Identify the figure of speech of "how time on a knife-edge can pass" "... a sunlit spire on sawback" "...the nightmare thud"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I believe that the best answers for these are as follows:

The first of these is a metaphor.  The poet is using the idea of being on a knife edge to show what it feels like to be in a dangerous situation where one could fall off (literally or figuratively) at any moment.

The second is alliteration.  Alliteration is defined as using a bunch of words, more or less in a row, that begin with the same sound.  In this case, three of the four words in a row all begin with an "s" sound.

The third is onomatopoeia.  The word "thud" sounds like what it means.  That is the definition of onomatopoeia.

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