The Rain in Spain: Assonance
Hello my lovely poets!
Last time, we entered the wonderful world of alliteration. Today, we're going to be talking about alliteration's cousin, assonance. It's a family reunion! Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in a sentence.
But wait Nicola, that sounds awfully similar to alliteration. What's the difference?
Assonance focuses on vowels and the sounds they make, whereas alliteration focuses on repeating consonants that are close together. Here's a more concrete example:
Alliteration: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Assonance: On the beach, she reached towards the East.
Here's another example, from "Taxi" by Amy Lowell:
"When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum, I call out for you against the jutted stars And shout into the ridges of the wind..."
Notice how "ridges" and "wind" make the same vowel sound. Assonance is a powerful tool to use in your poetry, because it aids directly in the mood of a poem. Longer repeating vowel sounds can add a melancholy effect and make the mood more serous. Shorter, more staccato vowel sounds can lighten the mood. Play around with assonance in your own work and let me know how it goes!
Until next time!