What’s The Definition Of A Rhyme?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a WALL Humpty Dumpty had a great FALL

Rhymes are a pair of words that commonly appear in poetry that have similar vowel sounds. Using rhymes can give lines of prose a more interesting rhythm. Rhymes are a writing technique that has been in use for centuries.

Traditional Rhymes

In a nutshell, a rhyme consists of two or more words that have the same vowel sound. For example “room” and “boom” are rhymes. “Bat” and “cat” are also rhymes.

However, words don’t need to use the same letters to rhyme. For an example, “ocean” and “motion” rhyme even though they are spelled differently and have different vowels. They rhyme because their vowel sound is the same when read or spoken out loud.

Rhymes can also consist of multiple words. You could rhyme “beach” with “freedom of speech” or “rabbit” with “bad habit.”

Approximate Rhymes

There are in fact other types of rhymes besides vowel sound. Approximate Rhymes are a pair of words that don’t necessarily sound exactly the same. They
sound fairly similar.

Approximate rhymes allow writers to rhyme words that they wouldn’t be able to rhyme otherwise. “Orange” is a word that is famous for not rhyming with anything. However, there are several words that sound similar to “orange.” You could try rhyming “orange” with “abhorrence” and “porridge” and get the effect that you want.

Another example is the pair of words “love” and “grudge”. In songs, “girl” and “world” are commonly used.

Is Rhyming Essential?

A lot of people think that you have to use rhymes when writing a poem. However, that isn’t actually the case. The choice of whether or not to use a rhyme is entirely up to the writer. The writer also has to decide how the rhyme is structured.

Some writers rhyme the ending word of every phrase. Others rhyme the ending word of every other phrase. There are many different ways to use rhymes.

Examples of Rhymes in Poetry

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe is a poem that uses rhyme. Throughout the poem they rhyming structure changes. In the first stanza, it’s an ABABAB patter. In Stanza’s 2-4 its just the B lines that rhyme. In Stanza 5 its ABBABCB and the last stanza is ABABCCBB.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.