Oct 16 / Emma Rogan

Leaving Cert English: Poetic techniques and Imagery

Poetic techniques

Metaphor- Comparing unrelated objects.
Simile- To compare unrelated objects using like, than, or as.
The children were as quiet as mice – simile.
The children were quiet mice- metaphor.
Effect- To make it easier to imagine/visualize.

Personification – giving living characteristics to non-living things - The walls listened carefully.
Effect- Adds drama/interest. Shows the intensity of feelings.

Assonance- The repetition of the vowel sound
Broad assonance-repetition a, o and u sounds.
Effect- Slows down to focus on the images/ thematic content.

Tight assonance- repetition of the i/e sounds.                 
Effect- Quickens the pace/adds a sense of urgency.

Consonance- When the non-vowel sound is repeated.
Effect- Adds aural imagery.

Alliteration – When two or more words begin with the same letter.
Effect- Can make the words stand out, highlights
visual/aural imagery.

Onomatopoeia- word sounds like what it is/does.            Effect- Creates imagery aural imagery.

Anaphora- word(s) repeated at the start of a clause.
Effect-Adds emphasis.

Sibilance – Repetition of the ‘s’, ‘z’, ‘sh’ and ‘ch’ sounds.
Effect- Creates atmosphere; can soothe/ calm.

Imagery - types of imagery

Visual- what you can see. This can be achieved by using descriptive language/ figurative language. Domestic simile 
used by Bishop: ‘his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper’. We can easily picture the scales of the fish.

Olfactory- sense of smell. Example- As I strolled through the bakery, the smell of freshly baked bread tickled my

Gustatory- what you can taste. Example- I was immediately comforted by the syrupy sweetness of the honey-
flavoured cough drop. I literally bit my tongue, and the sharp, tangy metallic taste filled my mouth.

Tactile- feel / touch. Example-The door of the plane swung open, and I was immediately hit by a wall of warm,
humid air. It was official, we landed in Spain. Or think of the whack of a hurl across your knuckles on a bitterly
frosty winter evening.

Aural/ auditory – what you can hear. Links to onomatopoeia. Example-The whistling wind stirred the blades of
grass. The sausages frantically sizzled in the pan.