Rhyming Scheme and Patterns in Poetry

Not all poems rhyme. Some poems follow a certain rhyming scheme. The rhyming scheme gives the poem a rhythm when read aloud.

In order to identify the rhyming scheme of a poem, you must first observe the last word in each line of the poem. You are looking to see if the words rhyme at first. Rhyming words have same ending sounds, as indicated by the last vowel sound ). Most times you have to listen to the sound carefully, and not rely on the spelling of the word. Some words with similar sound are not spelt the same.

Observe the poem “Only My Opinion” by Monica Shannon

What are the ending words that rhyme?

  • ticklish… wiggles
  • belief…. leaf.
  • Therfore the rhyming scheme is ABAB

Not all poems have rhymes. Observe this poem, “Fog” by Carl Sandburg.

 Rhyme schemes tell you which line withing a poem rhymes.

As you can see this poem lacks a rhyming scheme.

It is suggested that you read the poem aloud so you do not miss the words that rhymes.


What is the rhyming scheme for the poem below. How many stanzas do you see in this poem?

It helps if you underline the last word in each line in a poem. If the words rhyme, you denote each word with a letter. Once the rhyme changes, the letter changes.