Rhyme, rhythm, sound patterning

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Transcript Rhyme, rhythm, sound patterning

Rhyme, rhythm, sound
Significance of sound patterning
• cohesive function: binds words together
(enhances memorability), foregrounds some
aspects of the text (specific words)
• creates or reinforces parallelism (e.g., cash &
• may contribute to a level of sound symbolism
- onomatopoeia, onomatopoeic words
• helps identify genre or form (if worth
• supports a case for some local interpretation
The phonetic structure of the word
Based on what you hear & say, not what you read.
phonetic transcription, stress pattern
structure of a syllable: C - V - C
C = CONSONANT CLUSTER = 0,1,2,... cons
V = 1 vowel sound or 1 diphthong
sound patterns are formed when syllables in words
close by 'echo':
repetition, parallelism
C - V - C alliteration: walk-one-wheat; Law Like Love;
run-rabbit, smell-smoky
• or when the first stressed segment within a word is
repeated: upon (the) pavement; aggression-ungrateful
NOTE: city alliterates with sandwich (vs cauliflower)
• the 'three Rs' alliterate: reading-writing-arithmetic Old
English (OE) and Middle English (ME) 'alliterative
meter': most or all (2 or 3) stressed syllables in a line
with the same initial sound
Other forms of sound patterning
• C - V - C assonance: repetition of the same vowel
sound, esp. in stressed syllables: light - wide – sign
• C - V - C consonance: small-well; tough-life
some critics argue that the use of the term
consonance is only justified when both the initial
and final consonants are repeated, as in red-ride
=> in this system see as 'pararhyme'
• C - V - C reversed rhyme: cash & carry; stand-stamp
• C - V - C pararhyme: scare-scar; sneaky-snake;
C - V - C RHYME: the last stressed vowel sound and
consonant cluster repeated in nearby words (perhaps
followed by repeated unstressed syllables): meetstreet; position-condition; demonstrate-remonstrate
• end-rhyme: if it occurs at the end of the lines
• internal rhyme: if it occurs within a line:
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers
(The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley)
• cough rhymes with off, not with plough - cough and
plough: spelling suggests they ought to rhyme: eyerhyme (as in Blake's The Tyger: hand or eye-symmetry)
NOTE: 18th c.: line-join, day-tea more or less rhymed
Further types of rhymes
• single, double, triple rhymes: depending on
the number of syllables involved
• 'masculine rhyme': single stressed syllable:
wrist-missed; start-heart
'feminine rhyme': 2 syllables are involved:
Rhyme scheme
patterns of rhyme within larger units of poetry
marked by letters :
a: first line and every following line rhyming with it
b: next new rhyme and every flwng line rhyming w
enclosed rhyme: envelopes a couplet with rhyming
lines: abba
interlocking rhyme: word unrhymed in 1st stanza is
linked with words rhymed in 2nd stanza, e.g.,
terza rima: aba bcb cdc etc.
Leonine rhyme: a type of internal rhyme: "The
splendour falls on castle walls“ (Tennyson)
Stanza forms
Stanza: loosely: any grouping of lines in a separate
unit in a poem: a verse paragraph
more strictly: a grouping of a prescribed number
of lines in a given metre, usually
with a particular rhyme scheme,
repeated as a unit of structure
Poems in stanzas provide an instance of the
aesthetic pleasure in repetition with a difference
(parallelism) that also underlies the metrical and
rhyming elements of poetry
system for analysing and marking poetical meters
and feet
ways of marking syllables:
long —
short ᴗ
stressed /
unstressed x
a vertical bar to mark feet
accentual-syllabic verse: standard verse of poetry in
English foot
basic metrical unit: in English, an accented syllable
with one or more unaccented syllable(s)
Iambic meter has dominated
English Poetry
• rising meter goes from unaccented to accented syllable
within foot: a'lone
iambic meter = predominant foot is iamb (= iambus)
pattern: x / example: about (also: alone)
anapestic meter = predominant foot is anapest
pattern: x x / example: is the sun
• falling meter goes from accented to unaccented syll.
within foot: 'water
trochaic meter (trochee): pattern: / x example: lovers
dactylic meter (dactyl): pattern: / x x example: leisurely
Combination of different rhythms
when rhythmic systems exist at the same time, e.g. in a song:
musical rhythm + poetic rhythm + speech rhythm
but these are potentially discordant with each other:
speech rhythm: x x /
/ x / x
As I walked out one evening,
poetic rhythm in the context of the rest of the poem:
x /| x
/ x
As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
(W.H. Auden)
metrical form: an underlying pattern of expectations
allowing variations
Common names for stanzas,
by line length
• couplet (2) and tercet (3) - considered by some too short to
qualify as stanzas
• quatrain (4 lines) e.g., ballad stanza:
The fox went out one winter night,
And prayed the moon to give him light,
For he'd many a mile to go that night,
Before he reached his den, O!
("The Fox and the Goose" folk song)
description: alternating iambic tetrameter and iambic
trimeter in a 4/3/4/3 pattern, rhyming abcb
• Octave (8) 1st unit in an Italian sonnet, rhyming abbaabba
Verse forms
The characteristic shapes or structures of
different kinds of poems. The form of a poem
is determined by such structural elements as
the number of lines, the metre, the rhyme
scheme, and the characteristic stanza. These
elements may be rigidly prescribed, as for
fixed forms like the sonnet and the villanelle,
or more loosely defined, as for the ballad and
the ode.
Other terms to remember
blank verse: unrhymed iambic pentameter
used by Marlowe and Shakespeare
in drama
heroic couplet: the closed and balanced iambic
pentameter couplet typical of the
heroic plays of Dryden
free verse: poetry free of traditional metrical and
stanzaic patterns
does not lend itself readily to scansion
Mark, however, the various forms (including
rhythmical) of repetition and parallelism
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o'clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.
Cease then, nor Order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. - In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.