Posted in Writing

Poetic Devices

Below is a table of various poetic devices and their meanings. Over the past year I’ve done articles on individual ones, but here are I am putting them all together in one post. These are just some of them.

Poetic DevicesMeaningExample
AssonanceRhyming of the same
vowel sounds
Leaves blew in the breeze
AlliterationThe occurrence of the same letter or
sound at the beginning of adjacent
or closely connected words.
Sweet singing doves
MetaphorThis is where an object in, or the subject of,
a poem is described as being the same
as another otherwise unrelated object.
The sand is a warm blanket
SimileA figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind. It’s used to make a description more vivid.As fast as a cheetah.
PersonificationGiving an inanimate object human characteristics.The moon smiled back.
ImageryUsed in poetry, novels, or other writing that uses
vivid description that appeals to the readers’ senses. This creates an image or idea in their head.
The leaves sounded like clapping hands.
AllusionAn expression intended to
call something to mind
without mentioning it specifically. It’s a hint
towards something.
Chocolate is his kryptonite.
Superman is alluded to but not mentioned.
HyperboleExaggerated statements or not meant
to be taken literally
I am so hungry I could eat a whole side of beef.
AllegoryA story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted
to reveal a hidden meaning,
like a moral or political moral.
Animal Farm by George Orwell is an example of an allegory.
ConsonanceThe repetition of consonant sounds within
a line of text.
The boss had a loss.
Molly remained jolly.
RepetitionThe act of repeating something that has already been said. Used to create effect.Time after time.
Over and over.
EnjambmentThe continuation of a sentence or phrase from one line of poetry to the next.Birds fly
above a

dew covered
grassy meadow.
MeterIn poetry, meter is the basic rhythmic structure of a verseiambic pentameter
trochaic foot
anapestic foot
(More on these in another post)
Posted in Writing


Definition: (from “A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance”.


  • His hand on my shoulder is a frigid icicle.
  • The house was hot furnace.
  • The sand is a blanket underneath me.
  • The wildflowers are a color wheel.
  • The stain was an annoying fly; always around and refusing to go away.

As you can tell by these examples, pictures are created within the readers mind that heightens their reading experience. They pull the reader into the story.

Posted in Writing

Metaphor and Simile

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on

Comparisons, we all make them whether we are aware of it or not. We do this for emphasis in making clear a point we’re trying to make. In writing we use comparisons for the same reason, but add to that, visuals. If we want our readers to know just how big something is, we need to go beyond using the word big or huge or even gargantuan. Readers want to SEE the hugeness. Two forms of comparison writers use to accomplish this is:

Simile–Comparing using the words like or as.

  • His mouth was thick like paste.
  • The cat’s eyes glowed in the dark like twin moons.
  • He smile was as bright as the sun.

Metaphor–A direct comparison.

  • The warm sand is a blanket.
  • The sound of his laughter was a dogs bark.
  • The moon is a lightbulb.

Posted in Writing

Words As Clay

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on

You’re in the middle of writing a story. You are at a point in your creation where you need to add some friction or a tense moment. You know what needs to go into the scene. You can see it in front of you (so to speak). But, what can you do to intensify the suspense? Yes, you know what will cause it, but how can you bring it more to life and jump off the page? Word choice. Not just any choice of words either. You need words with certain sounds that, when put together, bring about a certain feeling or whatever feeling you’re trying to convey.

What sounds in the following sentences add to the intended feeling?

  1. Tension–The stranger’s body thunked to the ground, when the knife pierced his chest.
  2. Eerie–The air’s cold finger touched the back of my neck in spite of the warm breeze coming in off the lake. The shadow wafted over the sand, paused, then glided onward.
  3. Joy–The shiny bells glistened in the candlelight, as the children opened their presents.
  4. Sadness–Tears formed in the corner of her eyes then trickled down her cheeks as she gazed into the casket that contained the mother she never got to know.

Whichever sounds you use in your writing is up to you, but using various literary devices can certainly help with this. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Assonance
  2. Alliteration
  3. Personification
  4. Metaphor
  5. Simile
  6. Allusion
  7. Onomatopoeia
  8. Imagery
  9. Foreshadowing

In future posts I will cover each of these more in depth. In this post I just wanted to bring them to the surface. I know though that we use these devices regularly in our writing without thinking about them. But, when you are writing a particular scene and need to create a certain feeling and nothing is coming to you, then the above devices are a great arsenal to draw from.