Basic Poetic Techniques

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 And Patterns In Poetry

Tynea Lewis By more by Tynea Lewis

Rhyme Schemes In Poetry

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" 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.

ABAB Rhyme Scheme

In an ABAB format, the rhyming alternates lines. The first and third rhyme with each other, and the second and fourth rhyme.

Examples Of Poems With ABAB Rhyme Scheme

More Examples of Poems with ABAB Rhyme Scheme

AABB Rhyme Scheme

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 Of Poems With AABB Rhyme Scheme

More Examples of Poems with AABB Rhyme Scheme

ABCB Rhyme Scheme

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 Of Poems With ABCB Rhyme Scheme

More Examples of Poems with ABCB Rhyme Scheme


A monorhyme is when the end rhyme of a stanza or entire poem is the same.

Examples Of Poems With Monorhyme



Tynea Lewis is an editor for Family Friend Poems and helped to develop the National Poetry Month Resources for Family Friend Poems. She started her career as an elementary teacher and has had a passion for writing since she was in 1st grade.

For over a decade, she was the...

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