Assonance  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse. For example, in the phrase "Do you like blue?", the ("o"/"ou"/"ue" sound) is repeated within the sentence and is assonant.

Assonance is found more often in verse than in prose. It is used in (mainly modern) English-language poetry, and is particularly important in Old French, Spanish and the Celtic languages.

Examples

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the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"
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And murmuring of innumerable bees Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Princess VII.203
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Windows tinted on my ride when I drive in it, so when I rob a bank run out and just dive in it, so I'll be disguised in it. And if anybody identifies the guy in it, I hide for five minutes. Come back, shoot the eye witness. Fire at the private eye hired to pry in my business. Eminem, Criminal
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That solitude which suits abstruser musings Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight"
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I must confess that in my quest I felt depressed and restless Thin Lizzy, "With Love"
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Known narcissists, sipping on arsenic, Carved carcasses in the garage, don't park in it, Hard as finding retarded kids at Harvard, It's Wolf Gang barking keep you up like car alarms and shit Earl Sweatshirt, from Tyler, The Creator's "AssMilk"
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This burlap sack is filled with snack for after class for the whole class to snack on Earl Sweatshirt, from "Pigions"
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The crumbling thunder of seas Robert Louis Stevenson
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Dead in the middle of little Italy, little did we know that we riddled some middleman who didn't do diddily. Big Pun, "Twinz"
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Hes evil, and I'm bad like Steve Seagal. Above the law cause I don't agree with police either. (Shit me neither.) We ain't eager to be legal, so please, leave, me, with the keys to your Jeep-Eagle. I breathe ether in three lethal amounts, while I stab myself in the knee with a diseased needle. Eminem, "Bad Meets Evil"
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Close your eyes for what you can’t imagine; we are the xany gnashing, caddy smashin', bratty ass, he mad, he snatched his daddy's jag and used the shit for batting practice, Adament and he thrashin', Purchasin' crappy grams with half the hand of cash you handed Template:Nowrap
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tunditur unda Catullus 11
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on a proud round cloud in white high night E.E. Cummings, if a cheerfulest Elephantangelchild should sit
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I've never seen so many Dominican women with cinnamon tans Will Smith, "Miami"
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I bomb atomically—Socrates' philosophies and hypotheses can't define how I be droppin' these mockeries. Inspectah Deck, from the Wu-Tang Clan's "Triumph."
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Up in the arroyo a rare owl's nest I did spy, so I loaded up my shotgun and watched owl feathers fly Jon Wayne, Texas Assonance
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Some kids who played games about Narnia got gradually balmier and balmier C.S. Lewis The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
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And the moon rose over an open field Paul Simon, America
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Gonna get a set of better clubs, gonna find the kind with tiny nubs, just so my irons aren't always flying off the backswing Barenaked Ladies, One Week
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Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind's elation Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication

J. R. R. Tolkien's Errantry is a poem whose meter contains three sets of trisyllabic assonances in every set of four lines.

In more modern verse, stressed assonance is frequently used as a rhythmic device in modern rap. An example is Public Enemy's 'Don't Believe The Hype': "Their pens and pads I snatch 'cause I've had it / I'm not an addict, fiending for static / I see their tape recorder and I grab it / No, you can't have it back, silly rabbit".

Assonance can also be used in forming proverbs, often a form of short poetry. In the Oromo language of Ethiopia, note the use of a single vowel throughout the following proverb, an extreme form of assonance:

  • kan mana baala, aʔlaa gaala (“A leaf at home, but a camel elsewhere"; somebody who has a big reputation among those who do not know him well.)

Also from Ethiopia, note the complete assonance in this Amharic proverb:

  • yälämmänä mänämmänä ("The one who begs fades away.)

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Assonance" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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