The basic definition of rhyme is two words that sound alike.
Usually, the vowel sounds are the same and the consonant is different.
Among many reasons, the following are the most common:
Rhyme helps to unify a poem.
It also repeats a sound that links one concept to another, thus helping to determine the structure of a poem or emphasize an idea.
When two subsequent lines rhyme, it is likely that they are thematically linked .
Connect to a rhythm/meter; add musicality.
Various Types of Rhyme (not fully inclusive)
Perfect rhymes (pure, strict)
General Rhymes (use of words that are similar)
Rhyme inside a lines of a poem or a word inside a line that that rhymes with a word at the end of a line
As he spoke , the child began to choke .
Rhyme at the ends of lines of poetry
Time frozen on a face
Dreams drift to a place
Rhyme in which only one syllable is matched.
I fell in the pit
And lost my mitt
More than one syllable rhymes.
Example from William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 20”
A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted , Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion ; A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion ... But since she prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure , Mine be thy love and thy love’s use their treasure .
Using the same word in repetition.
End rhyme or Internal Rhyme
Ex (E. Dickinson)
We paused before a house that seemed A Swelling of the Ground — The Roof was scarcely visible-- The Cornice--in the Ground .
Slant rhyme (Near rhyme) -- is a rhyme that is close
As we walked up to the place
She entered, face locked in daze
Also known as visual rhyme or sight rhyme
a similarity in spelling between words that are pronounced differently and hence, not an auditory rhyme.
Slaughter & laughter
Move & love
Rain & again
sh a ke , h a te
Assonance is sometimes used to refer to slant rhymes.
Matching initial consonants
( sh ort , sh ip )
Occurs when the last syllable of one of the rhymes is missing.
A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme Song
This is a YouTube video of the theme song.
See handout for lyrics.
What types of rhymes do you see? Make notes on your copy as I play the song.
A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyming lines in a poem or song.
It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme.
In other words, it is the pattern of end rhymes or lines.
Can help when figuring out a poetic form (more on this to come).
Example of Rhyme Scheme
Bid me to weep, and I will weep A
While I have eyes to see ; B
And having none, and yet I will keep A
A heart to weep for thee . B
“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke
You can listen to two different people read it by clicking on this link.
Food for Thought
Rhyme works best when it doesn’t call attention to itself.
A rhymed word stands out.
Think of a rhyme as an echo.
“Glossary of Rhymes”
Write a poem that uses as many types of rhyme as you can (perfect and general).
Label your rhymes (end, internal, eye, etc.) so that I know you understand what you’ve done.
For extra credit, include a type of rhyme we did not discuss in class today.