The pattern of rhymes at the ending of each line in a poem is called a rhyme scheme. Letters (A,B,C...) are usually used to express which lines rhyme. Verses that are designated with the same letter are said to rhyme with each other. It is also known as an arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or a poem.
For easier understanding of the concept, let us take a famous nursery rhyme, written by Jane Taylor as an example.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
We see that the first two lines rhyme with each other (star-are); the second two lines rhyme with each other (high-sky). Let us name each line as \(A\), \(B\) depending on the words that rhyme with each other.
|Twinkle twinkle little star,|
|How I wonder what you are.||A|
|Up above the world so high,||B|
|Like a diamond in the sky.||B|
It can thus be seen that this poem follows \(AABB\) pattern.
Rhyme scheme of the poem "Amanda":
|Don’t bite your nails, Amanda!||\(A\)|
|Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda!||\(A\)|
|Stop that slouching and sit up straight,||B|
|There is a languid, emerald sea,||\(A\)|
|where the sole inhabitant is me||\(A\)|
|a mermaid, drifting blissfully||\(A\)|
|Did you finish your homework, Amanda?||\(A\)|
|Did you tidy your room, Amanda?||\(A\)|
|I thought I told you to clean your shoes,||B|
|I am an orphan, roaming the street.||\(A\)|
|I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.||\(A\)|
|The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet||\(A\)|
|Don’t eat that chocolate, Amanda!||\(A\)|
|Remember your acne, Amanda!||\(A\)|
|Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you,||B|
|(I am Rapunzel, I have not a care;,||\(A\)|
|life in a tower is tranquil and rare;||\(A\)|
|I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair!)|
|Stop that sulking at once, Amanda!||\(A\)|
|You’re always so moody, Amanda!||\(A\)|
|Anyone would think that I nagged at you, Amanda!|