Allegory
A figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than the literal. Teaches a lesson through symbolism

Alliteration
consists in repeating the same consonant sound at the beginning of two or more words in close succession

Anaphora
repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis.

Anastrophe
stopping short of a complete thought, leaving the unseaid portion to the reader’s imagination.

Aposiopesis
address to an imaginary or absent person

Apostrophe
The repetition of similar vowel sounds in successive words.

Asyndeton
A literary device in which conjunctions are committed from a series of related clauses

Caesura
audible pause that breaks up a line of verse

Dactyl
A poetic foot consisting of one long and two short vowels.

Chiasmus
“to shape like the letter ?”; arrangement of words in an ABBA word order, most common with pairs of nouns and adjectives.

Diaeresis
The separation of a vowel, often a diphthong, into two distinct syllables.

Diastole
The lengthening of short syllables.

Ecphrasis
A long and drawn out description of a piece of artwork.

Elision
The blending of a word that ends in a vowel with a following word that begins with a vowel or a vowel preceded by m

Ellipsis
Omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues

Golden Line
A line that consists of two nouns, two adjectives, and one noun in N1 N2 V A1 A2 form

Framing
the enclosure of a line or verse by placing two closely related words, such as a noun or a modifying adjective, at the beginning or end of a word

Enjambment
the continuation of a unit of thought beyond the end of one verse and into the first few feet of the next.

Hendiadys
use of two words connected by a conjunction, instead of subordinating one to the other, to express a single complex idea

Hiatus
The avoidance in meter of elision between one word ending in a vowel and another beginning in a vowel

Hyperbole
An exaggeration for rhetorical effect

Hypermetric Line
Having one or more syllables than necessary in a line of verse, when a hexameter ends with a syllable that can elide with the first syllable of the next line.

Hysteron Proteron
The reversal of the natural or logical order of ideas

Ictus
The down beat when the poetry is set to music

Irony
the use of words with meanings contrary to the situation

Litotes
a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, “It was not a pretty picture.”)

Metonymy
substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in ‘they counted heads’)

Metaphor
a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity

Onomatopoeia
using words that imitate the sound they denote

Personification
representing an abstract quality or idea as a person or creature

Polyptoton
repetition of a word in a different case or inflection in the same sentence

Polysyndeton
the use, for rhetorical effect, of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural

Prolepsis
The anticipation of possible objections in order to answer them in advance

Praeteritio
the inclusion of something by pretending to omit it (not to mention your salary, but I don’t think you can afford this)

Simile
a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)

Spondee
A poetic foot consisting of two long vowels.

Synchisis
interlocking word order (ABAB)

Syncope
The contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in the reduction of never to ne’er

Synecdoche
using a part of something to represent the whole thing

Synizesis
The contraction of two words originally belonging to two seperate syllables into one syllable without forming a dipthong

Systole
Shortening of a long syllable

Tmesis
A figure of speech in which a word of set phrase is separated into two parts, with other words between them

Transferred Epithet
An adjective modifying one noun although it should modify another (to shake an angry finger)

Tricolon Crescens
a series of three words or phrases, building in intensity

Zeugma
use of a word to govern two or more words though appropriate to only one