What is one example of onomatopoeia in the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

Expert Answers
samcestmoi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I’m going to be honest with you here: I’m not sure there is an example of onomatopoeia in this poem. An onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like the thing it represents, like “achoo” for a sneeze or “buzz” for the sound a bee makes. The phonemes in the words themselves resemble the sounds they signify. Because we are dealing with sounds, any onomatopoeia in “If” would have to be representing a sound. The poem mentions talking, doubting, blaming, breathing, all kinds of sound-related things, and yet none of them really represent any sound they are describing. If your assignment is to find one example for a number of literary devices for this poem, you might have to leave the onomatopoeia section blank, like you do sometimes for the letter “x” when you’re going through the alphabet. 

Read the study guide:
If

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question