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Poetry Tropes

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"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."
Oscar Wilde, The Children of Poets

This index lists tropes having to do with the medium and content of poetry in all its forms.

Compare Literary Tropes, Music Tropes, and Theatre Tropes.

See also Language Tropes and Lit. Class Tropes.


Subcategories: Useful Notes:

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    Devices & Formatting 
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable — Meter that doesn't work out quite right.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal — When words begin with the same sound. This was actually the dominant device in European poetry before rhyme took over.
  • all lowercase letters — Some poets choose not to capitalize any letters in their poems.
  • Anaphora: Many successive verses may start with the same word or group of words, thus giving emphasis to the repeated content.
  • Common Meter — A particularly common syllable-and-rhyme pattern.
  • Double Meaning — Poetry is infamous for its reliance on multiple layers of meaning.
  • Epiphora: A text has consecutive sentences ending with the same string of words, giving it rhythm (and easy rhymes).
  • Motifs — A poem will often focus on a central image or idea.
  • No Punctuation Period — Certain styles call for minimal or entirely absent punctuation.
  • Pun — Poetry often incorporates wordplay, sometimes for comedic effect.
  • Symbolism — Things Represent Other Things quite frequently in poetry.
  • Symploce — The presence of consecutive phrases, usually sentences, that start and end with the same words, without being exactly the same.
    • Rule of Symbolism — If it's symbolic, it doesn't have to make sense.
    • World of Symbolism — A common complaint of high school English students: why does everything have to mean something?
  • Unconventional Formatting — Many poets play with arranging words in unusual ways.
  • Wall of Text — Especially common in prose poetry.

    Genres & Topics