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9&60 Ways - Multiple Rhyming: Not just for rappers!

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:58 AM
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Default 9&60 Ways - Multiple Rhyming: Not just for rappers!


We all know when two words rhyme. "Buy" rhymes with "pie" and "met" with "regret". This month we'll look at more complex or unusual rhymes.

Multiple rhyme is when several syllables rhyme. W.S. Gilbert's song "The Modern Major-General" uses multiple rhyme for humor:

I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous...

Mosaic rhyme, a kind of multiple rhyme, is when one long word rhymes with more than one short ones. A good example, also from "The Modern Major General", is when "lot o' news" rhymes with "hypotenuse".

Multiple rhymes of all types are serious business in modern hip-hop. Rappers like Eminem are known for their skill with multies. Big Punisher shows great dexterity in this bit of "My Turn":

In magic do I build, but math do be equally compatible
And secretively battle you to reach my peak in equilateral

Not only do the underlined phrases rhyme, they also assonate in every syllable, and share the same stress pattern of / . . . / . .

The most extreme form of multiple rhyme is holorime, when whole lines rhymes with each other. More common in French, it is sometimes done in English; the hard part is trying to make it make sense! Here's one example by Ronberge (taken out of context... find the whole poem here):

Incite aloud to a wake, end on a bridge to nowhere...
Insight allowed to awaken, unabridged, to know where

This month, show us your multiple rhymes! Questions and comments about this lesson go in this thread. Your work can be posted as a separate thread with "Multiples" in the title (Example: Multiples - Not kidding with the hard-hitting man).

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Old 06-12-2009, 10:17 AM
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I would love to know more about these. Could you point me in the direction of some books on the subject of holorimes? BTW, thank you for your POV...more helpful than any I've run across in two writers' forums.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:24 AM
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its strange for i tend to sing out my poems when rhyming and so multiple pieces seem natural at times.

in truth i believe rhyming poetry is often harder than most believe for it is not just a matter of rhyme but also of cadence and flow. Neither force nor fit can make it perfect, it has to belong.

excellent post this is. thank you.

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Old 06-12-2009, 12:17 PM
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Hi guys! Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed this.
Originally Posted by design007 View Post
I would love to know more about these. Could you point me in the direction of some books on the subject of holorimes?
I thought holorimes were pretty fascinating, too. I tried to write my own: Dead-Eye Wakeful. Most of the sources I found simply said holorimes were more common in French than in English. The only poet I found was Ronberge. You can find his stuff (in English and French) on poemhunter.com (I linked to A Hollow Rhyme in the original post, and here are some more of his in French). He also has a Myspace here, and a book out. I don't know how much of his work is holorimes, though.

Originally Posted by castlesofsand View Post
in truth i believe rhyming poetry is often harder than most believe for it is not just a matter of rhyme but also of cadence and flow. Neither force nor fit can make it perfect, it has to belong.
True! Especially the "neither force nor fit" bit. That's one way we can tell that greeting card verse is not "real" poetry, though we mostly can't explain why. The rhymes there are often forced or predictable. I think the best rhymes are the ones that surprise but seem natural.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:21 PM
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argh i hate greeting cards or any cards with poems, never liked the idea of sending a poem to someone i care for, that 10 thousand others are getting. I wish those writing them all the best in success, but would never buy one.

I agree, the best rhymes are the ones you don't notice at all, the words around them should be the beauty, not the actual rhyming.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:01 AM
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As well as multiple rhyme, one of my favorite ways to use rhyme scheme less conventionally is to use internal rhyme. Which is to say, why rhyme at the end of a sentence?

It's fun sometimes to throw a rhyme in the middle of a line and break
your structure to pieces.

The only downside, to me, is I start to do it unintentionally, without noticing.
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