10 Important Poetic Devices for Class 10 with examples


Most used Poetic Devices in Class 10 English Poems 

You must be confused about the different poetic devices and may not be able to identify them. Read further to understand the important figures of speech used in class 10 poems.

Firstly, let us see what a poetic device is-


Definition of Poetic Devices

A “poetic device” refers to anything a poet uses to enhance the literal meaning of their poem, including sounds, forms, rhythms, phrases, and words. Most of the poems are created with the help of these literary devices along with other structural, grammatical, rhythmic, metrical, verbal, and visual elements.

These figures of speech often lend poetry a genuine feeling of beauty when incorporated in an interesting way. The greatest way to express the feelings concealed in the poetry is through the employment of these tactics, which often leave the reader feeling utterly mesmerised.

In general terms, we can say that poetic devices are different ways of writing poetry through which the poet makes the poem interesting, musical and different from other forms of written work.

class 10 english score full marks

Let’s have a look at some of the most commonly used poetic devices in class 10 English poems.


  1. Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of a sound or letter at the beginning of multiple words in a series.


Stop that slouching and sit up straight,

                                                  (Amanda by Robin Klein)


  1. Enjambment

An enjambment is the continuation of a sentence beyond a line break, couplet, or stanza without an expected pause.


the forest that was empty all these days

where no bird could sit

no insect hide

no sun bury its feet in shadow

the forest that was empty all these nights


The poem “The Trees” by Adrienne Rich is a good example of enjambment . Every stanza of this poem has lines continuing to next lines without punctuation.

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

class 10 english score full marks


Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

                      (Dust of Snow by Robert Frost)


This poem is a good example of Enjambment poetic device. The lines of stanzas flow to the next line without any punctuation. 


  1. Imagery

Imagery is a literary device used in poetry, novels, and other writing that uses vivid description that appeals to a readers’ senses to create an image or idea in their head.



Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then

Merrily over—there it is in the water!

                            (The Ball Poem by John Berryman)

The boat came closer to the ship,

But I nor spake nor stirred;

The boat came close beneath the ship,

And straight a sound was heard.” 

                           ( The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)


  1. Irony

Irony has a few different meanings. The most common is the use of tone or exaggeration to convey a meaning opposite to what’s being literally said. A second form of irony is situational irony, in which a situation or event contradicts expectations, usually in a humorous fashion. A third form is dramatic irony, where the audience of a play, movie, or other piece of art is aware of something that the characters are not.



“My name is Ozymandias King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains.”

                                 (Ozymandias by P.B. Shelly)


Ozymandias’s description presents him as a mighty, great, and fierce king, but in reality, there is nothing but a broken, lifeless statue.


  1. Metaphor

A metaphor is when a writer compares the quality of one thing to that of another.



“ I am an orphan, roaming the street.

I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.

The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet. ”

                                                      (Amanda by Robin Klein)


In “silence is golden”, silence is said to be as precious as gold.

In “freedom is sweet”, freedom is said to be like a sweet-tasting fruit.


  1. Simile

The simile, like the metaphor, offers another device for comparison. However, a simile is much more blatant and uses ‘like’ or ‘as’ to draw the comparison.



“ The souls did from their bodies fly,—

They fled to bliss or woe!

And every soul, it passed me by,

Like the whizz of my cross-bow!”

                        ( The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Here the souls are compared to the speed of the crossbow.


  1. Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is a literary and poetic device wherein words are employed to imitate sounds associated with what they describe.



But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine,

Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,

With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm,

He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

                                                      (The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash)


The poet has used these words which are associated with sound  – clatter, clank, jangling.


  1. Personification

Personification is when an inanimate object, animal or idea is given human characteristics.



“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments

Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;

But you shall shine more bright in these contents

Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time”

                                  (Not Marble nor the Gilded Monument by William Shakespeare)


‘Time’ has been called a ‘slut’ and thus, personified.


  1. Symbolism

Poets use symbolism to convey hidden meanings. Places, objects, and actions can all be symbols, with many layers of meaning tied to them. Symbolism adds depth to the literal meaning of the poem.


Example – 

“Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favour fire. ”

                                   (Fire and Ice) 


  • Fire – symbolizes desire with human emotions like lust, fury, cruelty, greed etc..
  • Ice – symbolizes hatred with cold feelings of humans such as rigidity, jealousy, indifference, intolerance etc.


“ The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree ” 

                       (Dust of Snow by Robert Frost)


The poet has used “crow” and “hemlock tree” to symbolize inauspicious things in nature. They also show emotions like dejection, gloom and depression.

class 10 english score full marks


  1. Allusion 

Allusion is noun and a literary device which briefly and indirectly references a person, place, thing, or idea containing cultural, historical, literary, or political significance to the reader or author.



“Dearest frog”, the nightingale

Breathed: “This is a fairy tale –

And you’re Mozart in disguise

Come to earth before my eyes”.

                                 (The Frog and the Nightingale by Vikram Seth)


The nightingale makes a reference to a famous classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“ I am Rapunzel; I have not a care;                         

life in a tower is tranquil and rare;

I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair! “

                                         (Amanda by Robin Klein)


Here, the poet has used the word Rapunzel, who is a fairytale character.

Also See : 


class 10 english score full marks