Rhymes add a musical component to poems and make them easier to remember. They can also enhance the meaning. While many poems have rhyming words at the end of each line, some have rhyming words within lines instead. These poems represent internal rhyme examples.
Internal rhyme is when two or more words within a line or verse of a poem rhyme. This doesn't include words at the end of two or more lines rhyming; that is called end rhyme. There are three different types of internal rhymes.
Some poems with internal rhymes feature two or more rhyming words within the same line.
- I went to town to buy a gown. / I took the car, and it wasn't far.
- I had a cat who wore a hat. / He looked cool but felt the fool.
- I lost my dog in the midst of fog. / He found his way home, he doesn't like to roam.
- At my school there is a golden rule. / Be who you are, and you're sure to go far.
- My little dog sits like a bump on a log. / Until there is food; that's sure to lead to a change of mood.
- I'm taking a trip on a big cruise ship. / I'll travel in style while relaxing all the while.
- I'll always fight for what is right. / When a cause is one that's just, speaking up is a must.
In some internal rhyme poetry, two or more rhyming words will appear in the middle of two or more separate lines.
- I see a red boat that has a red flag. / Just like my red coat and my little red pail.
- I wore a shiny new bow upon my head. / I began to grow, and it fit me no more.
- I'd like to jump into the ocean. / But don't dump me in instead.
- Behold this flower in my hand. / It holds a power you can't see.
- I sat upon the chair. / A cat upon my lap.
Some internal rhyme examples are set up so that the last word of one line rhymes with one or more words in the middle of the next line.
- The snowflakes are dancing, floating and falling. / The church bells are calling, but I will not go.
- The sky was a clear, rich shiny blue. / I knew it was true, but I stayed inside.
- It is fallible men who make the law. / This may be a flaw, but there's no other way.
- Patience is not my finest trait. / Having to wait has me in a state of agony.
- The decision is mine to make. / How long it will take, I am not sure.
- Equality is an issue for which I will lobby. / My passion is not just a hobby; it's a vocation.
- A relationship must be based on trust. / This is a must, an absolute not negotiable.
There are many examples of internal rhyme in famous literary works and songs.
Edgar Allan Poe was a master at using literary devices to add to depth, tone and emotion to his poems. He also chose to use all types of internal rhyme and even mixed them together at times. This added to the effect of his poems, making them even better. In the following excerpt from The Raven, he even extended the rhyming words to an additional line by spreading out the words napping, rapping and tapping over three lines.
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more.'"
Internal rhyme is often used in song lyrics. Journey's Don't Stop Believing is a great example of internal rhyme in a rock song.
"A singer in a smoky room, the smell of wine and cheap perfume
Working hard to get my fill, everybody wants a thrill
Some will win, some will lose, some were born to sing the blues"
Internal rhyme is also common in rap music. The lyrics of Rapper's Delight from The Sugarhill Gang are a great example of internal rhyme in a rap song. The following brief excerpt illustrates a very creative and effective internal rhyme pattern.
"Ya see I'm six foot one and I'm tons of fun
And I dress to a t
Ya see I got more clothes than Muhammad Ali and I dress so viciously
I got bodyguards, I got two big cars"