Alliteration is the repetition of sounds in words, usually the first sound. Sibilance is a special form of alliteration using the softer consonants that create hissing sounds, or sibilant sounds. These consonants and digraphs include s, sh, th, ch, z, f, x, and soft c.
Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it represents for a rhetorical or artistic effect of bringing out the full flavor of words. The sounds literally make the meaning in such words as “buzz,” “crash,” “whirr,” “clang” “hiss,” “purr,” “squeak,” etc.lt Is also used by poets to convey their subject to the reader. For example, In the last lines of Sir Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘Come Down, O Maid’, m and n sounds produce an atmosphere of murmuring Insects:
… the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
Notice how D H Lawrence uses both these devices effectively in the following stanza.
He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
To what effect has the poet used these devices? How has it added to your understanding of the subject of the poem? You may record your understanding of snake characteristics under the following headings:
- He sipped with his straight mouth, Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body, silently-Alliteration (sibilance)
- And flickered his two forked tongue from his tips and mused a moment – Alliteration.
- And depart peaceful, pacified and thankless into the burning bowels of the earth. – Alliteration.
- And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down over the edge of the stone trough. – Alliteration (sibilance)
- Being garth-brown earth-golden, from the burning bowels of the earth.