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Zoom, Splat, and Bang: Onomatopoeia

Hello my lovely poets!


And HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! The best month of the whole year, am I right? Seriously though, I am very excited to be celebrating one of the most beautiful art forms all month long. Some special segments for social media are in the works in celebration of National Poetry Month, so keep your eyes peeled. And if there is any specific content that you would like to see, please let me know! I am always looking for feedback and suggestions on the content that I produce.


I feel like National Poetry Month couldn't have come at a better time, given the state of the world. Excited to see what incredible things are going to be created during this month!


Today, we're going to be talking about something really fun! Well, fun to me at least. We're talking about onomatopoeia! Aside from being a pain in the butt to spell, Onomatopoeia is the formation of a word based on a sound associated with the word. You've probably used tons of onomatopoeia without even realizing it! Here are some examples below:


Pop

Boom

Splash

Crash

Splat

Crack

Bark

Slap

Cluck

Bang

Zoom

Gurgle

Giggle

Hiss

Whine


And the list could probably go on and on FOREVER. These words were created from sounds! How cool is that? But what does this have to do with poetry? Simply put: onomatopoeia is a great way to add a little zest to your work, and to paint a more descriptive picture of the narrative situation. And because onomatopoeia has become deeply-rooted in our language, it's kind of hard to NOT use it every now and again. For example, it would be kind of difficult to describe the sound a dog makes without using the word "bark". Or the sound a pebble makes when dropped into the water without using the word "splash". Well, maybe it wouldn't be too difficult, but why make it difficult for yourself?


One of my favorite examples of onomatopoeia in a poem is "Cynthia in the Snow" by Gwendolyn Brooks. The speaker in the poem is describing how it feels to be in the snow, and the beauty that it brings:


It shushes

It hushes

The loudness in the road.

It flitter-twitters,

and laughs away from me.

It laughs a lovely whiteness,

And whitely whirls away,

To be

Some otherwhere,

Still white as milk or shirts,

So beautiful it hurts.


Can you see how these words change the feeling of a poem? That's the power of onomatopoeia, my friends! Try adding some of these fun words to your own work, and of course let me know how it goes. Stay safe, stay creative, and I'll see you next time!

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"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language."

- W.H. Auden

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