Limerick: It has a very structured poem, usually humorous & composed of fivelines (a cinquain), in an aabbarhyming pattern; beat must be anapestic(weak, weak, strong) with 3 feet in lines 1, 2, & 5 and 2 feet in lines 3 & 4. It's usually a narrative poem based upon a short and often ribald anecdote.For more about poetic forms, see the Open School Notes on Poetry Forms.SOUND PATTERNSThree other elements of poetry are rhyme scheme, meter(ie. regular rhythm) and word sounds(like alliteration). These are sometimes collectively called sound playbecause they take advantage of the performative, spoken
nature of poetry.RHYMERhyme is the repetition of similar sounds. In poetry, the most common kind of rhyme is the end rhyme, which occurs at the end of two or more lines. It is usually identified with lower case letters, and a new letter is used to identify each new end sound. Take a look at the rhyme scheme for the following poem:I saw a fairy in the wood,He was dressed all in green.He drew his sword while I just stood,And realized I'd been seen.The rhyme scheme of the poem is abab..Internal rhymeoccurs in the middle of a line, as in these lines from Coleridge, "In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud" or "Whiles all the nightthrough fog-smoke white" ("The Ancient Mariner"). Remember that mostmodern poems do not have rhyme.NOTE: Rhyme(above) and rhythm(below) are two totallydifferent concepts!RHYTHM AND METERI recommend starting with this podcast on rhythm and meter.Meter: the systematic regularity in rhythm; this systematicrhythm (or sound
pattern) is usually identified by examining the typeof "foot" and the numberof feet.1. Poetic Foot:The traditional line of metered poetry contains a number of rhythmical units, which are called feet. The feet in a line are distinguished as a recurring pattern of two or three syllables("apple" has 2 syllables, "banana" has 3 syllables, etc.). The pattern, or foot, is designated according to the numberof syllables contained, and the relationshipin each foot between the strong and weak syllables.Thus:__ = a stressed (or strong, or LOUD) syllableU = an unstressed (or weak, or quiet) syllableIn other words, any line of poetry with a systematic rhythm has a certain number of feet,and each foothas two or three syllableswith a constant beat pattern .a. Iamb (Iambic) - weak syllable followed by strong syllable. [Note that the pattern is sometimes fairly hard to maintain, as in the third foot.]b.Trochee (Trochaic): strong syllable followed by a weak syllable.c. Anapest (Anapestic): two weak syllables followed by a strong syllable.e.g.In her room at the prow of the houseWhere light breaks, and the windows are tossed...From "The Writer", by Richard Wilburd.Dactyl (Dactylic): a strong syllable followed by two weak syllables.