Two successive lines of verse. A couplet is marked usually by rhythmic correspondence, rhyme, or the inclusion of a self-contained utterance. Couplets may be independent poems, but they usually function as parts of other verse forms, such as the Shakespearean sonnet, which concludes with a couplet. A couplet that cannot stand alone is an open couplet; a couplet whose sense is relatively independent is a closed couplet.
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A couplet is a pair of lines of verse. It usually consists of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter. Some cultures have decorative traditions associated with them.
Rhyming couplets are one of the simplest rhyme schemes in poetry. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales are written in rhyming couplets. John Dryden in the 17th century and Alexander Pope in the 18th century were both well known for their writing in heroic couplets.
Because the rhyme comes so quickly in rhyming couplets, it tends to call attention to itself. Good rhyming couplets tend to "snap" as both the rhyme and the idea come to a quick close in two lines. Here are some examples of rhyming couplets where the sense as well as the sound "rhymes":
This should be:
On the other hand, because rhyming couplets have such a predictable rhyme scheme, they can feel artificial and plodding. Here is a Pope parody of the predictable rhymes of his era:
Couplets may be seen on doorposts in Chinese communities worldwide. They are usually placed there as part of the Chinese New Year festival, often on the first morning of the New Year. The couplets are usually purchased at a market a few days before and glued to the doorframes. Many of them have been used for generations and contain traditional hopes for prosperity. Others reflect more recent concerns. For example, the CCTV New Year Gala usually promotes couplets reflecting current political themes in mainland China.