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How to Write Rhythmic Poems


Rhythm in poetry is created by stressing and unstressing certain syllables. This is true for the English language and not necessarily for others. Many poems follow a pattern that has a stressed syllable following an unstressed syllable. The pattern in the lines of a poem is what a reader or listener will detect as being rhythmic. This is the meter of a poem. Traditional poems, such as sonnets, use a rhythmic rhyming structure. Reading your poem aloud will help determine the rhythmic structure.

Write lines that use an end rhyme. This is when the last word of a line rhymes with the last word in the next line. An example is the rhyming words in these two lines:

"The boy went out to play,

It was a bright and shiny day."

Writes lines that use an internal rhyme. This is when words in the middle of the lines rhyme. An example is the internal rhyme in these lines:

"The sun arises anew, the clouds far from view;

No reason to be blue, hope's promise shines true."

Mix exact rhymes and off-rhymes to create interesting rhythm. The words "play" and "day" are exact rhymes. The vowel sounds are exactly the same. "Boss" and "frost" are examples of an off-rhyme. There is a similarity in vowel sounds but the words do not sound exactly the same. The use of off-rhymes allows for a greater choice of words.

Create rhyme schemes. The patterns of rhymes in a poem are written a, b, c, d and so on. The set of lines that rhyme at the end are marked as they appear in the poem. The first line would be marked a. The second line would be marked b. The following is an example of an aaba structure, where all of the lines rhyme but the third one:

"The sun arises anew, the clouds far from view.

No reason to be blue, hope's promise shines true.

The darkness has subsided. I can now see the light,|

Comforted by what I have gone through."

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Ty Wright has written professionally since 1993, working primarily in film and television. His articles have appeared online at MadeMan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and electronic arts from California State University, Long Beach.

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