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Basic Versification of Poetry (Part 2)


poetry illustration
Rhyme
Rhyme in poetry refers to the identity of sound at the ends of lines.

l  Perfect rhyme vs. half-rhyme
Perfect rhyme occurs when the stressed vowels following differing consonants sounds are identical.
Half-rhyme occurs when the final consonant sounds are identical


e.g.
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster- child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly then our rhyme:

Note:   The green italic words are the examples of half-rhyme
             The red italic words are the examples of perfect rhyme

 l  Masculine vs. feminine
Masculine: when the final syllables are stressed.
e.g. inquired-desired

Feminine: when the final syllables are unstressed
e.g. flowers – bowers

Internal rhyme: the rhyming words found within the line.
e.g.
the splendor falls on the castle walls
The long light shakes across the lakes

Rhyme scheme: the pattern of rhyme in a poem or stanza
e.g. 
a-b-a-b, b-a-b-a, etc.
At daybreak on the hill they stood
That overlooked the moor,
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.

Alliteration (initial rhyme): The same sound starts several words.
e.g.
Far winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all day the season of snows and sins;
The day dividing lover and lover,
The light and loses, the night that wins.

l  Assonance vs. consonance
Assonance: the use of identical vowel sounds surrounded by different kinds of consonant sounds
e.g. bird - thirst

Consonance: the use of different vowel sounds surrounded by same kinds of consonant sounds.
e.g. wood-weed

Blank verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter
e.g.
. . . and when I have required
Some heavenly music (which even now I do)
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff
Bury it certain fathoms in the sea,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book.

(William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1611)

Free verse: Rhymed or unrhymed poetry composed without attention to conventional rules of meter.
e.g.
I love the way I feel today
But how I know the sun will fade
Darker days seem to be
What will always live in me
But still I run
It's hard to walk this path alone
Hard to know which way to go
Will I ever save this day
Will it ever change

Stanzaic Forms
q  Couplet: Two successive lines of verse that form a single unit because they rhyme
q  Triplet/ tercet: stanza composed three lines.
q  Quatrain: stanza composed four lines.
q  Sestet: stanza composed six lines.
q  Rhyme royal: stanza composed seven lines.
q  Octave: stanza composed eight lines.
q  Sonnet: stanza composed fourteen lines.

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