What is the "part of speech" in the provided poetry excerpts?

“Love like a burning city in the breast.” --Edna St. Vincent Millay
“I’m a riddle in nine syllables,/An elephant, a ponderous house,/A melon strolling on two tendrils.” --Sylvia Plath
“The wind stood up and gave a shout./He whistled on his fingers and/Kicked the withered leaves about/And thumped the branches with his hand/And said he’d kill and kill and kill,/And so he will.” --James Stephens
“Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour” -- William Wordsworth
“you fit into me/like a hook into an eye/a fish hook/an open eye” – Margaret Atwood
“And I will love thee still, my dear,/Till a’ the seas gang [go] dry./Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,/And the rocks melt w’ the sun;” –Robert Burns
“A little rule, a little sway,/A sun beam on a winter’s day,/Is all the proud and mighty have/Between the cradle and the grave,” -- John Dyer
“Guillotines are painful, but / There’s nothing like a paper cut!”-- J. Patrick Lewis
“The child’s cry opens like a knife blade.” – Donald Hall
“Little boys lie still, awake, / Wondering wondering, / Delicate little boxes of dust” – James Wright

Expert Answers

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I will help as I can; here are definitions of literary devices that should identify all of the quotes. With those I'm not sure about, I've entered possibilities. Even when doing research, not all websites agree...

SIMILE: Those quotes that use "like" to compare two dissimilar things are similes. (I think there are three of these...but not Lewis.)

METAPHOR: Comparisons that are made without using "like" or "as" are metaphors. Example: "You are the sunshine of my life."

APOSTROPHE: Not to be confused with the punctuation mark, apostrophe is the act of addressing some abstraction or personification [person] that is not physically present

PERSONIFICATION: A trope in which abstractions, animals, ideas, and inanimate objects are given human character, traits, abilities, or reactions. Personification is particularly common in poetry, but it appears in nearly all types of artful writing.

Repetition- The return of a word, phrase, stanza form, or effect in any form of literature. Repetition is an effective literary device that may bring comfort, suggest order, or add special meaning to a piece of literature

METONYMY: Using a vaguely suggestive, physical object to embody a more general idea. The term metonym also applies to the object itself used to suggest that more general idea. Some examples of metonymy are using the metonym crown in reference to royalty or the entire royal family, or stating "the pen is mightier than the sword" to suggest that the power of education and writing is more potent for changing the world than military force.

Here's one I can't be sure of because of how it has been identified on two different sites:   The quote about the guillotine is either...

MEIOSIS: Understatement, the opposite of exaggeration: "I was somewhat worried when the psychopath ran toward me with a chainsaw."


PARADOX (also called oxymoron): Using contradiction in a manner that oddly makes sense on a deeper level. Common paradoxes seem to reveal a deeper truth through their contradictions, such as noting that "without laws, we can have no freedom." Someone even mentioned oxymoron, but I can't be sure.

"A little rule / a little sway..." is a kind of verse: called either a rhyme or rhyming verse; it's a poem.

Hope these definitions are a help.

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