If you think, we have lost touch of poetry in our day to day life, look back again, today’s pop music scenario is nothing less than poetry. Poetic devices are used since centuries by poets and authours to add a playful effect for the listeners. After all, poetry isn’t always meant to get in the first reading. Sometimes the poet likes to introduce a playful result, hoping that the reader will understand his beautiful attributes. A poetic device is known as a verbal pattern or form which generates a way for the writer to arrange written words meaningfully. Whether it is renaissance art or modern day pop culture, poetic devices have made their place everywhere.
There are numerous instances where artist and authors have used poetic devices and created a beautiful effect within their writing, Afterall the big lion isn’s as mighty and powerful as its edited version: The gory Lion. In the preceding sentence, I have used alliteration to express an elevated version of the phrase. The foundation of this blog is to provide you with every bit of information about poetic devices with various examples so that you can expand your writing style.
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Types of poetic devices
There are hundreds of poetic devices in the English language, and it is virtually impossible to mention each one of them. However, we tried to categorise them into different sections based on the pattern used in poetry.
Meter is known as a rhythmic pattern you can identify in the poetry. These patterns are build up using two types of syllables: stressed and other unstressed. Some syllables in the English language are stressed or in other words, emphasised with regards to other words. For example, some words are often sound identical except for the emphasised word.
- “if I enter first, will you object? “
- “Would you hand me over that object?”
You can notice the word “object” is somewhat stressed in the sentence while the other syllables sound monotonous. English as a language comes up with a different level of stress, and the level of stress shifts depending on the dialect. If you can not identify whether a syllable is best termes as stressed, looking up in the dictionary is a viable option. Dictionary marks stressed syllables with bold, caps or single quotation marks. The syllable “ject” in the object is stressed over to create an effect of the meter.
Some commonly used meter include:
An emphasised syllable followed up by an unstressed one to make the text sounds a little more ominous.
Example: The epic poem “Song of the Witches” by William Shakespeare extracted from his play “Macbeth” contains a perfect example of trochaic meter, lines after lines. let us analyse it,
“Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf…”William Shakespeare
The use of trochaic meter in the preceding poem is easily noticeable where an unstressed one accompanies every stressed syllable.
Iambic meter is termed as a poetic device which is made up using iambs, often compared with a heartbeat, Shakespeare has used the iambic meter in his poems and plays to enhance the beauty of the poetry.
Example: John Keats, one of the prominent figures in romantic poetry wrote in one of his poems “Ode to Autumn”.
“Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,”John Keats
Shakespeare was a master of using iambic meter in his plays such as in Romeo and Juliet he wrote
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief, William Shakespeare
Thus explained, iambic mater is an figurative factor in a number of literal work based on romanticism.
When two unstressed syllables are followed up by one stressed one to create an exceptional effect is known as Anapestic meter. Words such as “contradict” and “understand” are real examples of anapest where both of them contains three syllables where the accent is focused on the final ones.
Example: William Shakespeare in his play “The tempest” wrote
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! Now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.William Shakespeare
Where one stressed or emphasised syllable is followed up by two unstressed ones. People often confuse the dactylic meter with anapestic one. They both are completely opposite in pattern and yet similar and contradicting.
Example: “Robert Browning,” one of the masters of dramatic monologue wrote in his poem “The Lost Leader”
“Just for a handful of silver, he left us,
Just for a rib and to stick in his coat—
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
Lost all the others she lets us devote;
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
So much was theirs who so little allowed:
How all our copper had gone for his service!”Robert Browning
Assonance and Consonance
Along with the repetition of rhythm, many artists also experimented with the repetition of a specific sound. Most of the poets try not to repeat the same sound through the complete poem. Instead, they try to heavily use a sound in one or two lines with similar sound placed together.
The repetition of consonant sounds within phrases, poems and sentences to create a pleasing sound is known as consonance. For example let us try using consonant in one of the sentence
“the black sack of the attack in the black”
Consonance is often used in classical and modern poetry for the elegance and style
Example: Wilfred Owen in his poem ” arms and the boy ” wrote
Let the boy try along this bayonet blade
How cold steel is, and keen with hunger of blood;
Blue with all malice, like a madman’s flash;
And thinly drawn with famishing for flesh. – Wilfred Owen
“She sells seashells by the sea-shore.” We are aware of this tongue twisters in our childhood, but this sentence is also a crucial example of the use of alliteration in poetry. Alliteration is a term to describe as a poetic device in which a series of words start with the same consonant.
Example: William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet
“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes;
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.”William Shakespeare
Assonance is another poetic device that focuses on repetition of vowel sound in the nearby words. A number of assonance examples are available in poetry and prose throughout centuries.
Example: Carl Sandburg in his poem “early moon” wrote
“Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no man knows how and why the first poems came.”Carl Sandburg
We can quickly notice how the vowel “o” is emphasised in the preceding poem. The poetic device based on the repetition of sounds is more famous and visible than mater. While assonance can go unnoticed, alliteration will stand out, and readers can quickly identify it. Assonance and consonance are generally utilised to emphasise the specific phase and to build up the atmosphere.
Metaphor and simile
These poetic devices are instead based on the figure of speech than the form of writing itself. A metaphor is a type of expression that tries to make an implied, implicit a hidden comparison between two things which are directly unrelated but shares some common characteristics. John Keats used an extraordinary amount of metaphor in his poem ” when I have fear” a poem concerned on death and life which he wrote when he was suffering from tuberculosis.
“Before high-pil’d books, in charact’ry
Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain;”John Keats
While metaphor lies in the unrealistic comparison, the simile is also used to create contrasts. The only difference between both poetic devices is the use of words such as “like” and “as” to create the comparison. Therefore it is more direct comparison as compared to the metaphor.
“Elderly American ladies leaning on their canes listed toward me like towers of Pisa.”Valdimir Nabokov in his world renowned poem “Lolita”
The rhythm and sound of these poetic devices are as essential as their placement. The utilisation of poetic device in art is creative and tricky. The greatest poems we love to recite may have been edited over an over again by poet to make them elevated to higher distinctions. So it would be illogical to think poets get it in the first time. Students who wish to create a poem or play can look for assignment help UK, which assists with the meaning and placement of the poetic device at a minimal cost.