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Connotation, on the other hand is defined as being what a particular word implies or is suggested to mean. Two words from “Skunk Hour” whose connotation brings greater meaning to the poem are “hermit” and “eyesores.” Both of these words invoke very strong imagery within the poem which, in turn, is helpful in understanding the piece’s overall meaning. The word “hermit” implies a person who is alone, a stranger to others, invisible, and perhaps odd looking. The fact that this word is used in conjunction with heiress is interesting as heiresses are not usually seen as hermits. Hermit influences the characterization of the heiress right from the very beginning of the poem. Eyesore is a word which connotes structures that are dilapidated, ugly, and vacant. It adds a lot of intrigue to the poem as the reader wonders why the heiress is buying up places that nobody else would want.
Alliteration is a term which means that there are two words that begin with the same consonant in a group of words or a particular line. It can also refer to similar sounding words within the same group as well. There are several examples of alliteration within “Skunk Hour.” For example, in the fourth stanza, Lowell states “for fall,/his fishnets filled…”(Lowell). The repetition of the “f” and the “f” sound in this group of words would be considered alliteration. Another example of alliteration occurs in the fifth stanza with the group of words “love-cars. Lights turned down, /they lay together, hull to hull,”(Lowell). Similarly to the previous example, this group repeats the letter “l” and the “l” sound in the words “love…lights…lay…hull…hull.” This repetition would be considered alliteration as well.
Assonance is defined as the repetition of specific vowels or vowel sounds in a line or group of words. There are a few examples of assonance with the “Skunk Hour.” One example occurs between the two words of “off”
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