What Is A Onomatopoeia In Poetry


Onomatopoeia is a unique stylistic tool that authors use to create power and intensity in their works. It is a writing device that uses words or phrases that imitate or resemble the sound of their respective reference.The use of onomatopoeia in storytelling adds a level of creativity that the reader can connect to the story. It can instill a feeling of connection and emotion in the reader.Onomatopoeia in poetry is a memorable way to tell a story and can evoke excitement and interest in the reader.

Historical Context

Onomatopoeia has been around since ancient times, as it is found in ancient Roman and Greek texts. It was used by authors such as Virgil in the Aeneid, by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy, and more recently by poets such as William Wordsworth in his poem “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge.” The use of onomatopoeia in poetry and literature is an enduring practice.

Effectiveness as a Literary Device

Onomatopoeia adds an element of sound to words,which makes them memorable and evocative. It has the power to create vivid imagery and to help readers imagine the scene or feel the emotion of the words. In addition, it helps to create a rhythm in a poem, which can be effective in connecting to readers and drawing their attention. Finally, the use of onomatopoeia makes a poem unique and can stand out from other works.

Some Examples of Onomatopoeia Poems

Here are some examples of onomatopoeia poems that demonstrate the power of sound in poetry:

William Wordsworth’s “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” is a classic example of onomatopoeic poetry. Wordsworth uses words like “dazzling” and “hush” to create an atmosphere that is calming and peaceful.

Khalil Gibran’s “The Broken Wings,” is another example of a poem that uses onomatopoeia effectively. The poem contains words such as “ringing” and “wailing” to create a sad and mournful atmosphere.

Rudyard Kipling wrote the famous “The Elephant’s Child in just 400 lines. He uses words such as “ boom-boom” and “pfffft” to create an atmosphere of danger and intensity in the poem.

Using Onomatopoeia in Poetry

When using onomatopoeia in poetry, it is important to remember to use words that are relevant to the story and create a sense of connection with the reader. The words chosen to represent onomatopoeia should be sensory and evoke strong emotions in the reader.

It should also be noted that there is no universal sound for words, so it is important for the author to consider what sound best reflects the story. Additionally, it is crucial to be mindful of the context and the overall tone of the poem when considering which words to use.

Benefits of Onomatopoeia Poetry

The use of onomatopoeia in poetry has numerous benefits. It helps to create an atmosphere of vibrancy and life that draws readers in and makes the poem more enjoyable to read. Additionally, it helps to make the poem more relatable, as readers can relate to the sound that the words evoke. Furthermore, onomatopoeia can help to make the words more vivid and convey the emotion of the story more clearly.

Onomatopoeia also helps to create a flow in a poem that can be important in maintaining the narrative of the story. It can also add emphasis and punch to certain words, which can be a great tool for authors. Finally, it can help to make the poem more captivating which can lead to a more engaged audience.

The Different Types of Onomatopoeia

There are several different types of onomatopoeia that authors can use in their writing, including ideophones, visual onomatopoeia, and mimicry. Ideophones are words that express distinct ideas or mental states, such as the word “crepitate” which means “to crackle”. Visual onomatopoeia are words that express visual imagery, such as “blur” or “blink”. Finally, mimicry is the imitation of sounds, such as the “meow” of a cat or the “buzz” of a bee.

Choosing the Right Onomatopoeia

When selecting the right onomatopoeia for a poem, it is important to consider the overall tone of the poem and the message or feeling that the author is trying to convey. While onomatopoeia can convey an emotion, it can also be used to build suspense or create a sense of mystery. Additionally, it is important to choose words that are easy to understand and that fit the flow of the poem.


Onomatopoeia in poetry is a powerful tool that authors can use to create vivid imagery, evoke emotions, and make their stories come to life. Through the use of words that imitate sound, authors can convey a feeling of connection with the reader that may be otherwise difficult to achieve. It is an effective way to make a poem stand out and draw in an audience.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

Leave a Comment