What Is an AABB Rhyme Scheme?

By Staff WriterLast Updated May 27, 2020 7:27:06 PM ET
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Rhyme schemes are the forms in which poetry is written. The rhyme scheme provides the meter and the tempo of a piece. The rhyme scheme gives structure to the poem.


The AABB Rhyme Scheme

The AABB rhyme scheme uses sections of four lines divided into two couplets. A couplet consists of two lines that rhyme with each other. The series of couplets continue for the rest of the poem.

With the AABB rhyme scheme, each couplet rhymes. So, you have two lines that rhyme (A) followed by two lines that share a different rhyme (B).

An Example of an AABB Poem

Under the sun

After lots of fun

A cute little cat

Wore a tiny hat

This poem rhymes the words "sun" and "fun" as part of the A scheme. It rhymes "cat" and "hat" as part of the B scheme.

Poems Using AABB Rhyme Scheme

Many popular poems use the AABB rhyme scheme. "Good Timber" by Douglas Malloch uses the scheme. In the poem, Malloch rhymes the words "fight" and "light" for the A pattern. He rhymes "plain" and "rain" for the B pattern.

In "Sick," Shel Silverstein rhymes "today" and "McKay." He then rhymes "mumps" and "bumps." These four lines of the poem set the tone and structure for the rest of the piece.

Perhaps one of the most famous uses of the AABB rhyme is the poem "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." This poem rhymes "star" and "are" for the A pattern and "high" and "sky" for the B pattern.

Using AABB in Other Forms

Poems are not the only places you will find an AABB rhyme scheme. You will also see the scheme used in songs. Prose may also use a rhyme scheme. You may also see AABB used alongside other rhyme schemes and patterns.

Other Rhyme Schemes

Many other rhyme schemes exist. Some are more common than the AABB rhyme scheme. For example, many people like to write poems in free verse. Free verse does not typically have a specific rhyme. This makes it an informal verse. Formal verses have rhyme schemes.

Haiku is another rhyme scheme. It comes from Japan. A haiku contains three lines. The first line has five syllables. The second line has seven syllables. The third line has five syllables.

Shakespeare used several different rhyme schemes in his sonnets. Shakespearean sonnets use a pattern that rhymes ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG.

Other poems use an alternate rhyme. It is an ABAB rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme would go ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH. Ballads often use this type of pattern.

A triplet uses the same rhyme at the end of each line. The rhyme scheme is three lines that rhyme AAA. A longer poem that uses the same rhyme at the end of each line is called a monorhyme.

An enclosed rhyme uses the scheme ABBA. It is also called a sandwich rhyme.

Finally, a limerick uses five lines. The rhyme scheme is AABBA. These types of poems come from Ireland.

While there are many other types of rhyme schemes, these are among the most popular options found in literature today.