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Rhyme in Poetry | Rhyme Scheme in Poetry

Rhyme in Poetry and Rhyme Scheme in Poetry Explained. Here are various poetry rhyme types and forms of poetic rhymes with the rhyme types defined. Includes examples of the rhyme forms, rhymes in poetry, and rhyme pattern variations.

Most traditional poems use rhyme as a basic device for holding the poem together. Rhyme is the agreement in sound between words or syllables. The best way to think of rhyme is not as a series of lock stepping sound effects but as a system of echoes. Poets use rhyme to recall earlier words, to emphasize certain points, and to make their language memorable. In fact, rhymes can be extremely effective in making language take hold in a reader’s mind.

Rhyme Pattern Variations

Butterfly Rhyme

Definition

The Butterfly Rhyme is a form of rhyme poetry that consists of two quatrains with an identical rhyming format and a rhyming couplet between the two quatrains. It also has a consistent rhyme pattern from top to bottom on every other "A" line.


                                   A,B,A,B  A,A  A,B,A,B

Example

Scars Left Behind: The Story of David and Bathsheba He saw her bathing at twilight; Comely her countenance, it was clear. The wife of Uriah, the Hittite, In his heart held insincere. So he did to his delight, When they lay in the dark of night. Her husband died in the fight, Placed in battle so severe Through God's eyes this wasn't right; To the king, Nathan did appear

Chain Rhyme

Definition

The linking together of stanzas by carrying a rhyme over from one stanza to the next. A number of verse forms use chain rhyme as an integral part of their structures. One example is terza rima, which is written in tercets with a rhyming pattern a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c. Another is the virelai ancien, which rhymes a-a-b-a-a-b, b-b-c-b-b-c, c-c-d-c-c-d. Other verse forms may also use chain rhyme. For instance, quatrains can be written to the following pattern: a-a-b-a, b-b-c-b, c-c-d-c.

Example

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Cross Rhyme

Definition

Where a word at the end of a line rhymes with a word in the middle of the next/previous line.

Example

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Double Rhymes

Definition

Double or disyllabic rhymes occur when the final two syllables of different words chime together - as in 'spender' and 'slender'.

Example

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Enclosed Rhyme

Definition

The rhyme scheme "abba" (that is, where the first and fourth lines, and the second and third lines rhyme).

Example

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.

(From John Milton's "On His Being Arrived to the Age of Twenty-Three")

Eye Rhyme

Definition

A similarity in spelling between words that are pronounced differently and hence, not an auditory rhyme.

Example

slaughter : laughter.
sew : blew
brow : crow
said : laid

Feminine Rhyme

Definition

See Rhyme

Example

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Half Rhyme

Definition

Half rhyme, sometimes known as slant, sprung or near rhyme, and less commonly eye rhyme (a term covering a broader phenomenon), is a rhyme in which the rhyme occurs only on the first syllable of the rhyming word, as in blue and truly or sum and trumpet.

Example

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Head Rhyme

Definition

See alliteration.

Example

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Identical Rhyme

Definition

Where a poet repeats exactly the same word to create a rhyme.  This is usually regarded as 'bad form' unless the repetition serves a particular purpose.

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Imperfect or Forced Rhyme

Definition

A word that is intended by the poet to fit a rhyme scheme but does not rhyme "perfectly". For example, the words yellow and willow might be used.

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Internal rhyme

Definition

Either where a word in the middle of a line of poetry rhymes with the word at the end of the line e.g. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe or where two words in mid sentence rhyme e.g. 'dawn-drawn' in The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

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Masculine Rhyme

Definition

See Rhyme.

Example

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Monorhyme

Definition

An identical rhyme on every line, common in Latin and Arabic. "aaaaa..."

Example

A break from my career,
to visit a new frontier.
Where life is not severe,
and stress will disappear.
I'll become a pioneer,
a new found volunteer.
To help this old sphere,
make it's air all clear.
We will persevere,
for I'm the brigadier.
So as I tip my beer,
lets offer up a cheer.
Lets make this our year
where everyone will be sincere.

Near Rhyme

Definition

Term used to describe a number of devices which come close to full rhyme but don't create the perfect chiming sound associated with words such as 'cat' and 'mat'. These devices include: assonance, consonance, half-rhyme and unaccented rhyme.

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Nursery Rhymes

Definition

Jingles written for children e.g. Hickory, Dickory, Dock, Wee Willie Winkie or The Cat and the Fiddle. Many have been passed down orally.

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Oblique Rhyme

Definition

Alternative term for near rhyme.

Example

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Pararhyme

Definition

Term coined by Edmund Blunden to describe a form of 'near rhyme' where the consonants in two different words are exactly the same but the vowels vary. Pararhyme is particularly a  feature of the poetry of Wilfred Owen.  For example, in Owen's unfinished poem Strange Meeting we find lines ending with words such as 'groaned' and 'groined' and 'hall' and 'Hell'. Pararhyme is more commonly known as double consonance.

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Quadrhyme

Definition



I do not know if there is a name for this style of poetry, but I have written it with every fourth line rhyming, so that the two stanzas are dependent upon each other for their verse.

Example

The actor lives upon the stage With his voice, his tale conveys Reciting lines in mellow tones Captures all that hear The writer lives upon the page With his hand, his tale portrays Penning lines, each word he hones Seduce the eye instead of ear

Random Rhyme

Definition

Irregular, sporadic rhyme - often used in modern poetry.

Example

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Rhyme

Definition

A rhyme is a repetition of identical or similar sounds in two or more different words and is most often used in poetry. The word "rhyme" may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.

Example

Spoon and Toon

Rhyme

Definition

A rhyming poem has the repetition of the same or similar sounds of two or more words, often at the end of the line.

Example

Jabberwocky (First Two Stanzas)
Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

Rhyme royal

Definition

A type of poetry consisting of seven lines, usually in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b-b-c-c. In practice, the stanza can be constructed either as a tercet and two couplets (a-b-a, b-b, c-c) or a quatrain and a tercet (a-b-a-b, b-c-c). This allows for a good deal of variety, especially when the form is used for longer narrative poems and along with the couplet, it was the standard narrative metre in the late Middle Ages.

Example

Here is the opening stanza of Troilus and Criseyde:

The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen,
That was the king Priamus sone of Troye,
In lovinge, how his aventures fellen
Fro wo to wele, and after out of Ioye,
My purpos is, er that I parte fro ye,
Thesiphone, thou help me for tendyte
Thise woful vers, that wepen as I wryt

and this is the first stanza of the Wyatt poem:

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Rhyme scheme

Definition

A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyming lines in a rhyming poem or in lyrics for music. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme.

Example

For example "abab" indicates a four-line stanza in which the first and third lines rhyme, as do the second and fourth. Here is an example of this rhyme scheme from To Anthea, Who May Command Him Any Thing by Robert Herrick:

Bid me to weep, and I will weep,
While I have eyes to see;
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.

Rhymer

Definition

(or Rhymester) A person who employs rhyme; often a pejorative term for a poet.

Example

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Rhymers Club

Definition

Group of poets including W.B. Yeats and Ernest Rhys who met at the Cheshire Cheese pub in Fleet Street, London to read and discuss their poetry.

Example

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Spelling Rhyme

Definition

This occurs where the end words of a line are spelled similarly e.g. 'love' and 'move' but don't chime together as rhymes.

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Tail-rhyme

Definition

( rime couée ) This is a French form consisting of two rhymes. First there is a rhyming couplet of normally of eight syllables then a third and shorter line. There is another couplet that rhymes with the first one and the sixth, shorter line that rhymes with the third line. This gives us a suggested pattern : aabccb

Example

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Unaccented Rhyme

Definition

Occurs where lines end with feminine (front-stressed) words and the unaccented final syllables would rhyme (if accented) but the initial syllables don't e.g. 'lover' and 'matter' or 'slowly' and 'clearly'.

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Vowel Rhyme

Definition

See assonance.

Example

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