes to repeat words or phrases within sentences. Both the prose and poetry portions make use of it.
Examples include Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.
The forests are gorgeous, deep, and gloomy.
I must, however, maintain my vows.
miles to go before I go to sleep,
And still many miles until I can sleep.
By this term, we can understand that it refers to a word or phrase that is used to refer to something without explicitly addressing it. Another common poetic device in English is the allusion, which is an ambiguous word or phrase that leaves the reader in the dark.
Examples: After then, leaf becomes just leaf.
Eden then became depressed.
Thus, day breaks through dawn.
The gold cannot endure. in Robert Frost
is created by the way the words move through each meter and stanza, highlighting certain aspects of the poem.
Do you mind if I compare thee to a summer day? (Shakespeare)
The use of unpleasant, disgusting, or harsh sounds (usually consonants) to create confusion, disorder, or dread is known as cacophony.
Examples: “My son, watch out for the Jabberwock! the grabbing claws and biting teeth! “The shabby Bandersnatch!” the Lewis Carroll
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English poetic devices with examples Used to Change the Meaning of Words
Here are poetic devices with examples.
Words are frequently structured in literature in such a way that their original meaning is altered. It is a figure of speech that is widely used in English poetry and aids in our understanding of the distinction between reality and appearance.
Stevie Smith’s song “Not Waving But Drowning” is an example.
The deceased man, “Nobody heard him,
Still, he lay there wailing:
You underestimated how far out I was.
and drowning rather than waving.”
The act of changing a term that may offend or indicate something unpleasant with one that is less painful or agreeable is known as euphemism. Euphemisms are the name given to this type of language. Euphemisms are frequently used in writing and speaking in favor of harsher or direct language.
Examples: “If I pass through some warm, mothy nighttime darkness,
When the hedgehog moves covertly across the lawn,
He worked hard to ensure that these helpless creatures didn’t suffer, one could say.
He was unable to do much for them, and he has since left. – William Hardy
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is a story or description in which specific acts, traits, people, places, or things stand in for other abstractions or ideas.
Examples include the Aesop’s Fables story The Tortoise and the Hare.
When a statement’s form or content allow for several readings and muddle its intended meaning, ambiguity has occurred.
Examples include “O Rose, you’re unwell.
The unseen worm, which flies through the night during a roaring storm, has discovered your bed of crimson delight, and his sinister love is what ends your life. (The Rose by William Blake)
is one of the easiest to comprehend poetic methods out of all the rest. As the term implies, you must give human characteristics to inanimate objects, plants, animals, or any other living thing in order to make your poetry vibrant and full of imagery and description.
Example: Oh, housewife in the evening west,
The shreds are left behind as she sweeps with variously colored brooms. For instance: Oh, housewife in the west in the evening.
Dust the pond when you return! in Emily Dickinson
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The meaning that a term is intended to convey is impartial and objective. Any term with a dictionary definition also has a denotation, regardless of the language or aspect of speech.
Example: “All of a sudden, I noticed a crowd,
several golden daffodils;
beneath the trees and by the lake,
dancing and fluttering in the wind.” Bill Wordsworth
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Using an analogy, a writer can draw a connection between two ideas based on their similarities or connections. By introducing the new topic through a relatable contrast, establishing this link makes it easier for the audience to understand.
Example: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called” (William Shakespeare)
A situation or phrase that has been used so frequently that it is seen as being unoriginal is referred to as a cliché (klee-SHAY). Any aspect of a literary work, such as a certain word, a scene, a particular genre, or a certain character, could be deemed cliche. Since poor writing is typically associated with clichés, the term has a bad connotation.
Example: A heart full of sorrow
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A word’s connotation is when it is used to suggest a certain association different from its denotative, or literal, meaning.
Example: “She’s all princes and states, I” (John Donne)
To emphasize the differences between two people, places, or things, writers frequently employ contrast as a rhetorical device. Contrast is most simply defined as the opposite of two things, emphasizing and elaborating on their contrasts.
Example: “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.” (William Shakespeare)
Just as a figure of speech is a literary device, a metaphor is used to make an implicit or covert comparison between unrelated items. Or, this is employed when a poet tries to resemble two diametrically opposed things or items based on some shared traits.
Example: “An elephant, a hefty house,”
Walking on two tendrils, a melon by Sylvia Plath
Link to Poetic Devices Website
It refers to a topic not covered by the text. The thing here is either nonexistent or inanimate. Here are a few apostrophe usage examples.
Example: “busy old fool, obnoxious Sun,
Why do you call on us in this manner, through windows and through curtains? by John Donne
In everyday discourse, puns are among the most commonly employed figures of speech. They can make you sound smart and occasionally even amusing, which makes them excellent conversation openers.
Example: “Apocalypse shortly
At noon, Ground Zero is headed in our direction. Have a good day. Edward Conti
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An exaggeration is used as part of a figure of speech known as a hyperbole. Exaggerated language is used to emphasize or magnify the impact of something.
Example: “And I will still adore you, my beloved, till the seas run dry.
Until the waves are completely dried, my love
The light also causes the rocks to dissolve. By Robert Burns
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another that it is closely connected to. It is also a rhetorical device used to infer something by making allusions to nearby items.
Example: “O for a vintage draught!” (John Keats) Vintage is used as a metonym for wine here.
A simile is a rhetorical device that contrasts two objects that are distinct from one another but have characteristics. These are typically created by using the words “as” or “like.”
Example: “Is love a delicate thing? It stings like a thorn and is too rough, impolite, and raucous. (Shakespeare)
This figure of speech, which should not be confused with ironies and paradoxes, unites two diametrically opposed notions. This shows that an oxymoron figure of speech is used to make humor out of two conflicting ideas in a single sentence.
Example: “Feather of lead, dazzling smoke, cold fire, bad health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
I feel this love but not this love. (Shakespeare)
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Similar to ironies, these figures of speech highlight something by talking about its polar opposite. In contrast, a paradox does not make the difference as obvious as an irony does.
Example: “To be natural is such a really tough attitude to maintain.” A (Oscar Wilde)
English’s definition of synecdoche describes it as a literary technique in which the primary concept is represented by a name for a minor characteristic of something, or vice versa. Even though synecdoche may initially seem confusing, chances are good that you use it frequently in everyday speech.
Example: “It is said that while I was asleep in my orchard, a serpent stung me, and as a result, the entire of Denmark was ruthlessly exploited by a false report of my death.
But know, thou brave youth, that the serpent that stung thy father now wears his crown.” (Shakespeare)
To convey underlying concepts, poets use symbolism. Symbols can have multiple levels of significance, including those related to places, objects, and actions. Symbolism in the poem deepens its literal meaning.
Example: My stuff is levitating, like enough of a withered leaf to scatter the breezes. I am of one element. — (The Poet)
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English poetic devices with examples for Arranging the Words
Here are poetic devices with examples.
A kenning is a two-word phrase that describes something using metaphors. A kenning poem is a riddle made up of a few lines of kennings that describe someone or something in baffling detail. When meanings are conveyed in a small amount of words, it is frequently referred to as a “compressed metaphor.”
Example: The sea is symbolized by the two-word phrase “whale-road.”
32. Rhyme Scheme:
A rhyme scheme is the arrangement of sounds that occurs at the end of a line or stanza. Rhyme patterns might change line by line, stanza by stanza, or all through the poem.
Example: “The sun is blazing brightly.”
What a beautiful sight!
Line spacing or indentation is used to distinguish one set of lines from other groups of lines in a poem to create stanzas.
Example: As I take in the stunning sunrise
It’s like seeing a beautiful surprise.
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A ballad is a specific kind of narrative poem that is composed as a literary device using a series of four-line stanzas.
Example: John Keats’ La Belle Dame sans Merci
A gravestone inscription or written tribute to a person on a piece of literature is known as an epitaph.
Example: The Best Is Yet To Come.
Haiku is a form of short, unrhymed poetry that originated in Japan. Numerous short poems can use these sentences as their main theme. However, the three lines of five, seven, and five syllables each make up the most common haiku structure. A haiku poem frequently concentrates on a single, powerful emotion or image.
Example: Matsuo Bash’s “The Old Pond”
An ode is a short piece of lyric poetry that typically extols a subject.
Example: John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
The rondeau is distinguished by its two rhymes and rentrement, or refrain, which repeats throughout. It is so named because it employs the word “round” in French.
Example: Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Now welcome, summer” from The Parlement of Fowls.
Triolet’s opening and second lines are both repeated twice, with the second line appearing as the eighth line. Two rhymes make up all of Triolet.
Example: the poetry “How Great My Grief” by Hardy
This French poetry form consists of five three-line stanzas and a concluding quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza being alternately repeated in the succeeding stanzas.
Example: “Do not go gently into that good night” by Dylan Thomas.
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