What is Rhyme in Poetry?

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What is Rhyme in Poetry?
Rhyme is basically a repetition of two or more words that sound alike. It is a widely used convention in many songs and different types of poetry like poems and sonnets among others. In a poem for example, the use of rhyme functions to unify the message of the said poem. One part of the poem may be related to another and through rhyme, this connection between the two parts may be emphasized and given importance. In the past, there were strict guidelines in using words that rhyme with specific instances on which part of a particular poem stanza should have similar sounds. But in today’s standards, rules are much more relaxed and a particular writer can set his own guidelines to make an informal type of poetry using rhyme.

Rhyme was said to be first discovered in 10th century BC with the Chinese “Shi Jing”. It also said that parts of the Bible and the Qur’an use rhyme along with classical Greek and Latin poetry. Rhyme was also said to be extensively used during medieval times especially by churches, specifically the Roman Catholic Church. But it was only in the 14th century, that a specific technique was established in using rhyme for various written material.

There are many different types and variations of rhyme. One such type is called a “perfect rhyme”. This type involves identical sounds for the final vowel in the words used and the consonants that follow it. A basic example of a perfect rhyme is “might” and “fight”. In these two examples, the vowels involved, letter “i”, have similar sounds and the ending consonants “ght” also have identical sounds. Perfect rhymes can be classified further into masculine, feminine, and dactylic types. “Masculine” perfect rhymes involve identical sounds on the final syllable of words, “Feminine” perfect rhymes involve identical sounds on the syllable which is second to the last, and “Dactylic perfect rhymes” involve similar sounds on the third to last syllable.

There are many other different types of rhyme which are written for different purposes. Others use rhyme just to stress or unify messages in a particular poem. Others meanwhile use rhyme to help the reader easily remember the message of the written material. Some people also use rhyme to demonstrate writing skills and intelligence.

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