/*from pinterest*/

I’m rereading Mary Stewart’s THE MOONSPINNERS. Carefully turning the pages to keep them in order, I tell myself I really must buy a new copy. This one is falling apart.

But the format does not matter. As usual, as I read Mary Stewart, I savour her use of language. And I am reminded of three of my favourite literary devices: alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia.

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in two or more neighbouring words or syllables.

from The Moonspinners–

‘I would find a cool place by the water, eat my meal, and have my fill of the mountain silence and solitude before going down later to the village.’

Other examples Mary Stewart uses–

windmills whirled
weeds at the water’s edge
with slow, unstartled beat of wings
a point of powerful magic

Assonance is a type of alliteration, only with vowels inside a sentence or phrase.

from The Moonspinners–

The E in — donkeys and sheep
The AR in — scarlet cigarette-packet
The O in — those remote and floating peaks

Onomatopoeia is the naming of a thing or action by the sound it makes. Not only is this a lovely literary device, it’s simply a beautiful word. Don’t you just love saying it?

One of my favourite examples of onomatopoeia is Chickadee. The sound the bird makes is the name we give it. Other examples of onomatopoeia are trill, buzz, drip, warble, hiss, whoosh, whisper.

Here’s the  Mary Stewart example–

‘Midday. Not a leaf stirring. No sound, except the cool noise of the water, and the sudden plop of a frog diving in the pool under the bridge.’

And now I will go back to my reading.

Do you have a favourite literary device? Do you just love saying onomatopoeia?

word cloud from Wordle.net