Aural Imagery: Sound and Sense Devices

Report
Sound and
Sense
Aural imagery and Meaning
Jennifer A. Bennett
Sanderson High School
Wake County Public School System
North Carolina
Sound & Sense Devices
• How a poet uses the individual or collected
sounds in a poem to enhance or emphasize
meaning (sense) within it
• Aural imagery—Handing us the sounds of the
things and/or emotions the poem is about
• Important indicator of tone; can set mood
• Subtle (if used well) and sometimes even
subconscious
– Avoid the brick-bat approach to these devices!
Types of S & S Devices
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Alliteration
Consonance
Assonance
Euphony
Cacophony
Onomatopoeia
Alliteration
• Occurs when the initial sounds of a word, beginning either
with a consonant or a vowel, are repeated in close
succession in a line or lines of a poem.
– Mostly about beginning consonant sounds
• Examples:
– The snake silently slithered past Cyndi.
• Repetition of “s” sound at the beginnings of words in
• Close succession
• SO WHAT? The repetition of “s” sounds imitates the sound of the
snake, creating an aural image!
– “Remembered with twinklings and twinges.”
• SO WHAT? “tw” repetition actually imitates the concept of twinkling
and semi-involuntary twinge.
Consonance
• The repetition of consonant sound in close
succession within a line or lines of a poem
– sounds can be anywhere in the words
– The snake silently slithered across the grass.
• The repetition of the “s” sound appears at different
places in the words, not just the beginning.
Assonance
• Opposite of consonance
• The repetition of a vowel sound in close succession
throughout a line or lines of a poem
• Usually in stressed syllables
• Examples:
– Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
– By and by, nor spare a sigh,
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie.
And yet you will weep and know why
• Repetition of long “i” sounds suggests the sound of the sigh.
Advertising Slogans
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Weather on the Ones (different letters, same sound)
Scooby, Dooby, Doo, where are you?
Wet Wipes
Dora the Explorer
Krispy Kreme
Dunkin’ Donuts
Hannah Montana
Blues Clues
Berenstain Bears
The Now Network
Bear in the Big Blue House
Phil of the Future
Rollie Pollie Ollie
Onomatopoeia
• The use of words that imitate or suggest the
sound of the thing they present
• Examples: buzz, clop, lash, roar, meow,
crash, bombard, choke
• Others: chew, whisper, murmur, mumble,
strike, sizzle, chop, blast, zoom
Cacophony
• Noise!
• Combinations of sounds that create discord;
harshness of sound produced by sharp,
gutteral consonant and word combinations
• Short, clipped vowel sounds and consonants
• ex. “But notched and whelked and pocked
and smashed”
– appropriate lyrics for a lullaby . . . ?
Euphony
• Sweet and pleasant sounding combinations of
sounds/words that produce ease of articulation—
soothing, flowing sounds
• Sound & sense: these soft & flowing sounds suggest a
pleasant atmosphere and meaning
• Long vowel sounds, soft consonants
• Ex.
Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.
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Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.
• Soothing effect: long vowels, soft consonants, and soothing
hypnotic rhythm

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