by Carol Ann Duffy
Analysis: Sound Check
This sonnet is pretty quiet. There are a lot of s sounds (in words like kisses, stars, and softer), and we can almost picture Anne whispering the poem to us across a dark and quiet room; or, even better, two lovers whispering sweet nothings to each other in bed.
While the poem has a lot of repeated sounds, it doesn't properly rhyme until the final couplet (two line pair) that ends the poem. After a lot of almost-rhymes throughout the poem, Anne rhymes her end-words perfectly: head and bed. You can't help but say these lines louder. There's something incredibly satisfying about this final, strong, rhyme. Even though it's a pretty quiet poem up until this point, these lines beg to be enunciated clearly and perfectly, simply because of the rhyme.