Adrienne Rich Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Interpret "A Ball is for Throwing" by Adrienne Rich. Specifically, how does alliteration, consonance, and assonance lend to the feeling of the poem?

The alliteration, assonance, and consonance create movement in Adrienne Rich's poem "A Ball is for Throwing" just as she says a ball should exist in movement.

Expert Answers info

Cailey Thiessen eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write108 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Adrienne Rich's poem "A Ball is for Throwing" describes a ball sitting on the shelf of a shop.

Though the colors are bright and the ball is beautiful, she suggests that it is not alive for as long as it sits there. She says a ball can only live when it is in motion, when it is being thrown, caught, and played with. She argues that it is then when it becomes more alive and beautiful. Let's dive into some of the figurative language that helps make her point.

Alliteration is when you start several words close to each other with the same letter, for example, "beautiful ball."

The b sound is useful here because it forces your mouth to open and close. The poem is all about movement and play, and the words "beautiful ball" force your mouth to move if you are reading it out loud.

Consonance is the repetition of similar sounds and letters. It's different than alliteration because it isn't just about the letter at the start of a word. Instead, the repeated sound can be in the beginnings, middles, or...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,080 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now





check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jhussung eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write225 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

booksnake eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write442 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,310 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial