I’m back with my series of blog posts about the use of poetic devices in picture book writing.
“Poetic devices are tools used to create rhythm, enhance meaning, and intensify mood using a variety of writing strategies.” (Shared from Linsey Betts and Kara Wilson at Study.com) We employ poetic devices to enhance our written work and create a deeper connection to the piece for our reader.
Today, we’ll take a look at a poetic device: Assonance
Assonance is a repetition of vowel sounds within words and phrases. It
Fellow Rhyme Doctor Michelle Schaub employs assonance effectively in her bedtime book, DREAM BIG, LITTLE SCIENTISTS (Illustrated by Alice Potter). Take a look at how beautifully she enhances the mood by repeating the soft “u” sound in this lovely line from her picture book to create a lullaby effect:
Under rumpled mountain quilts, the earth is snuggled tight.
Reminder: It's key to repeat the same vowel sound - here a soft "u" sound. A hard "u" sound as found in the word "unicorn" would not work.
Rhyme Doctor Patricia Toht uses assonance to advantage in her poetry collection, ALL ABOARD THE LONDON BUS (Illustrated by Sam Usher). Review this energetic and lively line in the poem, “Changing of the Guard.”
I can hear a rum-pum-pum—steady thumping of a drum,
The repeated soft “u” sound (and also repeating the consonant “m” in each occurrence) enhances our reading experience. We hear the drumbeat, and it makes us feel that we, too, are watching and hearing the ceremonial changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
In the poem “Best Lumberjack” from my poetry collection THE SUPERLATIVE A. LINCOLN: POEMS ABOUT OUR 16TH PRESIDENT (illustrated by Dave Szalay) I also used this poetic device. Notice the long "a" sound repeated in the words blade, underpaid, Abe and labor in this limerick. You can sense his hard labor with the repeated heavier long "a" sounds that sound weighty as they are read aloud.