In poetry, many poets use prosody to bring their writing to life. Prosody is the pronunciation of a poem, and it usually includes elements such as sound, rhyme, alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, rhythm, stress, and meter. These effects can take poetry to a completely different level, beyond only imagery. In the poem, ? The Word Plum,? By Helen Chasing, examples of alliteration and onomatopoeia are used to bring her subject, a plum, to life. In the first line, Chasing begins with a very basic description of the word ? Plum? : ?
The word plum is delicious?. The interesting thing is, she? S not even ascribing the fruit, but the word. The word ? Delicious? Has an ? L? , as does the word ? Plum? , and I see this creates a harmony between the noun and adjective. The ? C? And ? S? Of ? Delicious? Creates somewhat of a juicy sound; as a ripe plum, being eaten, is generally slurped with each bite. In the second line, onomatopoeia is introduced with the two verbs, ? Pout and push, luxury of?. ?Pout and push? Are great for the beginning of that second line because, following ? Delicious? They create a new sound, yet they begin to describe why it? S delicious. Alliteration is also introduced with these two rods, and they are not capitalized, which creates a balance; two verbs, four letters each, not capitalized, and both beginning with ? P? S.? And then, ? Luxury? Begins with an ? L? , which begins to spell the word ? Plum?. In the third line, again without capitalization, ? Self-love, and savoring murmur? , Chasing completes the spelling of ? Plum?. Again, she uses alliteration with the letter ? S? To create that juicy sound, ? Elf-love/savoring?. Perhaps, also, ? Murmur? Is used to create somewhat of a ? Mom? Effect. In the fourth line, she creates a new alliteration? ?Full in the mouth and falling?. The ? F? S? Old even be used to describe the soft, yet splitting sound of the plum? S flesh being bitten into. These sound effects start bringing a plum into focus and they seem to create a scene of teeth sinking into it. In the following line, she continues with the ? F? Alliteration, ? Like fruit?. So, lines four and five, Chasing uses three words beginning with the letter ?
P? Using the word ? Fruit? As the last word of the stanza, the plum takes form and becomes more than just a word. Following the two-worded line before it, the seventh line starts out with two words, ? Taut skin?. They describe the tight, smooth surface of a plum, and the rods description continues onto the eighth line, which is full of verbs describing the bite, ? Pierced, bitten, provoked into?? Once again, using onomatopoeia for sound. The alliteration of also creates a sound of a tearing sound of the plum? Skin, but is also a letter that involves ones lips to meet with a short breath exhaling for the sound; a mouth in motion like a bite. In the ninth line, it continues the stanza of biting. It is well-placed midway through the poem, where action is expressed and the peak of the poem is reached. Chasing then writes, ? Juice, and tart flesh? ?She uses the ? S? Sound gain, that creates a slurping sound. Using the word tart, also reflects the beginning of that stanza ? Taut skin?? A piercing ? T? Sound that creates a quick burst through the plum? S skin.
In the tenth line, Chasing uses only one word, ? Question?. It is a complete change of mood and atmosphere because the image and sound of a plum being bitten into disappears; the word ? Question? Is alone and provokes the idea that the plum has been eaten already. It then swings into the eleventh line, ? And reply, lip and tongue?. Using the word ? Question? Sparks a new thought, as does the brain after it recognizes something? Which proceeds to the next line, such as when one bites and the brain recognizes what it is by using the lip and tongue? Sensors. The sensors reply to the brain, telling it what it is tasting. The last line, ? Of pleasure? Shows that the brain has replied back to the sensors (lip and tongue) with delight. Chasing concluded the alliteration of with ? Pleasure,? And it even has the ? Pl? That ? Plum? Does. This poem describes a brief moment using sounds of words; creating action and imagery. Chasing broke this moment into slow motion using short, yet verbose lines, and created a description of the process when the brain coziness something (by the senses).
In this case, it was a juicy plum being bitten into, and the moment the tongue and lips tasted the fruity inside (as well as the tart skin), the brain recognized it was a plum. Using onomatopoeia and alliteration also provoked the transformation of the reader into first person; not specifically, but when one breaks this moment down, one can hear, taste, feel, and see this plum being bitten into. If this poem is read quickly and without noticing its prosody, the magical scene is lost, and it just becomes a simple poem about a simple piece of fruit.