Why Rhyme When You Can Use Assonance and Consonance?

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"Assonance (ASS-oh-nantz, from the Latin word for 'to sound in response to') is the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in nearby words or stressed syllables" (Hamilton 220).

"Consonance (CAHN-soh-nantz, from the Latin word for 'to sound together') is the repetition of consonant sounds in two or more successive words or stressed syllables that contain different vowel sounds" (Hamilton 219).

Hmm.  The etymology of those words actually makes sense now.  But anyways...

I prefer using assonance and consonance in my poems as opposed to rhyming.  I will admit it, I sound like an idiot when I rhyme.  The words have no meaning and I always come across a hard word like orange.  What can you rhyme with orange?  That's why it is better to leave rhyming to Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare.

I will use an excerpt from one of my own poems entitled "Rock & Roll".  (I'm always afraid to put the whole thing on here for fear of some lazy students copying and pasting it onto their homework assignments and turning it into their Creative Writing teacher for credit.  Paranoia or stinginess?  A little of both I think...)

"Damn my frustration
As I stumble over sound
The true poet thinks aloud
Of beaded curtains
Sequined dresses..."

The words "sound" and "aloud" are examples of assonance in that they both contain the "ou" sound.  The words do not technically rhyme but the assonance helps the poem flow more smoothly.


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