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How to Write an End-Rhyming Poem


Poetry allows individuals the freedom to express themselves creatively. Generally in poetry, words are chosen freely to mimic a feeling, to tell a story, or to communicate a theme. However, there are some types of poems that require specific forms. One is the end-rhyme poem. In an end-rhyme poem the words at the ends of many lines rhyme.

List words and phrases that fit the theme, story or imagery you think your poem will have. Don't confine yourself to writing down words that rhyme; be open-minded.

Write the first line of the poem. Don't rush yourself, and don't move on until you are happy with the first line.

Observe the last word in the first line. This is the word that must rhyme with the last word in another line. For example:

LINE ONE: The boy had a bat LINE TWO: and a brown cat.

"Bat" rhymes with "cat."

Continue writing the poem line by line. For example:

The boy had a bat and a brown cat. The cat wore a hat and proudly sat.

In this example, all words rhyme at the end, but not all of your lines have to rhyme.

Read other end-rhyme poems for ideas on different ways to do them. This example from John Milton contains end rhyme. Lines labled (a) rhyme with each other, and lines (b) rhyme with each other.

When I consider how my light is spent (a) Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, (b) And that one talent which is death to hide, (b) Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent (a)

Here is another example, from a John Keats poem (notice not all lines rhyme):

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

About the Author

Randi Flynn began writing in 1996 and has been published in Crosswalk, KY Pacesetter, Literacy Lift and as a freelance book reviewer. She is an English instructor who graduated from Morehead State University and holds a Master of Science in curriculum, instruction, and technology from Nova Southeastern University. Flynn also serves as adviser to a student literary arts magazine.

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