DEVICES OF SOUND

A. RHYME: A rhyme is the similarity or likeness of sound existing between two words. A true rhyme should consist of identical sounding syllables that are stressed, and the letters preceding the vowel sounds should be different. Thus fun and run are TRUE or perfect rhymes because the vowel sounds are identical and preceded by different consonants.

After the heyday of such rhyme’s renown,
After the weariness of World War I, Modern poets built in a sad letdown By rhyming quatrains thus: abax.

NEAR, OFF, or SLANT RHYME: A rhyme based on an imperfect or incomplete correspondence of end syllable sounds. (SIGHT or EYE RHYME is another variation.) Common in the work of Emily Dickinson, for instance:

It was not death, for I stood up,

And all the dead lie down.

It was not night, for all the bells

Put out their tongues for noon.

B. POSITION OF RHYME: Rhyme may be end rhyme or internal rhyme.

1. END RHYME: consists of the similarity occurring at the end of two or more lines of verse. Below is an example from Andrew Marvell:

The grave’s a fine and private place But none I think do there embrace.

2. INTERNAL RHYME: consists of the similarity occurring between two or more words in the same line.

Internal rhymes can claim a word or name
And make two words mean something of the same:
Thus spring can jingle with its singing birds,
Or summer hum with two resounding words;

C. KINDS OF RHYME: The kinds of rhyme based on the number of syllables presenting a similarity of sound are:

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1. MASCULINE RHYME—occurs when one syllable of a word rhymes with another word:

bend and send; bright and light

2. FEMININE RHYME—occurs when the last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word:

lawful and awful; lighting and fighting; Some lines really should stay single: / Feminine rhymes can make them jingle.

3. TRIPLE RHYME—occurs when the last three syllables of a word or line rhyme:

victorious and glorious; quivering and shivering; battering and shattering; A serious effect is often killable / By rhyming with too much more than one syllable.

D. RHYME SCHEME—is the pattern or sequence in which the rhyme occurs. The first sound is represented or designated as a, the second is designated as b, and so on. When the first sound is repeated, it is designated as a also.

E. CONSONANCEis the repetition of consonant sounds within a line of verse. Consonance is similar to alliteration except that consonance doesn’t limit the repeated sound to the initial letter or a word. But such a tide as moving seems asleep.

F. ASSONANCE—is the similarity or repetition of a vowel sound in two or more words. Lake and stake are rhymes; lake and fate are assonance. Base and face are rhymes; base and fate are assonance.

G. ALLITERATIONis the repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line of verse (little lake lady)
H. ONOMATOPOEIA—is the use of a word to represent or imitate sounds produced audibly (buzz, crunch, sizzle, hiss)

I. REFRAIN—is the repetition of one or more phrases or lines at intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza. The refrain often takes the form of a chorus.

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J. REPETITION—is the reiterating of a word or phrase within a poem.

K. CACOPHONYliterally “bad sound,” language that is discordant and difficult to pronounce, which may be unintentional in the writer’s sense of music, or it may be used consciously for deliberate dramatic effect.

L. EUPHONYliterally “good sound,” language that is smooth and musically pleasant to the ear.

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