“Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.” American poet Joyce Kilmer ends his poem about “Trees” by suggesting that they far surpass any simple verse. Using rhymed couplets, he clearly and concisely creates memorable descriptions.
A Flexible Form
A rhymed couplet is two lines of verse with a specific pattern: The final sounds of both lines are the same. It has several uses in poetry. A couplet poem can simply be two lines long or, as in “Trees,” a longer piece can be composed of rhymed couplets. A couplet can also be just one section of a poem. For instance, Shakespearean sonnets begin with three quatrains -- stanzas with four lines -- and end with a rhymed couplet.
Pair Them Up
“Trees” has six stanzas of rhymed couplets. In descriptions of poetry, rhyming lines are assigned matching letters. The first and last stanzas of “Trees” have identical rhymes, while the middle ones are different. Therefore, the specific rhyme pattern is AA BB CC DD EE AA.