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What are examples of symbolism in poetry?

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Quick Answer

Examples of symbolism in poetry include a rainbow as a symbol of hope and good tidings, the moon being used to represent isolation and fatigue, and a river as a symbol for lost memories. Symbolism in poetry is often used to strengthen the poet's words.

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Full Answer

Symbolism is a type of literary device and may not always be obvious on the first readthrough of a poem. Specific nouns and verbs can be used to represent traits, concepts and aspects. Another example of symbolism is the phrase "a new dawn." Not only does the phrase symbolize a brand new day, it also symbolizes a chance to start things over again.

Other literary devices include allegory, alliteration, antithesis, anastrophe and analogy. Literary devices can either be literary techniques or literary elements. Literary elements are used as a way to interpret and analyze, such as the setting, plot and theme, while literary techniques are used as a way to express an artistic meaning through language, as when a hyperbole or metaphor is employed. Depending on the specific interpretation, literary techniques and elements can sometimes be used interchangeably. Knowing various different literary devices helps the reader understand what the writer or poet is trying to say.

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