Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Identify Sound Devices In Poetry

Sound devices in poetry act as drums do in music. They establish a rhythm and mood for the work.

Poetry is an elegant form of writing in which the words flow with rhythm. Sound devices help this flow by setting a mood and meter for the piece. Identifying sound devices in poetry takes some practice and knowledge of the more common devices used. Reading a poem out loud can be an excellent way to identify the sound devices.


1. Read the poem aloud. Try to feel the meter, which is the rhythm of the words. This is mostly set up by where the sentences begin and end. On the first run, just read the poem and try to identify how the words come across aloud.

2. Look at the poem again for accents. Accents are the words that are given prominence. They are usually spaced out in such a way that they occur in rhythmic intervals. Connecting words -- and, but, or -- are given less stress, establishing the meter of the work.

3. Examine the poem for rhymes. Rhymes occur most commonly at the end of a line, but some poets may craft the poem to rhyme in other places as well. Rhyming is synonymous with poetry, and as a device, it can come in different degrees. Not all rhymes must be perfect. They can be near-rhymes, where the words do not completely rhyme, but they sound like it when read aloud in a rhythmic fashion.

4. Identify examples of onomatopoeia. This is when the poet uses words to imitate something. It is also when a word's sound gives the reader an idea of what is being portrayed. For example, the word "Bang" could immediately signal a gunshot to the reader without actually elaborating on it within the text.

5. Read the poem with an eye toward modulation. Modulation is like a rhythm within the rhythm. Sometimes a poet will use graduating degrees of complicated words. As the meter progresses, there could be a pattern where a complex word coincides with a complex word in the next line. Simple, short words coincide with other simple words. This is only one example of modulation. There are many patterns that can exist using the same principle.

Tags: complex word, devices poetry, Sound devices, words This