Assonance poems are abundant in literature. Assonance is one of the more difficult techniques to master when writing poetry. Assonance occurs when vowels are repeated in words that are close to each other.
There are three literary devices found in prose and poetry. These are:
The way you use assonance can change the mood of the poem:
From the second stanza:
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And an in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
From the fourth stanza:
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
Poe used assonance in El Dorado as well:
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."
Edgar Allan Poe was a master of all these literary techniques; consonance, alliteration, and assonance.
In this excerpt from the poem The Raven note the "i" and "ur" sound used in assonance, the "s" sound used in consonance, and the "r" and "s" sound used in alliteration at the beginning of words:
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating`
'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'
Finding assonance poems isn't a challenge, since so many authors embraced this literary tool to help create rhythm and cadence in their poetry. Consider the following examples by Kelly Roper of LoveToKnow.com.
Who knows why the cold wind blows
Or where it goes, or what it knows.
It only flows in passionate throes
Until it finally slows and settles in repose.
The ants came upon the cookie crumb feast,
And looked at the crumbs from largest to least.
Their desire for the biggest chunk increased,
So they decided to carry it to their farm in the east.
With a heave and a ho, they lifted their load,
and hoisted it on their backs.
Then slowly, shuffling under the strain,
They began to make their tracks.
Hour by hour, they used their power
And finally made their way,
To their happy little farm full of sandy charm,
Where they were hailed as the heroes of the day.
Grief creeps in just like a thief and steals all joy away.
It holds it hostage, trapped in bondage,
And turns the world silent and gray.
The alarm clock's tinkling gave him an inkling
That it was time to wake up.
But he set it to snooze rather than choose
to part from his slumber and lovely dream muse.
The next thing he heard was the sound of a bird -
A rooster calling "cockadoodle doo."
He opened one eye, saw a hint of dawn in the sky,
But decided to ignore that too.
So he slept on the matter until awakened by the clatter
of metal spoon clanging on pan.
"If you don't get out of bed and go to work instead,
I'll serenade you till you're dead," his angry wife said.
Assonance doesn't have to be used by serious poets with serious subjects only. To finish off the examples of assonance poems, consider this fun little ditty by Kelly Roper on the timeless exchange between a cat and a mouse.
Pawing, clawing, scratching and sawing,
The cat dug into the mouse's hole.
Feeling quite affected and utterly dejected,
He realized the mouse wasn't home.