English LanguageStart - Smart Words


Poetry is a creative way to learn English writing, and allows you the opportunity to express yourself.
English learning should sometimes be a thing of beauty, and learning to read and write poetry is a great opportunity for self-expression.

Our English advice focuses on helping the English learner to understand poetry at a deeper level and become more adept at writing good English prose.
For a deeper understanding, read the text below and learn to analyse poetry.

Writing Poetry — Poetic Devices


Similes make a comparison between two objects using a specific word or comparison such as "like", "as", or"than".

'We watched the ghostly dancers spin
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.'(by: Oscar Wilde)


Metaphors make a comparison between two objects with the intent of giving clearer meaning to one of them. Often forms of the "to be" verb are used, such as "is" or "was", to make the comparison.
'The boy was a helpless bird waiting for its mother.'

Isocolon parallelism

If the writer uses two parallel structures.
'The bigger they are, the harder they fall.'

Tricolon parallelism

If there are three structures.
'...that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.' (Abraham Lincoln)


Using no conjunctions to create an effect of speed or simplicity.
'Veni. Vidi. Vici. ('I came. I saw. I conquered.') (Julius Caesar)
'Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt.'


Using many conjunctions to achieve an overwhelming effect.
'This term, I am taking biology and English and history and math and music and physics and sociology.'
All those 'ands' make the student sound like she is completely overwhelmed.


Arrangement in order of increasing importance.
'Let a man acknowledge his obligations to himself, his family, his country, and his God.'


Contrary ideas expressed in a balanced sentence.

It can be a contrast of opposites.
'Evil men fear authority; good men cherish it.'

Or it can be a contrast of degree.
'One small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind. (Neil Armstrong)'