How to Find Alliteration in a Poem

Alliteration is one of the easier “sound devices” of a poem to identify. Alliteration is when the same letter in the beginning of a word is repeated in short intervals. Poets often use alliteration to complement the flow of a poem. It was most frequently used in ancient poems instead of rhyme.

Learn the differences between alliteration, assonance and consonance. These three sound devices are often the most confused, so it’s important to know the differences. Alliteration is the repetition of the initial sounds; for example, “the lady lounges luxuriously,” whereas with assonance and consonance, the internal letters are repeated.

Circle or underline like letters in a sentence. If you notice a letter is often repeated at the beginning of a word, underline or circle it. If the words are close together, it is most likely an example of alliteration.

Read the sentences aloud. Often, it’s necessary for a person to read the sentences aloud to himself to really get the alliteration sound to resonate. For example, seeing “sweet smell of success” on paper may not magnify the sound of the “s” as much as if you read it aloud.

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