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KCSE Simplified topical questions for English Paper 1 101/1: Rhythm in Poetry

How to create or achieve rhythm in Poetry

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KCSE revision made easier: Commonly tested KCSE questions in English Paper One 101/1 -Rhythm in Poetry

How can a poet achieve or create rhythm in a poem?

A poem refers to a composition presented in verse form.

This therefore means that a poet does not pick words havazardly.

A poet makes use of carefully selected words arranged in a particular way to create a special musical effect technically referred to as rhythm.

Poets in most cases make use of sound patterns also referred to as sound devices or mnemonics to create rhythm in a poem and repetition.

Hoe to create rhythm in a poem

Rhythm can be achieved in a poem by:

1. Using repetition

In many cases, an author of a poem can choose to use words, phrases or lines severally within the same poem.

The use of recurrent words, phrases or lines is what we refer to as repetition.

2. Using ideophones

An ideophones is a non-English word or phrase describing the exact sound produced.

Examples include

The girrafe walked patapata

He knocked ko ko ko

Pata pata and ko ko ko are ideophones.

3. Using onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is a sound pattern which makes use of English words that simulate sounds.

Examples of onomatopoeic words include knock, roar, ring, chirp etc.

4. Using rhyme

Rhyme is the sameness of sounds at the end of lines in a poem.

Rhyming words in most cases come at the end of lines. They are vertically ordered.

For example

pay and day

Say and weigh

Eight and weight

Art and smart

5. Using alliteration

Alliteration refers to the repetition of initial/first consonant sounds (not letters) in different words that follow each other within a line of a poem.

Alliterative words are horizontally arranged for example

Little Lily let Liam live a lie /l/

I will wander without focus if you left me. /w/

Note that it is advisable to underline the repeated consonant sound for clear demacation of the sound in question.

6. Using consonance

Consonance refers to the repetition of similar consonant sounds (not letters) either at the middle or end of different words that follow each other in a line of a poem.

For example 

Betty let the pet wet the set. /t/

Note that it is advisable to underline the exact repeated sound for clear demacation.

7. Using assonance

Assonance refers to the repetition of similar vowel sounds in words that follow each other within the same line in a poem.

Assonance is horizontally ordered.

For example 

He will win the race. /I/

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