Traditionally poetry is based on some sort of constraint. Well, du’uh.
Rhyme. Syllable-or word-count. Repetition. Shape.
Many of these are memory aids for story-performers, historians, children, whoever needs to remember–for example–just how many days there are in November, or how to do the Hokey Pokey.
There are combinations so complex learning them must require its own mnemonic.
Today we we going to work with
[Pause while I say to you: please do not freak]
Alliteration. Consonance. Assonance.
Alliteration is repetition of initial sound in two or more words adjacent to or near one another. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Red, red robin
Consonance is repetition of a–surprise–consonant sound, usually within the words, and not necessarily in adjacent words. Consonance can tie lines together. It is (usually) less obvious than alliteration, or not noticeable at all.
Assonance is–essentially–consonance for vowels. When the two are together you have some sort of rhyme.
Got that? No?
That’s okay. If not, just pretend you know what I meant, and write a line that contains a couple of “sk” sounds. Or “rd” “t” “m” . Whatever, just a couple. Go overboard and you hurt my delicate feelings.
Now write a line with a couple of “eeeee” sounds in words that do not have the same consonant ( or you would be rhyming, and you-%shudder–don’t want that) “Week and seal, not weak and seek,” she said, screwing with your head a bit.
Once you have done that, go about your business and finish what you started as you like, but do think about how similar sounds play together.