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Monorhyme is a rhyme scheme in which each line has an identical rhyme. The term "monorhyme" describes the use of one (mono) type of repetitious sound (rhyme), usually at the end of each line. This is common in Arabic, Latin and Welsh works, such as The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, e.g. qasida and its derivative kafi. Monorhyme is also used in the third verse of the American rapper Jay-Z's song "Already Home".
Some styles of monorhyme uses the middle of a poem's line to utilize this poetic tool. The Persian ghazal poetry style places the monorhyme before the refrain in a line. This is seen in the poem "Even the Rain" by Agha Shahad Ali:
- "What will suffice for a true-love knot? Even the rain?
- But he has bought grief's lottery, bought even the rain."
The monorhyme knot is introduced before the line’s refrain or pause. The corresponding rhyme bought is used in the next line. Although these are not the last words of the lines in the poem, monorhyme is incorporated in identical rhyme schemes in each line.
An example of monorhyme is the poem "A Monorhyme for the Shower" by Dick Davis. This monorhyme has all the ending lines rhyming with the word "hair".
- A Monorhyme for the Shower
- Lifting her arms to soap her hair
- Her pretty breasts respond – and there
- The movement of that buoyant pair
- Is like a spell to make me swear
- Twenty odd years have turned to air;
- Now she’s the girl I didn’t dare
- Approach, ask out, much less declare
- My love to, mired in young despair.
- Childbearing, rows, domestic care
- All the prosaic wear and tear
- That constitute the life we share
- Slip from her beautiful and bare
- Bright body as, made half aware
- Of my quick, surreptitious stare,
- She wrings the water from her hair
- And turning smiles to see me there.
- Davis, Dick (2001). A Monorhyme for the Shower. West Chester, Pa: Aralia Press.
- More examples of monorhyme poetry are displayed at http://allpoetry.com/list/17480-Monorhyme
- Murer, E. (2010, March). Poets.Org: From the Academy of American Poets.[dead link]
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