Poetry Glossary: Eight Different Poetic Techniques

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Throughout the years, many different types of poetry have been created and many still are emerging, therefore meaning there are many different devices used in poetry; poetic devices form the basis for any written piece. In this post, I will identify and explain, 8 different poetic techniques.

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Colloquialism – Frequently used in the poetry of Shakespeare, colloquialism is the act of using informal language in poetry and writing; the form of the language is of that spoken in a normal conversation.


Dissonance – In poetry, dissonance is the use of contradictory language, often disturbing the fluidity of words:

“The clinching interlocking claws, a living, fierce, gyrating wheel,

Four beating wings, two beaks, a swirling mass tight grappling,

In tumbling turning clustering loopsstraight downward falling.”

– ‘The Dalliance of Eagles’ – Walt Whitman


Hyperbole – Often used to express time or used in sarcastic manner, hyperbole, is the exaggeration of words for emphasis. It is a predominant device used in poetry, especially in that written for children.

Sonnet C –

…But thine shall always be the one for me.

My love for you is always a-fresh

For our passion shallt never go old and crusty.


Jargon- Jargon is the act of using a specific phrase, stereotypically only known, to a group of people or thing.


Oxymoron –  Similar to dissonance, oxymoron are words of phrases which contradict each-other. For example:

“I am busy doing nothing.”

As a result of using oxymoron, tension and drama may be created…


Pathetic Fallacy – An alternative version of a simile; pathetic fallacy, is the comparison of human feelings and behaviour, to an inanimate object or thing.


Personification – In writing, personification is the act of applying human qualities, to a non-human thing.


Soliloquy – Customarily used in the works of many playwrights and poets, soliloquy is the direct expression of a person’s thoughts or feelings, on stage (monologue), or in a text.

“Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again, and make

Perpetual day; or let this hour be but

A year, a month, a week, a natural day,

That Faustus may repent and save his soul!”

– ‘Dr Faustus’ – Christopher Marlowe


There is a new writing competition, on the theme of ‘Fear’:

The piece may follow any format, however it must consist of less than 500 words.


To enter, please send me your work using the ‘Contact’ section, or email me at:



The closing date for the competition is the 10th of March.


Thank you for taking part!