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Poetry - Rhyme, Rhyme Scheme, Rhythm

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Katie Wampler

on 4 February 2015

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Transcript of Poetry - Rhyme, Rhyme Scheme, Rhythm

Poetry - Structure, Rhyme, and Rhythm
Poetic Structure
The building blocks of poetry are lines and stanzas.
is when words have the same end sound.
can happen at the beginning, middle, or end of a line of poetry
Power Up
1. Write down at least 5 words that rhyme with the word "cat."
2. Write down at least 5 words that rhyme with the word "hour."
What do you notice about the words you came up with?
Do words have to have the same number of syllables in order to rhyme?
Do words have to be spelled similarly in order to rhyme?
a single row of words

a group of lines within a poem

In poetry, does a line have to contain a complete sentence or a complete thought?
Types of Stanzas
The number of lines in a stanza determines its type:
2 lines: Couplet
3 lines: Triplet/Tercet
4 lines: Quatrain
5 lines: Quintet
6 lines: Sextet/Sestet
7 lines: Septet
8 lines: Octave
Describe this poem's basic structure
Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower?
But I could never sell.
If you would like to borrow
Until the daffodil

Unties her yellow bonnet
Beneath the village door,
Until the bees from clover rows,
Their hock and sherry draw,

Why, I will lend until just then,
But not an hour more!

-Emily Dickinson
How many lines total?
How many stanzas total?
How many lines in each stanza?
What kind of stanzas?
The spelling of words does not affect rhyme. Rhyme is all about sounds.
Example: where, fair, air, glare, bear
Poets use rhyming words to add rhythm and a musical quality to poems.
Sometimes, poets will try too hard to make a poem rhyme:

When rhyme is used correctly, it should be subtle. When it is used badly, the rhyme will be obvious.

Do poems have to rhyme?
The beautiful moon shines down
It doesn't look like a clown
Types of Rhyme
End Rhyme
End rhyme is when a word at the end of one line rhymes with a word at the end of another line
Hector the Collector
Collected bits of
Collected dolls with broken heads,
And bells that would not

Internal Rhyme
Internal rhyme is when a word rhymes with another word in the same line
Once upon a midnight
, while I pondered weak and
-From "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
Slant Rhyme
Slant rhyme is when words share either the same vowel or consonant sound,
but not both
Slant rhyme is also called "near rhyme," "imperfect rhyme," or "close rhyme."
Different vowel sounds
Same end consonant sound
Rhyme Scheme
Rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyme found in a poem
Rhyme scheme usually works with end rhyme, but not always
We use the letters of the alphabet to visually represent sounds and be able to "see" the pattern
"The Germ" by Ogden Nash
A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place,
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases,
By giving people strange diseases,
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
Check for Understanding
My cat is nice.
My cat likes mice.
My cat is fat.
I like my cat.
My cat is nice.
My cat is fat.
My cat likes mice.
I like my cat.
My cat is gray.
My cat is fat.
My cat is cute.
I like my cat.
Exit Ticket
There was an old man on the Border,
Who lived in the utmost disorder;
He danced with the cat, and made tea in his hat,
Which vexed all the folks on the Border.

1. What type of stanza is this poem?
2. What is the rhyme scheme of this poem?
3. In Line 3, "cat" and "hat" have _______ rhyme. (end/internal/slant)
derived from the Greek word "rhythmos," which means "measured motion"
acts in poetry like a beat does in music
sounds pleasant to the mind and to the soul
captivates audience and readers by giving a musical effect to a literary piece
How is Rhythm Created?
Rhyme creates natural rhythm
We naturally emphasize certain syllables in words - poets use this to their advantage
Intentional line breaks can also create rhythm
Types of Rhythm
Rhythm is comprised of patterns of different stressed (/) and unstressed (x) syllables. Each unit of these syllables is called a
. The number of feet in a line is known as
Iamb (
x /
This is the most commonly used. It consists of two syllables. The first syllable is not stressed while the second syllable is stressed. Such as “compare” in

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
When we discuss meter, we look at how many feet are in a line. Remember, for an iamb, 1 foot equals one set of unstressed and stressed syllables. How many iambs are in the line above?
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
x / x / x / x / x /
5 feet = (penta)meter. So the above is written in
iambic pentameter
Other types:
trochee: (/ x) - stressed, unstressed
) -
“Tell me not, in mournful numbers”
spondee: (/ /) - stressed, stressed
) -
“White founts falling in the Courts of the sun”
dactyl: (/ x x) - stressed, unstressed, unstressed
) -
anapest: (x x /) - unstressed, unstressed, stressed
) -
“Twas the night before Christmas"
How does form affect rhythm?

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

"We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks
in poetry, the technique of running over from one line to the next without stop, as in the following lines by William Wordsworth: "My heart leaps up when I behold / A rainbow in the sky." The lines themselves would be described as enjambed.
How does enjambment affect "We Real Cool"?
Where does this poem take place?
Who makes up the "we" in the poem? How would you describe the "we" and what are they doing throughout the poem (consider their age and attitude)?
How would you describe the voices, or identities, of the "we"? What three adjectives best describe the pool players?
Was it difficult to pause after each "we" (where the line breaks). Why or why not?
What was different about your and John Ulrich's reading of the poem?
What about the poem stood out as you were reading the poem?
What is the mood or tone of the poem?
How would you describe the sound of the poem - like a song, a chant, or some other sound?
In your groups, transcribe the poem according to your task. Then, answer the following questions and be ready to present both your poem and your answers:

1. How does the sound of the poem change?
2. How do the pace and rhythm of the poem change?
3. How does the tone of the poem change?
4. How would you describe the pool players now?
5. Are any elements of the poem lost when the lines are presented in this way?
Let's listen to Gwendolyn Brooks reading her poem.
In her commentary, Brooks mentions "the establishment." What does she mean by "the establishment"?
How are the pool players going against the establishment?
What does Brooks mean when she suggests that the soft "we" indicates that the pool players have a "basic uncertainty"? About what are they uncertain?
How would you describe the "we" now (in relation to when you first heard the poem read by students)? How does the soft "we" help to make the pool players seem uncertain? Are they uncertain about themselves?
Notice how Brooks pauses after each "we"; what effect do these pauses have on the poem as she reads it? How do the pauses affect the poem's pace and rhythm?

What differentiates
-Why do you think Brooks chose to break each line after "We"?

-How do the 2-line stanzas affect the poem's rhythm and pace? Do they slow down the poem, quicken the poem, create a song-like rhythm, etc.?
Final Questions
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