All terms

What is slant rhyme?

A type of rhyme where the final consonant sounds are similar but not identical.

Get Slanted: An Exploration of Slant Rhyme

Slant rhyme, also known as half rhyme or imperfect rhyme, is a staple of poetry that has confounded and enchanted writers and readers alike.

Unlike perfect rhyme, where both the vowel sounds and final consonant sounds match, slant rhyme only requires the final consonant sounds to be similar. For example, 'love' and 'move' are not a perfect rhyme, but they are close enough to be classified as a slant rhyme.

This technique is often used in free verse poetry, where a more loose and experimental approach to rhyme is taken. However, it can also be used effectively in traditional forms, such as the sonnet, to add variation and interest to the rhyme scheme.

Some argue that slant rhyme is a more natural way of writing poetry, as it more closely mirrors the way we speak. It also allows for more creativity in word choice, as a wider array of words can be used to create the desired effect.

Love it or hate it, slant rhyme is here to stay, and it's worth experimenting with in your own writing to see the effects it can produce.

Slant Rhyme in Action: Examples from Literature
See slant rhyme in action in these two famous literary works.
Emily Dickinson's 'Heart'

Emily Dickinson is known for her unconventional use of slant rhyme, often pairing words that a traditional poet would not. In her poem, 'Heart, we see the use of slant rhyme in lines such as:

'Extasies' - 'Analysis'

'Seraphs' - 'Stirring'

'Queen' - 'Crown.'

William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130

In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare famously turns the conventions of a love sonnet on its head, using slant rhyme to emphasize the speaker's love for his mistress despite her imperfections. Some examples include:

'Coral' - 'dull'

'Breasts' - 'best'

'Even' - 'heaven.'