Poetry Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What is the rhyme scheme of this poem?  

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,426 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

There are lots of common rhyme schemes that a poem might have. You will want to examine the final words of the lines and figure out which ones rhyme; this is called end rhyme. An English or Shakespearean sonnet typically has a rhyme scheme that follows this pattern: ababcdcdefefgg. This means that the first and third lines rhyme, the second and fourth lines rhyme, the fifth and seventh lines rhyme, the sixth and eighth lines rhyme, the ninth and eleventh lines rhyme, the tenth and twelfth lines rhyme, and the thirteenth and fourteenth lines rhyme. An Italian or Petrarchan sonnet typically follows this pattern: abbaabbacdecde or abbaabbacdcdcd, for example. Some poems are written in rhyming couplets, which means that the first and second lines would rhyme, the third and fourth lines would rhyme, and so on: aabbccddeeffgg, and so on. Many poems are written in stanzas that follow this pattern: abab cdcd efef ghgh, and so on.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lizette Eaves eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2009

write578 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Which poem are you looking to analyze?  When looking for a poem's rhyme scheme, it's helpful to look at the last word at the end of each line in order to identify the pattern.  Remember, rhyme scheme is the name for that pattern used to create the poem. For example, with the common "Roses are Red" poem, you can identify the ABAB rhyme scheme.  The first line is labeled A and all words that rhyme with that word will also be labeled A.  The next line is B and each word that rhymes with it will also be labeled B.  You will continue this pattern until you finish the poem.

Roses are red,        A
Violets are blue,     B
Sugar is sweet,      A
And so are you.     B

check Approved by eNotes Editorial