What is Assonance?

Assonance occurs in a sentence when two or more words near each other have the same vowel sounds but start with different consonants.

You're gonna hear me roar! Katy Perry sure knows how to rock her assonance.
ˆHey, it’s not nice to laugh at someone’s (or something’s) name! And it’s not nice to judge before you get to know someone/thing either. So, before you start poking fun at assonance for its name, why not learn what it actually means? Assonance occurs in a sentence when two or  more words near each other have the same vowel sounds but start with different consonants. You can think of assonance as alliteration’s rebellious and less popular sibling. Instead of happening when words begin with the same letter or sound like with alliteration, assonance has to get complicated and happen in the middle of the words. You probably use assonance all the time when writing your poetry without even realizing it. It helps to create rhyme and rhythm to give lines a more musical quality. The vowels don’t have to match up exactly, but they have to sound the same when you speak them. For exampe, if the words “hey” and “stay” are near each other in a sentence, that creates assonance even though “e” and “a” are different vowels. Now go make fun of assonance if you want, but remember that it shows up and has an important job to do in almost all of your poetry. 
Do you know where assonance pops up in these poems?



Gaily bedight,

A gallant knight,

In sunshine and in shadow,

Had journeyed long,

Singing a song,

In search of Eldorado.


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 Eldorado.


And, as his strength

Failed him at length,

He met a pilgrim shadow-

"Shadow," said he,

"Where can it be-

This land of Eldorado?"


"Over the Mountains

Of the Moon,

Down the Valley of the Shadow,

Ride, boldly ride,"

The shade replied-

"If you seek for Eldorado!"

A Poet's Poem


If it takes me all day,

I will get the word freshened out of this poem.


I put it in the first line, then moved it to the second,

and now it won’t come out.


It’s stuck. I’m so frustrated,

so I went out to my little porch all covered in snow


and watched the icicles drip, as I smoked

a cigarette.


Finally I reached up and broke a big, clear spike

off the roof with my bare hand.


And used it to write a word in the snow.

I wrote the word snow.


I can’t stand myself.

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