Definition of Denotation:
The dictionary meaning of a word without any emotional associations.

Example of denotation #1:


The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little less nothing! and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

Example of denotation #2:


And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.


I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics - each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;

denotation poem

Denotation poetry:
  • Definition of denotation
  • Examples of denotation
  • Examples of authors using denotation
  • Explanation of how denotation is used

Why are poetry examples important?

Studying examples of poems using various poetic devices helps such as denotation create an understanding of how those poetry terms work within different types of poetry.  For instance examples of poems using onomatopoeia can illustrate how sounds can be represented in poems.  Likewise, examples of poems using alliteration can shed light on how alliteration affects the rhythm of a poem.  Many poem can be an example of denotation, but sometimes good examples are hard to find.  You'll find relevant, concise poetry examples here. 

Can Poems be examples of more than one poetry term?

Absolutely.  Examples of poems using hyperbole are also examples of figurative language, since hyperbole is considered a type of figurative language.  That's just one example.  Poems usually contain multiple poetic terms and devices like denotation.  The poetry examples contained in this site often link to other poetry devices of which that poem serves as an example.  However, we provide unique examples for each poetry term wherever possible.

Slideshow:    Denotation

Denotation Video

denotation poem

See also:    Connotation