In this article, we are going to cover some basic tips on how to write a poem that rhymes. Rhyming can be very tricky, especially when you’re first starting out. There are many different rules and opinions that we will explore today. Some people believe in strict rhyme schemes, while others prefer free verse. So let’s cover a few basic ideas, rules and tips to get you started.
Brainstorming Your Poem
Jot your ideas down as they come to you. It is important to write often to keep your creative juices flowing and to ensure that you don’t forget the ideas that you have for poems! When you have an idea for a poem, write it down so you won’t forget it.
- You don’t have to write your ideas in verse. You can write in prose or make lists of words and ideas that you might want to use for a poem later on.
- It’s a good idea to start by choosing the concept or topic of your poem—what do you want it to be about? Then, you can start shaping words around the topic
Look around for inspiration. If you are not sure what to write your poem about, pick an object, animal, person, or place as your subject matter. You don’t need to write about something extraordinary. Just choose something that is interesting to you
Write freely about your chosen topic. Once you have an idea for a poem, start writing! Get all of your ideas for the poem onto paper without worrying about the structure or rhyme scheme. You can divide it into lines, or write it in prose as your first draft
Make a list of rhyming words for your subject. Another great way to brainstorm for a rhyming poem is to make a list of rhyming words that are related to your subject. The list may be long or short depending on what you are writing about. Try writing words that describe the subject and then look for rhyming pairs to each of those words.
Selecting a Rhyme Scheme
Opt for an alternating rhyme scheme for a simple pattern. The alternating rhyme scheme may be the most common way to organize a poem. To use it, place your rhyming pairs at the end of every other line.
Try out a ballade structure for something more complex. If you want to incorporate a little more complexity into an alternating rhyme scheme, then try structuring your poem in ballade form. This features 2 sets of 4 alternating rhymes divided by 1 extra line that rhymes with the second line. Then, a third set of 4 alternating rhymes that features the same rhymes as the second set follows
Rhyme all of the words in the poem with each other for a monorhyme. Monorhyme is when you use the same rhyming sound throughout your entire poem. This can be tricky if there are not a lot of words or syllables that rhyme with your first word, so choose carefully.
Write couplets for a simple way to organize your rhymes. A couplet is simply 2 lines that end with the same rhyme. You can write your entire poem in couplets, or just include a few for variety
Start and end each stanza with the same rhyme for an enclosed rhyme. If you want to try something that will help to signal the beginning and then end of your stanzas, then open and close each one with the same rhyme. You can include a couplet or other rhyme scheme in the middle of the stanza, or not include any other rhymes except for at the beginning and end of the poem
Revising a Rhyming Poem
Read through your poem a few times after drafting it. As with many forms of writing, revision is the most important part. Once you have your ideas on paper, go back through it and fix grammatical mistakes, refine the language, add or remove words and phrases, and rewrite sections of the poem as needed.
- Make sure to read your poem out loud so that you can hear how it sounds. This will help you to catch minor errors and this is also how poetry is meant to be enjoyed.
- If you have to submit the poem for a class, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to revise your poem until you are happy with it! Remember that even published poets revise their work multiple times.
Get feedback from someone you trust. Ask a friend, classmate, or teacher to read over your poem and tell you what they think. This may help you to revise your poem by providing you with additional rhyming words, content for the poem, or ways to improve the structure. If you need to submit the poem for a class, be sure to ask for feedback at least a few days before the poem is due.
Come back to the poem in a few hours or days if you are stumped. Although you can revise your poem right away, many people find it easier to revise after they have set their poem aside for a few hours or even a few days. This allows you to return to the poem with fresh eyes and spot issues that you ay not have noticed the last time you looked at it.