A Lesson in ALLITERATION
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Loaded with all kinds of poetic devices and layers upon layers of secrets within its surface meaning, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s shortest poem could fill a book with all its depth. We’ll keep this lesson short and sweet though, just like the poem if you only read into it like it’s about a hungry bird.
The spotlight this round is ALLITERATION—that snazzy poetic device that requires two or more words in a verse to begin with the same consonant and sound.
Society loves alliteration. We shake this poetic device all over everything liberally like we’re salting the snowy earth with it after a severe storm. (See what I did there. Bam!) We like our Taco Tuesdays, Breakfast Bonanzas, and our Fun Fridays, don’t we? Whether it’s a book club, quilting circle, or a Facebook group, I betcha the squad’s name is composed of a cluster of words that all start with the same consonant and clip off the tongue when pronouncing it. (Now, read that line out loud for extra fun!) I’m not even going to hide the fact that I went all alliterative with the catch phrase “Classic Poet’s Corner,” when, in fact, some of the poets I use for this writerly segment are not even from the Classic Era. I just liked the way it sounded. So far, no one seems to mind.
Alliteration is a beautiful thing. It creates a melody in our heads when we read lines of poetry harboring this little gem. It gives free verse poetry rhythm while it’s lacking rhyme. It also makes memorizing poetry a cinch.
Here is an extensive list of alliterative words that you can shake into your own poetry:
Amazing, Adorable, Awful, Aching , Adamant, Austere, Awesome
Boisterous, Bossy, Bad, Beautiful, Becoming, Bright, Brilliant, Blushed
Crisp, Crunchy, Crackly, Clever, Clipped, Cloudy, Crystal, Clear
Dry, Dripping, Drought, Dusty, Dank, Dark, Deadly, Doomed, Destined
Energetic, Expressive, Ecstasy, Elated, Enchantment, Enthralled
Fond, Futile, Feverish, Fresh, Flourishing, Frightened, Freakish, Fun
Gross, Grand, Grisly, Garish, Ghostly, Gorgeous, Great, Gritty
Heavenly, Heated, Helpful, Hurtful, Hyper, Hysterical, Happy
Icky, Irritable, Irked , Iridescent, Ironic, Inspirational, Insipid, Instant
Justify, Jargon, Joyful, Jittery, Jumpy, Jovial, Jointed, Jerk
Kinship, Keeping, Kinetic, Knot, Kind, Kiss, Kaleidoscope
Love, Like, Lust, Lilting, Lofty, Liquid, Lazy, Laboring
Magnificent, Marry, Momentous, Majestic, Meticulous
Nocturnal, New, Narrow, Naughty, Narrative, Narrow, Nice
Overly, Obvious, Oblivious, Off, Obnoxious, Opposing
Perfect, Pretty, Pity, Precipitous, Precocious, Proper, Precious
Quivering, Quilted, Quiet, Quest, Quintessential, Quaint
Robust, Rotund, Rot, Ripe, Ruddy, Resplendent, Radiant
Steamy, Stylish, Secretive, Solid, Sassy, Secure, Seductive
Taunting, Teasing, Tumultuous, Timid, Texture, Timely
Upon, Underrated, Undeniable, Understated, Utopia, Uppity
Verified, Vanilla, Veritable, Vast, Void, Vulnerable, Vixen
Wizened, Wisdom, Whimsical, Wish, Wonderful, Wanderer, Wet
Xerox … I got nothin’ without Googling a bunch of weird words neither of us would use. Maybe try some silly made-up onomatopoeias?!)
Zephyr, Zoo, Zoom, Zap, Zigzag, Zany, Zesty, Zip, Zebra
Now, go forth and buckle up buttercup; you’ve got to get that gorgeous poetry written. I can’t wait for you to share your poetry with me!
~Brooke E. Wayne