Rhyme Patterns

Rhyme patterns

There are many different rhyme patterns, some more common than others.

The rhyme scheme is identified by giving each line of the poem an alphabetical letter (a, b, c, d) and if two lines rhyme they are given the same letter.

Look at the following poem:


Alliteration Al

Alliteration Al found a friendly fox                                              (a)
Fastened to a fence, and balanced on a box                                  (a)
Going through the garden gate, he grabbed the fox’s fur              (b)
Freed the fettered creature, as the fox said “Fankyou sir”             (b)

This rhyme pattern would be referred to as a,a,b,b. 

Now look at this verse from another of my poems :

Beware the Knicker Nickers

Aliens stole my sister’s bra                  (a)
She’s still inside it; how bizarre!          (a)
Now Dad’s chasing in the car              (a)
But she’s so heavy, they’ll not get far.   (a)

This rhyme pattern is classed as a,a,a,a.

Another final example is the first verse of another of my poems:

The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

“I’ll land and lay my egg upon       (a)
This luscious leaf of green”           (b)
Said Mum, the lady butterfly,        (c)
As she purveyed the scene.            (b)

This rhyme pattern would therefore be referred to as a,b,c,b.

These are all just examples of course, there are many variations, but now you will be able to understand poet talk when a rhyme scheme is mentioned!

Another phrase that you might hear is ‘internal rhyming’ which simply means rhymes within a line.  For example, in the final line of the following acrostic called Cobwebs:

 Cobwebs are a lovely sight for everyone to see
(Or maybe flies and cleaners would have cause to disagree)
But generally their beauty is a wonder to behold
When morning dew descends and makes them shine like glistening gold
Even when the dew has gone they are a fascination
Beauty such as theirs a work of art within creation
Spiders, on the other hand, I have to say I CANNOT STAND!

Internal rhyming came in useful here because there were an odd number of lines so I couldn’t follow the rhyme scheme through exactly.

One last example is of near rhymes (half rhymes) which do not quite rhyme perfectly, as in the last two lines of the next poem:

Millicent the Millipede

Moving her body with rippling progression,
Inviting each foot to join in the procession,
Creating a Mexican Wave with her feet
Is Milly the many-footed millipede.

Whilst ‘feet’ and ‘pede’ do not rhyme perfectly, their vowel sound rhymes which therefore makes this a partial rhyme (sometimes referred to as near rhyme or half rhyme).