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 "The Grumble Family":
|There's a family nobody likes to meet;||\(A\)|
|They live, it is said, on Complaining Street||\(A\)|
|In the city of Never-Are-Satisfied,||\(B\)|
|The River of Discontent beside.||\(B\)|
|They growl at that and they growl at this;||\(A\)|
|Whatever comes, there is something amiss;||\(A\)|
|And whether their station be high or humble,||\(B\)|
|They are all known by the name of Grumble.||\(B\)|
|The weather is always too hot or cold;||\(A\)|
|Summer and winter alike they scold.||\(A\)|
|Nothing goes right with the folks you meet||\(B\)|
|Down on that gloomy Complaining Street.|
|They growl at the rain and they growl at the sun;||\(A\)|
|In fact, their growling is never done.||\(A\)|
|And if everything pleased them, there isn't a doubt||\(B\)|
|They'd growl that they'd nothing to grumble about!||\(B\)|
|But the queerest thing is that not one of the same||\(A\)|
|Can be brought to acknowledge his family name;||\(A\)|
|For never a Grumbler will own that he||\(B\)|
|Is connected with it at all, you see.||\(B\)|
|The worst thing is that if anyone stays||\(A\)|
|Among them too long, he will learn their ways;||\(A\)|
|And before he dreams of the terrible jumble||\(B\)|
|He's adopted into the family of Grumble.||\(B\)|
|And so it were wisest to keep our feet||\(A\)|
|From wandering into Complaining Street;||\(A\)|
|And never to growl, whatever we do,||\(B\)|
|Lest we be mistaken for Grumblers, too.||\(B\)|
|Let us learn to walk with a smile and a song,||\(A\)|
|No matter if things do sometimes go wrong;||\(A\)|
|And then, be our station high or humble,||\(B\)|
|We'll never belong to the family of Grumble!||\(B\)|
The poem life follows the rhyme scheme \(AABB\) pattern.