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Rhyme Schemes

Filed Under: Poetry

Date Created:08 Aug 2016

Last Modified:17 Aug 2016

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Rhyme or rime is one of the ways in which rhythm is achieved. It refers to the similarity of sound between words, but more so especially the ending of words.

N.B: I have used the word rime as a variant of rhyme. However, it should be brought to your attention that rime is used primarily to refer to part of a word that starts with a vowel and all the letters that follow it. For example, in the word flower, the rime is -ower or -er.


Rhyme Scheme refers to the pattern in the rime. There are several types. In the excerpt below, most of the rime occurs immediately on the next line:


We keep this child called love, we falter;
We lose it, therein the loss a gain greater.
It seems we are at the mercy of cupid
‘Cause since we’re both grown, we aren’t stupid!


If we were to use letters i.e. ‘a’ and ‘b’ to represent the rhyming elements , then the verses above would be said to have an a-a-b-b rhyming scheme.

Sometimes the rhyming elements come after one line:


The man floated on a sea of filthiness;
The filth and dirt of putrefying humanity
And he never knew that all was a mess.
Human ideas drenched with uncertainty--

These he feasted on with insatiable desire.
He was appraised by the ignorant vermin,
Pampered and petted by many a liar,
Making him feel important when he’s nothing.

But alas the day did come,
And he finally realized that all was in vain,
And that he was finally done…
And all efforts to escape were nothing but vain .



The rhyming scheme above is commonly used in sonnets. Will I be right if I say that the poem above has an a-b-a-b rhyming scheme?

N.B: These letters represent rhyming schemes in a quatrain, or a verse of four lines.

And sometimes, the rime can occur in the same line:


The eeriness of loneliness
Is what makes loneliness so lonely.
Often I understand not why I feel so lonely
Because I long for solitude but it eludes me
Everyday I chase after Solitariness
But alas, I give up with weariness.


And of course, the poem above also demonstrates that a single poem can have more than one type of rhyming scheme.

There are of course several rhyming schemes, but it is not necessary to review all of them.

Other aspects of rhyme that we will discuss in chapters ahead are Assonance, Alliteration and consonance.


Rhyme is, as you can see, one of the easiest ways of achieving rhythm in poetry, and I know you can do it. So in conclusion?

If you can rime, then feel fine, because you can compose a poem!!!
Happy composing!

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