Ways & How

how to write alliteration poems

how to write alliteration poems

“Poetry is a kind of language that says more and says it more intensely” (Perrine, 1987).  Rhythm and sound work together, to create the melody of poetry. It is no wonder why many people enjoy poetry. The sound of the words reinforces the meaning and makes them pleasurable to the reader’s ears. One way to make melody in poems is to use alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition at close intervals of the initial consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words like map-moon, kill-code, preach- approve, etc. Many poets like to repeat any unit of sound from the smallest to the largest. In fact, many of them choose words for sound as well as for meaning. So learning how to write alliteration poems can help you achieve musical quality in your written poems. When intending to write alliteration poems, a writer will do well by following these guidelines:

  1. Begin with a concept or theme. Before putting down the words, you should have decided on a theme or subject. It could be an animal, a person or thing.

    try is, after all, about something – an experience or an intense feeling toward someone or something.

  2. Say something about the subject. Since you intend to use alliteration, your intention is not much on what you want to say about the subject but on how you say it. The beauty of an alliteration poem lies more on the meaning created by the musicality of the poem.

  3. Be playful with words. Repeat individual vowel and consonant sounds, whole syllables, words, phrases, lines, or groups of lines. The repetition should be pleasing to the ear while emphasizing the words in which the repetition occurs. Common alliterations include words like “first and foremost”, “might and main”, “sink and swim”, “do or die”.

    You may also use assonance, the repetition of vowel sounds, to combine it with alliterated words. Examples of these are “thick and thin”, “fit as a fiddle” and “the viol, the violet, and the vine” by Edgar Allan Poe.

    Make sure you have a dictionary or thesaurus within your reach to help you look for words and their appropriate substitutes. Using alliteration can make the meaning you intend to convey more memorable by the imagery it evokes.

  4. Find other poems that have good examples of alliteration. Many great poets use alliteration along with other musical devices in poetry.  Reading and seeing how authors play with words will give you ideas about writing your own poem. Trained readers normally feel the subconscious contribution of various musical repetitions in poems, although they may not be aware of what caused it.

  5. Be willing to take risks. Repetitions are entirely a matter of sound. Spelling is usually irrelevant. So you can put the words “bear and pair” side by side, or “cell and sin” or “philosophy and folly”.

  6. Be careful to alliterate only stressed and accented syllables for only such syllables make an impression on the ears and, thus, create significant sound patterns.

  7. Read your poem. While you can be playful with words, you should make sure you can justify your choices of words. You should not only entertain your readers but also make them understand what you intend to say.

The beauty of a poem is not in its length but in the manner in which it is written, the sound it makes, and the experience it affords its readers. Remember not only to amuse your readers but also to enlighten them.


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