Couplet  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

(Redirected from Couplets)
Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A couplet is a pair of lines of verse. It usually consists of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter.

While traditionally couplets rhyme, not all do. A poem may use white space to mark out couplets if they do not rhyme. Couplets with a meter of iambic pentameter are called heroic couplets. The Poetic epigram is also in the couplet form. Couplets can also appear in more complex rhyme schemes. For example, Shakespearean sonnets end with a couplet.

Rhyming couplets are one of the simplest rhyme schemes in poetry. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales are written in rhyming couplets. John Dryden in the 17th century and Alexander Pope in the 18th century were both well known for their writing in heroic couplets.

Because the rhyme comes so quickly in rhyming couplets, it tends to call attention to itself. Good rhyming couplets tend to "snap" as both the rhyme and the idea come to a quick close in two lines. Here are some examples of rhyming couplets where the sense as well as the sound "rhymes":

True wit is nature to advantage dress'd;
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd.
— Alexander Pope
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
is idle, biologically speaking.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (at the end of a sonnet)

On the other hand, because rhyming couplets have such a predictable rhyme scheme, they can feel artificial and plodding. Here is a Pope parody of the predictable rhymes of his era:

Where-e'er you find "the cooling western breeze,"
In the next line, it "whispers through the trees;"
If crystal streams "with pleasing murmurs creep,"
The readers threatened (not in vain) with "sleep."




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Couplet" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools