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Definition: The repetition of vowel sounds.
1. We nibbled on biscuits.
2. We grazed on a savory array of tapas.
3. We devoured powdery cookies outside on the porch.

Long vowels like the "o" in #3 slow down the pace of the poem, whereas the quick "i" in #1 speeds it along. Think about the tone you're looking for and use vowels to find that tone.

Pay attention to vowel sounds. Consonants will catch your ear but vowels will interact with one another behind the scenes. Instead of using "eat," find a word that melds with or contrasts with the other sounds in your work.


Check out the way the vowel sounds move in this poem:

Liquid Grace
An inky black shadow
weaves between leafless alder trunks,
winding slowly downhill
toward a small murky pond.

Tripping nimbly along the muddy bank,
then climbing a blackberry laden hill,
the feral cat moves effortlessly,

Under his downy black coat,
perfectly toned muscle ripples
like a cascading rivulet
with every agile step he takes.

White whiskers sprout
alongside his pink nose;
yellow eyes peer brightly out
from beneath secretive brows.

As his uneven white socks patter the rich soil,
his silken ears move constantly,
rotating silently,
listening animatedly.

The scents of snake and leaf-loam cling to him,
as do several small burrs and twigs;
his fur is sleek and shining,
well groomed, immaculate.

His heart beats gently
deep inside his chest,
in time with his soft,
contented breathing.

Finding the secret hollow
under an enormous cedar stump
blanketed in dense ivy,
he creeps inside.

He tucks his scarred nose under his delicate paws,
wrapping his tail around his alert ears;
curled into a diminutive ball, snug and secure,
he drifts off to sleep.

— Susa L, OR, Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Award

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