Step 4: Rhyming Couplet and Quatrain

A rhyming couplet is a set of lines, back to back, that rhyme. Usually they have the same meter so that they appear as a coherent whole.

Example: Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is written in rhyming couplets. (Beware, though: it is in Middle English).

From the prologue:
Singing he was, or fluting all the day;
He was as fresh as is the month of May.

This couplet is in iambic pentameter.

A rhyming quatrain is a set of four lines that follow a rhyme scheme. The rhyme schemes could be:
AABB--(the first and second lines rhyme with each other and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other. In other words, a pair of rhyming couplets together)
ABAB--(the first and third lines rhyme with each other and the second and fourth lines rhyme with each other)
ABBA--(the first and fourth lines rhyme with each other and the second and third rhyme with each other)
ABCB--(the second and fourth rhyme with each other).

Again, quatrains usually have a given meter so that they sound like they flow together.

Some examples: The Hippopotamus by Ogden Nash (my favorite poet of all time)

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.

Note the AABB rhyme scheme.

Here's Look Back on Time with Kindly Eyes
by Emily Dickinson

Look back on time with kindly eyes,
He doubtless did his best;
How softly sinks his trembling sun
In human nature's west!

This is an ABCB rhyme scheme.

The couplet and the quatrain can be used as building blocks for your poems, as we will see next.
<p>I don't know if this poem I wrote is good. could you tell me?</p><p>If I could make a wish it would be for people to not see me cry</p><p>I know that's stupid but....</p><p>I don't want people to worry about me</p><p>I don't want people to cry with me </p><p>I don't want people to think its there fault</p><p>I don't want them to see my tears</p><p>I cry because think I'm.. </p><p>useless</p><p>stupid</p><p>ugly </p><p>weird</p><p>but then I see everyone...</p><p>Who loves me</p><p>Who believes in me </p><p>who think i'm smart</p><p>who understand me</p><p>these are the people who help me keep going</p>
<p>can anyone help me how to write emotinal poetry ?</p>
This instructable<br>delights me, It is good.<br>Very detail'd and covers all, <br>The relevant poetic points. <br>
<p>A great article for anyone looking to write poetry I'd also recommend some of the videos here.<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC11Q4-Nq-QjUHcz_gnQJqmQ" rel="nofollow">https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC11Q4-Nq-QjUHcz_gnQJqmQ</a> to help with creativity in your poetry.</p>
<p>HeHe! This is so me!</p>
<p>when we parted I was good and you were dead,</p><p>now I'm as good as dead</p>
<p>I've got another one:</p><p>Here I lie,</p><p>With nothing <br>left.</p><p>There you <br>die,</p><p>Of life <br>bereft.</p>
This really helped thank!
Good article on writing poetry. There's so many kinds of poetry out there. You are right that poetry is a great way to express emotions, get ideas out there and entertain all at once. There's also a new social media site for poets to write and post their poetry on and to show it off to the world. it's <a href="http://www.Pondrin.com" rel="nofollow">www.Pondrin.com</a>
This really is great, the more I read the more inspired I get! This is one of the few free sources of good poetry instruction! I know of some good paid ones like: <a href="http://www.readandwritepoems.com" rel="nofollow">readandwritepoems.com</a> and <a href="http://readwritepoems.org" rel="nofollow">readwritepoem.org</a>. Especialy the first one where you can download (relatively cheaply compared to most) what I believe is the most comprehensive of all &quot;How to's&quot; on poetry. In this article he covers all the major things! I cant get over it Thanks Thanks Thanks!
Wow, you know about <a href="http://www.readandwritepoems.com" rel="nofollow">ReadandWritePoems.com</a> too! Ben Grove Has the best bar none poem writing help. And now his ebooks are FREE! <br><br>
This is terrific. To get really good feedback, and improve as a poet, it helps to join a workshop. If there aren't any around you, or you just aren't sure how to join, you might try an online poetry workshop and community.<br> <br> A few suggestions:<br> <a href="http://www.neopoet.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.neopoet.com </a><br> <a href="http://readwritepoem.org" rel="nofollow">http://readwritepoem.org </a><br> <a href="http://www.poetrycritical.net" rel="nofollow">http://www.poetrycritical.net</a>
The explanation is really good. I see dedication in the author while he was writing this. I've been looking for this post eversince. This is perfect for my study. :)<br>by the way I've been studying <a href="http://www.haikupoemsandmore.info/" rel="nofollow">haiku</a> poems and I'm loving <a href="http://www.haikupoemsandmore.info/2011/12/haiku-poems.html" rel="nofollow">haiku poems examples</a> made by famous poets like basho.
my poem so far<br>My lips are the gun,<br>My smile, tha trigger,<br>My kisses are the bullets,<br>Label me a killer
Some time love go's that far, So go ahead and pull tha trigger, Put tho's bullets in my heart so you can keep it forever, SO i mite be a killer if it means being a lover so go on and LABEL ME A KILLER
I like that. I couldn't come up with something like it. It's good so far. :)
Great article Josh. here are also the best poems of <a href="http://www.best-poems.net/carl_sandburg/index.html">Carl Sandburg</a> , <a href="http://www.best-poems.net/ezra_pound/index.html">Ezra Pound</a> and <a href="http://www.best-poems.net/walt_whitman/index.html">Whitman</a>. Keep up the great work...
I've been writing poetry for quite some time now but I never stop on searching for more tips to improve my craft. And when I stumbled upon this thread, I can't just resist but to read it. Thanks. By the way this resource maybe of help <br><a href="http://www.poemslifelove.com/p/how-to-write-poem.html">How to Write Simple Poems</a>
My free verse: I am a butt and I smell like cheese.
My free verse: Run, or the monster will eat...
Hello! This picture is..........................................lovely!?
Yeah............... keep it up!
This is excellent. I had it in my head to do something similar, but found that it had already been done, and far beyond my capacity. Good job.
Hey, great overview of various kinds of poetry.<br/><br/>Whilst writing poetry can be simple, it can also be very complex, it really depends on how much of a challenge you're up for. Furthermore, it really depends on how much you expect from yourself. As ascii said, don't worry if what you think you've written is really bad... most of the time, other people will enjoy it. On top of that, getting feedback is the only way you're going to get better. :)<br/><br/>Also, if you're looking for inspiration or finding it hard, there are plenty of places on the net to get you started. I was involved at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.readwritepoem.org">http://www.readwritepoem.org</a> for a while, they have great weekly prompts, and have an emphasis on collaboration, which is a great way to get started if you're feeling shaky.<br/>
a bit of a techincal explanation on rhythm here: 'pentameter' refers to the fact that each line has five (penta) metric feet. For example, iambic pentameter indicates that there are 5 iambs in the line. As each iamb has two syllables, every second syllable stressed, that makes 10 syllables per line. note also that there are other kinds of 'meter', such as tetrameter (4 feet).
That's a really good point about "not having to line everything up". In one of my poems, the only difference between 2 drafts was the fact that some lines had one or two spaces at the start of them. I think it's really effective when used well, especially if you're trying to assist some kind of rhythm or conduce your reader into reading it in a particular way.
good job man keep up the good work
This was very helpful for writing poetry! The only thing is can you add the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost? I was wondering what type of poem that is and I really want to write like that! Thx!
Nice post. I would add a couple of bits of advice for those who want to write poetry: the first is that it is very simple - most people don't do it and anything you write at all will impress people. I only write rhymed verse, because it is a bit more difficult but a lot more impressive. (Just my opinion.) A lot of people write four line verses, with the rhyme scheme AABB. If you change this to ABAB it usually sounds much better, and often little or no changes are needed other than swapping the lines. Don't force a rhyme - if you have to end a line with something like "We did eat" then you need to rewrite it, because it sounds clunky. Similarly given a few minutes thought you can generally swap words out and fix lines with too many or too few syllables. If this doesn't work, put it aside for half an hour and try again. While a specific time and quiet surrounding are nice, I write at work in an engineering office, in rapid email exchanges against a group of people who are probably a lot better than I. The best poems are published in the company newsletter, not because they are good but because I am the editor. Remember, don't worry if it's perfect, just keep at it.
Funny, cause i just did a report on John Keats, a famous poet.
Excellent. Great examples
I'm very sleepy I ate way too much turkey My pants, oh so tight!
Good job..this is one of my favorites from a shirt on threadless: Haikus are easy But sometimes they don't make sense Refrigerator.
hahaha :P
I once thumbtacked myself to the wall of my refridgerator
dude i love threadless!! i want to get some of the shirts that are on there monkey
Pokemon kick ass Wait, that wasnt a haiku. woot, instructables :D
very nice 'ible thoughtful, linked, and thorough. I henceforth write some.
Wow! Loved this! As a keen writer of poetry I found much to absorb and lots of useful and/or fascinating tips. Thank you so much

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