Onomatopoeia Poems – Examples of Onomatopoeia Poetry and Its Features

Various types of poetry like lyrics, ballads, epic and sonnet examples are of great interest to study. The examples of onomatopoeia poetry will help you learn how the sound of the words can play crucial role in making of onomatopoeia.

Onomatopoeia is sometimes called echoism that means it echoes something. In other words, it denotes a word or a combination of words where whose sounds have some resemblance to the sound it denotes. For instance, the words like “hiss”, “buzz”, “bang” are associated with a particular sound or as you pronounce them, you will associate that particular sound in your mind.

The following lines of Alfred Tennyson’s “Come Down, O Maid” (1847) are often considered as a powerful example of onomatopoeia:

The moan of doves in immemorial elms,

And murmuring of innumerable bees.

John Crowe Ransom, an American critic, has also remarked about the play of sound and its significance in poetry. He suggested that by making only two little changes in the consonants of the last lines above, you will miss the echoic effect because the meaning will get changed. For example, it will look like “And murdering of innumerable beeves”.

The sounds of onomatopoeic words are sometimes pleasant or sometimes boring! In “Meeting at Night” (1845), Robert Browning created squishy effects:

As I gain the cove with pushing prow,

And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.

A tape at the pane, the quick sharp scratch

And blue spurt of a lighted match…

The concept of onomatopoeia, in general and broader sense, is applied to words to suggest what they denote; in movement, size, force, feel, or sound. The poetry with the use of such suggestions, the use sound and rhythmic movement are wonderful to read, recite and enjoy. It is very true that poetry can not be read but recited or sung!



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