A Crib on Rhythm, Metre and Rhyme - II
You will need to be able to say what the Rhythm, Metre and Rhyme are.
And you will need to say what the effect is on the poem’s register (how it sounds).
DO NOT EVEN TRY to remember the effects of the different approaches on the register of the poem – it is too difficult, and it changes from poem to poem anyway.
All you need to do is to think what the register of the poem is (steady, worried, military, plodding, thoughtful etc.) … and then you say that the poet has selected the rhythm, metre and rhyme to achieve that effect (you can be sure they have).
Here you need to count the ‘feet’ – the number of times the rhythm comes round in a line:
This children’s assembly hymn is trochaic, but can you see that it has THREE ‘feet’?
Have you / heard the / rain-drops?
And this children’s assembly hymn is trochaic again, but can you see that it has FOUR feet?
Aut-umn / days when / grass is / jew-ell’d
The two you need to know are:
Tetrameter = FOUR FEET and Pentameter = FIVE FEET
Which of these is an iambic pentameter, and which is the trochaic tetrameter?
If music be the food of love, play on!
(by William Shakespeare)
There he sang of Hiawatha
(by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Mary had a little lamb
And treat those two imposters just the same
Some poems do not rhyme – where they do, you can express the rhyme by using a letter of the alphabet to indicate where the different rhymes occur.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall (a)
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall (a)
All the king’s horse and all the king’s men (b)
Couldn’t put Humpty together again (b)
Is an aabb rhyme.
Can you identify the rhyming pattern of these famous poems:
Bid me to weep, and I will weep
While I have eyes to see;
And having none, and yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.
Mary had a little lamb
its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.
went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle
right up to his middle
And never went there again!
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
There was a young man from Darjeeling
Who boarded a bus bound for Ealing
It said on the door
Please don’t spit on the floor
So he stood up and spat on the ceiling.
I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Some poems rhyme
But this one doesn’t
(Answers: abab, abcb, aabccb, ababcb, aabba, aabb, abcbdefe, unrhymed)