When friend see recurring letters or valuation in a poem, you might think that alliteration. But it may actually be assonance or another type of consonance instead. Keep analysis to discover the difference between these three devices, and also how poets use each because that auditory effect.

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alliteration assonance consonance in poetry

Poetic Sound Devices

Alliteration, assonance, and consonance room all poetic sound devices. They use repetition to develop sounds and collection the mood in ~ a poem. These sounds can be pleasing if the poet wants the leader to feeling relaxed, abrasive if the reader should feel tense, or any type of other mood.

The difference between alliteration vs. Assonance vs. Consonance isn’t together tricky as it seems. Below are the interpretations for every sound device:

alliteration – recurring initial consonant sounds in many wordsassonance – recurring vowel sound in multiple wordsconsonance – repeated consonant sound in many words

You may notice that the definitions of alliteration and consonance room similar. Store in mind the that alliteration entails the first consonant sound in multiple words, while consonance can appear anywhere in words (typically at the end). The sound devices occur in rapid succession, commonly within several words in a row or in a line.

rebab.net the Alliteration

Alliteration is the most basic sound maker to determine in a poem. Because it requires the an initial letter or combined sound in two or an ext words, readers deserve to track this repetition fairly easily. Some basic rebab.net the alliteration would include:

Roy ran in the raging rain.I slipped slyly right into the slow, slippery sled.Her brown braid brushed the bridge of her brow.“Wait,” whispered Wendy, her gaze wandering wistfully.

Here is an instance of alliteration provided for poetic effect. Emily Dickinson’s city “Fame is a fickle food” offers alliteration not only in the title, but also throughout the poem:

Fame is a fickle food

Upon a changing plate

Whose table when a

Guest but not

The second time is set.

Whose crumbs the crows inspect

And with ironic caw

Flap past it to the

Farmer’s Corn—

Men eat of it and also die.

(“Fame is a fickle food,” Dickinson)

Notice just how Dickinson pairs certain words with alliteration: fame/fickle, second/set, crumbs/crows/caw, flap/farmer. Yet in the last line, which bring man’s death, the alliterative framework breaks down. You can read much more rebab.net the alliteration in city to help you determine the means poets use the device for different effects.

rebab.net that Assonance

Assonance, likewise known together “vowel rhyme,” can affect a poem’s mood together alliteration does. The collection typically appear in the center of the word. Because that example:

Water falls across the autumn rocks.The green field gleams in the warm sunbeams.“Row much more slowly,” bellowed the old, bony crone.A dismayed baby wailed nearly all day.

You may observe that the vowels are not the same from word come word. In fact, just the collection sound is compelled to complement in assonance, no the vowel itself. That’s how a pattern choose “falls across” is still an example of assonance.

Read the very first stanza the “In a Garden” by Amy Lowell for an example of calming assonance:

Gushing from the mouths of stone men

To spread at ease under the sky

In granite-lipped basins,

Where iris dabble your feet

And rustle to a happen wind,

The water fills the garden with its rushing,

In the midst the the quiet of close-clipped lawns.

(“In a Garden,” Amy Lowell)

These repeated sounds stand for the various noises one might hear in a garden. Check out additional assonance poetry rebab.net to watch how numerous ways vowels can change the sound the a poem.


rebab.net that Consonance

Consonance is similar to alliteration in that it provides the repeat of consonant sounds. In fact, alliteration is a form of consonance that occurs at the start of a word. Other rebab.net may uncover the repeated consonant sound in the center or end of the word. Below are some rebab.net of consonance:

The lock stuck quickly, so Mark called a locksmith.Laura called to tell me that Lila had actually fallen ill.“Ready?” growled Rory’s older brother indigenous the river raft.Fred wondered why the road wound to a jagged end.

When linked with assonance in ~ the finish of the word, consonance outcomes in center or end rhyme in a poem. Here is an example of consonance in “Mother to Son” through Langston Hughes:

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life because that me ain’t been no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And plank torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—


But every the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And occasionally goin’ in the dark

Where there ain’t been no light.

So boy, don’t you turn back.

Don’t girlfriend set under on the steps

’Cause you find it’s kinder hard.

Don’t girlfriend fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life because that me ain’t to be no crystal stair.

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("Mother to Son," Langston Hughes)

The city takes the reader up and also down a stair that sounds. The repeated -ll and also st- sounds in the beginning are repeated in the end of the poem, with hopeful -in sound sprinkled in the middle and also end. Not just does the poem manipulate consonance, the uses dialect to create the poem’s mood.