Alliteration, Assonance, and Consonance

workstation for writing poetry

Alliteration, assonance, and consonance

The Raven – Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

Alliteration is the repetition of an initial letter or sound within a lines of poetry, such as the red highlights above.

Assonance is the repetition of matching vowels or vowel sounds in lines of poetry, as in Blue highlights above.

Consonance is the repetition of matching consonants, as in the orange highlights above,

As a note, I have marked more that some would, as it is often held that these things are to be taken line by line. I myself think this idea is nonsense, because the next line is just as close as the line itself, and to go 4 or 5 lines is entirely reasonable because if rhyme is easy to memorize than surely the brain picks up of these things a few lines away.

  • The Cost
    Sometimes love is not enough, sometimes all the rainbow doesn’t lift the heart from the basement of us,
  • An Era
    If ever there was an era to inspire a revival in poetry and scare us out of our anxiety then this horrid decade’s sense of impending doom should do,
  • We’ve Run Out of Some Paints
    I’d paint the page with sunflowers and marigolds, But Wordsworth’s nature is long in its grave. We have forgotten the cold mountain stream, The little birds in the blueberry bush, The worms wiggling beneath their hungry beaks, And the sound of the forest is deafening for us As the chainsaw’s roar over heavy machinery. For us nature is a conversation, A metaphor for human care and change, and a political questioning of the trees in search for meaning when we bludgeon a rose and all the beauty that it has stood for.
  • Politics
    lend me your ears I doubt that you would hear, So lend me your wallet And watch as the toilet
  • The Shut-in’s Regrets
    Go now and build your grave against your life’s pitiful cries, and when the end is drawing near
  • New Beasts
    Unlike all the beasts we have known, murders, thieves, and miscreants there now arises a wickedness that cannot be measured in neat units or fit into convenient little molds.

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