Poetry styles and examples.
|On 10/12/20 at 6:03pm, Dave, the gravedigger wrote:
Webster defines a rhyme as 'a piece of verse, or poem, in which there is a
regular recurrence of corresponding sounds, especially at the ends of lines.' Lines
that rhyme at the end are called end-rhymes. Rhymes that occur within a line are called> internal rhymes.
'Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December.'
--from 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe
Rhyme mates that share the same final vowel and consonant sound are known as
perfect, or true, rhymes. We use letters of the alphabet to identify a particular
end-rhyme pattern, also known as rhyme scheme. For an ABAB pattern, the end of the first
and third lines would rhyme, and the end of the second and fourth lines would rhyme but
differ from the first and third lines.
When a recognizable group of sounds echo one another but do not make a true
rhyme, the repetition is called a slant rhyme, sometimes also called an off-rhyme. These
slant rhymes can be further defined as consonantal rhymes when the consonant sounds echo
and the vowels change (hit, hut, hat) or assonantal rhymes that have similar vowel sounds
but different consonants (phlegm, then). Remember it is the sound that determines the
rhyme. Compare the strict, rigid rhyme structure of
sounds mixed within
Most rhymes are monosyllabic (based on a single syllable), but multi-syllabic (based on
two or more syllables) rhymes--such as inspiration, desperation, and perspiration--can be
used to create a heightened lightening or poignant effect.
If done well, rhyming can be pleasing to the ear and fun to create, testing the wit and
ingenuity of the poet. It can also serve as an audible echo or resonance for emphasis.
Additionally, rhyming can be an organizing device to create zones of similarity for your
poems and linkage to connect different thoughts.
There are several problems that arise when using rhymes, end-rhymes in
particular. The first is that rhymes tend to draw attention to themselves and may
overshadow the message of the poem. Also, the writer may torture the diction or
grammatical structure to make the line fit the established rhyme scheme. Another danger
is writing a line that fulfills the formal rhyming requirement but fails to meet the
commitment of expressing a heartfelt belief.
Poets continually engage in various phonetic experiments to expand the broad array
of poetic devices at their disposal. In the interest of providing more tools to enable
you to be more flexible in your poetry, we will present several different types of rhyme
schemes. They are by no means all-inclusive, and are intended to serve as an hors
d'oeuvre to whet your appetite for further research and experimentation.
1. Internal rhyme: rhymes word at the end of a line with a word in the middle of the
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--
The ice was all between.
~from 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel T. Coleridge
2. Linked, or run-over, rhyme: rhymes end of one line with beginning of next line.
And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.
~from 'The Sunlight on the Garden' by Louis MacNiece
3. Interlaced rhymes: rhymes middle of one line with middle of the next line.
Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!--a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?--weep now or never more!
See on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read--the funeral song be sung!--
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young--
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
~from 'Lenore' by Edgar Allan Poe
4. Initial, or head, rhyme: rhymes syllables at the beginnings of lines.
Rat-tat it went upon the lion's chin,
That hat! I know it!' cried the joyful girl,
'Summer's it is. I know him by his knock;
Comers like him are welcome as the day!
Lizzy! go down and open the street-door;
Busy I am to anyone but him.
Know him you must--he has been here before;
Show him upstairs, and tell him I'm alone.'
~from 'The Double Knock' by Thomas Hood
5. Compound rhyme: rhymes groups of words as one word.
The jack of all trades,
He slacks in tall shades.
6. Apocopated rhyme: rhymes only part of the words, such as come/summer and
His face looked so plump
As he played his trumpet.
7. Amphisbaenic, or backward, rhyme: rhymes in reverse, as in later/retail and
8. Sight, or eye, rhyme: words that look like they rhyme but have different sounds, as
For more about rhyming see:
The poet deftly mixes, matches, and arranges the sounds and ideas to weave an intricate
fabric with a texture that corresponds to the mood (bright or gloomy) and tone (casual or
formal) he is trying to establish while sculpting a unique piece of literature.
EXERCISE: Write several lines of poetry using each of
these techniques. Then try combining several of the techniques in the same poem.
ASSIGNMENT: Write a five-stanza poem about a favorite
activity using a rhyme scheme of ABA, BCB, CDC, DED, EAE. Before posting the poem along
the "Tools of the trade: The Rhyming Thread" thread on "~ The Poet's Place Cafe~" discussion forum, ask yourself if any of the
rhyme words seem forced or predictable. Subtle rhyming that sneaks up on the reader's
awareness is much more effective than that achieved through blatant distortion of the
Let the creativity flow from your soul!
"The Poet's Place "