Types of Sounds

Here are the primary tones of rhyme and their effects on the content of a poem:

• Full or True Rhyme: The juxtaposition of exact-sounding vowels and consonants in two or more words located at the ends of different lines in a poem. This type of rhyme is the workhorse of formal poetry and lends a clarity or conciseness to lines.

Sure thou didst flourish once! and many springs, Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers Passed o'er thy head; many light hearts and wings, Which now are dead, lodged in thy living bowers.

— Henry Vaughan

• Slant or Near Rhyme'. The juxtaposition of two or more words with approximate-sounding vowels or consonants at the ends of different lines in a poem. This type of rhyme causes a feeling of uneasiness or tension in a poem, especially when it appears in a short line.

The Bustle in a House The Morning after Death Is solemnest of industries Enacted upon Earth. . . .

— Emily Dickinson

• Double or Multiple Rhyme'. The juxtaposition of two or more approximate- or exact-sounding vowels or consonants in two or more words, usually found at the ends of lines in a poem. This type of rhyme startles the reader with an unanticipated sound, almost always humorous.

(Double Approximate Rhyme)

A strange Erratum in all the Editions Of Sir Joshua Reynolds' Lectures Should be corrected by the Young Gentlemen And the Royal Academy's Directors

-William Blake

(Multiple Exact Rhyme)

About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news — With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

• Rising or Masculine Rhyme: A full-rhyming word that ends on a hard stress or whose exact-sounding last syllable does. This type of rhyme produces a strong beat and emphasizes the sound of a word.

As from the darkening gloom a silver dove Upsoars, and darts into the Eastern light, On pinions that naught moves but pure delight', So fled thy soul into the realms above; . . .

• Falling or Feminine Rhyme: A full-rhyming word that ends on a light stress or whose exact-sounding last syllable does. This type of rhyme adds a soothing, echoing or humorous tone, depending on the poem in question.

And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallowsl

Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover Blossoms and dewdrops —at the bent spray's edge — That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,

— Robert Browning

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