Is there a term for when a line of poetry has the words in an unusual/less natural order to fit into a rhyming structure?

e.g. Your journey will end with the ending day, You never again will pass this way;

The second line would more commonly be phrased "You will never again pass this way"

3 Answers 3


I think this is an example of the literary device known as inversion. There is a pretty comprehensive explanation of it here: https://literarydevices.com/inversion/

From that website:

As a literary device, inversion refers to the reversal of the syntactically correct order of subjects, verbs, and objects in a sentence.


It is also more common to find inversion in poetry than in prose because there the unnaturalness of inversion lends itself well to creating a poetic lilt. Poets might also choose to use inversion in order to create a rhyme or uphold a meter that would not work with the syntactically correct order of words.

And just a note about your last sentence: I think the second line actually would more commonly be phrased "You will never pass this way again." (At least that's how Seals and Crofts would sing it.)

  • I think ending the line "way" in the counterexample was to maintain the rhyme with "day", but not fit a likely meter
    – Chris H
    Sep 27, 2022 at 6:04
  • Yes, it was inversion “to create a rhyme.”
    – JLG
    Sep 27, 2022 at 13:21

poetic license

The liberty taken by an artist or a writer in deviating from conventional form or fact to achieve a desired effect.
American Heritage Dictionary


That looks like ”Yoda Grammar”.

Quoting https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/articles/yoda-grammar/

[…] Carson also notes that although Yoda shifts around sentence elements, he doesn’t do so randomly. He tends to use object-subject-verb word order,* as in “Princess Leia, Han Solo digs,” […]

https://justpublishingadvice.com/star-wars-grammar-by-yoda/ provide this fun graphic.

yoda speak

You could also say Yoda-esque or Yoda-speak. Or sounds like Yoda from Star Wars, etc.

  • 2
    From the link in my answer: “The character Yoda in Star Wars often speaks in inversion.”
    – JLG
    Sep 27, 2022 at 13:23
  • @JLG it was your inversion answer that made me think of this one; though I hadn’t clicked the references til now. I liked your answer and upvoted it. I know we have some overlap here, but I am minded to keep this answer anyway.
    – k1eran
    Sep 28, 2022 at 17:59

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