The pattern of rhymes at the conclusion of each line in a poem or song is referred to as a rhyme scheme. It is commonly referred to by utilizing letters to identify which lines rhyme with each other; lines labeled with the same letter all rhyme with each other. For example, in this sonnet by John Donne there are four-line stanzas that conclude with a rhyming couplet. The first two lines of each four-line stanza begin with the same letter (m) and thus they end up being spelled differently but having the same sound. This is known as a monorhyme.
Rhyming poetry is very common in both ancient and modern times. Many famous poems befall this format including "Shakespeare's Sonnets" and "Poe's Poems". Modern poets who have written songs using this style include Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.
In addition to spelling different words that share a sound, lines in a poem can also be repeated verbatim or almost so. These duplicate lines are often used as rhetorical devices such as foreshadowing or emphasis. For example, William Shakespeare uses repetition in his work to great effect. Some of the most famous passages from his plays contain multiple instances of "to be or not to be", "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet", and "thou art thy mother's image made without her face or mind".
While certain rhyming words can be found in the midst of a line, rhyme scheme refers to rhymes found towards the conclusion of lines. The two main types of rhyme schemes are abab and abbc. In an abab scheme, each line ends with the same letter; in an abbc scheme, each line ends with a different letter.
Abab rhyme schemes are the most common type of rhyme scheme used in poetry. Each line of an abab poem contains two rhymes (ab and ba), which form a repetitive pattern that echoes back through the poem. An example of an abab poem is "The Abab Game." This type of poem is easy to write because you only need to remember two things: the last sound of one line must match the first sound of the next line and the word "and" occurs between every other line except for the final line which usually does not have an "and".
To write your own abab poems, start with the last word of one line and then use it as the first word of the next line. So, the last word "game" would be the first word of the second line ("This game will test your knowledge").
A rhyme scheme is a poet's purposeful arrangement of lines in a poem or stanza that rhyme with other lines. The rhyming scheme, or pattern, may be detected by assigning the same letter to end words that rhyme with each other. The first sentence concludes with the word "star," while the second line concludes with the word "are." These two words are the only ones that end in "-ar." Thus, they fit into the star-rhymes pattern, which requires that all lines end with words that begin with the same letter.
Rhyme is the repetition of sounds or words within a given line or stanza. Rhyme schemes can be used by poets to create a pleasing balance of words that end with different letters. This variety helps prevent monotony from becoming too pronounced in a poem.
Different types of rhymes include:
Simple Rhymes Are Two Words That End In The Same Sound (example: moon/June)
Compound Rhymes Have Two Words With Different Sounds (example: dock/gock)
Alliterative Rhymes Repeat One Consistent Word Or Phrase (example: battle/battles)
Consonant-vowel Rhymes Use One Letter For Both Sound And Meaning (example: mute/myte)