When friend see recurring letters or rate in a poem, you might think the alliteration. However 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 for auditory effect.

You are watching: What is the difference between alliteration and assonance


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alliteration assonance consonance in city

Poetic Sound Devices

Alliteration, assonance, and also consonance space all poetic sound devices. They usage repetition to develop sounds and set the mood in ~ a poem. These sounds deserve to be satisfaction if the poet desires the reader to feel relaxed, abrasive if the reader need to feel tense, or any kind of other mood.

The difference in between alliteration vs. Assonance vs. Consonance isn’t together tricky together it seems. Right here are the definitions for each sound device:

alliteration – repetitive initial consonant sound in many wordsassonance – repetitive vowel sound in many wordsconsonance – repeated consonant sound in many words

You may notification that the definitions of alliteration and consonance are similar. Store in mind that that alliteration requires the an initial consonant sound in many words, if consonance can appear anywhere in words (typically in ~ the end). The sound devices occur in rapid succession, normally within numerous words in a row or in a line.


smashville247.net of Alliteration

Alliteration is the easiest sound machine to determine in a poem. Due to the fact that it requires the first letter or blended sound in 2 or much more words, readers can track this repetition quite easily. Some an easy smashville247.net that 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 she brow.“Wait,” whispered Wendy, she gaze wandering wistfully.

Here is an instance of alliteration supplied for poetic effect. Emily Dickinson’s city “Fame is a fickle food” uses alliteration not just in the title, but additionally throughout the poem:

Fame is a fickle food

Upon a changing plate

Whose table once a

Guest yet not

The second time is set.

Whose crumbs the crows inspect

And through ironic caw

Flap previous it come the

Farmer’s Corn—

Men eat that it and die.

(“Fame is a fickle food,” Dickinson)

Notice just how Dickinson pairs details words through alliteration: fame/fickle, second/set, crumbs/crows/caw, flap/farmer. Yet in the critical line, which brings man’s death, the alliterative framework breaks down. You deserve to read an ext smashville247.net of alliteration in city to aid you determine the ways poets use the machine for various effects.


smashville247.net that Assonance

Assonance, additionally known together “vowel rhyme,” can impact a poem’s mood together alliteration does. The vowels typically show up in the center of the word. For example:

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

You might observe that the vowels room not identical from word come word. In fact, only the vowel sound is forced to match in assonance, no the collection itself. That’s exactly how a pattern prefer “falls across” is still an example of assonance.

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

Gushing from the mouths of stone men

To spread out at lull under the sky

In granite-lipped basins,

Where iris dabble their feet

And rustle come a pass wind,

The water fills the garden with its rushing,

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

(“In a Garden,” Amy Lowell)

These repetitive sounds represent the different noises one might hear in a garden. Examine out added assonance poetry smashville247.net to view how countless ways collection can adjust the sound the a poem.


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smashville247.net that Consonance

Consonance is comparable to alliteration in the it offers the repetition of consonant sounds. In fact, alliteration is a form of consonance that occurs at the beginning of a word. Other smashville247.net may uncover the repetitive consonant sound in the center or end of the word. Right here are part smashville247.net the 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 native the river raft.Fred wondered why the road wound to a jagged end.

When an unified with assonance at the end of the word, consonance outcomes in middle or end rhyme in a poem. Right here is an example of consonance in “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes:

Well, son, I’ll tell you:

Life for me ain’t to be no crystal stair.

It’s had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And board torn up,

And locations with no carpet ~ above the floor—

Bare.

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 girlfriend turn back.

Don’t you set under on the steps

’Cause you find it’s kinder hard.

Don’t you fall now—

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

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

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("Mother to Son," Langston Hughes)

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