Slanting the Paint Chips

September is upon us. Apparently, according to meteorologists, it is now meteorological fall. I prefer astronomical fall, because that means three more weeks of summer, my very favorite season. Besides, my wedding anniversary is next Monday and I was married in the summer, not the fall.

This month, I have decided to check out the S section of the poetry dictionary for our prompts. It’s a pretty big section with some great options. I’ll warn you right now, for those who like to plan ahead, I am going to do a sestina prompt on September 24. But for this week, I’ve selected a much easier entry: slant rhyme.

SLANT RHYME (also called approximate rhyme, half rhyme, near rhyme, and off rhyme) Rhyme that neither looks nor sounds exact. Instead of echoing both vowel and consonant, a slant rhyme echoes only one of them.

With monosyllabic words, if the vowel is the same but the final consonant changes, the rhyme is assonant (myth/whip, hope/cone, break/cape). If the final consonant is the same but the vowel changes, the rhyme is consonant (myth/bath, hope/cape, break/smack). If the vowel changes but the consonants surrounding it remain the same, the rhyme is double-consonant (myth/math, hope/hype, break/brook).

With polysyllabic words, the same combinations hold true for the final accent, but the unstressed syllable(s) at the end usually stay the same, dangling like little tails (Bible/sidle/stubble/babble).

Poets differ in their standards of decency concerning proper or improper slant rhymes.

the poetry dictionary, pg. 288

The Challenge

The challenge today is to write a poem using slant rhymes at the ends of lines. You can write your poem however you like. You can even throw in some internal slant rhymes. If you need some help coming up with slant rhymes, check out RhymeZone where you can search for true rhymes or near rhymes for any word.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are wheat fields, raven, moonstone, foggy harbor, and brown-paper package. In celebration of my 35th wedding anniversary, I would like you to use three of these five paint chips in your poem. They can be part of a slant rhyme or used elsewhere in the poem.

My Poem

As I mentioned above, I’m going to write a few couplets. One of them I partially wrote in my head yesterday morning, long before I finished this post. It includes a slant rhyme I used in a discarded stanza of the poem I wrote for my sister Suz.

A Silly Slanty Poem

Sometimes when I am feeling fierce
I include ravens in my verse

Sometimes when I see a tearstain
I spice my poem with moonstone

Sometimes when rhyme has little hope
I see a foggy harbor drape

Sometimes when I challenge you all
I learn slant rhymes are hard as hell 

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn to write a little verse with slant rhyme. Hopefully it’s not as hard for you as it was for me. You can share your poem in the comments, or post it on your own blog and drop a link in the comments. Extra bonus points for anyone who makes me chuckle, either because your rhymes are so good or because they are so bad I can’t help it. It’s not as easy as it looks when you’re trying to work in paint chips too.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


18 Responses

  1. I tried. Happy anniversary!!

    A perfect Union

    A bride’s dress of white could be a brown- paper package
    Buried inside may be layers of luggage

    A perfect partner is a gem of moonstone
    Who will stay close beside you and won’t let you roam

    Seeds sown in September reap winter’s wheat fields
    A perfect season for weddings and a lifetime well sealed

  2. Congratulations on your 35th anniversary!

    Slant rhyme is hard as you note in your poem. I especially liked the “fierce/verse” pair.

    I didn’t know Rhymezone offered slant rhymes, but I’m glad it does. I used it to come up with some of the near rhymes below.


    A Scarecrow’s Gratitude

    Those ravens are black
    and that fact is exact,
    but a moonstone’s no moon
    though there’s room to presume
    that these wheat fields have wheat
    and a scarecrow’s a beast.

    Thus he cheerfully thinks
    as the day flips to night
    giving all gracious thanks
    while the sun leaves the sky.

    • Thank you. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it has been 35 years. I’m ready for another 35.
      You picked the rhyme pair that was the holdover from the poem about my sister. It may show up in another poem again someday, though it didn’t belong in her poem.
      I love your poem. You have a few internal rhymes in addition to the line-end rhymes. Very nice. It seems this scarecrow does have a brain and a heart of gratitude.

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