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Perfect Rhyme Explained

by Suzette Richards

Perfect rhyme can be classified according to the number of syllables included in the rhyme, which is dictated by the location of the final stressed syllable.

· Single: A rhyme in which the stress is on the final syllable of the words (rhyme/sublime).

· Double: A rhyme in which the stress is on the penultimate (second from last) syllable of the words (picky/tricky).

· Dactylic: A rhyme in which the stress is on the ante-penultimate (third from last) syllable (cacophonies/Aristophanes).

 

Although all three syllables match in the final words in lines 1, 2 & 3 of the following Limerick, For no Rhyme or Reason, double perfect rhyme was used in these lines as the STRESSED SYLLABLE (‘e’) is the penultimate syllable in these three words respectively: Protector/prospector/projector.

Lines 3 & 4: diamonds/bonds: This is NOT an example of a perfect rhyme as the stressed syllables fall differently in these two words: ‘i’ and ‘o’ respectively.

 

 

 FOR NO RHYME OR REASON

 

There was a green Public Protector

who fancied herself as prospector.

‘Digging for diamonds’

and Reserve Bank bonds—

this country’s junk status projector!