Study Guide

At the end of this unit you will be able to:
  • define assonance
  • find examples of assonance in selected writings


Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound within words.



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Assonance in Prose.


Prose writers sometimes repeat vowel sounds to reinforce the meaning of the words. It also helps to create moods. Here, the long o sounds mysterious.


Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no man knows how and why the first poems came.

--Carl Sandburg, Early Moon


Assonance in Poetry.


In poetry, too, assonance stresses words and moods.


And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride.

--Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee"



Find the examples of assonance in the following selections.


Slow things are beautiful:
The closing of the day,
The pause of the wave
That curves downward to spray.

--Elizabeth Coatsworth, "Swift Things are Beautiful"



Night came on, and a full moon rose high over the trees into the sky, lighting the land till it lay bathed in ghostly day.

--Jack London, The Call of the Wild