Poetry and Figurative Language

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Poetry is a type of literature written in meter. Meter is the rhythm established by the poem. Figurative language explains the method poets use to describe a factor by comparing another factor. To comprehend poetry and figurative language, this paper uses three distinct poems to define imagery, metaphors, rhyme, and structure, and discusses the importance of figurative language in poetry, and ways in which figurative language communicates to the reader. The poems are “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, “Chosen” by Marilyn Nelson, and “When in disgrace with Fortune and Men’s Eyes” by William Shakespeare (Theil, 2005, p. 297, 307, 311).

Imagery, Metaphors, Rhyme, and Structure Definition

Imagery can appeal to the senses, or to the imagination. Like similes, metaphors identify one idea or object to another in various ways. Metaphors clarify the meaning by expanding the senses to enlighten the reader. Rhyme structure in poetry occurs more frequently than any other structure; rhyme describes two words that sound alike. Rhyme helps to determine the structure of a poem by unifying a poem, and the repeated sounds connect one concept to another. Poetry structure includes alliteration, haiku, sonnet, limerick, acrostic, minor loop, terza rima, cinquain, alphabet in sequence, diamante, shape, and clerihew.

Alliteration takes place when the opening sounds of a word starting either with a vowel or consonant repeats in close succession. Haiku poems use metrical units, and this type of poetry describes almost anything, and the contents maybe to technical for non-poetry readers to understand. Sonnet poems have 14 lines and specific rhyming patterns. Limerick poems include simple words with a rhyme scheme. Acrostic poetry involves short vers...

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Describing a situation and relating that situation to something else occurs frequently in poetry. Figurative language differentiates word meaning in symbolic ways that helps to broaden perceptions and consciousness. Imagery, metaphors, rhyme, and structure definition helps to reveal the diverse elements of figurative language in poetry. Figurative language and ways figurative language communicates to the reader confirms the significant characteristics in poetry through word forms and structure.

Works Cited

McCann, P. (2004). Mirror Loop. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from http://home.vicnet.net.au/~poems/ps/html/mirror_loop.html

McCann, P. (2004). Poetry Structures. Retrieved April 15, 2011 from


Thiel, D. (2005). Crossroads: creative Writing Exercises in Four Genres. New York, NY: Longman.

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