Assonance is a wonderful sound device that can add wonders to your poems, songs, stories, and even prose. It is one way of letting kids show their creative side whenever they are given a task to write their own poems and any other literary works.
Assonance is a subtle sound device and a figurative term made up of a series of vowel sounds in non-rhyming words. It is the repetition of the vowel sound in a line of a verse or text. You may also know want to know more about what assonance is.
You have to keep in mind that it’s the vowel sounds that make it rhyming and not the vowel. You also have to keep in mind to keep the words close enough together for the repetition to be audible and noticeable for the listeners to listen or readers to read.
Our literature is rich with assonance, particularly poetry. Since poems can be read out loud, it would sound musical to the ears if we would hear the pattern of assonance. It is also used in stories, novels, and even in songs. It would draw attention to the listener to make the delivering of the message from the writer effective. You may also see Examples of Assonance.
Another medium where we can use this sound device is in tongue twisters and makes it literally tongue twisting.
Assonance affects the entire meaning of a text. It’s crucial in the rhythm, tone, mood, and other desired effect of the writer. You may also see Assonance and Consonance Examples.
As mentioned, assonance affects the mood of a text. The way you use it may or may not greatly affect the mood of a text.
There are long vowel sounds such the “ea” in “beast” and “o” in “also” that decreases the energy of a text, giving the entire text a serious mood.
Meanwhile there are also high vowel sounds such as the “i” in “machine“ and “u” in “rule” that increases the energy of a text, giving the entire text a lighter mood.
Here are some sentence examples containing assonance. You may also see Examples of Assonance.
1. The bright city lights during the night is a delightful sight. (repetition of the long “i” sound)
2. Go, grow, and glow groceries are sold by the road. (repetition of the long “o” sound)
3. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. (This tongue twister has a repetition of the short “e” and long “i“ sounds)
4. Sally sells seashells beside the seashore. (This tongue twister has a repetition of the short “e” and long “e” sounds)
5. The white rice was eaten by the mice. (repetition of the long “i” sound)
6. Take the toy gun and have fun. (repetition of the short “u” sound)
7. Play with clay on top of the hay and make up some new games. (repetition of the long “a” sound)
8. He made a new cake and ate it quickly. (repetition of the long “a” sound)
9. He ran around the camp, got damp, and cramped badly. (repetition of the short “a” sound)
10. My bride’s eyes widened with delight and smiled as I sighed at her sight. (repetition of the long “i” sound)
Our literature is abundant with assonance, most especially in poetry. However, assonance is actually one of the difficult techniques in writing poems. Here are some excerpts from poems and novels that have effectively used assonance:
1. “And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride” (repetition of the long “i” sound) – Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
2. “Tyger, Tyger burning brightly in the forest of the night” (repetition of the long “i” sound) – Tyger by William Blake
3. “A host of golden daffodils” (repetition of the long “o” sound) – Daffodils by William Wordsworth
4. “Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn” – William Wordsworth
6. “Hear the mellow wedding bells” – Edgar Allan Poe
7. “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain”. – from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
8. “And murmuring of innumerable bees” – Lord Alfred Tennyson
9. “Gaily bedight, A gallant night In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of El Dorado. But he grew old – This knight so bold – And – o’er his heart a shadow Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like El Dorado’.” – El Dorado by Edgar Allan Poe
10. “And stepping softly with her air of blooded ruin about the glade in a frail agony of grace she trailed her rags through dust and ashes, circling the dead fire, the charred billets and chalk bones, the little-calcined ribcage.” – Cormac McCarthy
11. “Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weds.” – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
12. “Now I will do nothing but listen,
to accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it.
I hear bravuras of birds,
bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames,
Clack of sticks cooking my meals.
I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice,
I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following,
Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night…” – Song of Myself by Walt Whitman
13. “He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance.” – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
14. “But at supper that evening when I asked him to pass the damn ham, please, Uncle Jack pointed at me. ‘See me afterward, young lady,’ he said.” To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
15. “In the over-mastering loneliness of that moment, his whole life seemed to him nothing but vanity.” – Night Rider by Robert Penn Warren
16. “A lanky, six-foot, pale boy with an active Adam’s apple, ogling Lo and her orange-brown bare midriff, which I kissed five minutes later, Jack.” – Lotita by Vladimir Nabokov
17. “Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weeds” – Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
18. “The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots.” – Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard
19. “The setting sun was licking the hard bright machine like some great invisible beast on its knees.” – Death, Sleep, and the Traveler by John Hawkes.
20. “If I bleat when I speak it’s because I just got . . . fleeced.” – Deadwood by Al Swearengen
The music scene is also abundant with assonance as it makes singers’ songs more catchy to the ears of their target listeners. Here are some lyrics of songs that have made use of assonance:
1. “And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We’ll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along” – If Everyone Cared by Nickelback
2. “Life it seems will fade away
Drifting further every day
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters, no one else.” – Fade to Black by Metallica
3. “My thoughts are sporadic, I act like I’m an addict
I rap like I’m addicted to smack like I’m Kim Mathers.
But I don’t want to go forth and back in constant battles
The fact is I would rather sit back and bomb some rappers.
So this is like a full blown attack I’m launching at them
The track is on some battling raps who want some static
‘Cause I don’t really think that the fact that I’m Slim matters
A plaque of platinum status is whack if I’m not the baddest.” – ‘Til I Collapse by Eminem
4. “I ain’t lookin’ to block you up
Shock or knock or lock you up
Analyze you, categorize you
Finalize you or advertise you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you” – All I Really Want To Do by Bob Dylan
5. “Known narcissists, sipping on arsenic
Carved carcasses in the garage, don’t park in it
Hard as finding retarded kids at Harvard
It’s Wolf Gang barking keep you up like car alarms and s**t” – AssMilk by Earl Sweatshirt
6. “On the real, it’s a wrap, how could you possibly stop the Apocalypse
When I’m atomic bombing the populous
Shock the metropolis hostile as a kid popping the Glock at his moms
And his pops then he hops in his drop with his iPod rocking his slaughterish
Documentation of lyrics I write with confidence
Write like a columnist slash novelist
I’m in this game to demolish, establish my dominance
Over prominent rappers you popping s**t to ya opposite
I can spit ominous so spit politics
Now I’m Haile Selassie, Gandhi and Pac of this hip hop genre, b***h!” – Loud Noises by Bad Meets Evil
While assonance is indeed abundant in poems, it does not mean that prose cannot use this sound device. There are prose writers who would use assonance in order to emphasize the meaning of the message they are trying to portray in their writings.
There is some prose that would simply want to convey facts in the simplest manner possible and the tendency here is that no one would like to read it. But when assonance is used, it would make readers hungry for more information in that they would read more than they usually would.
Assonance is one of the figures of speech that intensifies the meaning of a text.
Even though it’s hard to explain why, but assonance makes any kind of text pleasurable to read and any song pleasurable to hear. Assonance helps writers, authors and lyricists gain an audience.
We hope you have learned a lot from this article and that you would be able to apply it when you would already be writing for your own assonance-filled poems, songs, or novels.