Poetic Techniques

Rhyme Schemes And Patterns In Poetry

Rhyming poems are determined by the ending words of the lines. Not all poems follow a rhyme scheme, but for those that do, there are different patterns each stanza follows.

Rhyme Schemes In Poetry

by Tynea Lewis more by Tynea Lewis

Published on February 2014

While not all poems rhyme, some follow a certain rhyming scheme, adding to the rhythm of the poem. The last word of each line is what we look at when discussing a rhyme scheme. Rhyming words are words that have the same ending sound (from the last vowel sound through the end of the word). It's important to listen to the sound of the words and not just look at the spelling; there are many words that have a similar spelling but do not have the same sound. For example, "do" and "go" look like they should rhyme, but they don't. The same goes for "lost" and "post." It goes the other way as well. There are words that do not look like rhyming words because of different spellings, but they do rhyme. Some examples include: "blue" and "through" "true" and "you" "said" and "red" Reading aloud a poem helps you hear the rhyming words. Letters are used to denote the rhyming scheme in a stanza. Each time the rhyme changes, another letter is introduced. For example, if the following words were the ending of lines in a poem, the rhyming scheme would be ABAB. ...sat ...cap ....mat ....lap "Sat" and "mat" rhyme, so the same letter is used (A). "Cap" and "lap" rhyme, so the same letter is used (B). Since "sat" does not rhyme with "cap," they cannot share the same letter. Each time a new rhyme set is introduced, a new letter must be used. Take a look at these variations in rhyme scheme. You will also find links to poems from the Family Friend Poems website.


Many poems that follow the AABB pattern are broken into quatrains, which are four line stanzas, where the first and second lines rhyme and the third and fourth lines rhyme. Examples: He'll Never Know The Siren My Christmas Wish Missing You Nature's Way Every Day My Love For You Grows A Poison Tree A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed How Can I Forget? Never Stop Being You The Importance Of A Sister A True Friend


In an ABCB format, the second and forth lines of the stanza rhyme. The first and third lines do not rhyme with any others. Examples: Crimson Rose The Gift Friendship: One of God's Greatest Gifts Growing Up With Grandma She One More Day My Melody I Wish I Wasn't Alone I Tried So Hard What I Love About You To A Terrific Dad


In an ABAB format, the rhyming alternates lines. The first and third rhyme with each other, and the second and fourth rhyme. Examples: Healing Love The One Candy Corn If Only Last Chance Carnival

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