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What is the rhyme scheme in Emily Dickinson's poem "Because I could not stop for Death"?

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omar1996 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2013 at 4:11 AM via web

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What is the rhyme scheme in Emily Dickinson's poem "Because I could not stop for Death"?

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted February 16, 2012 at 3:33 AM (Answer #1)

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As with most of Emily Dickinson's poetry, the poem "Because I could not stop for death" does contain a discernible rhyme scheme.  This particular scheme is best described as ABCB: a set of four line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines rhyme.

This rhyme is not perfect; in fact, only the first and fifth stanzas rhyme in the expected manner, with the second, third, fourth and sixth stanzas employ a near or slight rhyme.  This means that the rhyme is not perfect, but close enough.  An example would be the lines in the fourth stanza which end in "chill" and "tulle".  While these words do not exactly rhyme in American English, the similarity in the 'l' sounds carry the rhyme. In British English (BE) the rhyme is clearer: chill [click BE pronunciation]; tulle [click BE pronunciation].

 

 

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