Login
Copyright

Slant Rhyme in Poetry: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Lyric Poetry: Definition, Types & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Slant Rhymes
  • 1:54 Examples of Slant Rhyme
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jacob Erickson

Jacob has his master's in English and has taught multiple levels of literature and composition, including junior high, college, and graduate students.

In this lesson, we'll explore slant rhymes, which are sometimes called half rhymes or near rhymes. After we look at a formal definition and some examples of slant rhyme, there is a short self-assessment quiz that you can take.

Slant Rhymes

Have you ever read a poem or heard a song that used two words that don't quite rhyme? It can be difficult to switch from a perfect rhyme scheme to one that has words that barely sound similar. This type of rhyme scheme is known as a slant rhyme. Let's take a look at the rhymes in two different stanzas from Emily Dickinson's Not any Higher Stands the Grave:

'Not any higher stands the Grave
For Heroes than for men--
Not any nearer for the Child
Than numb Three Score and Ten--' (1-4)

Notice how 'men' and 'ten' rhyme perfectly? This, of course, is a perfect rhyme. Compare this to the next stanza, which uses the same rhyme scheme:

'This latest Leisure equal lulls
The Beggar and his Queen
Propitiate this Democrat
A Summer's Afternoon.' (5-8)

Along with her reclusive nature, many readers originally found the slant rhyme in the poetry of Emily Dickinson odd. It's quite obvious that 'queen' and 'afternoon' both end with similar sounds, but don't rhyme. This imperfect rhyme is a slant rhyme, sometimes called a half rhyme or near rhyme. A more technical distinction between a full rhyme and a slant rhyme is that a full rhyme has a repetition in both the final consonant and the preceding vowel or consonant, while a slant rhyme has a repetition in the final consonant, but not in the preceding vowel or consonant.

You won't find much slant rhyme in poetry that came before the mid-19th century, but it is very common in the poetry of the 20th century. Contemporary poets frequently use slant rhyme to give themselves a greater range and freedom in the words that they use, as well as to produce a desired feeling in the poem.

Examples of Slant Rhyme

While it's fair to say that Emily Dickinson was famous for using slant rhymes, it was W. B. Yeats and Gerard Manley Hopkins who made them particularly popular. Here's an example from Yeats' Easter 1916:

'I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.' (1-4)

While 'day' and 'grey' clearly rhyme, 'faces' and 'houses' form a slant rhyme. Notice how Yeats employs slant rhyme as a way to not only use words that don't traditionally go together in a formal rhyme scheme, but also to create an effect. In the case of the stanza above, the fact that 'faces' and 'houses' don't fully rhyme creates a feeling of discordance, which is central to the theme of the poem. The use of slant rhyme in many poems by Yeats influenced a tremendous amount of 20th-century poets.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support