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9
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1answer
905 views

Rhyming conventions of Early Modern English

I was reading the poem "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell when something struck me as odd. Let me quote two passages: Thou by the Indian Ganges' side Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide ...
6
votes
1answer
838 views

What do you call a poem or song that sets up a rhyme and then ignores it?

Here is a line from the song "Popular" in the musical Wicked. I am trying to explain what we call the anticlimax of the last three lines, where a rhyme is expected but not delivered. When I see ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Rhyme in Elizabethan sonnets

In sonnets from the Elizabethan period, "move" rhymed with "love" although they don't today. Recognizing that changes in spelling rarely keep up with changes in pronunciation, how were "move" and ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

In what dialects does “often” rhyme with “soften”?

I believe in most English dialects soften is pronounced without a t sound. In some dialects, often is similar, but in others a t sound is quite evident in often. I'm interested not only in which ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

Does a word rhyme with itself?

In other words, does rhyming work reflexively? Do "potato" and "potato" rhyme? Is the following (admittedly cumbersome) limerick valid? An issue with rhymes confused me much So I used the ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don’t we write poetry like Beowulf any longer?

Beowulf, the Old English epic poem, uses a characteristically Germanic style of poetry in which the number of strong beats per line is what counts. Instead of counting syllables, strong beats alone ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Was the pronunciation of “symmetry” different in the past?

First published in Songs of Experience in 1794, the first stanza of the poem “The Tyger” by William Blake is: Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are identical rhymes inferior in English poetry?

From “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath: Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses In English poetry, a perfect rhyme has identical vowels but different onsets, like come ...
36
votes
3answers
11k views

Why does “orange” rhyme with (almost) nothing in English?

Joel Spolsky asked what rhymes with orange. The official answer is, "Nothing," although a creative poet can get close by using half words, just the -nge part or resorting to place names and foreign ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it true that iambic pentameter is “natural” to English? If so, why?

When I first read Dante's Divine Comedy in high school, I remember once being puzzled at what I thought were strained rhymes in the translation, and mentioned it to my English teacher. In reply, she ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Do “hull” and “full” rhyme?— rules for “short U” sounds before L

I grew up speaking a variety of American English that merges the "short U" sounds before L. The "short U" sounds are the vowels in the words STRUT and FOOT. For me, before an L sound, all words have ...
5
votes
3answers
433 views

What different types of rhymes are used here?

In this video with rapper Eminem, he makes the following rhymes: "I put my orange, four inch, door hinge, in storage, and ate porridge with george." Following the Types of Rhymes wikipedia ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

What do you call “rhymes” which are spelt but not sounded the same way?

Here is an example from T. S. Eliot: And even the Abstract Entities Circumambulate her charm; But our lot crawls between dry ribs To keep our metaphysics warm. I expect most people would say ...