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An Example of an Alliteration Poem

by Rochelle Spears Wilson, Demand Media

    Alliteration occurs when consonant sounds are repeated at the beginnings of words. Poets use alliteration to add style, rhythm and musicality to their work.

    Types of Alliteration

    Alliteration can be subtle or overt. Tongue twisters are full of overt alliteration, such as the repeated "p" sounds in "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." Subtle alliteration can be found in advertisements, such as "fly for free" in an airline ad for its rewards program.

    Identifying Alliteration

    To identify alliteration, look within the poem for repeated consonant sounds at the beginnings of words. If you're having trouble identifying alliteration, try reading the poem aloud so you can hear the repeated sounds.

    Soothing Alliteration

    A famous example of alliteration is found in the repeated “d” sounds in the first line of the last stanza of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. The subtle alliteration lends a soothing quality to the passage: "The woods are lovely, dark and deep."

    Humorous Alliteration

    Children’s author Shel Silverstein also makes use of alliteration. In the second line of his poem “If the World Was Crazy," Silverstein uses repeated "s" sounds for humor: "If the world was crazy, you know what I’d eat? A big slice of soup and a whole quart of meat."

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    About the Author

    Rochelle Spears Wilson holds a MA in professional writing and a BA in English. She was a classroom teacher for nine years and taught English, social studies and technology. She has worked with students in grades 4-12 and now owns her own consulting business.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

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