Unclean rhyme

An unclean rhyme, also semi-rhyme, is a rhyme style. In the unclean rhyme, syllables are rhymed, which are only approximately rhyme, so they are not exactly identical. In the unclean rhyme, therefore, the sequence of the rhyme syllables coincides only approximately, which becomes clear in vowels, less in consonants. Sometimes rhymes appear unclean in reading, but are pure in a mouth-watering pronunciation. The acceptance of impure rhymes varies in the literaturepochen.

This type of rhyme is typical for popular poetry (eg in the folk song), but it is rather rare in works that are based on clear characteristics of the high form of art. Nevertheless, there are numerous examples from the literature and from very different poets, who consciously use the impure rhyme as a means of design. Let us look at an example of Friedrich Schiller:

Then he seized the soul with heavenly power,
And it flashes out of his eyes boldly,
And he looks blushing the beautiful figure
And she sees them fading and sinking –
Then it drives him to buy the delicious prize,
And fall down on life and death.
The above example is the penultimate stanza from Schiller’s Ballad Der Taucher and contains an unclean rhyme: the reimbinding of bold and out, which are just similar but not the same. In contrast, the other verses, which in turn are to be assessed as pure (power / form, acquire / dying).

More precisely, when words are pure rhymes, the consonants are identical according to a stressed vowel (also umlaut and diphthong). In the word sun, the letters o are followed by the emphasized o, so is the case with bliss. According to this, sun and bliss are pure. Looking at the above example, the words bold and bold, a phonetic distinction is noticeable.

On the one hand, u and i are, of course, differently pronounced, and the i is short and the ü is long in the example, so the sound is kept longer. As a result, the words sound similar but not the same: they are therefore unclean. A pure rhyme would be either in or out.

What’s for dinner today?
Ask Peter to be full of joy.
This example was self-written and clarified the principle again. Today, joy is rhymed to the noun. According to the double vowel eu, which is found in both terms, the first word is te, and in the second, de. The d is a soft consonant, the t is pronounced hard. Consequently, not all sounds correspond to the double vowel: an unclean rhyme. Finally an example with dialect:

You painful,
Your face gracious to my need!
The above extract shows the first three lines of a monologue from Goethe’s Faust. The poet rhymes the words and painful. According to the last vowel, in this case the double vowel ei, the first part is inclined, in the second part, and in the second part. This pairing can be considered as an unclean rhyme. If, however, the word neige is spoken frankly, that is, in the Frankfurt dialect, it becomes too neiche – then the rhyme would be alike. The following is an overview of frequently unclean rhymes.

Special form: Assonance
A special form of the impure rhyme is the assonance. The assonance is a rhyme of words in which only the accented vowels rhyme. The consonants are however different. In this context one speaks more of the vocalic equality. An example:

Oh, I will not complain,
after all, I could sleep at night
In the example it can be seen that the words complain and sleep by no means equal. After the last vowel, there is no consonant, as it would be with a pure rhyme. However, this last consonant is identical – both rely on the a. In this way the words get a similarity of the accentuated vowels. It would be similar in a rhyme from staff to power or ground to fragrance.


Special shape: eyelid
Another special form of the impure rhyme is the eye-rhyme. In the eye rhymes nothing sounds. There is, however, a space for the eye, hence the name. This, however, is only orthographic because the words have the same letters. An example two line:

That was a shame,
so there is not every day.
The words, which are rhymed here, are identical to the accentuated vowel, whereby rhymes are rhymed, but are pronounced differently. Days would form a pure rhyme with location, blamage rhymes on floor or rage. The combination is however rhymed only for the eye, but phonetically nonexistent: an eye-rimmed. Frequently, he finds himself in rhyme on foreign words.

Short overview: The most important information about Reimart at a glance
A rhyme style is called an unclean rhyme. An unclean rhyme rhymes words in which the rhyme syllables only approximate. Thus, as with a pure rhyme, they do not sound completely identical. This is very striking in vowels, diphthongs and umlauts.
Special forms of the rhyme are the assonance as well as the eye rhyme. In the assonance there are equal vowels in the rhymes, the consonants being entirely different. Thus, the Vocalic equilibrium occurs. The eye rhyme is only for the eye, the rhyme syllables are often written the same, but are phonetically different.

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