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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

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.

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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.

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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'.

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Enclosed Rhyme

Definition

An Enclosed Rhyme is a type of poem that features a rhyming scheme that is often found in literature in the form of "ABBA". This means that the first line of the poem and the fourth line of the poem make a rhyme together; Similarly, the second line of the poem and the third line of the poem make a rhyme together as well. In any case, an enclosed rhyme an introverted quatrain, or rather a stanza, as the rhyming lines are in a varying order as opposed to what is normally seen in a complete poem of four lines.

Enclosed rhymes, or enclosing rhymes as also known, can take many forms. An excellent example of this format is featured in Wilfred Owen's "Exposure". This particular piece shows the enclosed rhyming structure throughout each of the eight stanzas that make up the poem itself. Another example of this structure can be found in the very first verse or stanza of Matthew Arnold's piece entitled "Shakespeare". 

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")

End Rhyme

Definition

A rhyme that occurs at the ends of lines.

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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.

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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.

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Head Rhyme

Definition

See alliteration.

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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.

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Monorhyme

Definition

A Monorhyme is a type of poem in which every single line has the same rhyming sound at the end of the verse. A monorhyme can occur in a stanza, a simple passage, or even an entire poem as long as each line has that repetitive sound. More often than not, you will see the use of a monorhyme within the middle of a piece; However, this is not the only combination or use of this tool that we see in poetry as it can take many different forms within said literature.

The use of the monorhyme within poetry is often seen in works and pieces published by Welsh, Arabic, and Latin cultures. One example of this seen in the "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights", and it can also be seen in some examples of music published today. Another excellent example of a piece using the monorhyme tool in its literature is a poem entitled "A Monorhyme in the Shower", which was written by Dick Davis. 

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.

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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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Random Rhyme

Definition

Irregular, sporadic rhyme - often used in modern poetry.

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Rhyme

Definition

A rhyme poem is a type of poem that, as the name suggests, rhymes. Rhyme poems are the most common known form of poetry. In a rhyme poem traditionally, one or more lines will rhyme. They may follow a specific meter or scheme in which to place the rhymes, which most often is placed at the end of each line.

Some poets, preferring to shake things up and make it their own, will place the rhymes sporadically throughout each line, ignoring any set meter to suit their poem and suit their taste or aim for a bigger impact. Some structured rhyme poems will have every two lines rhyme and then change for the next two and so on. Others will have a line with one rhyme, the next not matching suit, and then having the third rhyme with the first. Examples of rhyme poetry can be found in the work of Emily Dickinson. Rhyme poetry is enjoyed for the beautiful flow that they create. 

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 rhyme royal poem is a type of poem that is set in iambic pentameter, which is a meter of ten syllables in each line. The poem consists of seven lines and has a rhyming scheme of ababbcc. Rhyme royal poetry was, like heroic couplets, was first used by fourteenth-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Rhyme royal poetry are another way to bring an impacting and passionate air to stories of adventure, tragedy, grandeur, and more.

During the fourteenth-Century, all the way to the sixteenth-century, rhyme royal poetry was the favorite form of poetry to all audiences. Interest in rhyme royal poetry fizzled out but still held a strong position when wanting to display dramatic tales. The last significant rhyme royal poem was written by William Shakespeare. Its name was, "Rape of Lucrece" released in 1954. 

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.

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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.

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Slant Rhyme

Definition

Substitution of assonance or consonance for true rhyme (world / boiled, bear / bore) - also called half & near rhyme.

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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

A Tail-Rhyme (also known as a tailed-rhyme) is a type of poem that has a very specific structure. In short, the piece begin with either a couplet or a triplet of lines that consist of rhymed lines. This set of either a couplet or triplet is then followed by a "tail", which is a fourth line that does not rhyme with the couplet or triplet that preceded it. This tail line tends to be shorter in length than those lines within the couplet or triplet. This type of poetry can also be used with stanza, known as a tail-rhyme stanza, but in these pieces, all of the tail lines rhyme with each other.

The use of tail rhymes in literature was often found in several different Middle English romance pieces. One great example of this usage of tail rhymes can be found within "The Canterbury Tales" -- More specifically within Chaucer's 'Sir Thopas'. The term also derives from the Latin 'rhythmus caudatus'. 

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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.

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