Poetic Devices

Selected and Defined
by Judi Moreillon, Teacher-Librarian
Sabino High School
Tucson, Arizona

Examples from Sabino High School Poets

Fall 2003

Personal Mask by Kim Troyan

Personal Mask
by Kim Troyan

Personal Mask by Kayla Castro
Personal Mask

The following poetic devices can be used in both poetry and prose compositions.

The examples given are from personal mask poems composed by Ms. Roderick's ceramics students at Sabino High School (2002-2003).

Read through the terms and examples. Then answer the question at the end of this page.

Term Meaning Example
alliteration repetition of the initial consonant sounds terrible truths and lullaby lies
assonance repetition of vowel sound mystery disguised within
consonance repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowel sounds gloomy woman

language that evokes sensory images



drip of ruby teardrops (aural/sound)
to wake up where the green grass grows (visual/sight)
lips like cool sweet tea (oral/taste)
streaming through a velvet sky (tactile/touch)
the stench of the underworld (olfactory/smell)


internal rhyme

rhyming that occurs within the line
(rather than at the end)
piece of me emerges
metaphor comparison of unlike things
(made without using like or as)
I am the "Lone Star"
Personal Mask by Matt Richards Personal Mask by Matt Richards
onomatopoeia a word that imitates the sound it represents Boo! Who?
personification giving human qualities or characteristics
to animals or objects
tears of amber fall from my soul
rhyme a pattern of words that contains similar sounds
at the end of the line
life for me
is wild and free
rhyme scheme a repeated pattern of rhymed words
at the end of the line
lusty eyes (A)
passionate cries (A)
rich blood, (B)
bitter sweat (C)
she/he loves (D)
and dies (A)
Personal Mask by Sandra Hallquist Personal Mask by Sandra Hallquist
simile a comparison using like or as notes dance across the page like stars twinkle in the night sky
stanza a group of poetic lines (also called a verse) Like glistening sun
and moon like day and gloomy night
like pure earth and gentle clouds
transformation - life and death
symbol an object or action that means more
than its literal meaning
always open like a rosebud about to bloom
(a young girl)

Which of the above poetic devices can you identify in the following published poems?

"Mask" by Carl Sandburg

"Aztec Mask" by Carl Sandburg

"We Wear the Mask" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar

"Hiding in the Mask" by Ellen Bauer

Additional Resource:
Rhetorical Figures in Sound: The American Rhetoric Web site provides examples of forty different figures of speech. Each figure of speech is defined and followed by multiple examples that include audio or video clips of the examples, many of which are delivered by famous actors or political figures.

  Personal Mask by Dottie Miles
Personal Mask by Dottie Miles
Personal Mask by Randi Grossman
Personal Mask by Randi Grossman

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