Examples of Euphony in Poetry

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Of all literary devices, euphony is perhaps the one most associated with poetry. Defined as the harmonious interplay of sounds, euphony relies upon vowels and remains a hallmark of verse even in the absence of rhyme or meter. In addition to vowels, melodious consonants with partial vowel sounds can also accomplish euphony. Examples of euphony exist in most types of poetry, though the device reached its popular peak in 19th-century Romantic verse.

Poems With Euphony

John Keats’ “To Autumn,” one of the most anthologized poems in English literature, contains classic instances of euphony. The lines “Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; / Conspiring with him how to load and bless / With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;” with their heavy use of vowels to describe pleasant imagery, serve as a representative example. Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, “The Lotos-eaters,” displays a mastery of euphony in lines like “Dark faces pale against that rosy flame, / The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.” Additional examples of euphony can be seen in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Bells,” which makes use of euphony to mimic the peals of church bells, and Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” which deploys euphony in a modernist context.


About the Author

Douglas Matus is the travel writer for "West Fort Worth Lifestyle" magazine, and spent four years as the Director of Humanities for a college-prep school in Austin. Since 2005, he has published articles on education, travel and culture in such publications as "Nexus," "People's World" and "USA Today." Matus received an Education Pioneers fellowship in 2010 and an MFA from CalArts in 2011.

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