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 "I am Every Woman":
A poem that has a proper rhyme pattern can be classified as a formal verse. On the other hand, a poem that has no rhyme and is open to pattern is classified either as a blank verse or a free verse. (Note: both are not the same.)
The poem "I am Every Woman" is a free verse as it has no proper rhyme scheme. Nevertheless, some stanzas within the poem follow distinct rhyme scheme with desired meter. Hence, let us look at the poem to understand how rhyming works in each stanza and as well as the overall poem.
|A woman is beauty innate|
|A symbol of power and strength.|
|She puts her life at stake,|
|She's real, she's not fake!|
|The summer of life she's ready to see in spring.|
|She says, "Spring will come again, my dear.|
|Let me care for the ones who're near.”|
|She's The Woman – she has no fear!|
|Strong is she in her faith and beliefs.|
|"Persistence is the key to everything,"|
|says she. Despite the sighs and groans and moans,|
|She's strong in her faith, firm in her belief!|
|She's a lioness; don't mess with her.|
|She'll not spare you if you're a prankster.|
|Don't ever try to saw her pride, her self-respect.|
|She knows how to thaw you, saw you – so beware!|
|She's today's woman. Today's woman, dear.|
|Love her, respect her, keep her near...|
The above demonstrated rhyming pattern is for your understanding only. There is no rhyme scheme for the poem as it is a free verse.