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The Impact of Pararhyme in Poetry

Poetry is a creative form of writing that often utilizes various devices to evoke emotions and add depth to the words. One such device is rhyme, which involves using words with similar sounds. While perfect rhyme is commonly used, there is a specific type called pararhyme that offers a more subtle and imperfect effect. In this article, we will delve deeper into pararhyme and its significance in poetry.

Understanding Pararhyme

Pararhyme, also known as 'near rhyme', was named by poet Edmund Blunden. It is a form of half-rhyme in which the rhyming words share the same consonant pattern but differ in their vowel sounds. For instance:

- Dark and dock
- Smart and start
- Thin and thank

This creates a subtle and imperfect rhyme, unlike perfect rhyme where the rhyming words have identical vowel sounds.

Feminine Pararhyme and its Variation

An extension of pararhyme is feminine rhyme or double rhyme, where two-syllable words have the same sound at the end. Feminine pararhyme takes this a step further by having the rhyming words share the same consonant pattern but different vowels. Examples include:

- Butter and batter
- Torn up and turnip

This type of rhyme can also exist between multiple syllables in monosyllabic words, such as:

- Knit and nit
- Mitt and mat

These subtle variations in sound add a musical quality to the poem, creating a pleasant flow and rhythm.

Notable Examples of Feminine Pararhyme in Poetry

The concept of pararhyme has been used in numerous poems, adding depth and impact to the reader's interpretation. One of the most famous examples is Seamus Heaney's 'The Strand at Lough Beg' (1979):

  • Emphasizing Dichotomy through Pararhyme
  • The use of pararhymes in poetry can effectively convey the contrast between two opposing concepts. This is evident in lines that employ pararhymes, reinforcing the dichotomy between purity and impurity established by the poet. Pararhyme, a form of half-rhyme, highlights the difference between two seemingly unrelated things.
  • Pararhymes can be found in various poems, adding depth and impact to the reader's interpretation. Let's explore the use of pararhymes in poetry and how they affect the overall reading experience.
  • A well-known example of pararhyme can be seen in Wilfred Owen's 'Strange Meeting' (1919), a vivid portrayal of the atrocities of World War I. The use of imperfect rhyme in pararhymes reinforces the destructive nature of war, as seen in words like 'escaped/scooped', 'groaned/groined', and 'bestirred/stared'.
  • Analyzing Pararhymes in Owen's 'Exposure'
  • Another poem by Owen, 'Exposure' (1918), delves into the agonizing wait soldiers endured in the trenches during World War I. Through the use of pararhymes, the environment is depicted as lively and active, even in the calm periods between warfare.
  • Owen makes frequent use of pararhyme in his work, as it adds to the vivid imagery he uses to describe war. While perfect rhyme is more sonorous, imperfect rhyme like pararhyme is more useful in conveying the intensity and chaos of war.
  • Pararhyme in Other Poems
  • Rhyme is an essential part of poetry, and pararhyme adds a unique effect to the overall reading experience. Other notable examples of pararhyme in poetry include Robert Graves' 'In Dedication [To the White Goddess]' (1948), where words like 'men' and 'mean' emphasize the divinity of the goddess described in the poem. Similarly, Emily Dickinson's 'Poem 889/Crisis Is A Hair' (1945) uses pararhyme to convey the metaphor of 'crisis' as a hair, connecting the beginning and end.
  • The Significance of Pararhyme in Poetry
  • Pararhyme is used in poetry for various purposes, such as reflecting the emotions the poet wants to evoke, emphasizing specific lines, creating a sense of fluidity throughout the poem, and adding a cyclical narrative. It adds depth and impact to the reader's interpretation, making it a vital poetic device.
  • Key Takeaways
  • Pararhyme is a type of half-rhyme where the rhyming words have the same consonant pattern but different vowels.
  • Pararhymes can occur between lines or within a line of poetry.
  • The main difference between pararhyme and half-rhyme is the requirement of identical consonant patterns for pararhyme.Understanding Pararhyme in Poetry: Its Definition and Impact
  • Pararhyme is a literary technique used in poetry to evoke emotions, highlight important phrases, establish a smooth flow, or create a cyclical structure within the poem. This technique involves using words with the same consonant pattern but different vowel sounds.
  • What is Pararhyme? Pararhyme is a form of half-rhyme, where the rhyming words share an identical consonant pattern but have different vowel sounds. It is closely related to half-rhyme, but for it to be considered pararhyme, the consonant patterns must be completely the same.
  • Is Pararhyme the Same as Half-Rhyme? No, although all instances of pararhyme are half-rhymes, not all half-rhymes fall under the category of pararhyme. While pararhyme requires identical consonant patterns, half-rhyme only necessitates the same ending consonants.
  • What Does Pararhyme Mean? Pararhyme is a poetic device that creates a distinct sound effect by using words with similar consonant patterns but different vowel sounds. It adds depth and complexity to a poem, making it more captivating for the audience.
  • Examples of Pararhyme in Poetry Pararhyme is often used in poetry to enhance its overall impact. For instance, words like "hall" and "hill" or "drawer" and "dryer" are considered pararhymes due to their identical consonant patterns (ll and r) but distinct vowel sounds (a and i).
  • The Impact of Pararhyme in Poetry When utilized in poetry, pararhyme can create a cyclical structure, allowing the poem to effortlessly flow from beginning to end. It also adds emphasis to certain lines or phrases, making them more significant to the reader. Additionally, pararhyme contributes to the smoothness of the poem, resulting in a more cohesive and polished piece of writing.
  • How is Pararhyme Used in Poetry? Pararhyme can serve various purposes in poetry. It can reflect the emotions and sentiments of the poet, emphasize certain lines or phrases, create a sense of flow and continuity, or establish a cyclical structure. Overall, pararhyme is a versatile and powerful poetic device that adds depth and complexity to any poem.

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