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There are two internal rhyme schemes used in The Raven. Let”s look at stanza 10 of the poem to see what an internal rhyme scheme is and how Poe uses it to make the poem flow. (Take note of the line numbers to the right of the chart below.)
The word internal means inside. So an internal rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyming words inside the same line. The Raven has two unique internal rhyme schemes one in the 1st line of each stanza, and a second in the 3rd and part of the 4th line of each stanza. Internal, or middle, rhymes usually occur within the same line, like the words lonely and only in line 55. But great poets like Poe like to bend (or even break!) the rules sometimes to create an even better effect. Look at lines 57 and 58: the internal rhyme of uttered, fluttered, and muttered spills over into two lines instead of one. Because the rhymes still occur inside the lines not among words at the end of each line this is still considered an internal rhyme scheme.Reread lines 57 and 58 to yourself.
How does it sound to you? Do the rhymes help you notice those words more than the other words in the lines? Poets sometimes use internal rhymes to help readers see connections between the rhyming words. For example, the words uttered, fluttered, and muttered all refer to the way something sounds (or doesnt sound, in the case of fluttered). As you read the poem, notice how you begin to expect the next rhyme within the line. Depending on how you read the poem, the internal rhymes can quicken the poems pace as youre reading, leading to a greater sense of anticipation. Or the rhyme scheme might make you slow down and linger over the rhyming words. Either way, Poes internal rhyme scheme creates tension. This tension is magnified by the external rhyme scheme. What is an external rhyme scheme?What is a rhyme scheme? The Rhyming Raven”s Challenge!Return to the Annotated Raven