What are Poetic Devices


Hola peeps, how are you guys doing? Here I come again with a new topic to help you out in academics. So today you will read something related to poetry. We all love to listen and read poems. Throughout our lives, we have read and heard numerous poems from our grandparents or parents in schools. Many of you must be doing an English literature course. You have a good sense of poems. But have you ever noticed that all poems are different in style and manner in which they were written?  Have you ever noticed a different pattern of poems? Those patterns are known as poetic devices. This is our topic for today, what are poetic devices? You will shortly read about poetic devices in detail but first, let’s discuss how I am going to help those who are in the literature field.

If you are in the field of literature, then you must be having the issues of making an assignment. Writing assignment on poems is not a problem but scoring a good grade is. You may have the ability to complete an assignment on time, but you lack quality. So what could be the possible reason for not producing the quality especially in assignments of the poem? The answer is you are not aware of the intricacies of poetry. This is the reason you go for assignment help and get your work done by someone else. But today after reading my blog, you might get a good hand over the intricate areas of poetry.

So let’s have a look at what you are going to read in it:

  • What are poetic devices?
  • Poetic devices based on the sounds of words
  • Poetic devices based on the meaning of Words
  • Poetic devices based on arrangements of the words

What are poetic devices?

When we discuss a poet, we should understand that he has limited materials to create his masterpiece.  He can only use words to express ideas and feelings. When you have only a weapon, then you need to use it sensibly. So as with the words, poetry demands high order words. Use words in the right way and create a masterpiece. Words should be sound right to the listener and delight the ears. But keep in mind it should have a meaning. Words should also encourage the depth of human thoughts, empathy, and feelings. Words in poems should appear simple, self-contained and natural. 

The English language has a wide range of words which can convey any emotion and feelings. So basically writing a good poem demands a good arrangement of words. There is a great range of methods and plans of the arrangement of these words. These methods or plans are known as POETIC DEVICES. These devices help in creating strong expressions which appeal the readers. Poetry is read silently, but it should have a feeling of being spoken aloud. Readers should also have the ability of hearing, to understand the artful work performed by poets.

Poetic devices based on the sounds of words

Sounds of words create a magical effect in reader’s mind. When word clustered together, they create a specific effect when readers hear it. These sounds can hit readers in various ways. They can bring various emotions like anger, happiness, love, hate or dislike. Let’s see below these various poetic devices based on sounds.


In literary work, alliteration can be defined as the noticeable repetition of same first consonant sounds in close syllables within a group of words. For instance,

  • Fast and Furious,
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
  • Andrew patted the pony,
  • Kim’s kid kept kicking like crazy.

There are numerous examples of alliteration you can find over the internet or in libraries in various texts. Alliteration helps the reader to focus on a particular section in text. It creates rhythm and mood and may represent a specific connotation.


It is a repeated vowel sound in words that are together or near each other in a sentence. You will find assonance in sounds that are accented or stressed in a line. For instance

  • That solitude which suits abstruser musings
  • on a proud round cloud in white high night

As you can see in both the examples sound of vowels are repetitive. I have highlighted the assonance for a better understanding of this poetic device.


Consonance is also like Assonance, but here consonants are near or together and repetitive. Here the syllables are called as consonants and are placed in the end. For instance,

  • Boats into the past
  • Cool Soul
  • He struck a streak of bad luck.
  • When Billie looked at the trailer, she smiled and laughed.


 It is an unmusical series of unpleasant sounds which helps to convey disorder. You can see below examples for better understanding.


  • “I detest war because cause of war is always trivial.”
  • “Where spouting pillars spoor the evening sky,”
  • “Of dynamos, where hearing’s leash is strummed…”

Here the highlighted words are the examples of cacophony. Poets or writers, use this form of poetic device to show discordant situation with the help of discordant words. This creates an image of unpleasantness in the minds of the readers. Writer’s words are important to bring the cacophony effect in the write-up.


This poetic device is derived from the Greek word euphonos, means sweet-voiced. Euphony can be defined as the use of words or phrases that are used to bring a melodious sound effect. Euphony gives a pleasing effect to reader due to the repetition of vowels and smooth consonants. Writers use this device with other poetic devices such as assonance, rhyme, alliteration to bring pleasing and soothing effects.


  • Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
  • Success is counted sweetest
    By those who ne’er succeed.
  • Courage!’ he said, and pointed toward the land,
    ‘This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.’

Euphony brings a peaceful and pleasant feel in the literary work. Readers will enjoy such kinds of literary work. Long vowels create a good melodious effect than consonants or short vowels. Also, enunciation and pronunciation become easy. Euphony also helps in conveying messages to the audience more effectively.


It is a repetition of words having the same sound at the end of a line in poems. It brings musicality to the poems. Rhyme differentiates poems from prose. It gives a pleasing effect in the poem. Children can easily recite and learn poem because of rhyme. Rhyme makes the poem more enjoyable and fun.


  • Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
  • Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
    Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
  • Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow;
    And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

Now after reading about poetic devices based on sounds, next one is poetic devices based on the meaning of the words. Let’s read about them in detail to know more about it.

Poetic devices based on the meaning of Words


We all know several words convey more than one meaning. Poet uses words which used in with other words depicts a thought. Some significant words carry layers of meaning. Let’s have a look at such words.


Allegory is a poetic device in which abstract ideas are portrayed through characters, events, and figures. A writer can employ this in prose and poetry to tell a story to the audience. This help in explaining the idea on which the poem is based. Often, the objective is to teach a moral lesson.


 The Pilgrim’s Progressby John Bunyan and The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser are two major allegorical works in English.


An allusion is an indirect reference to a place, person or an idea of political, historical or cultural significance. It is usually a brief reference which does not describe the person or thing in a detailed manner. It is more like a passing comment. Writer while using allusion expects a reader to understand it with the knowledge he/she has.


  • Don’t act like a Romeo in front of her.” Here in this sentence, Romeo refers to Shakespeare’s work. Romeo signifies a passionate lover. 
  • This place is like a Garden of Eden.” Here Garden of Eden is an allusion to Garden of God in Genesis. 


This poetic device depicts a contradictory situation. It refers to a situation that ends up in a different way than expected. Irony describes the difference between reality and appearance.


Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

Irony brings added meanings to a situation or in a poem. It helps in developing reader’s interest. Irony makes the poem more intriguing. It also compels a reader to use imagination to seek the hidden meaning in lines.


It is a comparison between two, unlike things. It shows the resemblance between two completely different things. Here the comparison is direct and not hidden. Unlike a simile, here we do not use words such as ‘Like’ for the comparison.


  • “She’s all states, and all princes, I …”
  • Before high-pil’d books, in charact’ry
    Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain;”
  • Busy old fool, unruly sun,
    Why dost thou thus,
    Through windows, and through curtains call on us?”


In oxymoron, two contradictory ideas are put together side by side or in a sentence to create a good effect.


Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!O anything, of nothing, first create!
O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feels I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

Here in the above lines, we can see how contradictory words put together, like Loving-hate, bright-smoke, cold-fire, sick health, waking sleep. We can easily find many oxymoron words in these lines.


It is a poetic device in which an animal, idea or thing is given human characteristics. The Non-human object is depicted like humans. We provide human quality to non-human things.


  • “When well-appareled April on the heel
    Of limping winter treads.”
  • “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
    Is hung with bloom along the bough,
    And stands about the woodland ride
    Wearing white for Eastertide.”
  • “Have you got a brook in your little heart,
    Where bashful flowers blow,
    And blushing birds go down to drink,
    And shadows tremble so?”


A simile is a way of making a comparison. It shows the similarity between two opposite things. Simile use words such as like or as to draw a comparison.


  • “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
    That’s newly sprung in June;
    O my Luve’s like the melodie
    That’s sweetly played in tune.”
  • “Will there really be a morning?
    Is there such a thing as day?
    Could I see it from the mountains
    If I were as tall as they?
    Has it feet like water-lilies?
    Has it feathers like a bird?
    Is it brought from famous countries.”

A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the help of the words “like” or “as.” Therefore, it is a direct comparison.

Poetic devices based on arrangements of the words


In this kind of poetic devices, words are arranged by the poet. These arrangements of words give meaning to the poem and make it appealing. These arrangements are arbitrary and sometimes mechanical. Let’s see poetic devices which are based on the arrangement of the words.


Verse denotes a single line of a poem. In general, this term is also used for a stanza or a specific part of poetry.

There are two types of verses. One is free verse, and the other is blank verse.

Free verse

In this, a poem does not have a set meter, and no rhyming scheme is present. Also, the poem doesn’t have any set pattern. Often poets use this to hide their fluctuation of thoughts.


After the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds;
After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks,
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship:
Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves—liquid, uneven, emulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,Where the great Vessel, sailing, and tacking, displaced the surface

Blank verse

In blank verse also, you will not see the presence of the rhyming scheme. But it has iambic pentameter. Poet uses iambic pentameter to showcase larger than life events, and this creates a deep impact on the audience.


“Sweet pet by day, hunter by night. She sleeps,
she eats, she plays. My feet, caught in white paws.
She’s up the fence, watching her prey – a bird.
Poor thing, better run quick, ’cause watch, she’ll pounce!
She’ll sweetly beg for fuss, but don’t be fooled.
‘Cause one minute she’ll purr and smile, then snap!
She’ll spit and hiss – and oh – surprise! A mouse.
He’s dead. A gift. Retracts her claws. Miaow!
Figure of eight between my legs, looks up
at me and purrs. The sound pulls my heartstrings.

Rhyme scheme

It can be defined as the pattern of rhyme that comes at the last of every verse in the poem. It is a structure of words used by poets to give rhyming effects. There are several types of rhyme schemes.

  • Alternate rhyme:
  • Ballade
  • Monorhyme:
  • Couplet
  • Triplet
  • Enclosed rhyme
  • Terza rima rhyme scheme
  • Keats Odes rhyme scheme
  • Limerick
  • Villanelle


  • The people along the sand           
    All turn and look one way.            
    They turn their back on the land.  
    They look at the sea all day.          
    As long as it takes to pass            
    A ship keeps raising its hull;        
    The wetter ground like glass        
    Reflects a standing gull.              

The rhyme scheme it follows is ABABCCDD

  • As I drew nearer to the end of all desire,            
    I brought my longing’s ardor to final height,    
    Just as I ought. My vision, becoming pure,        
    Entered more and more the beam of that high light         
    That shines on its own truth. From then, my seeing          
    Became too large for speech, which fails at a sight…      

Here the rhyme scheme is ABABCB. This rhyme scheme is an example of terza rima tercet.


So moving towards the conclusion, let’s have a recall of things we have discussed. I have started this blog with the definition of poetic devices, their purpose in the poem and in other literary works. Then secondly, you I talked about poetic devices based on the sounds of the words. All the types you can see in it. Thirdly, I have discussed the poetic devices based on the meaning of the words. Then, at last, I have discussed the poetic devices based on the arrangements of the words. You can clearly see and learn about various kinds of poetic devices and uses of it in the poem. If you find difficulty in making an assignment of poetry, then go for online assignment help. Experts will provide you with the best assignments based on work. please provide your feedback to help me in writing more informative blogs.

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