Welcome to Writers Talkback. If you are a new user, your account will have to be approved manually to prevent spam. Please bear with us in the meantime

consonance blues

edited April 2017 in Writing
I'm a teacher and a (try hard) poet: definitions of literary techniques can be highly problematic. Various definitions of consonance exist. 1) differing vowel sounds enclosed by the same pair of consonants. eg zig zag, bitter butter, reader rider - a la Auden. or 2) the same final consonant sound in successive words eg Great Aunt Bet or 3) a number of repeated consonant sounds in close proximity (Americans seem to go for this but I call that alliteration).
Drives me mad - yes, perhaps I haven't got enough to think about... what are the opinions of our learned correspondents?


  • It's just similar sounding consonants in close proximity - it doesn't matter where they are. but if they are all at the end or beginning it is more obvious.

    If they are in the STRESSED part of the word it's alliteration.

  • By the way - I wouldn't get blue about it. Just use anything at your disposal to make the poem lovely or to make your point. Often the words for what you are saying already contain the sounds you need as that is the way language has evolved - ie the word 'shut' has a final consonant that sounds like a door, or something else closing. Leave others to notice the consonance, assonance, alliteration etc.
  • Thanks Liz . I'm perfectly fine with chiming sound effects happening by a happy mix of accident and design; it's the range of definitions for particular effects that's kind of annoying, particularly when teaching language analysis. Another example is homonym - that used to be what we now call homophone...and so on.
  • I still call them homonyms. and antonyms and synonyms.
Sign In or Register to comment.