Practical English Usage
English grammar and vocabulary exercises
In personification, either an inanimate object or an abstract idea is spoken of as though it were endowed with life and intelligence.
An apostrophe is a direct and explicit address either to an absent person or to an abstract or nonhuman entity. Many odes are such an address to a listener who is not literally able to listen. John Keats' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is an apostrophe addressed to an Urn and Samuel Coleridge's, "Reflections of Love' is an apostrophe addressed to an absent woman.
Many apostrophes imply a personification of the nonhuman object that is addressed. If such an address is to a god or other supernatural being to assist the poet in the composition, it is called an invocation.
Here is how John Milton invokes divine guidance at the opening of Paradise Lost.
An apostrophe is a special form of personification.
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