Towards a theory of sporadic rhyming

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A surprising amount of 20th-century (and earlier) English-language poetry employs rhyme, but not the rhyme we normally think of, which marks the end of the line in metrical poetry, but a kind of half-intentional half-accidental rhyme that can appear anywhere within the text. This type of rhyming, which I term 'sporadic' and distinguish from 'systematic,' has illuminating potential as it relies on, but also departs from traditional rhyme functions. As such, it asks for a new theorization. In this essay I elaborate the core characteristics of sporadic rhyming, and then exemplify and qualify these through a series of readings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage and Literature
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Jakobson
  • Modern
  • poetry
  • retrospectivity
  • rhyme
  • sound
  • sporadic
  • systematic

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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