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Topics in Literature


Rhyme aka rime
The repetition of the accented vowel sound and all succeeded sounds in important or importantly positioned words. See perfect rhyme and identical rhyme.

Approximate Rhyme aka imperfect, near, slant or oblique rhyme
A term used for words in a rhyming pattern that have some kind of sound correspondence but are not perfect rhymes. Approximate rhymes occur occasionally in patterns where most of the rhymes are perfect, and sometimes are used systematically in place of perfect rhyme.

Amphisbaenic Rhyme
A reversed rhyme, such as 'trot' and 'tort'.

Rhyming only with the consonants in the terminal syllable(s). Examples would include 'tell'/'toll' and 'concrete'/'litcrit'.

Double Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated vowel is in the second last syllable of the words involved; one form of feminine rhyme. Example: 'listened' and 'glistened'.

Broken Rhyme
Rhyming with an initial or medial syllable of a word that is split between two lines with a hyphen.

Eye Rhyme
Words rhyming only as spelled, not as pronounced, and hence not a perfect or true rhyme. An example is 'through' and 'slough'.

End Rhyme
Rhymes that occur at the ends of lines.

Masculine Rhyme aka Single Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel sound is in the final syllable of the words involved.

Feminine Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel is in either the second or third last syllable of the words involved.

Perfect Rhyme
Perfect rhyme assumes that the accented vowel sounds involved are preceded by differing consonant sounds.

Identical Rhyme
Where the accented vowel sound and all succeeding sounds are preceded by the same consonant sound or no consonant sound in either word, or when the same word is repeated in the rhyming position, we have identical rhymes.

Synthetic Rhyme
A forced rhyme in which the spelling and sound of a word are distorted.

Rich Rhyme
Rhymes identical in sound (or spelling) but semantically different. Example:
"Felicity was present
To pick up her present."
Rhyme Royal
A form of verse which consists of stanzas of seven ten-syllable lines, rhyming ababbcc. It was first used by Chaucer, and was also the form chosen by Shakespeare for the tragic gravity of his narrative poem Lucrece

Rime Couée
Tail rhyme, a stanza in which a usually closing short line rhymes with a previous short line and is separated from it by longer lines

Tail Rhyme see Caudet sonnet
A stanza with a tail, tag, or extra short line that may rhyme with another such line later on. Example: Michael Drayton's Nymphidia.

The use of only one rhyme in a stanza (aaaa etc.) An example is Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The Woodspurge.

Terza Rima
An interlocking rhyme scheme with the pattern aba bcb cdc, etc. Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ode to the West Wind is an example.

Triple Rhyme
A rhyme in which the repeated accented vowel sound is in the third last syllable of the words involved; one form of feminine rhyme.

Ottava rima
An eight line verse stanza rhyming abababcc. In English it is usually in iambic pentameter. It was introduced into English by Sir Thomas Wyatt in the 1530s, and was widely used for long verse narratives. Sir John Harington translated Ariosto's Orlando furioso into ottava rima in 1591; Byron used the form in Don Juan.

Rhyme Scheme
Any fixed pattern of rhymes characterising a whole poem or its stanzas.

contributed by Gifford, Katya

9 November 2004

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