CUET Figure of Speech: Poetic Devices used in Flamingo Poetry

CUET Figure of Speech: Poetic Devices used in Flamingo Poetry will help the aspirants of CUET 2024 to understand the concept in detail.

Definition of Figure of Speech

Oxford Languages defines the figure of speech as “a word or expression used not with its original meaning but in an imaginative way to make a special effect” Language can be written in two ways one is called “figurative language” and another is called ” literal language”.

  • a Figurative language is a form of language that employs the figure of speech; often, poetry and novels are written using this technique.
  • Literal language means exactly what it says on the page. For instance: “I took the bus because it was raining.”

Types of Figure of Speech with Examples

We will discuss some important figures of speech with examples of poems from classes 10 and 12.

1. Imagery

Imagery is a figure of speech that “produces pictures in the minds of the people reading or listening”

Example of Imagery in “My Mother at Sixty-six” By Kamla Das

The poet uses the concept of death and youth by using imagery. “Trees sprinting, merry children spilling.” The poet explains this by comparing her mother’s old age with trees and young children.

2. Simile

simile is “a word or phrase that compares something to something else, using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’, for example, ‘face like a mask’ or ‘white as snow; the use of such words and phrases”

What is a simile?

simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things using the words “like” or “as.” The word comes from the Latin “similis” meaning “similar, like.” They are often used in literature such as poetry or novels, but it is also a device used in film by screenwriters.

Simile in My Mother’s Sixty-six

“face ashen like a corpse,” “as a late winter’s moon.” The poet compares her mother’s old age with a corpse and winter’s moon.

She uses words and phrases like “doze, open-mouthed”, “wan, pale as a late winter’s moon”, to tell us that these are signs of aging. Winter’s moon symbolizes the less shining moon.

3. Personification

In personification, the writer emphasizes humans and nonhumans by comparing them to produce the greatest effect on the reader.

Personification in My Mother at Sixty-six

The poet personifies the young trees and children. The young trees grow very fast as children are very active and are a symbol of youth, while their mother’s face is pale, ashy, and corpse-like.

4. Metaphor

A metaphor is “a word or phrase that is used imaginatively to show that somebody/something has the same qualities as another thing”

Metaphor in My Mother at Sixty-six

“Children spilling” is an example of a metaphor in My Mother at Sixty-six. The action of a child is used for youth, while her mother symbolizes old age. There is a likeness between youth and children as both are in action.

Stephen Spender in his poem, An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum, uses a lot of metaphorical words to explain his point of view on social injustice and class inequalities:

  • The rich schoolchildren are compared to “gusty waves”, which means they are healthy and energetic as compared to slum children.
  • “future painted with a fog”: slum children’s future is like a fog where nothing is visible. Their future is dark and bleak.

Similes and metaphors are both figures of speech that are used to make a comparison between two things that are not alike. The difference is that similes make the comparison by saying that something is like something else but metaphors make the comparison by saying that something is something else.”

5. Symbols

The poet uses symbols to compare and contrast the different things in the poem, An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

  • “squirrel’s game”: Used for escapism from reality. The students want ‘squirrel’s game’ to escape from their pathetic conditions.
  • “civilized dome riding all cities”: The rich people consider them civilized and are least bothered about the inhumane conditions of slums students

6. Repetition:

 In the world of poetry, repetition is in the form of words, phrases, sentences, and stanzas. Repetition emphasizes the idea, and feeling, and creates rhythm in the poem, An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

“Break O break open till they break the town,”

‘ Far, far’

7. Alliteration

“the use of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words that are close together, as in ‘he built a big boat’”

Holding a unique universe undone by you

The letter “u” predominates in this sentence. This sentence utilizes alliteration effectively. Alliteration is a literary device that appears when the second or third letter’s sound occurs multiple times. Additionally, in stressed syllables, alliteration is employed to emphasize a consonant note. It has a rhythmic effect, as can be observed.


  1. Shy away your shyness.
  2. Sally sells sea shells by the seashore.
  3. She was shivering with shock.
  4. Simple sunlight silences is hovering here.
  5. The black sea sky was blaring to burn blue.
  6. She is shivering with shock.
  7. Stop that slouching and sit up straight.
  8. The soldier decided to desert his desert in the desert.

8. Hyperbole

Hyperbole is an overstatement that can be used to emphasize a strong feeling without being taken literally.

For example:

“I was so cold I saw polar bears dancing in the night sky.”

Exaggerating anything intentionally to enhance emphasis, urgency, or excitement is known as hyperbole. Hyperboles are generally used in casual speech as intensifiers.


  1. He wept on an ocean of tears.
  2. The carry bag weighed a ton.
  3. She made the blood to fly.

Polar bears can’t dance (generally). Thus the reference of polar betos dancing in the night sky is an exaggeration of feeling extreme cold.

Class 10 First Flight Poems Literary Devices

9. Apostrophe

When a character addresses something or someone who isn’t there or is unable to react, they use an apostrophe as a figure of speech.

10. Synecdoche

It can be used to identify the whole or to identify the whole by a part.

  1. A fleet of fifty sail left the port.
  2. She has many mouths to feed..
  3. There are so many hands to work in her organisation.
  4. O God, provide everyone the bread.

CUET Figure of Speech: Poetic Devices used in Flamingo Poetry

Poetic Devices and Explanation ” My Mother at Sixty-Six”:

  1. Imagery:
    • “her face ashen like that of a corpse” Explanation: This line creates a vivid image by comparing the mother’s pale face to that of a corpse, invoking a sense of morbidity and frailty.
  2. Simile:
    • “wan, pale as a late winter’s moon” Explanation: This simile compares the mother’s appearance to a late winter’s moon, emphasizing her pallor and fragility through the image of a faint, cold moon.
  3. Alliteration:
    • “Young Trees sprinting” Explanation: Alliteration occurs with the repetition of the “t” sound in “Trees” and “sprinting,” creating a rhythmic effect and enhancing the description of the lively scene.
  4. Metaphor:
    • “merry children spilling out of their homes” Explanation: This metaphor compares the children to a liquid “spilling” out of their homes, suggesting their exuberance and energy as they rush out.
  5. Personification:
    • “my childhood’s fear” Explanation: Personification is used to attribute human emotions, in this case, fear, to childhood itself, highlighting the lasting impact of childhood experiences on the speaker.
  6. Symbolism:
    • “late winter’s moon” Explanation: The late winter’s moon symbolizes the passage of time and the approach of the end of life, reflecting the speaker’s contemplation of mortality and aging.

These poetic devices collectively contribute to the emotional depth and vivid imagery of the passage, allowing the reader to experience the speaker’s complex feelings towards their aging mother.

Poetic Devices and Explanation: Keeping Quiet

  1. Imagery:
    • “Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales” Explanation: This line creates a vivid image of fishermen refraining from harming whales, evoking a sense of peace and harmony between humans and nature.
  2. Personification:
    • “the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands” Explanation: Personification is used to attribute human-like qualities to the action of gathering salt, emphasizing the physical pain or weariness experienced by the man’s hands.
  3. Symbolism:
    • “clean clothes” Explanation: Clean clothes symbolize purity and innocence, contrasting with the violence and destruction associated with wars mentioned earlier in the passage.
  4. Alliteration:
    • “victory with no survivors” Explanation: Alliteration occurs with the repetition of the “v” sound in “victory” and “survivors,” emphasizing the brutal nature of the wars described and the absence of any survivors.
  5. Repetition:
    • “Now I’ll count up to twelve” Explanation: Repetition of the phrase “count up to twelve” emphasizes the speaker’s call for silence and reflection, reinforcing the central theme of the poem.
  6. Irony:
    • “What I want should not be confused with total inactivity” Explanation: The speaker acknowledges the irony in their desire for silence and stillness, contrasting it with the notion of complete inactivity. This highlights the complexity of the speaker’s intentions and desires.

These poetic devices contribute to the contemplative and introspective tone of the poem, urging readers to pause, reflect, and consider the impact of human actions on themselves and the world around them.

Poetic Devices and Explanation: A Thing of Beauty

  1. Alliteration:
    • “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” Explanation: Alliteration occurs with the repetition of the “b” sound in “beauty” and “joy,” emphasizing the connection between beauty and eternal happiness.
  2. Repetition:
    • “Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth” Explanation: Repetition of the phrase “of” emphasizes the persistence of beauty despite challenges and hardships, reinforcing its enduring nature.
  3. Metaphor:
    • “Some shape of beauty moves away the pall” Explanation: Beauty is metaphorically described as a form or shape that dispels darkness or gloom, suggesting its transformative power to uplift spirits.
  4. Personification:
    • “the mid forest brake, Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms” Explanation: Personification is used to attribute human-like qualities to the forest brake, which is described as “rich” and adorned with “fair musk-rose blooms,” enhancing the imagery of natural beauty.
  5. Symbolism:
    • “An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink” Explanation: The “endless fountain” symbolizes a never-ending source of inspiration and joy, pouring from the heavens and enriching human existence with its immortality.
  6. Imagery:
    • “Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon” Explanation: This line creates a vivid image of trees of varying ages providing shade, symbolizing the nurturing and comforting aspects of nature.

Poetic Devices and Explanation: A Roadside Stand

  1. Alliteration:
    • “The little old house was out with a little new shed” Explanation: Alliteration is used with the repetition of the “l” sound in “little,” “old,” and “shed,” creating a rhythmic flow and emphasizing the contrast between the old and new structures.
  2. Personification:
    • “The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead” Explanation: Personification attributes human-like qualities to the traffic, suggesting that it moves with purpose or intention, enhancing the imagery of vehicles moving smoothly along the road.
  3. Metaphor:
    • “And give us the life of the moving-pictures’ promise” Explanation: The phrase “life of the moving-pictures’ promise” metaphorically refers to the desire for a better life or opportunities often depicted in movies, implying the longing for a more fulfilling existence.
  4. Irony:
    • “That the party in power is said to be keeping from us” Explanation: The irony lies in the fact that despite being promised a better life by those in power, the speaker feels that such promises are unfulfilled and inaccessible, highlighting the discrepancy between expectation and reality.
  5. Imagery:
    • “The sadness that lurks near the open window there” Explanation: This line creates a vivid image of sadness lingering near an open window, symbolizing the longing and disappointment experienced by the speaker and evoking a sense of melancholy.
  6. Hyperbole:
    • “To put these people at one stroke out of their pain” Explanation: Hyperbole is employed to exaggerate the desire to relieve the suffering of the people mentioned in the poem, emphasizing the speaker’s frustration and desperation for change.

Poetic Devices and Explanation: Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers

  1. Imagery:
    • “Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen, Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.” Explanation: These lines create vivid imagery of Aunt Jennifer’s tigers depicted in a vibrant and colorful manner, evoking a sense of grace and majesty.
  2. Metaphor:
    • “They do not fear the men beneath the tree; They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.” Explanation: The tigers are metaphorically described as exhibiting “sleek chivalric certainty,” likening their movements to those of noble knights, emphasizing their confidence and fearlessness.
  3. Symbolism:
    • “The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand.” Explanation: The wedding band symbolizes the burden of Aunt Jennifer’s marital obligations and the patriarchal expectations placed upon her, highlighting her subjugation within the marriage.
  4. Personification:
    • “When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.” Explanation: Aunt Jennifer’s hands are personified as being “terrified” and “mastered by” the ordeals she endured, suggesting the enduring impact of her struggles even after her death.
  5. Irony:
    • “The tigers in the panel that she made Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.” Explanation: The irony lies in the fact that while Aunt Jennifer’s life may have been marked by oppression and fear, the tigers she created in her art remain proud and unafraid, symbolizing her inner strength and defiance despite her circumstances.

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