2016 Fundraiser: We depend on donations from our community to create a safe place for poetry online. This is the one time of year we ask, so thank you for considering a small donation to support our great work. Learn more about our story

What Is Rhyme Scheme?

Rhyme scheme refers to the particular lines in a piece of poetry that rhyme, usually by using words at the end of each line that sound similar.

Let it go! Let it go! Those rhyme schemes never bothered me anyway!

 

All right, you’re probably already a pro at using rhyme scheme in your poetry, but let’s go over it just to make sure! Rhyme scheme refers to the particular lines in a piece of poetry that rhyme, usually by using words at the end of each line that sound similar. There is no one rule when it comes to rhyme scheme patterns. The simplest rhyme scheme is the “AABB” pattern, where in a four-line stanza, the first two lines rhyme and so do the second two lines. Most songs and traditional nursery rhymes use this pattern: “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can. Pat it and shape it and mark it with B. Put it in the oven for baby and me.” In rhyme scheme, the words at the end of the sentence don’t have to look exactly the same, but they should sound similar when spoken out loud. The second most common rhyme scheme is the “ABAB” pattern, where the rhyming lines alternate. If you’re already rad at rhyming you can get super fancy with patterns like “ABBA” or even “ABABCC” (yup it can get pretty crazy). Be imaginative and try to create your own rhyme scheme. 

 

Meanwhile, can you name the rhyme schemes in these poems?

Still I Rise

BY MAYA ANGELOU

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.

 

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.            

 

Let it Go

BY IDINA MENZEL

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight

Not a footprint to be seen.

A kingdom of isolation,

and it looks like I'm the Queen

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside

 

Couldn't keep it in;

Heaven knows I've tried

Don't let them in,

don't let them see

Be the good girl you always have to be

 

Conceal, don't feel,

don't let them know

Well now they know

Let it go, let it go

Can't hold it back anymore

 

Let it go, let it go

Turn away and slam the door

I don't care

what they're going to say

Let the storm rage on.

The cold never bothered me anyway

 

It's funny how some distance

Makes everything seem small

And the fears that once controlled me

Can't get to me at all

 

It's time to see what I can do

To test the limits and break through

No right, no wrong, no rules for me,

I'm free!

 

Let it go, let it go

I am one with the wind and sky

Let it go, let it go

You'll never see me cry

Here I stand

And here I'll stay

Let the storm rage on

 

My power flurries through the air into the ground

My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around

And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast

I'm never going back, the past is in the past

 

Let it go, let it go

And I'll rise like the break of dawn

Let it go, let it go

That perfect girl is gone

 

Here I stand

In the light of day

Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway!

Poetry Term: