rhyme(redirected from End rhyming)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
See rhyming dictionaries in English (which include discussions of versification) by J. Walker (1775; revised and reprinted frequently), B. Johnson (1931), and C. Wood (1943; 1947); studies by H. Lanz (1968) and E. Guggenheimer (1972).
consonance in lines of verse, having phonic, metric, and compositional significance. Rhyme emphasizes line boundaries in verse and organizes lines into stanzas.
End rhyme is characteristic of the poetry of most nations, but such initial consonances as initial assonance in Mongolian poetry are also encountered. In different historical periods, varying demands have been made of rhyme among different peoples. Consequently, there can be no single universal definition of rhyme based on sound structure: rhyme is conditioned both by literary traditions and by a language’s phonetic structure. In Russian poetry, for example, the basis of rhyme is the consonance of stressed vowels. In the case of Czech, which has initial
stress, the consonance of the final syllables in lines of verse does not depend on the stress location.
In masculine rhyme, stress is placed on the final syllable (beregám, luchám), and in feminine rhyme, on the penultimate syllable (Ruslána, romána). In dactylic rhyme, stress is placed on the third syllable from the end (zakóvannyi, ocharóvannyi), and the very rare hyperdactylic rhyme has more than two syllables after the stress (pokriákivaet, vskákivaet).
The configuration of rhyming lines varies. The main patterns are paired rhyme (aabb): Voron k voronu letit,/Voron voronu krichit (Pushkin); alternate rhyme (abab): Rumianoi zareiu/Pokrylsia vostok,/V sele za rekoiu/Potukh ogonek (Pushkin); and enclosed rhyme (abba): Uzh podsykhaet khmel’ na tyne./Za khutorami, na bakhchakh,/V nezharkikh solnechnykh luchakh/Krasneiut bronzovye dyni (Bunin). These patterns alternate and combine in different ways. Poems based on a single rhyme—monorhymes—are rare in European poetry but widespread in the poetry of the Middle East. A specific, consistent rhyme pattern is a typical characteristic of a stanza.
In Russian poetry, rhyme originated in the syntactic parallelism widespread in folklore. Typical of this parallelism are identical parts of speech in identical grammatical form, occurring at the ends of verse lines and resulting in consonances: Khvaliseno v stogu, a barina v grobu. In Old Russian poetry, grammatical rhymes based on suffixes and inflections predominated: biashe—znashe; otbivaet—otgoniaet.
Beginning in the 18th century, heterogeneous rhyme, composed of different parts of speech (noch’—proch’), gained acceptance. At the same time, as had already happened in the history of French and other poetry, a need gradually developed for exact rhyme, in which the final stressed vowel and all the sounds following it correspond (tobóiu—rukóiu). If the supporting consonants preceding the stressed vowel also correspond (povésa—Zevésa), the rhyme is called a rich rhyme. If consonance extends to the syllable preceding the stress, the rhyme is called a deep rhyme (zanemóg—ne móg).
Beginning in the mid—19th century, imperfect rhyme, in which the vowels following the stress do not correspond (vózdukh—rózdykh), became increasingly common in Russian verse. Since the early 20th century, poets have used various types of imperfect rhyme more frequently. These include assonance, or the correspondence of vowels and the dissimilarity, usually partial, of consonants (óblako—ókolo), and truncated rhyme, in which the final consonant of one of the words is eliminated (les—krest, plamia—pamiat’). Other types of imperfect rhyme are compound rhyme (do stá rastí—stárosti), consonance as such, in which the stressed vowels differ (nórov—kommunárov), and imparisyllabic rhyme, in which masculine or dactylic endings are rhymed with feminine or hyperdactylic ones (papákhi—popákhivaia).
Rhyme also has semantic significance. It “brings us back to the preceding line … and holds together all the lines forming a single thought” (V. V. Mayakovsky, Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 12, 1959, p. 235). An aesthetic evaluation of rhyme as perfect or imperfect, innovative or traditional, cannot be made outside the context of the entire poem and without taking into account the poem’s composition and style.
REFERENCESZhirmunskii, V. M. Rifma: ee istoriia i teoriia. Petrograd, 1923.
Mayakovsky, V. V. “Kak delat’ stikhi.” Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 12. Moscow, 1959.
Tomashevskii, B. V. “K istorii russkoi rifmy.” In his book Stikh i iazyk: Filologicheskie ocherki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Shtokmar, M. Rifma Maiakovskogo. Moscow, 1958.
Kholshevnikov, V. E. Osnovy stikhovedeniia: Russkoe stikhoslozhenie, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1972.
Samoilov, D. S. Kniga o russkoi rifme. Moscow, 1973.
V. E. KHOLSHEVNIKOV